Guanfacine extended-release Randomised controlled trial for Adolescents with Cannabis use: The GRACE study

Cannabis accounts for the majority of presentations to youth alcohol and other drugs treatment services. Effective, timely intervention can positively affect later life trajectories for youth who use cannabis. Psychosocial treatment for other substance-related problems can be enhanced by efficacious pharmacotherapy, but there are currently no medications for cannabis use problems. Guanfacine extended-release (GXR) is a promising candidate for cannabis use. GRACE is a double-blind, parallel-group RCT of GXR for people aged 12-25 years seeking treatment for cannabis-related problems. Participants (N=100) will receive guanfacine XR (target 4 mg/day; 6 weeks) or placebo plus treatment as usual, including admission to residential withdrawal for up to 2 weeks. The primary outcome is change from baseline in cannabis use (days of use/week) in the 4 weeks following discharge from residential care. Recruitment will start in January 2023.

Presenters

Gillinder Bedi, Principal Research Fellow – Addiction and Youth Mental Health Orygen and the University of Melbourne

A/Prof Gillinder Bedi is a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne and Head of the Substance Use Research Group at Orygen. She is also a clinical psychologist at headspace. Gill’s research focuses on new treatments and early interventions for youth with substance use.

Aji Akintola, General Manager of Residential and Primary Care Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS)

Mr. Aji Akintola holds a Master of Nursing Science and a Master of Health Management. He is the General Manager of Residential and Primary Care at YSAS, overseeing the service delivery of five withdrawal and rehabilitation centres. Mr Akintola is the YSAS Principal Investigator for GRACE.

Andrew Bruun, Chief Executive Officer Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS)

Andrew Bruun has been the Chief Executive Officer at the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) since 2015. He has conceptualised and been an investigator on several innovative studies that have contributed to a greater understanding of the needs and characteristics of young people engaged with alcohol and drug services.

Credited Authors

Emily Karanges, Research Fellow, Orygen and the University of Melbourne

Jacqui Sundbery General Manager – Research and Practice Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS)