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Educating the naive patient

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  • 1. Educating the naïve patient: From harm reduction to benefit maximization
    Amanda Reiman MSW PhD
    Director of Research
    Berkeley Patients Group
  • 2. Today’s talk
    Demographic trends in the medical cannabis population: age and experience
    Meeting the needs of this patient group
    Harm reduction AND Benefit maximization: Education, implementation, evaluation
    Next steps…
  • 3. Trends in the patient population
    N=304 anonymous surveys collected at BPG at intake (2010)
    74% male, 57% White, Mean age is 32.
    75% use cannabis for a pain related condition.
    86 patients reported more than one condition.
    Almost 20% of new patients have used cannabis for the first time in the past 6 months.
    Significantly more likely to be Latino/a or African American (p<.01).
  • 4. Deviations from previous data
    Almost 20% of new patients have used cannabis for the first time in the past 6 months.
    Mean age is 32.
    Previous data from BPG patients (N=350) revealed a mean age of 39 (2008).
    Explanations…
    Focusing on the naïve patient…
  • 5. Cannabis naïve patients…
    Come to cannabis for various reasons
    Lack of success with traditional treatment; catastrophic illness; beliefs about pharmaceuticals
    Do not possess the language to express their needs
    knowledge of the various preparations or methods of ingestion, strains, etc.
    May not have a guide to lead them through the process of selection and ingestion
    Important in learning to reduce harm and maximize benefits
    Might be intimidated and have pre-conceived, propaganda based notions of cannabis
  • 6. Harm reduction and Benefit maximization
    Two sides of the same coin
    Harm reduction: reducing the chance of a negative experience from using cannabis
    Benefit maximization: increasing the chance of a positive experience from using cannabis
  • 7. Harm Reduction
    Negative experiences from cannabis use can occur
    anxiety, upset stomach, rapid heart rate (more common in naïve users)
    Legal sanctions
    The importance of set and setting
    Dispensaries play an important role
    Information about dependence and withdrawal should be presented honestly.
    Navigating patient status among friends, family, employers, etc. (especially younger patients)
  • 8. Benefit Maximization
    Cost-effectiveness
    Make each dollar count!
    Symptom specific medicine
    Efficacy and efficiency!
    Method of ingestion
    Salves….who knew?
  • 9. Next steps…
    Cannabis 101 (EDUCATION)
    Language
    Demystification
    Legal review
    How to handle negative experiences
    Dependence and withdrawal
    Industry professionals should also receive education on answering “basic” questions
    Guide to medicate with patient for the first time (IMPLEMENTATION)
    Patient liaison on site
    Workshops on assessing the effects of cannabis (EVALUATION)
    Effects Method class
  • 10. Questions?
    Amanda@berkeleypatientsgroup.com