Contact: Gabrielle Maxey
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.”