A Scoping Review and Meta-Analysis of Psychosocial and Pharmacological Treatments for Cannabis and Tobacco Use Among African Americans

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The rates of co-occurring cannabis and tobacco use are higher among African Americans relative to other racial/ethnic groups. One plausible approach to treating co-use among African Americans is to examine the effectiveness of treatments for the sole use of cannabis and tobacco to identify effective approaches that might be combined to treat the dual use of these substances. The current meta-analysis sought to include studies that reported cannabis and/or tobacco use outcomes from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with 100% African American samples. A total of 843 articles were considered for inclusion, 29 were reviewed by independent qualitative coders, and 22 were included in the review. There were no articles on cannabis use treatment with a 100% African American sample, resulting in a need to lower the threshold (60%) and conduct a scoping review of cannabis studies. Preliminary evidence from a small number of studies (k = 7) supports the use of Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy to treat cannabis use among African Americans, but not Contingency Management. Results from a meta-analysis of 15 tobacco studies found higher rates of smoking abstinence in the treatment condition relative to control conditions overall and across short and long-term follow-up periods. Significant differences in smoking abstinence were also found when examining the effects of pharmacological treatments relative to their control conditions. The clinical and research implications of these findings for future psychosocial and pharmacological trials for cannabis and tobacco use and co-use among African Americans are described.

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