Published since 1884 by the Society for the Study of Addiction.
Editor's Notes

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT: CALL FOR PAPERS Lisbon Addictions 2015. The first European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies will be held in Lisbon on 23-25 September 2015. Organised by SICAD, the journal Addiction, the EMCDDA and ISAJE, it will provide a unique networking opportunity for researchers, practitioners and policy experts across countries and disciplines to discuss latest findings on the prevention, treatment and control of addiction. To stay updated on the latest developments subscribe to the conference newsletter

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A message from Robert West, Editor-in-Chief

Key Findings 2015

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.

April 2015 – Current Issue

Alcohol consumption in adolescent homicide victims in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa

Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a substantial proportion of adolescent homicides in Johannesburg, South Africa, especially among male and older adolescent victims and in victims killed with sharp instruments over the weekends and during the evenings. Link to Abstract

Factors associated with over-serving at drinking establishments

In urban settings in Norway, over-serving of alcohol in drinking establishments appears to occur frequently and increases in the presence of poor lighting, loud music and high intoxication level among patrons. Link to Abstract

Drinking experience uncovers genetic influences on alcohol expectancies across adolescence

In young people, environmental factors explain beliefs about the social and behavioural consequences of alcohol use before they experience drinking for the first time whereas genetic factors explain an increasing proportion of the variance in these beliefs after drinking onset. Link to Abstract

The impact of friends on young adults' drinking over the course of the evening--an event-level analysis

Among young adults in Switzerland, individual alcohol consumption appears to increase with the number of friends in the drinking group. Link to Abstract

A longitudinal study of the association of adolescent polydrug use, alcohol use and high school non-completion

Unsurprisingly, Australian adolescents who use multiple psychoactive drugs or who mainly use alcohol us are less likely to complete school than adolescents who do not use drugs. Link to Abstract

Benzodiazepine use among mothers of small children: a register-based cohort study

In Finland, benzodiazepine use among mothers is reduced during pregnancy and the child's first year, and then increases as the child grows older. Mothers with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders are at particularly high risk of benzodiazepine use. Link to Abstract

A longitudinal comparison of retention in buprenorphine and methadone treatment for opioid dependence in New South Wales, Australia

Although retention rates for buprenorphine treatment have improved in New South Wales, Australia, individuals starting methadone treatment still show higher retention rates. Link to Abstract

Adolescent cannabis and tobacco use and educational outcomes at age 16: birth cohort study

In England, both cannabis and tobacco use in adolescence are associated strongly with subsequent adverse educational outcomes, including low standardised test scores and leaving school with no qualifications. Link to Abstract

First- versus second-generation electronic cigarettes: predictors of choice and effects on urge to smoke and withdrawal symptoms

First- and second-generation electronic cigarettes appear to be similarly effective in reducing urges to smoke during abstinence, but second-generation devices appear to be more satisfying to users. Link to Abstract

Financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy: a single-arm intervention study assessing cessation and gaming

In the UK, pregnant smokers enrolled in an incentive scheme to quit smoking appeared to achieve prolonged cessation rates comparable to those reported in US trials. Link to Abstract

Exposure to point-of-sale displays and changes in susceptibility to smoking: findings from a cohort study of school students

Adolescents in the UK who notice tobacco point-of-sale displays more often and recognise a higher number of tobacco brands appear to have an increased risk of becoming susceptible to smoking. (People who are susceptible to smoking intend to try smoking and are likely to smoke if offered a cigarette.) Link to Abstract

Adolescents' exposure to tobacco and alcohol content in YouTube music videos

Popular YouTube music videos watched by a large number of British adolescents, particularly girls, include significant tobacco and alcohol content, including branding. Link to Abstract

March 2015

DSM-IV and DSM-5 alcohol use disorder among young Swiss men

Previous studies suggest the new DSM-5 criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD) will increase the apparent prevalence of AUD. However, in a high-risk sample of young Swiss males, prevalence of AUD as diagnosed by DSM-5 was slightly lower than prevalence of DSM-IV diagnosis of dependence plus abuse. Link to Abstract

The relationship between alcohol taxes and binge drinking: evaluating new tax measures incorporating multiple tax and beverage types

When examining the association between alcohol taxes and binge drinking, use of more specific tax measures, incorporating both volume-based taxes and value-based taxes, shows stronger associations than generic measures. Link to Abstract

Alcohol-related morbidity and mortality within siblings

The association between educational status and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality is only driven by familial factors to a small degree. Link to Abstract

