Research News Roundup: May 19, 2022

    Cannabis Vaping among Youth and Young Adults: A Scoping Review

    Journal: Current Addiction Reports, 2022,
    doi: 10.1007/s40429-022-00413-y

    Authors: Melissa B. Harrell, Stephanie L. Clendennen, Aslesha Sumbe, Kathleen R. Case, Dale S. Mantey & Sunaina Swan


    Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review was to describe the state-of-the-literature on research specific to cannabis vaping among youth and young adults.

    Recent Findings: Out of 1801 records identified, a total of 202 articles met eligibility criteria for inclusion in this review. Most of this literature (46.0% of studies) was specific to the health effects of cannabis vaping, particularly EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury). Other research areas identified in the review included the etiology (24.3%) and epidemiology (24.8%) of cannabis vaping, in addition to articles on regulation (8.4%) and marketing (5.5%) of the same.

    Summary: Cannabis vaping is increasingly common among youth and young adults and more prevalent is settings where recreational use for adults has been legalized. The literature documents a number of negative health effects of cannabis vaping for young people, along with risk factors and reasons for the same.

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

    Comparative Effectiveness Associated with Buprenorphine and Naltrexone in Opioid Use Disorder and Cooccurring Polysubstance Use

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2022, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.1136

    Authors: Kevin Y. Xu, Carrie M. Mintz, Ned Presnall, Laura J. Bierut & Richard A. Grucza


    Importance: Despite prevalent polysubstance use, treatment patterns and outcomes for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and cooccurring substance use disorders (SUD) are understudied.

    Objective: To evaluate the distribution of buprenorphine and naltrexone initiation among individuals with OUD with vs without cooccurring SUD and to assess the comparative effectiveness associated with buprenorphine and naltrexone against drug-related poisonings.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: This observational comparative effectiveness study used insurance claims from 2011 to 2016 from the US IBM MarketScan databases to study initiation of medications for OUD (MOUD) among treatment-seeking individuals aged 12 to 64 years with a primary diagnosis of OUD. Cooccurring SUD was defined as SUD diagnosed concurrent with or in the 6 months prior to OUD treatment initiation. Treatment was codified as psychosocial treatment without MOUD or initiation or buprenorphine or naltrexone (including extended-release or oral). Methadone recipients were excluded from analysis. Data were analyzed from February 3, 2021, through February 26, 2022.

    Exposures: MOUD.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: Associations between cooccurring SUD diagnoses with treatment type were assessed with multivariable regression. The association of drug-related poisoning admissions with days covered with buprenorphine or naltrexone prescriptions vs days without prescriptions was assessed among MOUD initiators. Odds ratios from within-person fixed effects models were estimated as a function of MOUD and stratified by cooccurring SUDs.

    Results: Among 179 280 individuals with OUD (mean [SD] age, 33.2 [11.0] years; 90 196 [50.5%] men), 102 930 (57.4%) received psychosocial treatment without MOUD. Across 47 488 individuals with cooccurring SUDs, 33 449 (70.4%) did not receive MOUD, whereas across 131 792 individuals without cooccurring SUDs, 69 481 (52.7%) did not receive MOUD. Cooccurring SUD was associated with decreased odds of initiating buprenorphine (risk ratio [RR], 0.55 [95% CI, 0.54-0.56]) but increased odds of initiating naltrexone (extended release: RR, 1.12 [95% CI, 1.05-1.20]; oral: RR, 1.95 [95% CI, 1.86-2.03]). Among 12 485 individuals initiating MOUD who experienced at least 1 drug-related poisoning during insurance enrollment, buprenorphine treatment days were associated with decreased poisonings compared with days without MOUD for individuals with cooccurring SUD (odds ratio [OR], 0.56 [95% CI, 0.48-0.65]) and individuals without cooccurring SUD (OR, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.53-0.63]), with comparable associations observed for extended-release naltrexone. No protective association was observed for oral naltrexone.

    Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that individuals with OUD and polysubstance use were less likely to initiate buprenorphine and naltrexone than individuals without polysubstance use. Among individuals initiating MOUD, polysubstance use was associated with decreased buprenorphine and increased naltrexone initiation, despite buprenorphine’s protective associations against drug-related poisoning.

