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Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy [journal]
- Prevalence and predictors of problematic alcohol use, risky sexual practices and other negative consequences associated with alcohol use among safety and security employees in the Western Cape, South Africa. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):14.
Harmful alcohol use can compromise worker health and productivity. Persons employed in safety-sensitive occupations are particularly vulnerable to hazardous alcohol use and its associated risks. This study describes the patterns of harmful alcohol use, related HIV risks and risk factors for the harmful use of alcohol among a sample of employees in South Africa working in the safety and security sector.A cross-sectional study that formed the baseline for a clustered randomized control trial was undertaken in 2011. A random sample of 325 employees employed within a safety and security sector of a local municipality in the Western Cape Province of South Africa participated in the study. Data were collected by means of an 18-page self-administered structured questionnaire and analyzed using SAS/STAT software version 9.2. For all significance testing, the F-statistic and p-values are reported.Three hundred and twenty-five employees were surveyed. Findings suggest that more than half (76.1%) of the 78.9% of participants who consumed alcohol engaged in binge drinking, with close to a quarter reporting a CAGE score greater than the cut-off of 2, indicating potentially hazardous drinking patterns. The study further found that employees who use alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual practices when under the influence. A favorable drinking climate (p < 0.001) and poor levels of group cohesion (p = 0.009) were significantly correlated to binge drinking.This study identifies alcohol-related behaviors and associated risks in the context of safety-sensitive occupations at the workplace. It suggests that persons employed within such positions are at high risk for developing alcohol-related disorders and for contracting HIV. This study highlights the need for testing a comprehensive package of services designed to prevent hazardous alcohol use among safety and security employees.
- When higher doses in opioid replacement treatment are still inadequate - association to multidimensional illness severity: a cohort study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Feb 28; 9(1):13.
Opioid replacement treatment (ORT) with methadone is regarded as gold standard in the treatment of opioid addiction. Treatment doses of 60 mg methadone per day and above are associated with better treatment retention and reduction in the use of heroin and cocaine. However, an absolute dose level cannot function as parameter for adequate dosing. This study aims to determine dose adequacy in a sample of patients on stable methadone treatment, and to relate dose adequacy to disease severity.This study was designed as open prospective cohort study over 12 months, with baseline data reported here. Patients on stable substitution treatment with methadone (Eptadone(R)) were consecutively included. Medical and socio-demographic data were gathered and the instruments Opiate Dosage Adequacy Scale (ODAS), European Addiction Severity Index (EuropASI) and the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning - Self Report (DISF-SR) were applied.Five hundred and sixteen subjects, who received on average 60.3 (+/-30.4) mg methadone per day, were included. According to ODAS, 40.6% suffered from an inadequate dosing, and 59.4% had an adequate dose. Patients with an adequate dose received on average 57.8 (+/-27.5) mg methadone per day, whilst patients with an inadequate dose received on average 70.6 (+/-33.0) mg per day. The frequencies of patients with methadone doses of less than 60 mg per were 45.4% in the inadequate and 60.6% in the adequate group. The inadequate group suffered from a statistically significant higher burden of addiction related problems in all EuropASI domains. Sexual functioning did not differ by adequacy group, but women suffered from more pronounced sexual dysfunction as compared to men.A high frequency of inadequate dosing was found in this sample of patients on ORT. Higher disease severity should alert for possible need of even higher methadone doses. The tendency to low methadone doses warrants further research in the treatment system. Higher methadone doses are not related to increased sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction, especially in women, should be considered in treatment.
- Risk of anaphylaxis in opioid dependent persons: effects of heroin versus substitution substance. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):12.
Across Europe, illicit drug-related mortality has not declined despite ever increasing prevention measures. The cause of these deaths has traditionally been associated with overdose. Previous findings have revealed the appearance of non-lethal opioid concentrations, leading us to investigate a further cause of death. The symptoms of heroin intoxication with asphyxia and/or cardiovascular involvement resemble anaphylaxis, and therefore it has been speculated that such deaths might be caused by an allergic reaction. The study´s aims were to investigate levels of allergic mediators in long-term injecting drug users (IDU) compared to healthy controls and to determine if oral opioid substitution therapy (OST) resulted in similar allergic symptoms to those reported by IDU after intravenous (IV) heroin use.We quantified the concentrations of histamine, diamine oxidase (DAO), tryptase and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (LpPLA2) at baseline and 1 h after administration of Substitol®retard (482 ± 220 mg) in 56 patients at a withdrawal centre (Austria) and compared them with healthy controls (n = 103). Questionnaires and face-to-face interviews were used to assess allergic symptoms and side effects in IDU. Descriptive statistical analyses of quantitative data were performed by using SPSS.Baseline histamine, tryptase and LpPLA2 were significantly elevated in IDU compared to the healthy control group, while DAO decreased. Blood levels showed no significant change after oral substitution uptake. Self-reported allergic symptoms and side effects after IV heroin use were reported in 55 cases (98.2%), minimal symptoms were documented after OST (12.5%, 7/56).This study revealed that baseline histamine concentrations were elevated in chronic IDU, although only relatively small changes in tryptase plasma levels occurred. After IV heroin application the reported allergic symptoms were mostly mild and did not lead to clinically relevant side effects. The substitution substance was clearly better tolerated than IV administered heroin. Elevated levels of allergic mediators such as histamine in IDUs may place them at greater risk of severe or fatal anaphylaxis when exposed to heroin; however, this requires further investigation.
- Factors associated with one year retention to methadone maintenance treatment program among patients with heroin dependence in China. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Feb 24; 9(1):11.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk factors associated with dropout from Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) clinics within a 1 year follow-up cohort study in China.A data analysis is to explore the adherence of MMT during one year from three hundred and twenty patients with heroin dependence at five clinics (3 in Shanghai, 2 in Kunming) in China. All participants were from the part of China-United States cooperation project entitled "Research about improving the compliance and efficacy of methadone maintenance treatment in China". Our data analysis includes the patients' attendance in the 6 months clinical study and the data in another 6 months afterward. The data of patients at baseline were collected with the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) which is a semi-structured questionnaire covering socio-demographic characteristics and drug use history. The one year attendance after recruitment at the clinics and daily dose were abstracted from the MMT clinic register system. The Cox proportional hazards model were used to explore the risk factor of dropout, defined as seven consecutive days without methadone.By the end of 1 year of treatment 86 patients still remained in MMT without dropout (87% in Shanghai and 13% patients in Kunming). Over the entire 1-year period the median days of remaining in the program were 84 days (in Shanghai and Kunming were 317 days and 22 days).The factors associated with retention included age (HR = 0.98, 95%C.I.:0.96-0.99, P = 0.0062) and ASI alcohol scores (HR = 5.72, 95%C.I.:1.49-21.92, P = 0.0109) at baseline.One year retention of newly recruited patients with heroin dependence was related to age and ASI alcohol scores at baseline. The adherence is poorer for the patients who are young and having more serious alcohol problems.
- Prevalence and determinants of susceptibility to cigarette smoking among school students in Pakistan: secondary analysis of Global Youth Tobacco Survey. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):10.
Susceptibility to smoke has been recognized as a strong predictor of smoking experimentation and taking up regular smoking habit. The identification of smoking susceptible individuals and its determinants is important in the efforts to reduce future smoking prevalence. The aims of this study are to estimate prevalence of susceptibility to smoke among adolescents, and identify factors associated with it.Cross sectional data was obtained from Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in three cities of Pakistan in year 2004. Study population consisted of students in grades, 8th, 9th, and 10th; aged 13 to 15 years. Secondary analysis using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the associations between smoking susceptibility and co-variates. Descriptive statistics were reported in proportions, and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence interval were used to report logistic regression analyses.Approximately 12% of nonsmoking students were found susceptible to smoking. Students, who were females (OR = 1.53, 95% CI [1.24-1.89]); whose parents (OR = 1.64, 95% CI [1.35-1.99]); or close friend smoked (OR = 2.77, 95% CI [2.27- 3.40]) were more susceptible to cigarette smoking. Students who had good knowledge about harmful effects of smoking (OR = 0.54, 95% CI [0.43-0.69]); and had access to anti-smoking media (OR = 0.73, 95% CI [0.59-0.89]) were less likely to be susceptible to smoking.Students who were females, had smoking parents, friends or exposure to newspaper/magazines cigarette marketing, were more susceptible to cigarette smoking among Pakistani adolescents. While knowledge of harmful effects of smoking and access to anti-smoking media served as protective factors against susceptibility to smoking.
