Call 1.855.378.4373 to schedule a call time with a specialist or visit
Call 1.855.378.4373 to schedule a call time with a specialist

    Research News Roundup: April 11, 2024

    Environmental Influences on E-Cigarette Use Among Young People: A Systematic Review

    Journal: Health Place, 2024, doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2024.103212

    Authors: Zoe Askwith, Josh Grignon, Mariam Ismail, Gina Martin, Louise W. McEachern, Jamie A. Seabrook, & Jason A. Gilliland


    E-cigarettes are a popular mode of delivery for nicotine, tobacco and cannabis. The prevalence of vaping among youth is increasing and this review aims to identify features of the neighbourhood environment, e.g., retailers, advertisements, and policies, that are associated with youth vaping. We included 48 studies. Of these, approximately 40% and 60% reported that presence of e-cigarette retailers, and advertisements, was associated with statistically higher odds of e-cigarette use in youth, respectively. Approximately 30% of studies reported that policies affecting e-cigarette availability were associated with statistically lower odds of vaping. Identifying these influential features of the neighbourhood environment will help formulate appropriate policies to reduce e-cigarette use among youth.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Funding and Delivery of Syringe Services Programs in the United States, 2022

    Journal: American Journal of Public Health, 2024, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2024.307583

    Authors: Shelley N. Facente, Jamie L. Humphrey, Christopher Akiba, Sheila V. Patel, Lynn D. Wenger, Hansel Tookes, Ricky N. Bluthenthal, … Barrot H. Lambdin


    Objectives: To describe the current financial health of syringe services programs (SSPs) in the United States and to assess the predictors of SSP budget levels and associations with delivery of public health interventions.

    Methods: We surveyed all known SSPs operating in the United States from February to June 2022 (n = 456), of which 68% responded (n = 311). We used general estimating equations to assess factors influencing SSP budget size and estimated the effects of budget size on multiple measures of SSP services.

    Results: The median SSP annual budget was $100 000 (interquartile range = $20 159‒$290 000). SSPs operating in urban counties and counties with higher levels of opioid overdose mortality had significantly higher budget levels, while SSPs located in counties with higher levels of Republican voting in 2020 had significantly lower budget levels. SSP budget levels were significantly and positively associated with syringe and naloxone distribution coverage.

    Conclusions: Current SSP funding levels do not meet minimum benchmarks. Increased funding would help SSPs meet community health needs.

    Public health implications: Federal, state, and local initiatives should prioritize sustained SSP funding to optimize their potential in addressing multiple public health crises.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    A Systematic Qualitative Study Investigating Why Individuals Attend, and What They Like, Dislike, and Find Most Helpful About, SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Both, or Neither

    Journal: Journal of Substance Use Addiction Treatment, 2024, doi: 10.1016/j.josat.2024.209337

    Authors: John F. Kelly, Samuel Levy, & Maya Matlack


    Background: Some individuals seeking recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) while others choose newer alternatives such as Self-Management and Recovery Training (“SMART” Recovery). Some even attend both, while some choose not to attend either. Little is known about why people choose which pathway(s), and what they like, dislike, and find helpful. Greater knowledge could provide insights into the phenomenology of recovery experiences and enhance the efficiency of clinical linkage to these resources.

    Methods: Cross-sectional, qualitative, investigation (N = 80; n = 20 per condition; 50%female) of individuals attending either AA-only, SMART-only, both, or neither. Participants were asked why they initially chose that pathway, what they like and dislike, and what helps. Responses were coded using an inductive grounded theory approach with utterances recorded and categorized into superordinate domains and rank-ordered in terms of frequency across each question and recovery pathway.

    Results: AA participants reported attending due to, as well as liking and finding most helpful, the common socio-community aspects, whereas SMART attendees went initially due to, as well as found most helpful, the different format as well as the CBT/science-based approach. Similar to AA, however, SMART participants liked the socio-community aspects most. “Both” participants reported liking and finding helpful these perceived relative strengths of each organization. “Neither” participants reported reasons for non-attendance related to lower problem severity – perceiving no need to attend, and anxiety about privacy, but reported using recovery-related change strategies similar to those prescribed by AA, SMART and treatment (e.g., stimulus control, competing behaviors). Common dislikes for AA and SMART centered around irritation due to other members behaviors, a need for more SMART meetings, and negative experiences with SMART facilitators.

