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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 1516-4446On-line version ISSN 1809-452X


FISCHER, Benedikt; MALTA, Monica; MESSAS, Guilherme  and  RIBEIRO, Marcelo. Introducing the evidence-based population health tool of the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines to Brazil. Braz. J. Psychiatry [online]. 2019, vol.41, n.6, pp.550-555.  Epub May 16, 2019. ISSN 1516-4446.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug, and is associated with well-documented adverse health outcomes, both acute and chronic. Cannabis use prevalence in Brazil is lower than in high-use regions in the Americas (e.g., North America), but concentrated among young people. Frameworks for cannabis control are increasingly shifting towards public health-oriented principles, with some countries undertaking respective policy reforms. These frameworks require a continuum of population-level interventions (e.g., prevention and treatment) including targeted prevention of adverse health outcomes among users. In this context, and based on examples from other health fields, an international expert group developed the evidence-based Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (LRCUG), originally for Canada, including a set of 10 recommendations based on systematic data reviews and expert consensus methods. The LRCUG form a scientific population-health prevention tool to reduce adverse public health impacts for broad application among cannabis users. In Canada, the LRCUG have been formally endorsed and are supported by leading national health organizations and government authorities within the continuum of cannabis interventions. As the LRCUG are being internationalized, this paper introduces the LRCUG’s concept and content – including their original recommendations translated into Portuguese – to the Brazilian context as an evidence-based population-level intervention tool for uptake, dissemination, and discussion. Sociocultural adaptation may be required for meaningful implementation.

Keywords : Brazil; cannabis; health; policy; prevention; public health.

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