Published since 1884 by the Society for the Study of Addiction.
Editor-in-Chief, Robert West

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. The article titles are in bold and each key finding is below the article title.  Use the filters below to isolate key findings for each issue or search for a particular topic across all of this year's issues.

January 2019

Which individual, social and environmental influences shape key phases in the amphetamine type stimulant use trajectory?

Amphetamine-type stimulant users' drug use careers are shaped by a complex dynamic of individual, social and environmental factors and need tailored, joined-up interventions.

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Effects of a federal housing voucher experiment on adolescent binge drinking: a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial

A housing subsidy treatment that enables low-income families to move from public to private housing appears to lessen girls' binge drinking but increases boys' binge drinking, compared with controls.

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Alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality in older adults in Spain: an analysis accounting for the main methodological issues

Light-to-moderate drinking among people in Spain over 60 appears to have no benefit on mortality compared with abstention from alcohol.

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Profiles of recovery from alcohol use disorder at three years following treatment: can the definition of recovery be extended to include high functioning heavy drinkers?

Occasional heavy drinkers following treatment for alcohol use disorder appear to be similar to alcohol abstainers with respect to functioning and life satisfaction.

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Parental alcohol use disorder and offspring marital outcomes

In Sweden, parental alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with higher probability of marriage at younger ages, lower probability of marriage at older ages, and higher likelihood of marriage to an AUD-affected spouse compared with no parental AUD.

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Naloxone distribution and possession following a large-scale naloxone programme

A large-scale naloxone programme in 7 Norwegian cities with a cumulative distribution rate of 495 per 100,000 population showed good saturation in a sample of high‐risk individuals.

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One size does not fit all: evolution of opioid agonist treatments in a naturalistic setting over 23 years

Based on data from Zurich, Switzerland from 1992 to 2015, there is no evidence for an excessive demand for a single medication in a naturalistic and liberal opioid agonist treatment setting.

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Price elasticity of illegal versus legal cannabis: a behavioral economic substitutability analysis

Cannabis price policies that include somewhat higher consumer costs for legal cannabis relative to contraband aren't likely to expand the illegal market.

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Gambling despite financial loss: the role of losses disguised as wins in multi-line slots

Multi-line slot machines contain outcomes in which one gains less than the original wager (losses disguised as wins or LDWs). Moderate proportions of LDWs appear to make higher‐risk players gamble longer despite financial loss.

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Longitudinal associations between food insecurity and substance use in a cohort of women with or at risk for HIV in the United States

Food insecurity appears to be longitudinally associated with substance use among US women with or at risk for HIV.

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Indexing the 'dark side of addiction': substance-induced affective symptoms and alcohol use disorders

Affective symptoms are common in severe alcohol use disorders; are associated with a history of independent affective/anxiety disorders, neuroticism and suicidal behaviors; and may promote further heavy drinking.

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Global, regional, and country-level estimates of hepatitis C infection among people who have recently injected drugs

Globally, 39.2% of people with recent injecting drug use have hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 8.5% of all HCV infections occur among people with recent injecting drug use. There is wide variation among countries and regions.

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February 2019

Prevalence and safety of acamprosate use in pregnant alcohol-dependent women in New South Wales, Australia

The prevalence of acamprosate use (a medication used to treat alcohol dependence) in pregnancy in New South Wales, Australia is low. Acamprosate exposure in utero is not clearly associated with poor maternal or neonatal health outcomes.

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Association of alcohol consumption with allergic disease and asthma: a multi-centre Mendelian randomization analysis

In observational analyses, ever-drinking was positively associated with hay fever and negatively associated with asthma. Mendelian randomization results were not consistent with these associations being causal.

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Alcohol consumption behaviors and neurocognitive dysfunction and emotional distress in adult survivors of childhood cancer: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

Among adult survivors of childhood cancer, drinking initiation during adolescence is associated with modest increased risk for memory impairment and emotional distress.

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Assessing the impact of alcohol taxation on rates of violent victimization in a large urban area: an agent-based modeling approach

Raising taxes on alcohol can reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related violence in large urban areas.

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A typology of prescription drug monitoring programs: a latent transition analysis of the evolution of programs from 1999 to 2016

Since 1999, US states have tended to transition to more robust classes of prescription drug monitoring programs. Opioid overdose deaths in prior years predicted the state's program class but not transitions between classes over time.

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Polydrug use patterns and their impact on relapse among heroin-dependent patients in Shanghai, China

Polydrug use patterns differ among heroin-dependent patients in compulsory rehabilitation programmes in China. A history of polydrug use may predict heroin relapse risk among those patients.

