News

Cannabis withdrawal trial

Researchers from the University of Sydney are looking for participants in a trial program to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lithium in the management of cannabis withdrawal.

Behaviour interventions have been shown to assist in managing problematic cannabis use, withdrawal symptoms such as sleep difficulties, increased anger and aggression, irritability, nervousness and anxiety may be a barrier to achieving and maintaining abstinence.

Trial coordinator Dr Jennifer Johnston said there are currently no evidence-based pharmacotherapies (the treatment of a disease through the use of drugs) for the management of cannabis withdrawal.

“The availability of a safe and effective medication would be valuable both in supporting the attainment of abstinence and as a means of attracting cannabis users into treatment,” she said.

Lithium is a mood-stabilising medication commonly used for the management of bipolar affective disorder. The findings of a recent human trial by the current investigators provided preliminary evidence of the potential use of lithium in the management of cannabis withdrawal.

In what is thought to be a world first study, they are now seeking a further 30-40 participants to do a “double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial”. Participants must be over 18 years of age and will be screened by medical officers. They will be admitted to the inpatient detoxification unit at Riverlands Drug and Alcohol Centre in Lismore for seven days and administered lithium (500mg b.d.) or placebo. Participants will be monitored daily for self-reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms and lithium adverse effects and toxicity, with follow-up interviews conducted 14- 30- and 90- days post discharge. Blood, urine and saliva samples will be taken throughout the course of the trial to monitor lithium, oxytocin and THC levels.

If you are interested in finding out more about the trial, please contact Dr Jennifer Johnston on 1800 757 110 or email jennifer.johnston@sydney.edu.au.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Watch Tralala Blip perform live at TEDxSydney

ON THE SPOT: Northern Rivers electronic music band Tralala Blip.

From 9am at the Sydney Opera House

Origin Blues team revealed: Five could make their debut

NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley

New South Wales coach Laurie Daley has named five debutants

Netflix internet speed test: How do you rate?

Highway 66: the speed at the Sunshine Coast Daily office.

New site allows Australians to test their mobile or broadband speed

Latest deals and offers

VIDEO: The fastest, easiest way to peel a potato?

Try not to think about how many hours you've squandered trying to clean up the humble spud.

Watch Tralala Blip perform live at TEDxSydney

ON THE SPOT: Northern Rivers electronic music band Tralala Blip.

From 9am at the Sydney Opera House

Origin Blues team revealed: Five could make their debut

NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley

New South Wales coach Laurie Daley has named five debutants

Netflix internet speed test: How do you rate?

Highway 66: the speed at the Sunshine Coast Daily office.

New site allows Australians to test their mobile or broadband speed

Golden Era musos return

Pacific Jazzmen

Lismore's legendary Jazzmen reunite.

Cultural Alliance a first for nation

NORPA Artistic Director Julian Louis and Cr Jenny Dowell at Lismore City Hall.

NORPA and Lismore City Council have signed a new Cultural Alliance.

Diesel paying tribute to artists who have influenced him

Mark Denis Lizotte, also known as Diesel.

American is a concept predominant in singer Mark Lizotte’s life

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest