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Believability of messages about cannabis, cocaine and heroin among never‐triers, trier‐rejecters and current users of cannabis

Believability of messages about cannabis, cocaine and heroin among never‐triers, trier‐rejecters... This paper examines the believability of strong warnings about the negative consequences of drug use among young adults in Australia who have never tried, currently use, or have tried and rejected cannabis. It finds that the strong warnings about cannabis are generally believed by never‐triers. The same warnings are perceived by current users as only slightly believable. Surprisingly, but also consistent with cognitive dissonance, trier‐rejecters of cannabis are the most likely, more so even than never‐triers, to believe the warnings about cannabis. The paper also examines warnings about cocaine and heroin by cannabis usage status. Current users of cannabis, compared with non‐users, perceive the warnings about the harmful effects of cocaine as less believable, suggesting possible “gateway” susceptibility to trial of this drug. But for heroin, all groups perceive the warnings very believable. The beliefs about particular negative consequences that are most likely to lead to discontinuation of use of cannabis, and those that should discourage uptake of cocaine and heroin, are identified. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Education Emerald Publishing

Believability of messages about cannabis, cocaine and heroin among never‐triers, trier‐rejecters and current users of cannabis

Health Education , Volume 104 (6): 7 – Dec 1, 2004

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0965-4283
DOI
10.1108/09654280410564114
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines the believability of strong warnings about the negative consequences of drug use among young adults in Australia who have never tried, currently use, or have tried and rejected cannabis. It finds that the strong warnings about cannabis are generally believed by never‐triers. The same warnings are perceived by current users as only slightly believable. Surprisingly, but also consistent with cognitive dissonance, trier‐rejecters of cannabis are the most likely, more so even than never‐triers, to believe the warnings about cannabis. The paper also examines warnings about cocaine and heroin by cannabis usage status. Current users of cannabis, compared with non‐users, perceive the warnings about the harmful effects of cocaine as less believable, suggesting possible “gateway” susceptibility to trial of this drug. But for heroin, all groups perceive the warnings very believable. The beliefs about particular negative consequences that are most likely to lead to discontinuation of use of cannabis, and those that should discourage uptake of cocaine and heroin, are identified.

Journal

Health EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2004

Keywords: Drug addiction; Health education

References