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Impact of timing of methadone initiation on perinatal outcomes following delivery among pregnant women on methadone maintenance therapy in Ontario

Later initiation of methadone maintenance therapy among pregnant women in Ontario, Canada was not found to be clearly related to most key perinatal adverse health outcomes.

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Age-varying effects of cannabis use frequency and disorder on symptoms of psychosis, depression and anxiety in adolescents and adults

Associations between cannabis use and poor mental health found in late adolescence and young adulthood appear to extend through adulthood.

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E-cigarette use in England 2014-17 as a function of socio-economic profile

From 2014 to 2017 in England, e-cigarette use was greater among smokers from higher compared with lower socio-economic status groups, but this difference attenuated over time.

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Does the nicotine metabolite ratio moderate smoking cessation treatment outcomes in real-world settings? A prospective study

In a real-world setting, the nicotine metabolite ratio status of treatment-seeking smokers does not appear to contribute substantially to the differential effectiveness of varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy.

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Electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) use in relation to mental health conditions, past-month serious psychological distress and cigarette smoking status, 2017

In the US, use of electronic nicotine delivery devices (e-cigarettes) is more common in people with versus without mental health conditions.

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A developmental cascade model for early adolescent-onset substance use: the role of early childhood stress

Early life stress may disrupt child inhibitory control, leading to behavioral and peer problem behavior in childhood and heightened risk for early adolescent substance use.

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Could prenatal food insecurity influence neonatal abstinence syndrome severity?

Among pregnant women receiving opioid agonist treatment, those who are at risk of not getting enough food are also more likely to have babies that require treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome.

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A dynamic, modifiable model for estimating cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions in pregnancy: application to an RCT of self-help delivered by text message

'Economics of Smoking in Pregnancy' is the first economic model to link mothers' and infants' costs and benefits while reporting cost-effectiveness in readily-comparable units.

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The evolving drug epidemic of prescription opioid injection and its association with HCV transmission among people who inject drugs in Montreal, Canada

Prescription opioid injection increased among people who inject drugs in Montreal, Canada from 2004 to 2009, reaching a plateau between 2010 and 2016.

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March 2019

Comparison of nicotine exposure during pregnancy when smoking and abstinent with nicotine replacement therapy: systematic review and meta-analysis

Pregnant women who use nicotine replacement therapy instead of smoking reduce their nicotine exposure.

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The social location of harm from others' drinking in 10 societies

While the places where people experience harm from other people's drinking varies across societies, a common feature is that the people who experience most harm from others' drinking are themselves risky drinkers.

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Alcohol consumption and diabetes risk in a Chinese population: a Mendelian randomization analysis

Among men in China, higher alcohol intake appears to be causally associated with increased diabetes risk, even for moderate drinkers.

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The interactive effects of perceived peer drinking and personality profiles on adolescent drinking: a prospective cohort study

Anxiety sensitivity appears to be predictive of not drinking alcohol in adolescents who believe their peers are drinking

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Estimating alcohol-attributable fractions for injuries based on data from emergency department and observational studies: a comparison of two methods

Estimates of the fraction of alcohol-attributable deaths caused by injury (emergency department data and population method) can differ widely according to the method used.

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Characteristics and prescribing practices of clinicians recently waivered to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder

US clinicians recently waivered to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment appear to prescribe well below their patient limit, and many do not prescribe at all.

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Disentangling longitudinal relations between youth cannabis use, peer cannabis use, and conduct problems: developmental cascading links to cannabis use disorder

Cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to predict subsequent conduct problems or association with cannabis-using peers.

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Test uptake and hepatitis C prevalence in 5483 Danish people in drug use treatment from 1996 to 2015: a registry-based cohort study

Among Danish people in treatment for drug use from 1996 to 2015, those receiving opiate substitution therapy were most likely to be tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Because opiate use is now declining, HCV test strategies need to change.

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An analysis of issues in the classification and reporting of heroin-related deaths

In Victoria, Australia in 2012 and 2013, heroin-related deaths were under-reported by 32% compared with numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

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Progressive nicotine patch dosing prior to quitting smoking: feasibility, safety and effects during the pre-quit and post-quit periods

Most smokers seeking help to quit seem able to tolerate transdermal nicotine patch doses up to 84 mg/day during a 4-week pre-quit up-titration period with minimal side effects.