Genomic influences on alcohol problems in a population-based sample of young adults

Genetic influences on alcohol problems involve genes underpinning both nervous system functioning and physiological functions outside the nervous system. Link to Abstract

Driving under the influence as a turning point? A register-based study on financial and social consequences among first-time male offenders

Among men in Finland, the first drunk-driving conviction constitutes a significant life event that appears to increase the likelihood of financial problems and divorce. Link to Abstract

Drug use, health and social outcomes of hard-to-treat heroin addicts receiving supervised injectable opiate treatment: secondary outcomes from the Randomized Injectable Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT)

In a randomised controlled trial, supervised injectable heroin treatment and supervised injectable methadone treatment showed no benefit over optimized oral methadone in terms of wider drug use, crime, and physical and mental health within a 6-month period, despite achieving a greater reduction in street heroin use. Link to Abstract

Subtyping based on readiness and confidence: the identification of help-seeking profiles for gamblers accessing web-based counselling

Problem gamblers in Australia who seek web-based counselling comprise four distinct subgroups based on self-reported levels of readiness to change, confidence to resist the urge to gamble, and importance of change. Link to Abstract

Smoking and mortality in a prospective cohort study of elderly Chinese in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the risk of death from smoking appears to be the same for Chinese women as it is for men. Half of all deaths in Chinese smokers aged 65 years and older and a quarter of all deaths in Chinese smokers aged 85 years and older are caused by smoking-attributable diseases. Link to Abstract

Associations between use of pharmacological aids in a smoking cessation attempt and subsequent quitting activity: a population study

Smokers who have tried to quit in the past year are more likely to try to quit again within 6 months regardless of whether they used a pharmacological aid, and they are more likely to re-try aids they had used previously. Link to Abstract

Gender differences in the relationship between affect and adolescent smoking uptake

Low positive affect (low experience of positive feelings or emotions) for females, and high negative affect (high experience of negative feelings or emotions) for both males and females increases the risk of adolescents taking up smoking. Link to Abstract

Examining the role of common genetic variants on alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and illicit drug dependence

At least 20% of the variance in the generalized vulnerability to substance dependence is attributable to common genetic variations. Link to Abstract

February 2015

Familial factors associated with development of alcohol and mental health comorbidity

Maternal smoking and low mother-child warmth may lead to alcohol, mental health and comorbid disorders at age 21. Link to Abstract

Effects of anxiety sensitivity on alcohol problems: evaluating chained mediation through generalized anxiety, depression and drinking motives

Propensity to anxiety appears to lead to alcohol problems in part through drinking to deal with negative emotions. Link to Abstract

Tests of the effects of adolescent early alcohol exposures on adult outcomes

Early alcohol use and intoxication may be partly responsible for adult alcohol- and drug-related problems and antisocial behaviour. Link to Abstract

Relative risk of injury from acute alcohol consumption: modeling the dose-response relationship in emergency department data from 18 countries

Women have a higher risk of injury than men after more than three drinks. Link to Abstract

Interaction effects between the 5-hydroxy tryptamine transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotype and family conflict on adolescent alcohol use and misuse

Compared with non-carriers, adolescents carrying the 5-HTTLPR low-activity allele are more susceptible to the effects of family conflict on alcohol misuse. Link to Abstract

Acute alcohol use among suicide decedents in 14 US states: impacts of off-premise and on-premise alcohol outlet density

In the United States, the density of alcohol outlets in a county is positively correlated with alcohol-related suicide, especially among American Indians/Alaska Natives. Link to Abstract

Alcohol in the second half of life: do usual quantity and frequency of drinking to intoxication increase with increased drinking frequency?

Among Norwegian adults in the second half of life, increased drinking frequency appears to be associated with a small reduction in usual quantity, and a small increase in frequency of drinking to intoxication. Link to Abstract

Capturing illicit drug use where and when it happens: an ecological momentary assessment of the social, physical and activity environment of using versus craving illicit drugs

There are distinct drug using and craving environments among urban drug users, which may provide a framework for developing real-time context-sensitive interventions Link to Abstract

Smoking cessation-related weight gain--beneficial effects on muscle mass, strength and bone health

Weight gain from smoking cessation is caused by an increase in muscle mass and bone density as well as an increase in fat. Link to Abstract

The future of smoking-attributable mortality: the case of England & Wales, Denmark and the Netherlands

On current projections, smoking will continue to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Europe each year for the foreseeable future. Link to Abstract

Use of stop-smoking medications in the United States before and after the introduction of varenicline

The introduction of varenicline in the United States coincided with a net increase in attempts to quit smoking and, among these, a net increase in use of stop-smoking medications. Link to Abstract

'Wide-awake drunkenness'? Investigating the association between alcohol intoxication and stimulant use in the night-time economy

Stimulants users are more likely to have prolonged sessions of heavy alcohol consumption and a range of risk-taking behaviours on a night out than those who do not use stimulants. Link to Abstract

January 2015

What has research over the past two decades revealed about the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use?