    Conclusion: Common impressions exist among individuals selecting different recovery pathway choices, but also some differences in keeping with the group dynamics and distinct approaches inherent in AA and SMART. AA attendees appear to go initially for the recovery buoyancy derived from the social ethos and camaraderie of lived experience and may end up staying for the same reason; those choosing SMART, in contrast, appear to attend initially for the CBT/science-based content and different approach but, like AA participants, may end up staying due to the same camaraderie of lived experience. Those participating in both AA and SMART appear to capitalize on the strengths of each organization, suggesting that some can psychologically accommodate and make use of theoretically distinct, and sometimes opposing, philosophies and practices.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Psychostimulant Drug Co-Ingestion in Non-Fatal Opioid Overdose

    Journal: Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, 2024, doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2024.100223

    Authors: Siri Shastry, Joshua Shulman, Kim Aldy, Jeffrey Brent, Paul Wax, & Alex F. Manini


    Introduction: In 2019, there were over 16,000 deaths from psychostimulant overdose with 53.5% also involving an opioid. Given the substantial mortality stemming from opioid and psychostimulant co-exposure, evaluation of clinical management in this population is critical but remains understudied. This study aims to characterize and compare clinical management and outcomes in emergency department (ED) overdose patients with analytically confirmed exposure to both opioids and psychostimulants with those exposed to opioids alone.

    Methods: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective consecutive cohort of ED patients age 18+ with opioid overdose at 9 hospital sites from September 21, 2020 to August 17, 2021. Toxicologic analysis was performed using liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Patients were divided into opioid-only (OO) and opioid plus psychostimulants (OS) groups. The primary outcome was total naloxone bolus dose administered. Secondary outcomes included endotracheal intubation, cardiac arrest, troponin elevation, and abnormal presenting vital signs. We employed t-tests, chi-squared analyses and multivariable regression models to compare outcomes between OO and OS groups.

    Results: Of 378 enrollees with confirmed opioid overdose, 207 (54.8%) had psychostimulants present. OO patients were significantly older (mean 45.2 versus 40.6 years, p < 0.01). OS patients had significantly higher total naloxone requirements (mean total dose 2.79 mg versus 2.12 mg, p = 0.009). There were no significant differences in secondary outcomes.

    Conclusion: Approximately half of ED patients with confirmed opioid exposures were also positive for psychostimulants. Patients in the OS group required significantly higher naloxone doses, suggesting potential greater overdose severity.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2024, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.4617

    Authors: Nisha Nataraj, S. Michaela Rikard, Kun Zhang, Xinyi Jiang, Gery P. Guy Jr, Ketra Rice, Christine L. Mattson, … Jan L. Losby


    Importance: Given the high number of opioid overdose deaths in the US and the complex epidemiology of opioid use disorder (OUD), systems models can serve as a tool to identify opportunities for public health interventions.

    Objective: To estimate the projected 3-year association between public health interventions and opioid overdose-related outcomes among persons with OUD.

    Design, setting, and participants: This decision analytical model used a simulation model of the estimated US population aged 12 years and older with OUD that was developed and analyzed between January 2019 and December 2023. The model was parameterized and calibrated using 2019 to 2020 data and used to estimate the relative change in outcomes associated with simulated public health interventions implemented between 2021 and 2023.

    Main outcomes and measures: Projected OUD and medications for OUD (MOUD) prevalence in 2023 and number of nonfatal and fatal opioid-involved overdoses among persons with OUD between 2021 and 2023.

    Results: In a baseline scenario assuming parameters calibrated using 2019 to 2020 data remained constant, the model projected more than 16 million persons with OUD not receiving MOUD treatment and nearly 1.7 million persons receiving MOUD treatment in 2023. Additionally, the model projected over 5 million nonfatal and over 145 000 fatal opioid-involved overdoses among persons with OUD between 2021 and 2023. When simulating combinations of interventions that involved reducing overdose rates by 50%, the model projected decreases of up to 35.2% in nonfatal and 36.6% in fatal opioid-involved overdoses among persons with OUD. Interventions specific to persons with OUD not currently receiving MOUD treatment demonstrated the greatest reduction in numbers of nonfatal and fatal overdoses. Combinations of interventions that increased MOUD initiation and decreased OUD recurrence were projected to reduce OUD prevalence by up to 23.4%, increase MOUD prevalence by up to 137.1%, and reduce nonfatal and fatal opioid-involved overdoses among persons with OUD by 6.7% and 3.5%, respectively.

    Conclusions and relevance: In this decision analytical model study of persons with OUD, findings suggested that expansion of evidence-based interventions that directly reduce the risk of overdose fatality among persons with OUD, such as through harm reduction efforts, could engender the highest reductions in fatal overdoses in the short-term. Interventions aimed at increasing MOUD initiation and retention of persons in treatment projected considerable improvement in MOUD and OUD prevalence but could require a longer time horizon for substantial reductions in opioid-involved overdoses.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.


    April 2024