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Pricing of tobacco products during, and after, the introduction of standardized packaging: an observational study of retail price data from independent and convenience (small) retailers in the UK

In the United Kingdom, the introduction of plain tobacco packaging appears to have led to an increase in the price of leading cigarette brands.

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Concordance between the diagnostic guidelines for alcohol and cannabis use disorders in the draft ICD-11 and other classification systems: analysis of data from the WHO's World Mental Health Surveys

The WHO's proposed International Classification of Diseases, 11th edition (ICD-11) classifications for substance use disorder diagnoses are highly consistent with ICD-10 and the DSM 4th edition but not with the DSM 5th edition

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Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of existing needle and syringe programmes in preventing hepatitis C transmission in people who inject drugs

Providing clean injecting equipment through needle and syringe programmes is a cost-effective way to prevent HCV transmission among people who inject drugs and could save millions of pounds in infection treatment costs in the UK.

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April 2019

Compliance with ecological momentary assessment protocols in substance users: a meta-analysis

The pooled compliance rate for Ecological Momentary Assessment studies in substance-using populations from 1998 to 2017 was below 80% and not associated with frequency or duration of assessments.

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The efficacy of smoking cessation interventions in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

NRT, behavioral counseling and brief advice appear to be effective in aiding smoking cessation in LAMI countries. There is limited rigorous research on other interventions in these regions.

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Alcohol consumption and hospitalization burden in an adult Italian population: prospective results from the Moli-sani study

People who consume alcohol moderately (one glass of wine per day) appear to have a lower risk of being hospitalized compared with heavier drinkers and teetotallers.

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A prospective study of alcohol involvement and the dual-systems model of adolescent risk-taking during late adolescence and emerging adulthood

Dual-systems models that include both behavioural-approach and behavioural-control components can explain alcohol involvement during adolescence and emerging adulthood.

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Machine-learning prediction of adolescent alcohol use: a cross-study, cross-cultural validation

Computerized screening software shows promise in predicting the risk of alcohol use among adolescents.

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Changes over time in marijuana use, deviant behavior and preference for risky behavior among US adolescents from 2002 to 2014: testing the moderating effect of gender and age

Marijuana use, deviant behavior and risk preferences among US adolescents declined from 2002 to 2014. Marijuana use is still positively associated with deviant behaviors and risk preferences.

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Exploring the relationship between polygenic risk for cannabis use, peer cannabis use and the longitudinal course of cannabis involvement

Both genetics and perceived peer cannabis seem to contribute to youth/young adult cannabis use trajectories.

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Time since first cannabis use and 12-month prevalence of cannabis use disorder among youth and emerging adults in the United States

Among US youth and emerging adults, prevalence of cannabis use disorder appears to increase with time since initiation of use and is higher among youth than emerging adults.

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How competent are people who use opioids at responding to overdoses? Qualitative analyses of actions and decisions taken during overdose emergencies

People who use opioids can be trained to respond appropriately to opioid overdoses and thus to save their peers' lives. Appropriate overdose response requires both practical and social competency.

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US state cigarette tax increases and smoke-free legislation in relation to cigarette expenditure across household socio-economic circumstances: a quasi-experimental study

Cigarette tax increases in the US between 2000 and 2014 may have reduced smoking prevalence due to an absolute and relative increase in household tobacco expenditure.

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Self-wise, Other-wise, Streetwise (SOS) training, an intervention to prevent victimization in dual-diagnosis patients: results from a randomized clinical trial

Among dual-diagnosis patients in The Netherlands, care as usual plus a new intervention ('Self-wise, Other-wise, Streetwise' training) was more effective in preventing victimization than care as usual alone.

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Mapping discourse coalitions in the minimum unit pricing for alcohol debate: a discourse network analysis of UK newspaper coverage

Discourse network analysis of media coverage of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland from June 2011 to November 2012 revealed two polarized discourse coalitions: opponents and proponents of MUP.

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May 2019

Modelling continuous abstinence rates over time from clinical trials of pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation

Continuous abstinence rates in clinical trials of smoking cessation pharmacotherapies can be modelled to allow accurate prediction of abstinence rates up to 52 weeks from end of treatment.

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Blunted stress reactivity reveals vulnerability to early life adversity in young adults with a family history of alcoholism

People with a family history of alcoholism appear to be more vulnerable to the impact of exposure to early life adversity on stress responsiveness compared with people with no family history of alcoholism.

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Income trajectories prior to alcohol-attributable death in Finland and Sweden

In Finland and Sweden, income appears to decline substantially before alcohol-attributable death.

