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Grant to Psychology Professor Aims to Reduce Marijuana Use Among College Students

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey

Dr. James Murphy

July 25, 2014 - Dr. James Murphy, associate professor of psychology at the University of Memphis, has received a $400,000 grant for a study aimed at reducing marijuana use among college students. The award is from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

College students who regularly use marijuana put themselves at risk for cognitive and academic problems, addiction and risky behaviors such as driving while impaired. While there are effective interventions to reduce drinking among college students, few have been tested for marijuana, despite problems associated with excessive use.

Although marijuana does not pose the same risk for overdose or severe dependence as many other drugs, it can be habit forming, difficult to quit, and associated with academic, legal and financial problems and difficulties with thinking, memory and learning, Murphy said.

The goal of the two-year project is to reduce marijuana use by increasing awareness of  its risks, correcting the misperception that most or all students use marijuana, and by increasing their involvement in constructive academic, social, exercise, creative and vocational alternatives.  

“I am thrilled to be able to pursue this important research at the University of Memphis with the support of the NIH,” said Murphy.

The award is a supplement to the NIH/NIAAA grant “Reducing College Drinking With a Behavioral Economic Supplement.”

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Last Updated: 4/15/15