Published since 1884 by the Society for the Study of Addiction.
Editor's Notes
The issue of drugs legalisation continues unabated. Reviewing contents of Addiction in 2013 I am struck by a truth about human behaviour: the harder it is for people to do things, the less they do them. But do we care enough to put the necessary resources into enforcement and deal with the consequences? If it were illegal to sell alcohol to someone without a 'responsible drinker' licence, or tobacco to someone lacking proof of age, the effect on population health would be substantial. But such a plan would be crazy, surely...? The pages of Addiction in 2014 will help answer this question and others like it.
robert west
A message from Robert West, Editor-in-Chief

Key Findings 2014

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.

May 2014 – Current Issue

Systematic review and meta-analysis of the economic impact of smoking bans in restaurants and bars

Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in the United States, South America, Europe, and Australia have on average not had a detectable adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry. Link to Abstract

Testing a social ecological model of alcohol use: the California 50-city study

Having more bars in a given area is associated with heavier drinking outside the home. Link to Abstract

Facing temptation in the bar: counteracting the effects of self-control failure on young adults' ad libitum alcohol intake

When mental reserves needed for self-control are reduced, men tend to drink more while women tend to drink less. Raising self-awareness may counteract this effect in men. Link to Abstract

Disseminating alcohol screening and brief intervention at trauma centers: a policy-relevant cluster randomized effectiveness trial

Training trauma center providers to screen for alcohol problems and deliver brief advice may have a modest beneficial effect on alcohol use. Link to Abstract

Motivational intervention to enhance post-detoxification 12-Step group affiliation: a randomized controlled trial

A motivational intervention in an inpatient substance use disorder detox ward may increase engagement in 12-Step groups and reduce substance use. Link to Abstract

Use of Silk Road, the online drug marketplace, in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States

Drug buyers in the UK, USA, and Australia use the Silk Road for the same reasons that many people prefer online commerce (range, quality, convenience, ratings). The appeal of the Silk Road is affected by country-specific deterrents and market characteristics. Link to Abstract

A randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a brief cannabis universal prevention program among adolescents in primary care

Among adolescents in urban primary care in the United States, a computer-delivered brief intervention appeared to prevent and reduce cannabis use. Link to Abstract

Does methamphetamine use increase violent behaviour? Evidence from a prospective longitudinal study

There is a dose-related increase in violent behaviour during periods of methamphetamine use that cannot be explained by presence of psychotic symptoms. Link to Abstract

Differences between early-onset pathological gambling and later-onset pathological gambling: data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)

Individuals with early-onset pathological gambling (PG) are likely to be male, never married, have lower income, belong to younger cohorts, and have a lower prevalence of mood disorders but higher prevalence of cluster B personality disorders than individuals with later-onset PG. Link to Abstract

Multiple distinct CHRNB3-CHRNA6 variants are genetic risk factors for nicotine dependence in African Americans and European Americans

Multiple distinct CHRNB3-CHRNA6 variants are genetic risk factors for nicotine dependence but not general substance dependence in African Americans and European Americans. Link to Abstract

Levels of saliva cotinine in electronic cigarette users

At least some experienced users of electronic cigarettes appear to be able to gain as much nicotine from their products as smokers typically get from cigarettes. Link to Abstract

Effectiveness of proactive quitline counselling for smoking parents recruited through primary schools: results of a randomized controlled trial

Intensive telephone counseling tailored to smoking parents of primary school children can help them quit smoking and promote parenting practices that protect their children from adverse effects of smoking. Link to Abstract

The risk for persistent adult alcohol and nicotine dependence: the role of childhood maltreatment

A history of childhood maltreatment predicts persistent adult alcohol and nicotine dependence. Link to Abstract

April 2014

Impact on alcohol purchasing of a ban on multi-buy promotions: a quasi-experimental evaluation comparing Scotland with England and Wales

Banning multi-buy promotions for alcohol in Scotland did not reduce alcohol purchasing in the short term. Link to Abstract

Mortality from diseases, conditions and injuries where alcohol is a necessary cause in the Americas, 2007-09

Almost 80,000 deaths could be directly attributed to alcohol across the Americas between 2007 and 2009. Most of the deaths were in men and were from liver disease. Link to Abstract