- Nonmedical prescription drug users in private vs. public substance abuse treatment: a cross sectional comparison of demographic and HIV risk behavior profiles. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014.:9.
Little is known regarding the demographic and behavioral characteristics of nonmedical prescription drug users (NMPDUs) entering substance abuse treatment settings, and information on the HIV-related risk profiles of NMPDUs is especially lacking. Participation in substance abuse treatment provides a critical opportunity for HIV prevention and intervention, but successful initiatives will require services appropriately tailored for the needs of NMPDUs.This paper compares the HIV risk profiles of NMPDUs in public (n = 246) and private (n = 249) treatment facilities. Participants included in the analysis reported five or more recent episodes of nonmedical prescription drug use, a prior HIV negative test result, and current enrollment in a substance abuse treatment facility. A standardized questionnaire was administered by trained interviewers with questions about demographics, HIV risk, and substance use.Private treatment clients were more likely to be non-Hispanic White, younger, and opioid and heroin users. Injection drug use was higher among private treatment clients, whereas public clients reported higher likelihood of trading or selling sex. Public treatment clients reported higher rates of HIV testing and availability at their treatment facilities compared to private clients.Findings suggest differing demographics, substance use patterns, profiles of HIV risk and access to HIV testing between the two treatment samples. Population tailored HIV interventions, and increased access to HIV testing in both public and private substance treatment centers, appear to be warranted.
- Evaluating the drivers of and obstacles to the willingness to use cognitive enhancement drugs: the influence of drug characteristics, social environment, and personal characteristics. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):8.
The use of cognitive enhancement (CE) by means of pharmaceutical agents has been the subject of intense debate both among scientists and in the media. This study investigates several drivers of and obstacles to the willingness to use prescription drugs non-medically for augmenting brain capacity.We conducted a web-based study among 2,877 students from randomly selected disciplines at German universities. Using a factorial survey, respondents expressed their willingness to take various hypothetical CE-drugs; the drugs were described by five experimentally varied characteristics and the social environment by three varied characteristics. Personal characteristics and demographic controls were also measured.We found that 65.3% of the respondents staunchly refused to use CE-drugs. The results of a multivariate negative binomial regression indicated that respondents' willingness to use CE-drugs increased if the potential drugs promised a significant augmentation of mental capacity and a high probability of achieving this augmentation. Willingness decreased when there was a high probability of side effects and a high price. Prevalent CE-drug use among peers increased willingness, whereas a social environment that strongly disapproved of these drugs decreased it. Regarding the respondents' characteristics, pronounced academic procrastination, high cognitive test anxiety, low intrinsic motivation, low internalization of social norms against CE-drug use, and past experiences with CE-drugs increased willingness. The potential severity of side effects, social recommendations about using CE-drugs, risk preferences, and competencies had no measured effects upon willingness.These findings contribute to understanding factors that influence the willingness to use CE-drugs. They support the assumption of instrumental drug use and may contribute to the development of prevention, policy, and educational strategies.
- Illegal performance enhancing drugs and doping in sport: a picture-based brief implicit association test for measuring athletes' attitudes. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):7.
