Research News Roundup: July 22, 2021

    Density of Medical and Recreational Cannabis Outlets: Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Associations with Young Adult Intentions to Use Cannabis, E-Cigarettes, and Cannabis Mixed with Tobacco/Nicotine

    Journal: Journal of Cannabis Research, 2021, doi: 10.1186/s42238-021-00084-y

    Authors: Regina A. Shih, Joan S. Tucker, Eric R. Pedersen, Rachana Seelam, Michael S. Dunbar, Aaron Kofner, Caislin Firth & Elizabeth J. D’Amico

    Background: Differences in access to medical versus recreational cannabis outlets and their associations with intentions to use cannabis have not yet been examined among young adults. This study compares the associations between densities of medical versus recreational cannabis outlets and young adults’ intentions to use cannabis, electronic cigarettes, and cannabis mixed with tobacco/nicotine products. Racial/ethnic differences in these associations were examined.

    Methods: Young adults ages 18-23 (mean age = 20.9) in Los Angeles County were surveyed online in 2018 after the legalization of recreational cannabis (n = 604). Multiple linear regressions were estimated for the entire sample and stratified by race/ethnicity. Outcomes were intentions to use cannabis, electronic cigarettes, and cannabis mixed with tobacco/nicotine in the next 6 months. Density was measured as the number of medical cannabis dispensaries (MCDs), recreational cannabis retailers (RCRs), and outlets of any type within 5 miles of respondents’ homes.

    Results: Living near more outlets of any type was not significantly associated with intentions to use in the full sample, adjusting for individual- and neighborhood-level characteristics. However, race/ethnicity-stratified models indicated that living near more outlets of any type and more RCRs were significantly associated with stronger co-use intentions among white young adults. Higher MCD density was marginally associated with stronger co-use intentions among Asian young adults. However, higher MCD density was significantly associated with lower intentions to use e-cigarettes among Hispanic young adults.

    Conclusions: The results suggest racial/ethnic differences in the impact of living near cannabis outlets on intentions to use. Prevention efforts targeting young adults who live near more cannabis outlets may be especially beneficial for white and Asian young adults.

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


    Variation in Brief Treatment for Substance Use Disorder: A Qualitative Investigation of Four Federally Qualified Health Centers with SBIRT Services

    Journal: Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 2021, doi: 10.1186/s13011-021-00381-y

    Authors: Dennis P Watson, Monte D Staton, Michael L Dennis, Christine E Grella & Christy K Scott

    Background: Brief treatment (BT) can be an effective, short-term, and low-cost treatment option for many people who misuse alcohol and drugs. However, inconsistent implementation is suggested to result in BT that often looks and potentially costs similar to regular outpatient care. Prior research is also rife with inconsistent operationalizations regarding the measurement of BT received by patients. As such, there is a need to more explicitly identify and document variations in BT practice.

    Methods: A qualitative investigation of BT in four Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) was undertaken as a sub study of a larger clinical trial. Researchers interviewed 12 staff (administrators and clinicians) involved in BT oversight, referral, or delivery within the four FQHCs. Data were analyzed following an inductive approach guided by the primary research questions.

    Results: Findings demonstrate considerable differences in how BT was conceptualized and implemented within the FQHCs. This included a variety of ways in which BT was presented and described to patients that likely impacts how they perceive the BT they receive, including potentially not understanding they received substance use disorder treatment at all.

    Conclusions: The findings raise questions regarding the validity of prior research, demonstrating more objective definitions of BT and fidelity checklists are needed to ensure integrity of results. Future work in this area should seek to understand BT as practiced among a larger sample of providers and the direct experiences and perspectives of patients. There is also a need for more consistent implementation, quality assurance guidelines, and standardized stage of change assessments to aid practitioners.

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

    COVID-19 Vaccine Trust among Clients in a Sample of California Residential Substance Use Treatment Programs

    Journal: Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108812

    Authors: Carmen L Masson, Caravella McCuistian, Elana Straus, Sania Elahi, Maggie Chen, Valerie A Gruber, Thao Le & Joseph Guydish

    Background: Individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) are at a significantly higher risk for coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and have higher rates of COVID-19 related hospitalization and death than those without SUD. This study assessed COVID-19 vaccine trust, transmission awareness, risk and protective behaviors, and effects of COVID-19 on mental health and smoking among a sample of clients in California residential SUD treatment programs and identified factors associated with vaccine trust.

    Methods: A multi-site sample of SUD treatment clients (n = 265) completed a cross-sectional survey. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine trust.

