Counseling Young Cannabis Users by Text Message



This article presents a study of 2 Short Message Services (SMS) aimed at providing young people with information on cannabis and helping them to reduce their consumption of the drug. The study is based on qualitative interviews with 12 young people. The attitude of the participants in the study towards the predefined messages is generally positive, but they prefer factual information to advice and counseling. The messages prompt reflection and awareness among the recipients, and their repetitive, serial nature plays a significant part in the process of change.The SMS services offer a less demanding, potentially less confrontational alternative to traditional forms of counseling and treatment. The article compares text message counseling with web-based interventions and telephone help lines.