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Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy [journal]
- Substance use disorders in Arab countries: research activity and bibliometric analysis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Aug 23; 9(1):33.
Substance use disorders, which include substance abuse and substance dependence, are present in all regions of the world including Middle Eastern Arab countries. Bibliometric analysis is an increasingly used tool for research assessment. The main objective of this study was to assess research productivity in the field of substance use disorders in Arab countries using bibliometric indicators.Methodology: Original or review research articles authored or co-authored by investigators from Arab countries about substance use disorders during the period 1900 - 2013 were retrieved using the ISI Web of Science database. Research activity was assessed by analyzing the annual research productivity, contribution of each Arab country, names of journals, citations, and types of abused substances.Four hundred and thirteen documents in substance use disorders were retrieved. Annual research productivity was low but showed a significant increase in the last few years. In terms of quantity, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (83 documents) ranked first in research about substance use disorders while Lebanon (17.4 documents per million) ranked first in terms of number of documents published per million inhabitants. Retrieved documents were found in different journal titles and categories, mostly in Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal. Authors from USA appeared in117 documents published by investigators from Arab countries. Citation analysis of retrieved documents showed that the average citation per document was 10.76 and the h - index was 35. The majority of retrieved documents were about tobacco and smoking (175 documents) field while alcohol consumption and abuse research was the least with 69 documents.The results obtained suggest that research in this field was largely neglected in the past. However, recent research interest was observed. Research output on tobacco and smoking was relatively high compared to other substances of abuse like illicit drugs and medicinal agents. Governmental funding for academics and mental health graduate programs to do research in the field of substance use disorders is highly recommended.
- The impact of dispensing fees on compliance with opioid substitution therapy: a mixed methods study. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014.:32.
Opioid substitution therapy (OST) programs involve the dispensing of OST medicines to patients to address their dependence on heroin and/or other opioid substances. OST medicines are subsidised by the Australian government but patients need to pay the dispensing fees. This study explored opinions from OST patients and stakeholders about the potential impact of dispensing fees on compliance and OST program retention. Current and past experiences and the potential impact of OST dispensing fees were evaluated.Mixed methodology was used to obtain data from OST patients and stakeholders. This involved 1) interviews with OST stakeholders, 2) a focus group of OST patients and 3) surveys of OST patients in Perth, Australia, between June and August 2013.The majority of the eight stakeholders declared cost as the factor mostly impacting on OST compliance. Almost all of the stakeholders commented that there was a positive correlation between time on the OST program and success in terms of relapse. Most stakeholders advocated for OST fees to contribute towards the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net, and for fee subsidy. Focus group themes supported stakeholder interview findings. A total of 138 surveys were completed. Survey analysis illustrated a strong correlation between patient debt and impacted lifestyle: 82.4% (p < 0.001, Chi-square test) of the 138 survey participants stated that dispensing fees impacted significantly on patients' finances and lifestyle, specifically those patients with major debt. The cost of dispensing fees was identified by 46.3% (64/138) of survey participants as the biggest impacting factor on patient success. Logistic regression models showed that the cost of dispensing fees was also found to significantly influence both the occurrence of debt (57.7%, p < 0.0001) and lifestyle difficulties (80.0%, p = 0.0004).Findings provided insight into OST patients' financial difficulties with data suggesting that dispensing fees are likely to have a negative impact on OST patients' compliance with therapy, retention in the OST program and lifestyle. Government sponsorship of the OST dispensing fees should be considered as sponsorship would potentially increase the retention rates of income-poor OST program recipients.
- A cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness analysis of proposed supervised injection facilities in Ottawa, Canada. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):31.
