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Experimental: BMI + SFAS

Participants first receive a 50-minute standard brief motivational intervention designed to reduce marijuana use. A week later, they will receive the SFAS (Substance-free Activity Session., a 50-minute counseling session designed to increase the salience of the student’s academic and career goals, draw attention to the potentially negative relationship between substance use and goal accomplishment, and increase engagement in substance-free alternative activities. The SFAS was described to participants as the “College Adjustment Session” and the session was conducted using an MI plus personalized feedback approach.

Behavioral: Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI)

This session includes a discussion related to harm reduction and the student’s autonomy to make decisions about the information provided in the session; a marijuana use decisional balance exercise; personalized marijuana-related feedback, and goal-setting. Elements included in the feedback are: (a) comparison of the student’s perception of how much college students use marijuana and actual student norms, (b) a comparison of the student’s marijuana use vs. norms, (c) drug-related problems experienced, (e) money spent on marijuana, and (f) alcohol norms and consequences if participants indicated they also drink alcohol. Participants discuss the personalized feedback with the clinician and review protective behavioral strategies if she or she indicates interest.

Behavioral: Substance-Free Activity Session (SFAS)

The clinician initiates a discussion of the student’s college and career goals. Students discuss the values that motivate them as well as how marijuana use may interfere with their ability to accomplish these goals. Students then receive information on graduation rates and income benefits for those who attend and excel in college. They receive personalized feedback on (a) the requirements for their major and intended career, (b) a list of extracurricular activities tailored to their goals, (c) a graph showing time they allocate to their activities, (d) information on stress and depressive symptoms (if applicable) and possible adaptive coping responses and (e) a list of substance-free recreational activities in which they would like to start or continuing engaging.