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

    Prevalence of Cannabis Use among Tobacco Smokers: A Systematic Review Protocol

    Journal: BMJ Open, 2022, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050681

    Authors: Eliza Skelton, Jane Rich, Tonelle Handley & Billie Bonevski


    Introduction: Understanding the prevalence of cannabis use among tobacco smokers has important implications for research in terms of intervention effectiveness and measurement in smoking cessation trials. The co-use of these substances also has important implications for health service planning, specifically ensuring appropriate and adequate clinical treatment. To date, there have been no synthesis of the literature on the prevalence of tobacco and cannabis co-use in adult clinical populations. Improved understanding of the current prevalence, route of administration and specific subpopulations with the highest rates of tobacco and cannabis co-use will support future intervention development. We aim to provide a pooled estimate of the percentage of smokers who report using cannabis and to examine the prevalence of co-use by sociodemographic characteristics.

    Methods and analysis: We will conduct a systematic review using six scientific databases with published articles from 2000 to 2022 inclusive (CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, Scopus). Peer-reviewed journal articles published in English that report on tobacco and cannabis use will be included. Rates of co-use (simultaneous or sequentially) and routes of administration will be assessed. Use in populations groups will be described. Quality assessments will be conducted for all included studies. Data will be synthesised using a narrative approach. This study will be conducted from June 2022 to the end of August 2022.

    Ethics and dissemination: This review is based on previously published data and, therefore, ethical approval or written informed consent will not be required. It is the intention of the research team to disseminate the results of the systematic review as a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentations.

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

    Impact of the Aversive Effects of Drugs on Their Use and Abuse

    Journal: Behavioural Neurology, 2022, doi: 10.1155/2022/8634176

    Authors: Anthony L. Riley, Hayley N. Manke & Shihui Huang


    Drug use and abuse are complex issues in that the basis of each may involve different determinants and consequences, and the transition from one to the other may be equally multifaceted. A recent model of the addiction cycle (as proposed by Koob and his colleagues) illustrates how drug-taking patterns transition from impulsive (acute use) to compulsive (chronic use) as a function of various neuroadaptations leading to the downregulation of DA systems, upregulation of stress systems, and the dysregulation of the prefrontal/orbitofrontal cortex. Although the nature of reinforcement in the initiation and mediation of these effects may differ (positive vs. negative), the role of reinforcement in drug intake (acute and chronic) is well characterized. However, drugs of abuse have other stimulus properties that may be important in their use and abuse. One such property is their aversive effects that limit drug intake instead of initiating and maintaining it. Evidence of such effects comes from both clinical and preclinical populations. In support of this position, the present review describes the aversive effects of drugs (assessed primarily in conditioned taste aversion learning), the fact that they occur concurrently with reward as assessed in combined taste aversion/place preference designs, the role of aversive effects in drug-taking (in balance with their rewarding effects), the dissociation of these affective properties in that they can be affected in different ways by the same manipulations, and the impact of various parametric, experiential, and subject factors on the aversive effects of drugs and the consequent impact of these factors on their use and abuse potential.

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

    Trend Analysis of Substance Use Disorder During Pregnancy

    Journal: Cureus, 2022, doi: 10.7759/cureus.23548

    Authors: Memory Ndanga, Saanie Sulley & Abimbola K. Saka


    Objectives: This study aims to analyze the trends in substance use among pregnant women in the United States.

    Methodology: In this retrospective study, we utilized the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) dataset sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Major Diagnostic Category (MDC) 14 (Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Puerperium) and International Classification of Disease (ICD 10) codes were used to identify pregnancy-related diagnoses and presentations with any of the substance use disorder (SUD) indicators that met the inclusion criteria among the birthing population in the NIS dataset (2016-2018). We analyzed the demographic and regional characteristics between 2015 and 2018.

    Results: Among the population, a total of 23,475 (2.7%) had a primary or secondary diagnosis of SUD, and 851,428 (97.3%) did not. In the study group of 332,275 (2.8%) that met the inclusion criteria, 12,750 (0.1%) use alcohol, 108,960 (0.9%) had opioid use disorder (OUD), 171,490 (1.4%) use cannabis, 6,375 (0.1%) use sedatives, 28,075 (0.2%) use cocaine, 48,765 (0.4%) use other stimulants, 1,155 (0%) use hallucinogens, 115 (0%) use inhalants, and 23,950 (0.2%) had other psychoactive diagnosis. Further analysis comparing the risk of severity and mortality at presentation, procedure type, delivery method, and cost of care shows statistically significant differences (p < 0.005) between the study and control groups.

    Conclusion: The current trends necessitate a further assessment and implementation of comprehensive community-based treatment programs tailored to the most frequent regional SUD presentations, which could aid in mitigating drug use during pregnancy.

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


    May 2022