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    Research News Roundup: January 4, 2024

    Coming of Age in Recovery: The Prevalence and Correlates of Substance Use Recovery Status among Adolescents and Emerging Adults

    Journal: PLoS One, 2023, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0295330

    Authors: Douglas C. Smith, Crystal A. Reinhart, Shahana Begum, Janaka Kosgolla, John F. Kelly, Brandon B. Bergman, & Marni Basic


    Background and Aims: To date, no epidemiological survey has estimated the prevalence of adolescents identifying as being in recovery. This is necessary for planning and identifying the needs of youth with current and remitted substance use disorders. This study estimated the prevalence of recovery status in a large statewide epidemiological survey administered between January and March 2020.

    Participants: Participants were high school students in 9th through 12th grades throughout Illinois.

    Measurements: Youth were asked if they were in recovery and if they had resolved problems with substances. Youth who reported recovery and problem resolving dual status (DS), recovery only (RO), and problem resolution only (PRO) were compared to propensity score matched control groups who reported neither status (neither/nor; NN). Outcomes included alcohol use, binge alcohol use, cannabis use, and prescription drug use in the past 30 days.

    Findings: Prevalence estimates were 884 (1.4%) for DS, 1546 (2.5%) for PRO, and 1,811 (2.9%) for RO. Relative to propensity matched control samples, all three groups had significantly lower odds of prescription drug use. The PRO group had lower odds of past month cannabis use. There were no significant differences for either alcohol outcome.

    Conclusions: Prevalence estimates of youth in recovery are slightly lower than those of adults in recovery, and estimates should be replicated. Youth in recovery and those resolving problems have numerous behavioral health needs, and relative to matched controls, have even odds for past 30-day alcohol use. These findings compel us to further define recovery for adolescents and emerging adults to allow for improving treatments and epidemiological research.

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

    Use of E-Cigarettes and Cigarettes During Late Pregnancy Among Adolescents

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2023, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.47407

    Authors: Xiaozhong Wen, Lufeiya Liu, Aye A. Moe, Isabelle K. Ormond, Chelsea C. Shuren, I’Yanna N. Scott, Jenny E. Ozga, … Comreen Vargees


    Importance: Pregnant adolescents sometimes use cigarettes; however, little is known about e-cigarette use among pregnant adolescents, a population with increased health vulnerability.

    Objective: To examine yearly trends, sociodemographic and pregnancy-related determinants, and the association with small-for-gestational-age (SGA) birth of e-cigarette and/or cigarette use during late pregnancy among adolescents.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used existing data from the 2016-2021 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System on 10 428 US adolescents aged 10 to 19 years who had a singleton birth with complete data on e-cigarette or cigarette use and SGA birth.

    Exposure: Adolescents reported e-cigarette and cigarette use during the last 3 months of pregnancy.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: SGA birth (birth weight below the 10th percentile for the same sex and gestational duration) was determined from birth certificates. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare the odds of SGA birth across pregnant adolescents who exclusively used e-cigarettes, exclusively used cigarettes, used e-cigarettes and cigarettes, or did not use either.

    Results: Of the 10 428 pregnant adolescents, 72.7% were aged 18 or 19 years; 58.9% self-identified as White and 23.3% as Black; and 69.8% were non-Hispanic. The weighted prevalence of exclusive e-cigarette use during late pregnancy increased from 0.8% in 2016 to 4.1% in 2021, while the prevalence of exclusive cigarette use decreased from 9.2% in 2017 to 3.2% in 2021. The prevalence of dual use fluctuated, ranging from 0.6% to 1.6%. White pregnant adolescents were more likely than those who self-identified as another race and ethnicity to use e-cigarettes (2.7% vs 1.0% for American Indian or Alaska Native adolescents, 0.8% for Asian or other race adolescents, 0.6% for Black adolescents, and 0.7% for multiracial adolescents). Compared with those who did not use either product, adolescents who exclusively used e-cigarettes (16.8% vs 12.9%; confounder-adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.68 [95% CI, 0.89-3.18]) or who used cigarettes and e-cigarettes (17.6% vs 12.9%; AOR, 1.68 [95% CI, 0.79-3.53]) had no statistically significant difference in risk of SGA birth. However, adolescents who exclusively used cigarettes had a more than 2-fold higher risk of SGA birth (24.6% vs 12.9%; AOR, 2.51 [95% CI, 1.79-3.52]).

    Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study suggests that pregnant adolescents increasingly used e-cigarettes, with the highest use among White adolescents. Results from this analysis found that, unlike cigarette use, e-cigarette use during late pregnancy was not statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of SGA birth among adolescents. Due to the uncertainty of this nonsignificant association, future research could benefit from a larger sample size.

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

    Social Epidemiology of Early Adolescent Alcohol Expectancies

    Journal: BMC Public Health, 2023, doi: 10.1186/s12889-023-17434-5

    Authors: Jason M. Nagata, Gabriel Zamora, Natalia Smith, Omar M. Sajjad, Joan Shim, Kyle T. Ganson, Alexander Testa, & Dylan B. Jackson


    Purpose: To determine the sociodemographic correlates of alcohol expectancies (i.e., beliefs regarding positive or negative effects of alcohol) in a national (U.S.) cohort of early adolescents 10-14 years old. A second aim was to determine associations between alcohol sipping and alcohol expectancies.

    Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study (N = 11,868; Year 2). Linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between sociodemographic factors (sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, household income, parental education, parent marital status, religiosity) and positive (e.g., stress reduction) and negative (e.g., loss of motor coordination) alcohol expectancies. Additional linear regression analyses determined associations between alcohol sipping and alcohol expectancies, adjusting for sociodemographic factors.

    Results: Overall, 48.8% of the participants were female and 47.6% racial/ethnic minorities, with a mean age of 12.02 (SD 0.67) years. Older age among the early adolescent sample, male sex, and sexual minority identification were associated with more positive and negative alcohol expectancies. Black and Latino/Hispanic adolescents reported less positive and negative alcohol expectancies compared to White non-Latino/Hispanic adolescents. Having parents with a college education or greater and a household income of $200,000 and greater were associated with higher positive and negative alcohol expectancies. Alcohol sipping was associated with higher positive alcohol expectancies.

    Conclusions: Older age, White non-Latino/Hispanic race, male sex, sexual minority status, higher parental education, and higher household income were associated with higher positive and negative alcohol expectancies. Future research should examine the mechanisms linking these specific sociodemographic factors to alcohol expectancies to inform future prevention and intervention efforts.

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

    Service-Level Barriers to and Facilitators of Accessibility to Treatment for Problematic Alcohol Use: A Scoping Review

    Journal: Frontiers in Public Health, 2023, doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1296239

    Authors: Dianna M. Wolfe, Brian Hutton, Kim Corace, Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, Surachat Ngorsuraches, Surapon Nochaiwong, Justin Presseau, … Kednapa Thavorn


    Introduction: Services to treat problematic alcohol use (PAU) should be highly accessible to optimize treatment engagement. We conducted a scoping review to map characteristics of services for the treatment of PAU that have been reported in the literature to be barriers to or facilitators of access to treatment from the perspective of individuals with PAU.

    Methods: A protocol was developed a priori, registered, and published. We searched MEDLINE®, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and additional grey literature sources from 2010 to April 2022 to identify primary qualitative research and surveys of adults with current or past PAU requiring treatment that were designed to identify modifiable characteristics of PAU treatment services (including psychosocial and pharmacologic interventions) that were perceived to be barriers to or facilitators of access to treatment. Studies of concurrent PAU and other substance use disorders were excluded. Study selection was performed by multiple review team members. Emergent barriers were coded and mapped to the accessibility dimensions of the Levesque framework of healthcare access, then descriptively summarized.

    Results: One-hundred-and-nine included studies reported an extensive array of unique service-level barriers that could act alone or together to prevent treatment accessibility. These included but were not limited to lack of an obvious entry point, complexity of the care pathway, high financial cost, unacceptably long wait times, lack of geographically accessible treatment, inconvenient appointment hours, poor cultural/demographic sensitivity, lack of anonymity/privacy, lack of services to treat concurrent PAU and mental health problems.

    Discussion: Barriers generally aligned with recent reviews of the substance use disorder literature. Ranking of barriers may be explored in a future discrete choice experiment of PAU service users. The rich qualitative findings of this review may support the design of new or modification of existing services for people with PAU to improve accessibility.

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

    Association Between Psychosocial Factors and Co-Morbid Cigarette Smoking and Alcohol Use in a Population Experiencing Homelessness

    Journal: Addiction Behavior Reports, 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2023.100523

    Authors: Olanrewaju Onigbogi, Rebekah Pratt, Xianghua Luo, Susan A. Everson-Rose, Ned L. Cooney, Sheila Specker, & Kolawole Okuyemi


    The prevalence of combustible cigarette smoking in populations experiencing homelessness in the United States is five times that of the general population. The psychosocial well-being of persons who smoke and experience homelessness is poorer if such persons also use alcohol heavily. The PTQ2 study was a randomized clinical trial among persons experiencing homelessness who were also current smokers and heavy alcohol consumers. Secondary data analysis of the PTQ2 baseline data was conducted to examine associations among psychosocial variables (anxiety, depression, hopelessness, social network size), heaviness of smoking (cigarettes/day) and alcohol consumption (drinking days/month), and duration and frequency of homelessness. Among the 420 participants, the majority were male (75%), black (70%) and non-Hispanic (94%) with a mean age of 46.6 years (SD = 11.6). Bivariate analyses show that heaviness of smoking was positively correlated with social network size (r = 0.16, p = .001). Heaviness of drinking was positively correlated with the MINI anxiety score (r = 0.13, p = .009) and marijuana use (median total number of drinks in past 30 days among those who used marijuana in past 30 days vs. did not use: 50 vs. 24, p < .0001), and associated with frequency of homelessness (median total number of drinks in past 30 days among those experiencing homelessness once vs. >1 time: 30 vs. 44, p = .022). The findings highlight the psychosocial factors that warrant consideration when addressing heavy smoking and alcohol consumption in persons experiencing homelessness.

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


    January 2024