Research News Roundup: June 8, 2023

    Nicotine Vaping and Co-occurring Substance Use Among Adolescents in the United States from 2017–2019

    Journal: Substance Use & Misuse, 2023, doi: 10.1080/10826084.2023.2188462

    Authors: Noah T. Kreski, Hadley Ankrum, Magdalena Cerdá, Qixuan Chen, Deborah Hasin, Silvia S. Martins, Mark Olfson, & Katherine M. Keyes


    Background: The use of electronic cigarettes (or “vaping”) among adolescents remains a public health concern given exposure to harmful substances, plus potential association with cannabis and alcohol. Understanding vaping as it intersects with combustible cigarette use and other substance use can inform nicotine prevention efforts.

    Methods: Data were drawn from 51,872 US adolescents (grades 8, 10, 12, years: 2017–2019) from Monitoring the Future. Multinomial logistic regression analyses assessed links of past 30-day nicotine use (none, smoking-only, vaping-only, and any smoking plus vaping) with both past 30-day cannabis use and past two-week binge drinking.

    Results: Nicotine use patterns were strongly associated with greater likelihood of cannabis use and binge drinking, particularly for the highest levels of each. For instance, those who smoked and vaped nicotine had 36.53 [95% CI:16.16, 82.60] times higher odds of having 10+ past 2-week binge drinking instances compared to non-users of nicotine.

    Discussion: Given the strong associations between nicotine use and both cannabis use and binge drinking, there is a need for sustained interventions, advertising and promotion restrictions, and national public education efforts to reduce adolescent nicotine vaping, efforts that acknowledge co-occurring use.

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

    A Causal Analysis of Young Adults’ Binge Drinking Reduction and Cessation

    Journal: European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education, 2023, doi: 10.3390/ejihpe13050066

    Authors: Tyrone C. Cheng & Celia C. Lo


    Background: This study, using the multiple disadvantage model (MDM), sought to identify factors (disadvantaging social disorganization, social structural, social integration, health/mental health, co-occurring substance use, and substance treatment access factors) in young adults’ binge drinking reduction and cessation in the United States.

    Methods: We extracted data on 942 young adult binge drinkers (25–34 years, 47.8% female) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), carrying out a temporal-ordered causal analysis, meaning the evaluation of select variables’ impacts on an outcome at a subsequent time.

    Results: MDM found a relatively high reduction likelihood for non-Hispanic African Americans and respondents with relatively more education. MDM found a relatively low reduction likelihood accompanying an alcohol-related arrest, higher income, and greater number of close friends. Change to nondrinking was found more likely for non-Hispanic African Americans, other non-Hispanic participants having minority ethnicity, older respondents, those with more occupational skills, and healthier respondents. Such change became less likely with an alcohol-related arrest, higher income, relatively more education, greater number of close friends, close friends’ disapproval of drinking, and co-occurring drug use.

    Conclusions: Interventions incorporating a motivational-interviewing style can effectively promote health awareness, assessment of co-occurring disorders, friendships with nondrinkers, and attainment of occupational skills.

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

    Journal: Addictive Behaviors Reports, 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2023.100492

    Authors: Yitong Alice Gao, Elizabeth E. Krans, Qingwen Chen, Scott D. Rothenberger, Kara Zivin, & Marian P. Jarlenski


    Introduction: Risk factors and treatment rates for substance use disorders (SUDs) differ by sex. Females often have greater childcare and household responsibilities than males, which may inhibit SUD treatment. We examined how SUD, medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) receipt, and overdose rates differ by sex among parents with young children (<5 years).

    Methods: Using deidentified national administrative healthcare data from Optum’s Clinformatics® Data Mart Database version 8.1 (2007-2021), we identified parents aged 26-64 continuously enrolled in commercial insurance for ≥ 30 days and linked to ≥ 1 dependent child < 5 years from January 1, 2016-February 29, 2020. We used generalized estimating equations to estimate the average predicted prevalence of SUD diagnosis, MOUD receipt after opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnosis, and overdose by parent sex in any month, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, state of residence, enrollment month, and mental health conditions.

    Results: From 2016 to 2020, there were 2,241,795 parents with a dependent child < 5 years, including 1,155,252 (51.5%) females and 1,086,543 (48.5%) males. Male parents had a higher average predicted prevalence of an SUD diagnosis (11.1% [11, 11.16]) than female parents (5.5% [5.48, 5.58]). Among parents with OUD, the average predicted prevalence of receiving MOUD was 27.4% [26.1, 28.63] among male and 19.7% [18.34, 21.04] among female parents, with no difference in overdose rates by sex.

    Conclusion: Female parents are less likely to be diagnosed with an SUD or receive MOUD than male parents. Removing policies that criminalize parental SUD and addressing childcare-related barriers may improve SUD identification and treatment.

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

    Prospective, Longitudinal Study to Isolate the Impacts of Marijuana Use on Neurocognitive Functioning in Adolescents

    Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2023, doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1048791

    Authors: Wen Ren & Diana Fishbein


    Introduction: Policies to legalize possession and use of marijuana have been increasingly supported across the United States. Although there are restrictions on use in minors, many substance abuse scientists anticipate that these policy changes may alter use patterns among adolescents due to its wider availability and a softening of beliefs about its potentially harmful consequences. Despite the possibility that these policies may increase the prevalence of use among adolescents, the effects of marijuana on neurodevelopment remain unclear, clouding arguments in favor of or opposition to these policies.

    Methods: The present prospective, longitudinal study was designed to isolate the neurodevelopmental consequences of marijuana use from its precursors during adolescence-a period of heightened vulnerability for both substance use and disrupted development due to environmental insults. Early adolescents who were substance-naïve at baseline (N = 529, aged 10-12) were recruited and tracked into adolescence when a subgroup initiated marijuana use during one of three subsequent waves of data collection, approximately 18 months apart.

    Results: Results suggest that marijuana use may be specifically related to a decline in verbal learning ability in the short term and in emotion recognition, attention, and inhibition in the longer-term.

    Discussion: These preliminary findings suggest that marijuana use has potential to adversely impact vulnerable neurodevelopmental processes during adolescence. Intensive additional investigation is recommended given that state-level policies regulating marijuana use and possession are rapidly shifting in the absence of good scientific information.

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

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2023, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.16276

    Authors: Lauren Klein Warren, Joella Adams, & Georgiy Bobashev


    Importance: Although opioid misuse has been decreasing among US youths and adolescents in recent years, it is unclear what has contributed to this trend and how this trend differs by age group and sex over time.

    Objective: To identify trends in opioid misuse among youths and young adults across and between ages, birth cohorts, and sexes.

    Design, setting, and participants: Cross-sectional National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) public-use files were used to produce nationally representative pseudocohorts. The survey population includes the civilian US population in the 50 states and Washington, DC. Individuals without a fixed address and institutionalized individuals were excluded. Respondents to the NSDUH are a population-based sample selected using a stratified cluster design. For the years (January 1, 2002, to December 31, 2019) and ages (12-21 years) analyzed, the sample sizes ranged from 1607 to 3239 respondents. Data were analyzed from January 1, 2022, to April 12, 2023, for the main outcome by age, sex, and pseudocohort.

    Main outcomes and measures: Respondents were asked whether they misused prescription opioids or used heroin in the past year. The analysis hypotheses were formulated and tested after data collection.

    Results: In a total of 5 pseudocohorts, data from 114 412 respondents aged 12 to 21 years were analyzed; the unweighted distribution of male sex (complement was female) ranged from 47.7% to 52.6% (mean [SD], 50.6% [1.1%]). Response rates ranged from 45.8% to 71.3%. High school-aged youths and young adults had distinctly lower rates of opioid misuse in later pseudocohorts compared with earlier ones. Rates of misuse among individuals aged 16 years were 2.80% (95% CI, 1.06%-4.54%) higher in 2002 vs 2008; among those aged 18 years, rates were 4.36% (95% CI, 1.85%-6.87%) higher in 2002. Similarly, rates of misuse among individuals aged 16 years were 3.93% (95% CI, 2.15%-5.71%) higher in 2008 vs 2014; among those aged 17 years, rates were 3.41% (95% CI, 1.94%-4.88%) higher in 2008. Similar patterns were observed by sex. In earlier cohorts, younger female participants had higher rates of opioid misuse than their male counterparts and older male participants had higher rates than their female counterparts. Sex differences decreased in later cohorts.

    Conclusions and results: The findings of this cross-sectional study of US youths and young adults suggest that high school-aged individuals consistently misused fewer opioids in later pseudocohorts overall and by sex. Sex differences in opioid rates also diminished in later pseudocohorts. A decrease in drug availability and general exposure to the harms of opioid use could be contributing to these findings. Future planned research using this pseudocohort approach will examine polysubstance use and evaluate how substance use differs by other sociodemographic characteristics.

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