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are venues where people who inject drugs (PWID) have access to a clean and medically supervised environment in which they can safely inject their own illicit drugs. There is currently only one legal SIF in North America: Insite in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The responses and feedback generated by the evaluations of Insite in Vancouver have been overwhelmingly positive. This study assesses whether the above mentioned facility in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver needs to be expanded to other locations, more specifically that of Canada's capital city, Ottawa.The current study is aimed at contributing to the existing literature on health policy by conducting cost-benefit and cost-effective analyses for the opening of SIFs in Ottawa, Ontario. In particular, the costs of operating numerous SIFs in Ottawa was compared to the savings incurred; this was done after accounting for the prevention of new HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) infections. To ensure accuracy, two distinct mathematical models and a sensitivity analysis were employed.The sensitivity analyses conducted with the models reveals the potential for SIFs in Ottawa to be a fiscally responsible harm reduction strategy for the prevention of HCV cases - when considered independently. With a baseline sharing rate of 19%, the cumulative annual cost model supported the establishment of two SIFs and the marginal annual cost model supported the establishment of a single SIF. More often, the prevention of HIV or HCV alone were not sufficient to justify the establishment cost-effectiveness; rather, only when both HIV and HCV are considered does sufficient economic support became apparent.Funded supervised injection facilities in Ottawa appear to be an efficient and effective use of financial resources in the public health domain.
- Barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment in Mexico: national comparative analysis by migration status. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014.:30.
We examined Mexican migrants' perceived barriers to entering substance abuse treatment and potential differences by gender.This study analyzed a subset of household data collected in Mexico in 2011 via the Encuesta Nacional de Adicciones (National Survey of Addictions). A sample of 1,143 individuals who reported using illicit drugs was analyzed using multivariate negative binomial models to determine direct and moderated relationships of gender, migrant status, and drug dependence with perceived barriers to accessing treatment.Significant findings included disparities in drug dependence by migrant status. Compared with non-migrant men, women who have traveled to the United States was associated with fewer (1.3) barriers to access treatment. Fewer barriers to access care were associated with individuals residing in other regions of the country, compared to those living in Mexico City.Drug dependence, gender, migration status and regional location are factors associated with access to needed treatment. Implications for health care policy to develop treatment services infrastructure and for future research are discussed in the context of ongoing drug policy reform in Mexico.
- Depressive symptoms and alcohol correlates among Brazilians aged 14 years and older: a cross-sectional study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Jul 15; 9(1):29.
The associations between depressive symptoms and alcohol-related disorders, drinking patterns and other characteristics of alcohol use are important public health issues worldwide. This study aims to study these associations in an upper middle-income country, Brazil, and search for related socio-demographic correlations in men and women.A cross-sectional study was conducted between November 2005 and April 2006. The sample of 3,007 participants, selected using a multistage probabilistic sampling method, represents the Brazilian population aged 14 and older. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and alcohol dependence was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Associations assessed using bi-variate analysis were tested using Rao-Scott measures. Gender specific multinomial logistic regression models were developed.Among the participants with alcohol dependence, 46% had depressive symptoms (17.2% mild/moderate and 28.8% major/severe; p < 0.01); 35.8% (p = 0.08) of those with alcohol abuse and 23.9% (p < 0.01) of those with a binge-drinking pattern also had depressive symptoms. Alcohol abstainers and infrequent drinkers had the highest prevalence of major/severe depressive symptoms, whereas frequent heavy drinkers had the lowest prevalence of major/severe depressive symptoms. In women, alcohol dependence and the presence of one or more problems related to alcohol consumption were associated with higher risks of major/severe depressive symptoms. Among men, alcohol dependence and being >=45 years old were associated with higher risks of major/severe depressive symptoms.In Brazil, the prevalence of depressive symptoms is strongly related to alcohol dependence; the strongest association was between major/severe depressive symptoms and alcohol dependence in women. This survey supports the possible association of biopsychosocial distress, alcohol consumption and the prevalence of depressive symptoms in Brazil. Investing in education, social programs, and care for those with alcohol dependence and major/severe depressive symptoms, especially for such women, and the development of alcohol prevention policies may be components of a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of depression and alcohol problems in Brazil. Such a plan may also promote the socio-economic development of Brazil and other middle-income countries.