Doping attitude is a key variable in predicting athletes' intention to use forbidden performance enhancing drugs. Indirect reaction-time based attitude tests, such as the implicit association test, conceal the ultimate goal of measurement from the participant better than questionnaires. Indirect tests are especially useful when socially sensitive constructs such as attitudes towards doping need to be described. The present study serves the development and validation of a novel picture-based brief implicit association test (BIAT) for testing athletes' attitudes towards doping in sport. It shall provide the basis for a transnationally compatible research instrument able to harmonize anti-doping research efforts.Following a known-group differences validation strategy, the doping attitudes of 43 athletes from bodybuilding (representative for a highly doping prone sport) and handball (as a contrast group) were compared using the picture-based doping-BIAT. The Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale (PEAS) was employed as a corresponding direct measure in order to additionally validate the results.As expected, in the group of bodybuilders, indirectly measured doping attitudes as tested with the picture-based doping-BIAT were significantly less negative (η2 = .11). The doping-BIAT and PEAS scores correlated significantly at r = .50 for bodybuilders, and not significantly at r = .36 for handball players. There was a low error rate (7%) and a satisfactory internal consistency (rtt = .66) for the picture-based doping-BIAT.The picture-based doping-BIAT constitutes a psychometrically tested method, ready to be adopted by the international research community. The test can be administered via the internet. All test material is available "open source". The test might be implemented, for example, as a new effect-measure in the evaluation of prevention programs.
- Environmental and capacity requirements are critical for implementing and sustaining a drug prevention program: a multiple case study of "Clubs against drugs". [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014.:6.
"Clubs against drugs" (CAD) is a comprehensive program with a systems approach to prevention with the intention of preventing drug use in nightclub environment. In 2001 CAD was developed and implemented in Stockholm and was disseminated to 20 other municipalities in Sweden up until 2010. This study investigates the factors related to the implementation and compares Stockholm to the rest of the municipalities.A sequential exploratory method was used which consisted of three steps including a questionnaire and two rounds of interviews. Questionnaires included all communities and the interviews included twelve respondents from three example municipalities in the first phase and four respondents from Stockholm in the second phase. The interviews were analyzed using content analysis.In Stockholm the program was described as having been implemented and sustained over time. The implementation in the example municipalities was perceived as difficult with many obstacles and achieving sustainability was also described as difficult. Two of three municipalities were not active at the time of this study, illustrating that the program only lasted a few years. Factors identified as being related to implementation outcomes were need assessments, participation, support, collaboration and local enthusiasts.The capacity to implement and sustain CAD differed substantially between Stockholm and the other municipalities. If the prerequisites and capacity are not sufficient the implementation is not likely to be successful, even when the activities are promoted on a national level like CAD. The needs of the interventions and the capacity to implement the program should be examined before adopting the program. This was not done, probably because the drive to spread the activity was not sufficiently questioned.
- A comparison of the responsible drinking dimensions among underage and legal drinkers: examining differences in beliefs, motives, self-efficacy, barriers and intentions. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):5.
To date, scholarly discourse over the Amethyst Initiative has primarily debated the relative effectiveness of the 21 year-old Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA). Unfortunately, this discourse has failed to account for the Amethyst Initiative's central tenet/mission: facilitating responsible drinking among college students. This investigation seeks to help fill this gap by quantitatively determining whether a random sample of underage (n = 158) and legal (n = 298) drinkers differed with regard to their alcohol-related behaviors, responsible drinking behaviors, and responsible drinking beliefs.Compared to legal drinkers, underage drinkers reported: (a) significantly less confidence to perform responsible drinking behaviors during their next drinking episode [t(446) = -2.97, p < .003; d = -0.297], (b) significantly more perceived barriers to responsible drinking [t(388) = 3.44, p < .001; d = .368], and (c) significantly lower behavioral intentions to perform responsible drinking behaviors the next time they consumed alcohol [t(437) = -3.45, p < .001; d = -0.350]. Each of these differences remained statistically significant, even after controlling for sex and race, in three separate multiple linear regression models.While college students both above and below the 21 year-old MLDA have similar beliefs regarding what constitutes responsible drinking, students below the current MLDA have less intention to drink responsibly regardless of their behavioral beliefs and/or motives. College/university administrators should consider the negative repercussions that are possible if underage students who are less confident in their ability to drink responsibly are given the legal right to drink on campus.