The epidemiological literature in the past 20 years shows that cannabis use increases the risk of accidents and can produce dependence, and that there are consistent associations between regular cannabis use and poor psychosocial outcomes and mental health in adulthood. Link to Abstract

Efficacy and tolerability of antidepressants in the treatment of adolescents and young adults with depression and substance use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Antidepressant medication has a small overall effect in reducing depression in young patients with combined depressive and substance-use disorders, but does not appear to improve substance use outcomes. Link to Abstract

Patterns of change in implementation of state alcohol control policies in the United States, 1999-2011

Implementation of politically palatable but ineffective state alcohol policies increased during 1999-2011 in the United States, while the most effective policies remained underused. Link to Abstract

Alcohol expectancies in childhood: change with the onset of drinking and ability to predict adolescent drunkenness and binge drinking

Higher childhood alcohol expectations of positive effects predict earlier onset of problem drinking. Onset of alcohol use is followed by an increase in the rate of development of positive expectancies. Link to Abstract

HERMITAGE--a randomized controlled trial to reduce sexually transmitted infections and HIV risk behaviors among HIV-infected Russian drinkers

The HERMITAGE HIV risk reduction intervention does not appear to reduce sexually transmitted infections and HIV risk behaviours in Russian HIV-infected heavy drinkers compared with simply providing standard care and attention. Link to Abstract

Differences in subjective response to alcohol in heavy- and light-drinking Chinese men versus Caucasian American men

Stimulating effects of alcohol are common in Chinese male binge drinkers, as has been found in Caucasians, but alcohol appears to be less rewarding. Link to Abstract

Anabolic androgenic steroids and violent offending: confounding by polysubstance abuse among 10 365 general population men

In the general population, co-occurring polysubstance abuse explains most of the relatively strong association between any anabolic androgenic steroid use and conviction for a violent crime. Link to Abstract

Ongoing impact of HIV infection on mortality among people who inject drugs despite free antiretroviral therapy

HIV infection continues to have a persistent association with mortality rates among people who inject drugs in settings with free HIV/AIDS care, although causes of death have shifted markedly from infectious and AIDS-related causes to non-AIDS-related causes. Link to Abstract

High-frequency drug purity and price series as tools for explaining drug trends and harms in Victoria, Australia

Decreases in methamphetamine purity-adjusted price along with the bimodality of crystal methamphetamine purity may account for some of the recent increase in methamphetamine-related harm in Victoria, Australia. For a given amount spent, methamphetamine purchase power has increased and the presence of extreme purity variations may challenge individuals' control of consumption. Link to Abstract

Cost-effectiveness of rapid HCV testing and simultaneous rapid HCV and HIV testing in substance abuse treatment programs

On-site rapid hepatitis C virus and HIV testing in substance abuse treatment programs is cost-effective at a <$100,000/ quality-adjusted life year threshold in the US. Link to Abstract

Telescoping and gender differences in the time course of disordered gambling: evidence from a general population sample

When assessed at the general population level, female gamblers do not appear to show a telescoped disordered gambling trajectory (showing a later age at initiation of gambling but a shorter time from initiation to disorder) compared with male gamblers. Link to Abstract

The Impact of the Tobacco Retail Outlet Environment on Adult Cessation and Differences by Neighborhood Poverty

In the USA, density of tobacco outlets within 500 meters of the home residence appears to be negatively associated with smoking abstinence and pro-cessation attitudes only in poor areas. Link to Abstract

The association between family affluence and smoking among 15-year-old adolescents in 33 European countries, Israel and Canada: the role of national wealth

The difference in smoking prevalence between rich and poor people is greater in more affluent countries. Link to Abstract

Plain cigarette packs do not exert Pavlovian to instrumental transfer of control over tobacco-seeking

Plain packaging may reduce smoking rates in current smokers by reducing the extent to which the package acts as an unconscious trigger for smoking urges. Link to Abstract