- The national alcohol helpline in Sweden: an evaluation of its first year. [Journal Article]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014; 9(1):28.
Telephone helplines are easily available and can offer anonymity. Alcohol helplines may be a potential gateway to a more advanced support protocol, and they may function as a primary support option for some. However, although telephone helplines (quitlines) make up an established evidence-based support arena for smoking cessation, few studies have described such telephone-based alcohol counseling.This study describes the basic characteristics of callers (n = 480) to the Swedish Alcohol Helpline during its first year of operation, and assesses aspects of change in alcohol behavior in a selected cohort of clients (n = 40) willing to abstain from anonymity and enter a proactive support protocol.During the study period, 50% of callers called for consultation regarding their own alcohol use (clients), a third called about relatives with alcohol problems, and the others called for information. The clients' average age was 49 years, and half were females. The clients' average AUDIT score at baseline was 21 (std. dev. =7.2). Approximately a quarter had scores indicating hazardous alcohol use at baseline, while the others had higher scores. In a follow-up pilot study, the average AUDIT score had decreased from 21 to 14. While clients reporting more severe alcohol use showed a significant decrease at follow-up, hazardous users exhibited no change during the study period.The study indicates that telephone helplines addressing the general public can be a primary-care option to reduce risky alcohol use. A randomized controlled study is needed to control for the effect of spontaneous recovery.
- The aetiology and trajectory of anabolic-androgenic steroid use initiation: a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Jul 2; 9(1):27.
To our knowledge, there has never been a systematic review and synthesis of the qualitative literature on the trajectory and aetiology of nonmedical anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use.We systematically reviewed and synthesized qualitative literature gathered from searches in PsycINFO, PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Google Scholar, and reference lists of relevant literature to investigate AAS users' ages of first use and source(s), history prior to use, and motives/drives for initiating use. We adhered to the recommendations of the UK Economic and Social Research Council's qualitative research synthesis manual and the PRISMA guidelines.A total of 44 studies published between 1980 and 2014 were included in the synthesis. Studies originated from 11 countries: the United States (n = 18), England (n = 8), Australia (n = 4), Sweden (n = 4), both England and Wales (n = 2), and Scotland (n = 2). One study each originated from Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Great Britain, and Norway. The majority of AAS users initiated use before age 30. Sports participation (particularly power sports), negative body image, and psychological disorders such as depression preceded initiation of AAS use for most users. Sources of first AAS were mainly users' immediate social networks and the illicit market. Enhanced sports performance, appearance, and muscle/strength were the paramount motives for AAS use initiation.Our findings elucidate the significance of psychosocial factors in AAS use initiation. The proliferation of AAS on the illicit market and social networks demands better ways of dealing with the global public health problem of AAS use.
- Public spending for illegal drug and alcohol treatment in hospitals: an EU cross-country comparison. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Jun 30; 9(1):26.
In view of the current economic crisis and the resulting austerity measures being implemented by governments across Europe, public expenditure for substance abuse treatment has increasingly become a subject of discussion. An EU cross-country comparison would allow an estimation of the total amount of public resources spent on substance abuse treatment, compare various substance abuse treatment funding options, and evaluate the division of expenditures between alcohol and illegal drugs. The purpose of this study is to estimate the public spending of EU countries for alcohol and illegal drug abuse treatment in hospitals.Our study uses a uniform methodology in order to enable valid cross-national comparisons. Our data are drawn from the Eurostat database, which provides anno 2010 data on government spending for the treatment of illegal drug and alcohol abuse in 21 EU member states. The cross-country comparison is restricted to hospitals, since data were unavailable for other types of treatment providers. The systematic registration of in- and outpatient data is essential to monitoring public expenditures on substance abuse treatment using international databases.Total public spending for hospital-based treatment of illegal drug and alcohol abuse in the 21 EU member states studied is estimated to be 7.6 billion euros. Per capita expenditures for treatment of illegal drug abuse vary, ranging from 0.1 euros in Romania to 13 euros in Sweden. For alcohol abuse, that figure varied from 0.9 euros in Bulgaria to 24 euros in Austria. These results confirm other studies indicating that public expenditures for alcohol treatment exceed that for illegal drug treatment.Multiple factors may influence the number of hospital days for alcohol or illegal substance abuse treatment, and expenditures fluctuate accordingly. In this respect, we found a strong correlation between gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and public expenditures per hospital day. The prevalence of problematic (illegal or legal) drug use in a country did not correlate significantly with the number of hospital days. Other factors must be included in the analysis of public expenditures for the treatment of substance abuse, such as the drug policy in a given country and the social norms regarding alcohol consumption.
