Research News Roundup: November 4, 2021

    Neonatal Outcomes after Combined Opioid and Nicotine Exposure in Utero: A Scoping Review

    Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021, doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910215

    Authors: Krystyna R. Isaacs, Sravanthi Atreyapurapu, Amal H. Alyusuf, David M. Ledgerwood, Loretta P. Finnegan, Katie H. K. Chang, Tony X. Ma & Yukiko Washio


    Background: The majority of women who are pregnant with opioid use disorder (OUD) also smoke tobacco but are rarely offered tobacco cessation counseling. While the effects of exposure to opioids and nicotine in utero are well-understood separately, understanding the impact of the combined exposure to these substances on neonatal outcomes is lacking.

    Methods: A scoping review was conducted using PubMed and Scopus databases for studies addressing the combined exposure to opioids and nicotine during pregnancy published between 1 January 1980 and 9 July 2019. A total of 29 papers met the eligibility criteria for inclusion, with nine being identified as clinical trials (three from the MOTHER study) and two as secondary data analysis of clinical trial data.

    Results: Neonatal outcomes for infants who had a combined exposure to opioids and nicotine in utero indicated a reduction in birth weight and birth length. Findings in infants exposed to both nicotine and opioids were mixed with regard to the duration of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the likelihood of treatment for NAS, doses of medicine used to treat NAS, and NAS scores when compared with infants who had opioid exposure without nicotine.

    Conclusions: The combined exposure to nicotine and opioids during pregnancy may lead to a reduction in neonatal birth weight and birth length and more severe NAS signs, compared with opioid use alone, but more research is necessary to identify the minimum dosage and length of nicotine exposure to accurately predict these outcomes.

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

    State of the Art in Substance Use Prevention and Early Intervention: Applications to Pediatric Primary Care Settings

    Journal: Prevention Science, 2021, doi: 10.1007/s11121-021-01299-4

    Authors: Pamela A. Matson, Ty Ridenour, Nicholas Ialongo, Richard Spoth, Guillermo Prado, Christopher J. Hammond, J. David Hawkins & Hoover Adger Jr.


    With changes to drug-related policies and increased availability of many drugs, we currently face a public health crisis related to substance use and associated health consequences. Substance use and substance use disorders (SU/SUDs) are complex developmental disorders with etiologies that emerge through the intergenerational transmission of biological, familial, and environmental factors. The family ecosystem both influences and is influenced by SU/SUDs, particularly in children and adolescents. Family dynamics and parent functioning and behaviors can represent either risk or protective factors for the development of SU/SUDs in children. Primary care providers who provide care for children, adolescents, and families are in an ideal position to deliver prevention messages and to intervene early in the development of substance misuse and SUD among their patients. Despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, few pediatric primary care providers provide anticipatory guidance to prevent or screen for substance misuse. Many barriers to those practices can be overcome through the integration and application of findings from the field of prevention science and the many lessons learned from the implementation of evidence-based interventions. Consideration of the implications of prevention science findings would help clarify the relevant roles and responsibilities of the primary care clinician, and the benefit of referral to and consultation from addiction specialists. Additionally, the past decade has seen the development and validation of a continuum of evidence-based prevention and early SU/SUD intervention activities that can be adapted for use in primary care settings making wide-spread implementation of prevention feasible. We propose a paradigm shift away from a model based on diagnosis and pathology to one upstream, that of family-focused prevention and early intervention. Adapting and scaling out empirically based prevention and early SU/SUD interventions to primary care settings and removing barriers to collaborative care across primary care, addiction medicine, and mental health providers offer the potential to meaningfully impact intergenerational transmission of SU/SUD — addressing a leading health problem facing our nation.

