Adam Winstock & Toby Lea
Sydney South West Area Health Service
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance in the world (UNODC, 2006). In the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, nearly one in 12 Australians had consumed cannabis more than five times in the preceding 12 months, and of those, 21% met criteria for cannabis dependence (Swift, Hall & Teesson, 2001) .
While cannabis dependence is recognised in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), the existence of a specific withdrawal syndrome has been a more highly debated issue (Smith, 2002).