Harms to 'others' from alcohol consumption in the minimum unit pricing policy debate: a qualitative content analysis of UK newspapers (2005-12)

The United Kingdom's news focus on youth binge drinkers may be masking the wider issue of alcohol overconsumption across the broader population. Link to Abstract

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) response to alcohol pictures predicts subsequent transition to heavy drinking in college students

United States college students who show a greater neural response to pictures of alcohol subsequently show larger increases in drinking and alcohol-related problems. Link to Abstract

Treatment retention, drug use and social functioning outcomes in those receiving 3 months versus 1 month of supervised opioid maintenance treatment

Supervising patients' consumption of opioid maintenance medications (buprenorphine, methadone, etc.) for longer periods doesn't appear to improve patients' opioid use or retention in treatment programs. Link to Abstract

The association of childhood physical abuse with the onset and extent of drug use among regular injecting drug users

Severe childhood physical abuse is associated with an earlier initiation into drug use. Any level of abuse is associated with more extensive polydrug use. Link to Abstract

Maintenance treatment for opioid dependence with slow-release oral morphine: a randomized cross-over, non-inferiority study versus methadone

Slow-release oral morphine appears to be at least as effective as methadone in treating people with opioid use disorder. Link to Abstract

Reasons behind Greek problem drug users' decisions to quit using drugs and engage in treatment of their own volition: Sense of self and the Greek 'filotimo'

Primarily in relation to 'filotimo' (a Greek concept that regulates behaviour towards one's family), the desire to restore one's spoiled identity plays a pivotal role in Greek problem drug users' decisions to stop drug use and seek treatment. Link to Abstract

Environmental factors selectively impact co-occurrence of problem/pathological gambling with specific drug-use disorders in male twins

Environmental factors appear to play a greater role in the co-occurrence of problem gambling and smoking and cannabis use than the co-occurrence of problem gambling and stimulant use. Link to Abstract

Children's resistance to parents' smoking in the home and car: a qualitative study

Some children and young people in the United Kingdom, irrespective of socio-economic status, may actively oppose parents' smoking in the home and car, although their influence may be limited by their position in the family and social norms. Link to Abstract

Personal tobacco pack display before and after the introduction of plain packaging with larger pictorial health warnings in Australia: an observational study of outdoor cafe strips

Following Australia's 2012 policy of plain packaging and larger pictorial health warnings on cigarette and tobacco packs, smoking in outdoor areas of caf├ęs, restaurants, and bars declined, and fewer people made their packs clearly visible on tables. Link to Abstract

Initial reactions to tobacco and cannabis smoking: a twin study

Initial subjective reactions to tobacco are associated with later nicotine dependence and cannabis use/dependence while initial subjective reactions to cannabis are only associated with cannabis use/dependence. The associations are partly genetic, suggesting common biological underpinnings. Link to Abstract

Alcohol and tobacco use among maltreated and non-maltreated adolescents in a birth cohort

Children who are maltreated are more likely to smoke as young adolescents. Children who are neglected are more likely to drink and smoke as young adolescents. Link to Abstract

March 2014

Intimate partner violence victimization and alcohol consumption in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Among intimate partners, male-to-female violence is linked to drinking away from home and female-to-male violence is linked to drinking at home. Link to Abstract

Treatment of comorbid alcohol use disorders and depression with cognitive-behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing: A meta-analysis

Combining cognitive behaviour therapy and motivational interviewing may be beneficial in treating people with alcohol problems and depression. Link to Abstract

Effects of the local alcohol environment on adolescents' drinking behaviors and beliefs

The local environment in terms of bar density and enforcement practices can influence amount of heavy drinking in adolescents. Link to Abstract

Adolescent predictors and environmental correlates of young adult alcohol use problems

More than two in five young Australian adults suffer from alcohol problems. Link to Abstract

Ethyl glucuronide in hair and fingernails as a long-term alcohol biomarker

Ethyl glucuronide, especially in fingernails, may be useful for assessing amount of alcohol use. Link to Abstract

The sales and marketing practices of English-language internet alcohol vendors

Current Internet alcohol vendor practices do not prevent sales to minors. Link to Abstract

Methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and drug relapse in criminal offenders with substance dependence: a 24-week randomized placebo-controlled trial

Methylphenidate treatment reduces attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and the risk for relapse to substance use in criminal offenders with ADHD and substance dependence. Link to Abstract

'Not just Methadone Tracy': transformations in service-user identity following the introduction of hepatitis C treatment into Australian opiate substitution settings

Trial introduction of hepatitis C care and treatment in Australian opiate substitution therapy clinics may have encouraged alternative, 'non-addict' identities to rival the stigma of 'the drug user'. Link to Abstract

Striatum and insula dysfunction during reinforcement learning differentiates abstinent and relapsed methamphetamine-dependent individuals

People suffering from methamphetamine dependence appear to have dysfunctional brain reward pathways. Link to Abstract

Challenges of surveying wastewater drug loads of small populations and generalizable aspects on optimizing monitoring design

Obtaining annual estimates of population drug use by waste water analysis requires large numbers of samples (more than 50) to be taken with careful selection of sites. Link to Abstract

Reduced fetal growth in methadone-maintained pregnancies is not fully explained by smoking or socio-economic deprivation

Opiate use in pregnancy may retard fetal growth. Link to Abstract

Nicotine content of electronic cigarettes, its release in vapour and its consistency across batches: regulatory implications

Toxin concentrations in the vapour from major electronic cigarette brands on sale in the United Kingdom are very low. Link to Abstract

'Real-world' effectiveness of smoking cessation treatments: a population study

Smokers in England who try to quit are three times more likely to succeed if they see a trained advisor than if they try by themselves but there appears to be no benefit from using nicotine replacement products such as gum or patches when bought from a shop with no professional support. Link to Abstract

February 2014

Trend analysis and modelling of gender-specific age, period and birth cohort effects on alcohol abstention and consumption level for drinkers in Great Britain: General Lifestyle Survey 1984-2009

Rising alcohol consumption among women and progression of higher-consuming birth cohorts through the life course are key drivers of increased per capita alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom. Link to Abstract

Balance--a pragmatic randomized controlled trial of an online intensive self-help alcohol intervention

Balance (an automated online alcohol intervention), added to a brief online screening intervention, may aid reduction in alcohol consumption compared with the screening intervention plus an educational booklet. Link to Abstract

Family transitions and changes in drinking from adolescence through mid-life

From late adolescence to mid-life, women and men in Britain are most at risk for higher levels of alcohol consumption and problem drinking when they are not involved in family roles such as intimate cohabitation, marriage and parenthood. Link to Abstract

Altered cingulate and insular cortex activation during risk-taking in methamphetamine dependence: losses lose impact

Methamphetamine-dependent individuals show disrupted risk-related processing in the brain, which may lead to risk-taking despite experiencing negative consequences. Link to Abstract

Training family members to manage heroin overdose and administer naloxone: randomized trial of effects on knowledge and attitudes

Take-home naloxone training for family members of heroin users increases opioid overdose-related knowledge and competence. Link to Abstract

Psychiatric comorbidity in treatment-seeking substance use disorder patients with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: results of the IASP study

Treatment-seeking substance use disorder patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at a very high risk for additional externalizing disorders such as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Link to Abstract

Do societal wealth, family affluence and gender account for trends in adolescent cannabis use? A 30 country cross-national study

Among 30 European and North American countries, developing countries and less affluent youth have assumed the former (heavier) cannabis use pattern of richer countries and more affluent youth. Link to Abstract

Towards a comprehensive developmental model of cannabis use disorders

A modification of Kendler's risk factor model for major depression provides a foundation for a comprehensive developmental model of cannabis use and cannabis use disorders. Link to Abstract

Prevalence and associations of quetiapine fumarate misuse among an Australian national city sample of people who regularly inject drugs

Quetiapine misuse appears to be common in people who inject drugs in urban Australia. Link to Abstract

Legal substance use and the development of a DSM-IV cannabis use disorder during adolescence: the TRAILS study

Early-onset and continued tobacco use appear to predict the development of a cannabis use disorder in adolescence, whereas early onset and continued alcohol use do not. Link to Abstract