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Neighborhood density of alcohol outlets moderates genetic and environmental influences on alcohol problems

People who are genetically predisposed to develop alcohol problems may be especially sensitive to the influence of alcohol outlet density in their community.

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Young cohorts of Russians drink less: age-period-cohort modelling of alcohol use prevalence 1994-2016

The recent downward trend in alcohol use in Russia appears to be attributable to reduced participation rates among younger cohorts born after 1990.

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Birth cohort effects on the quantity and heritability of alcohol consumption in adulthood: a Finnish longitudinal twin study

The contribution of genetic and environmental variability to variability in alcohol consumption in the Finnish population appears to vary by birth cohort.

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Traffic fatalities within US states that have legalized recreational cannabis sales and their neighbours

In the first year of legalized recreational cannabis in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, traffic fatalities temporarily increased by an average of one more per million residents in those states and their neighbouring states.

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Pharmacokinetics of a novel, approved, 1.4 mg intranasal naloxone formulation for reversal of opioid overdose: a randomized controlled trial

Intranasal 1.4 mg naloxone appears to provide adequate systemic concentrations to treat opioid overdose.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among opioid-dependent patients in agonist treatment. A diagnostic study

People in opioid dependence treatment have higher rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than the general population.

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Harm perceptions of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products in a UK sample

Large proportions of UK smokers and ex-smokers overestimate the relative harmfulness of e-cigarettes and NRT compared with smoking.

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Finding smoking hot-spots: a cross-sectional survey of smoking patterns by housing tenure in England

People living in publicly-owned or housing-association housing are much more likely to be smokers, even after adjusting for poverty and other socio-economic factors. These smokers are more motivated to stop than other smokers but find it more difficult.

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Vaping characteristics and expectancies are associated with smoking cessation propensity among dual users of combustible and electronic cigarettes

Among e-cigarette users who also smoke cigarettes, more frequent vaping is associated with greater likelihood of later quitting smoking while enthusiasm for vaping, higher nicotine content in e-liquid, and use of tobacco-flavoured solution is associated with lower likelihood of quitting.

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Patterns and correlates of polysubstance use among US youth aged 15-17 years: wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study

Among US youth aged 15-17 years, substance use is correlated with higher sensation-seeking, poor academic performance, non-urban residence, minority sexual orientation and mental health problems.

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June 2019

Racial discrimination and alcohol use and negative drinking consequences among Black Americans: a meta-analytical review

Experiences of racial discrimination are associated with problematic alcohol use among Black Americans, particularly among younger individuals.

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Associations of child and adolescent anxiety with later alcohol use and disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

Studies conducted to date have not clearly shown an association between childhood/adolescent anxiety and subsequent alcohol use disorder.

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Clinical presentations, social functioning, and treatment receipt among individuals with comorbid life-time PTSD and alcohol use disorders versus drug use disorders: findings from NESARC-III

People with drug use disorder who have PTSD suffer greater social and mental health problems than people with alcohol use disorder and PTSD.

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Forecasting the 2021 local burden of population alcohol-related harms using Bayesian structural time-series

Bayesian structural time-series models enable investigation of the future impacts of alcohol-related harms in population subgroups.

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Is the association between maternal alcohol consumption in pregnancy and pre-school child behavioural and emotional problems causal? Multiple approaches for controlling unmeasured confounding

Children of mothers who drank alcohol heavily early in pregnancy appear to be more emotionally reactive and have physical health problems at age 3 but may be less aggressive at age 5 compared with unexposed siblings.

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Increasing potency and price of cannabis in Europe, 2006-16

European cannabis resin and herbal cannabis increased in potency and price from 2006 to 2016. Marked increases in resin potency and value from 2011 to 2016 are consistent with the emergence of new resin production techniques in European and neighbouring drug markets.

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Rising pregabalin use and misuse in Australia: trends in utilization and intentional poisonings

There has been a dramatic increase in pregabalin use, poisonings and deaths in Australia since pregabalin became subsidized publicly in 2013.

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Young adult longitudinal patterns of marijuana use among US National samples of 12th grade frequent marijuana users: a repeated-measures latent class analysis

Nearly one in four 12th grade (modal age 18 years) frequent marijuana users in the US continues to report high frequency use to age 30.

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Pharmaceutical payments to physicians may increase prescribing for opioids

In the United States, physicians who receive payments or benefits from providers of opioid drugs tend to prescribe substantially larger quantities, particularly for hydrocodone and oxycodone.

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Prevalence of awareness, ever-use and current use of nicotine vaping products (NVPs) among adult current smokers and ex-smokers in 14 countries with differing regulations ...

