Cannabis is a neglected drug in public health discourses, a reality which is at odds with the growing number of people in England who are now seeking support for problematic cannabis use. The disparity of how cannabis is prioritised by drug and alcohol service providers, wider community services, local authority commissioners and public health bodies has limited the amount of support available and impeded quality.

  • Among people experiencing problematic cannabis use, there is a perception that their needs will not be effectively met at treatment centres.
  • Some drug and alcohol service providers and commissioners are being attentive to cannabis but overall, cannabis has not been appropriately prioritised.
  • One to one interventions relating to cannabis are mostly confined to drug and alcohol treatment centres. Wider community services reported that they do not have the capacity or the ability to offer brief, initial interventions.
  • There are limited amounts of public resources available, some of which are lacking in levels of quality and accessibility.

A wider structural barrier is that the sector does not have a clear strategy for linking people experiencing problematic cannabis use into support and guidance. With the current illegal and unregulated market reducing the visibility of cannabis use, practitioners reported that ‘we’re just fumbling around in the dark trying to find them’.

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