Cost-effectiveness of Extended Cessation Treatment for Older Smokers

It appears to be cost-effective to add extended cognitive behaviour therapy to standard smoking cessation treatment for older smokers. Link to Abstract

Genetic and environmental influences on the ages of drinking and gambling initiation: evidence for distinct aetiologies and sex differences

Among Australian twins, age at first drink and age at first gambling experience are influenced by distinct unique environmental factors, and the genetic and environmental underpinnings of both phenotypes differ in men and women. Link to Abstract

January 2014

Legalization of Sunday alcohol sales and alcohol consumption in the United States

Legalizing Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages in some US states during the period 1990 to 2007 was associated with a significant increase in alcohol consumption. Link to Abstract

Retention of participants in medication-assisted programs in low- and middle-income countries: an international systematic review

Medication-assisted treatment programs for opiate use in low- and middle-income countries achieve an average 50% retention rate after 12 months, with little difference between those using buprenorphine or methadone. Link to Abstract

A systematic review of studies assessing the association between adherence to smoking cessation medication and treatment success

There is modest evidence that lack of adherence to nicotine replacement therapy regimens undermines treatment effectiveness in clinical studies. Link to Abstract

Acute alcohol-related dysfunction as a predictor of employment status in a longitudinal study of working-age men in Izhevsk, Russia

Alcohol-related dysfunction rather than total alcohol consumption appears to underlie the effects of non-beverage alcohol use on loss of employment in Russia. Link to Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is associated with all-cause and liver-related mortality in a cohort of HIV-infected patients with alcohol problems

Hepatitis C virus infection is associated independently with all-cause and liver-related mortality in HIV-infected patients with alcohol problems, even when accounting for alcohol and other drug use. Link to Abstract

Usefulness of indirect alcohol biomarkers for predicting recidivism of drunk-driving among previously convicted drunk-driving offenders: Results from the ROAD study

Of all routinely used indirect markers for chronic alcohol consumption, percentage of carbohydrate deficient transferrin (%CDT) is the major predictor of repeat drunk driving. Link to Abstract

Treatment retention among patients randomized to buprenorphine/naloxone compared to methadone in a multi-site trial

Treatment with methadone appears to be associated with better retention in treatment for opioid dependence than buprenorphine, as does higher doses of both medications. Treatment with buprenorphine is associated with lower continued use of illicit opioids. Link to Abstract

Causes of death in a cohort treated for opioid dependence between 1985 and 2005

In a cohort of opioid-dependent people in New South Wales from 1985 to 2005, almost 9 in 10 deaths were avoidable. Link to Abstract

Non-medical use of prescription opioids during the transition to adulthood: a multi-cohort national longitudinal study

Approximately one-third of a sample of 18-year-olds in the United States reporting non-medical use of prescription opioids appears to continue use beyond age 18 and have elevated odds of other substance use behaviors at ages 23/24. Link to Abstract

The relationship between cannabis outcome expectancies and cannabis refusal self-efficacy in a treatment population

A person's belief that he or she can abstain from cannabis use underlies at least part of the association between perceived consequences of cannabis use and actual cannabis use. Link to Abstract

A closer look at the evidence for sex differences in the genetic and environmental influences on gambling in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent health: from disordered to ordered gambling

Family environment appears to play a role in whether young adults in general start to gamble for both men and women. Link to Abstract

Pharmacotherapy effects on smoking cessation vary with nicotine metabolism gene (CYP2A6)

Nicotine replacement therapy may be more effective among individuals with faster CYP2A6-mediated nicotine metabolism. Link to Abstract

Impact of the 2009 Taiwan Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act on Smoking Cessation

The comprehensive tobacco control programme introduced in 2009 in Taiwan, which combined smoke-free legislation with a tobacco tax increase, graphic health warning labels and a total ban on tobacco advertisements, was associated with increases in quit attempt rate and annual cessation rate. Link to Abstract

Did hardening occur among smokers in England from 2000 to 2010?

The proportion of smokers in England with both low motivation to quit and high dependence appears to have increased between 2000 and 2010, suggesting that 'hardening' may be occurring in this smoker population. Link to Abstract

Tobacco Use Disorder and the Risk of Suicide Mortality

Tobacco use disorder is associated with a modest increased risk of suicide. Link to Abstract