    Results: Participants were predominantly male (82.3 %) and racially/ethnically diverse (33.3 % Non-Hispanic White). Most participants were aware of COVID-19 modes of transmission, however, only 39.5 % trusted a COVID-19 vaccine would be safe and effective. Factors independently associated with trust in a COVID-19 vaccine included age (AOR = 1.03, 95 % CI = 1.02, 1.05, p = 0.0001) and wearing a mask all the time (AOR = 2.48, 95 % CI = 1.86, 3.31, p = 0.0001). African Americans were less likely than White participants to trust that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective (AOR = 0.41, 95 % CI = 0.23, 0.70, p = 0.001).

    Conclusion: SUD treatment clients were aware of COVID-19 modes of transmission; however, fewer than half trusted that a COVID-19 vaccine would be safe and effective. Health communication about COVID-19 for people with SUD should use a multipronged approach to address COVID-19 vaccine mistrust and transmission risk behaviors.

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

    Moving beyond Narcan: A Police, Social Service, and Researcher Collaborative Response to the Opioid Crisis

    Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice, 2021, doi: 10.1007/s12103-021-09625-w

    Authors: Michael D White, Dina Perrone, Seth Watts & Aili Malm

    Abstract: The opioid crisis is the most persistent, long-term public health emergency facing the United States, and available evidence suggests the crisis has worsened during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Naloxone is an effective overdose response that saves lives, but the drug does not address problematic drug use, addiction, or the underlying conditions that lead to overdoses. The opioid crisis is at its core a multidisciplinary, multisystem problem, and an effective response to the crisis requires collaboration across those various systems. This paper describes such a collaborative effort. The Tempe First-Responder Opioid Recovery Project is a multidisciplinary partnership that includes police officers, social workers, substance use peer counselors, public health professionals, police researchers, and drug policy/harm reduction researchers. The project, 10 months underway, trained and equipped Tempe (AZ) police officers to administer Narcan. In addition, a 24/7 in-person “Crisis Outreach Response Team” rapidly responds to any suspected overdose and offers follow-up support, referrals, and services to the individual (and loved ones) for up to 45 days after the overdose. We present preliminary project data including interviews with project managers, counselors, and police officers, descriptions of Narcan administrations in the field, and aggregate data on client service engagement. These data highlight the complexity of the opioid crisis, the collaborative nature of the Tempe project, and the importance of initiating a multidisciplinary, comprehensive response to effectively deal with the opioid problem.

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

    Receipt of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder among Youth Engaged in Primary Care: Data from 6 Health Systems

    Journal: Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 2021, doi: 10.1186/s13722-021-00249-3.

    Authors: Sarah M Bagley, Laura Chavez, Jordan M Braciszewski, Mary Akolsile, Denise M Boudreau, Gwen Lapham, Cynthia I Campbell, Gavin Bart, Bobbi Jo H Yarborough, Jeffrey H Samet, Andrew J Saxon, Rebecca C Rossom, Ingrid A Binswanger, Mark T Murphy, Joseph E Glass, Katharine A Bradley & PROUD Collaborative

    Purpose: Little is known about prevalence and treatment of OUD among youth engaged in primary care (PC). Medications are the recommended treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) for adolescents and young adults (youth). This study describes the prevalence of OUD, the prevalence of medication treatment for OUD, and patient characteristics associated with OUD treatment among youth engaged in PC.

    Methods: This cross-sectional study includes youth aged 16-25 years engaged in PC. Eligible patients had ≥ 1 PC visit during fiscal years (FY) 2014-2016 in one of 6 health systems across 6 states. Data from electronic health records and insurance claims were used to identify OUD diagnoses, office-based OUD medication treatment, and patient demographic and clinical characteristics in the FY of the first PC visit during the study period. Descriptive analyses were conducted in all youth, and stratified by age (16-17, 18-21, 22-25 years).

    Results: Among 303,262 eligible youth, 2131 (0.7%) had a documented OUD diagnosis. The prevalence of OUD increased by ascending age groups. About half of youth with OUD had documented depression or anxiety and one third had co-occurring substance use disorders. Receipt of medication for OUD was lowest among youth 16-17 years old (14%) and highest among those aged 22-25 (39%).

    Conclusions: In this study of youth engaged in 6 health systems across 6 states, there was low receipt of medication treatment, and high prevalence of other substance use disorders and mental health disorders. These findings indicate an urgent need to increase medication treatment for OUD and to integrate treatment for other substance use and mental health disorders.

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

    By Partnership Staff
    July 2021


    July 2021