In countries with no regulatory policies governing nicotine vaping products (NVPs), use rates are very low. NVP use is higher among high-income countries.

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Tobacco control policies and smoking among older adults: a longitudinal analysis of 10 European countries

Increases in tobacco taxes and smoke-free policies are significantly related to reduced smoking prevalence among European older adults.

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Predictive value of non-consumption outcome measures in alcohol use disorder treatment

Self-report measures of temptation and alcohol craving can change as a result of alcohol dependence treatment and can predict drinking outcomes.

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A transdiagnostic dimensional approach towards a neuropsychological assessment for addiction: an international Delphi consensus study

A large expert panel has reached consensus on seven core constructs required for understanding addiction: five from the Positive Valence System (reward valuation, expectancy, action selection, reward learning, habit); one from the Cognitive Control System (response selection/inhibition); and one expert-initiated construct (compulsivity).

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The Hepatitis C Awareness Through to Treatment (HepCATT) study: improving the cascade of care for hepatitis C virus-infected people who inject drugs in England

Introducing a part-time facilitator into drug and alcohol clinics in England increased engagement of HCV-positive people who inject drugs with hepatitis C virus care pathways.

Link to Abstract

July 2019 – Current Issue

State alcohol policies, taxes, and availability as predictors of adolescent binge drinking trajectories into early adulthood

In the US, stronger state alcohol policies and higher beer excise taxes appear to be associated with lower risk of escalating drinking among underage youth.

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The association between alcohol access and alcohol-attributable emergency department visits in Ontario, Canada

Deregulation of alcohol sales in Ontario, Canada in 2015 was associated with increased emergency department visits attributable to alcohol.

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Feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of a brief, lay counsellor-delivered psychological treatment for men with alcohol dependence in primary care: an exploratory RCT

Lay counsellor-delivered psychological treatment in primary care may be effective in managing alcohol dependence in men in low- and middle-income countries.

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Interpersonal and structural factors associated with receptive syringe-sharing among a prospective cohort of female sex workers who inject drugs

Client violence, intimate partner injection drug use, being injected by others and obtaining syringes from personal connections appear to increase parenteral HIV/HCV risk among female sex workers who inject drugs.

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Patterns of social determinants of health associated with drug use among women living with HIV in Canada: a latent class analysis

Social determinants of health vulnerabilities (e.g., race and gender discrimination, HIV stigma, economic hardship) are associated with greater likelihood of drug use among women living with HIV.

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Hospitalization of children after prenatal exposure to opioid maintenance therapy during pregnancy: a national registry study from the Czech Republic

Opioid maintenance treatment exposure given to mothers during pregnancy does not appear to increase risk of health problems in the offspring.

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Randomized within-subject trial to evaluate smokers' initial perceptions, subjective effects and nicotine delivery across six vaporized nicotine products

The eGO and mod models of vaporized nicotine product (VPN) may be most effective for cigarette substitution among smokers who intend to switch to a VNP.

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The effect of price and tax policies on the decision to smoke among men in Kenya

Cigarette price increases in Kenya between 1960 and 2014 were negatively associated with males' smoking initiation and positively associated with younger and lower-income males' cessation.

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Intimate partner violence in emerging adulthood and subsequent substance use disorders: findings from a longitudinal study

Intimate partner violence (IPV) in early adulthood is associated with alcohol, substance and nicotine use disorders in women.

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Treatment-resistant depression as risk factor for substance use disorders: a nation-wide register-based cohort study

Patients with treatment-resistant depression may be at greater risk for substance use disorders compared with other patients with major depressive disorder.

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A risk model for addictive behaviors in adolescents: interactions between personality and learning

Among elementary and high school students in the US, the joint effects of a general tendency to act rashly when distressed and behavior-specific expectancies help to explain drinking and smoking behavior.

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Acceleration of drinking pace throughout the evening among frequently drinking young adults in the Netherlands

Young adults in the Netherlands appear to accelerate their drinking during the course of an evening's drinking, with high-risk drinkers showing a greater increase.

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Feasibility of a mail-in, self-administered dried blood spot collection method in national, population-based alcohol surveys in the United States

The likelihood of participating in mail-in, self-administered dried blood spot (saDBS) sampling among drinkers in the US general population appears to be low.

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Why Uruguay legalized marijuana? The open window of public insecurity

Applying Kingdon's theory of windows of opportunity, Uruguay may have moved towards full regulation of its marijuana market in 2013 because of the convergence of a specific set of problem, policy and political circumstances in May 2012.

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