Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

CannTalk Project

Cannabis use increases risk for the development of psychosis, particularly among youth.  For patients diagnosed with a psychosis disorder, continued cannabis use and use of cannabis with high THC predict poor treatment outcomes including increased rates of re-hospitalizations. Cannabis is considered by experts to be the biggest preventable predictor of re-hospitalization for schizophrenia. There is currently no evidence-based cannabis use interventions for young adults with a psychosis disorder diagnosis.

The University of Washington’s Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) is collaborating with Dr. Denise Walker, a licensed clinical psychologist, to develop a brief clinical intervention aimed at reducing cannabis related harms among youth and adults experiencing psychosis. Grounded in Motivational Interviewing (MI), the CannTalk intervention is designed to equip Coordinated Specialty Care teams and behavioral health clinicians with skills to communicate more effectively about cannabis and guide clients towards reducing or quitting their cannabis use. CannTalk offers providers online trainings and materials to facilitate conversations.

Online Self-Paced Training

Learn about cannabis and its retail products, how it has changed since legalization, and its potential health effects. Then, dive into the research on cannabis and psychosis with a focus on risks and ways to improve treatment outcomes.

Live Online Training with Dr. Walker

Learn about Motivational Interviewing (MI) as an intervention to reduce cannabis use among young adults experiencing psychosis.

CannTalk Discussion Guide

Gain access to the CannTalk Discussion Guide, a resource to facilitate a candid and honest discussion on cannabis use using Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques and provide psychoeducation on cannabis and psychosis.

CannTalk Intervention Manual

A go-to resource for how to implement the intervention.

Funded by the Washington State Legislature through ESSB 5187 (2023) and by the Washington State Dedicated
Cannabis Fund for research at the University of Washington.