- Health professional students' perceptions regarding their role in tobacco control: findings from the Global Health Professional Students Survey, Pakistan, 2011. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Jun 23; 9(1):25.
An important way of reducing tobacco use is to train the health professional (HP) students to assist in tobacco cessation by educating patients and public. In order to shape their thoughts for the desired role, it is vital to understand their existing perceptions regarding HP's role in tobacco control. Thus, the aim of our study was to find out the perceptions of Pakistani HP students regarding their future role in tobacco control, and examine factors associated with negative perceptions.Secondary data analysis of the Global Health Professional Students Survey, Pakistan, 2011 was performed. Study population included 3445 health professional students in third year of graduate level programs. The dependent variable (perceptions of HP students), was developed using four questions from the survey. Students who did not regard HP's role in tobacco control were labeled as having negative perceptions. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to analyze association between HP students' perceptions and various socio-demographic, attitudinal and knowledge related factors; and were reported as adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence interval.We found that 44.8% (n = 1542) of students do not regard HPs as role model for their patients and public, and perceive that HPs do not play an important part in patient's quitting tobacco use. These negative perceptions were associated with male sex (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.02 - 1.53, p value 0.028), and poor knowledge about tobacco cessation techniques (OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.12 - 1.55, p value < 0.001). Negative perceptions were also associated with their attitudes towards ban on: tobacco advertisements (OR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.13 - 2.48, p value 0.010); and tobacco use at public places (OR = 1.60, 95% CI 1.26 - 2.03, p value < 0.001).The role of HPs for tobacco control is fairly under-perceived by HP students, and the undesired negative perceptions are associated with male sex, poor knowledge about tobacco use cessation techniques and negative attitudes towards legislative control. A comprehensive approach, focusing on these aspects should be adopted to train HPs, in order to utilize them as an effective manpower for tobacco control.
- A universal harm-minimisation approach to preventing psychostimulant and cannabis use in adolescents: a cluster randomised controlled trial. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Jun 18; 9(1):24.
Psychostimulants and cannabis are two of the three most commonly used illicit drugs by young Australians. As such, it is important to deliver prevention for these substances to prevent their misuse and to reduce associated harms. The present study aims to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the universal computer-based Climate Schools: Psychostimulant and Cannabis Module.A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted with 1734 Year 10 students (mean age = 15.44 years; SD = 0.41) from 21 secondary schools in Australia. Schools were randomised to receive either the six lesson computer-based Climate Schools program or their usual health classes, including drug education, over the year.The Climate Schools program was shown to increase knowledge of cannabis and psychostimulants and decrease pro-drug attitudes. In the short-term the program was effective in subduing the uptake and plateauing the frequency of ecstasy use, however there were no changes in meth/amphetamine use. In addition, females who received the program used cannabis significantly less frequently than students who received drug education as usual. Finally, the Climate Schools program was related to decreasing students' intentions to use meth/amphetamine and ecstasy in the future, however these effects did not last over time.These findings provide support for the use of a harm-minimisation approach and computer technology as an innovative platform for the delivery of prevention education for illicit drugs in schools. The current study indicated that teachers and students enjoyed the program and that it is feasible to extend the successful Climate Schools model to the prevention of other drugs, namely cannabis and psychostimulants.Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12613000492752.