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

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2021, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.30280

    Authors: Wenhua Lu, Miguel Muñoz-Laboy, Nancy Sohler & Renee D. Goodwin


    Importance: Major depression and substance use disorders (SUD) commonly co-occur among adolescents, yet little is known about treatment use among adolescents with both conditions. Given the reciprocal influence of these conditions on each other and low prevalence of treatment overall, current information on quantification and trends in treatment of co-occurring depression and SUD is critical toward assessing how the field is performing in reaching youth in need of these services, and among youth with sociodemographic risk factors.

    Objective: To examine temporal trends and sociodemographic disparities in the treatment of co-occurring major depression and SUD among US adolescents.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used publicly available data for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years from the annual cross-sectional surveys of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2011 to 2019 to assess co-occurrence of major depressive episodes (MDE) and SUD through time and prevalence of treatment for either or both of these conditions. Data were analyzed between October 2020 and February 2021.

    Exposures: Survey years, adolescent age, gender, race and ethnicity, type of insurance, annual household income, family structure, and residential stability.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: Presence and treatment of co-occurring 12-month MDE and SUD.

    Results: In total, 136 262 adolescents participated in the 2011 to 2019 surveys, among whom 69 584 (51.1%) were boys and 66 678 (49.0%) were girls, 46 548 (34.1%) were aged 16 to 17 years, and 18 173 (13.8%) were Black, 28 687 (23.2%) were Hispanic, and 74 512 (53.6%) were White. From 2011 to 2019, the annual prevalence of co-occurring MDE and SUD remained stable, at between 1.4% and 1.7%. Among adolescents with co-occurring MDE and SUD, the prevalence of treatment use for MDE only increased significantly from 28.5% in 2011 to 42.5% in 2019 (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.11; P = .005), whereas the prevalence of treatment use for SUD only decreased from 4.8% to 1.5% (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85-0.99; P = .04). Overall, the prevalence of treatment use for both conditions fluctuated between 4.5% and 11.6%, without a significant linear trend over time (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.87-1.03; P = .24). Extensive disparities in treatment use were found among boys for SUD and both conditions, older adolescents for MDE, Hispanic adolescents for co-occurring conditions (adjusted OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.27-0.98; P = .04), and Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander adolescents for MDE (adjusted OR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.10-0.58; P = .002) and co-occurring conditions (adjusted OR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.01-0.33; P = .003). Moving households 3 or more times in the past 12 months was associated with higher odds that adolescents received treatment for both conditions (adjusted OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.26-5.05; P = .009).

    Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found that from 2011 to 2019, less than 12% of adolescents with major depression and SUD received treatment for both conditions from 2011 to 2019. Findings from this study call for expanded service provision for adolescents with co-occurring conditions, improved coordination between service delivery systems, and enhanced policy and funding support for adolescents with unmet treatment needs.

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

    Electronic Vaping Product Use among Adolescents in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Updated Scientific Review for Clinicians

    Journal: Wisconsin Medical Journal, 2021, 120(3):205-208

    Authors: Pravesh Sharma, Taharat Sheikh & Christopher Williams


    Introduction: In light of increased rates of hospitalizations among adolescents diagnosed with severe symptoms of COVID-19, as well as the prevalence of electronic vaping product (EVP) use among this population, this review highlights the public health and clinical implications of EVP use during an ongoing respiratory disease pandemic.

    Objectives: This review assesses evidence of pulmonary effects of EVP use from pathophysiological and epidemiological research and explores EVP use as a risk factor for COVID-19.

    Methods: An updated, yet concise, literature review of recent scientific evidence examining trends of EVP use among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted. Included in this review are studies examining the pulmonary effects of EVP use and scope of the problem relating to its use among adolescents within the context of COVID-19.

    Conclusions: Preclinical and theoretical models establish pulmonary harm associated with EVPs. Based on the limited epidemiological studies, the contribution of EVP use to the risk of contracting COVID-19 is mixed. EVP-associated lung injury could present as a diagnostic challenge for clinicians during COVID-19 and requires greater attention. Clinicians should effectively screen for and discourage EVP use among adolescents.

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

    Journal: Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 2021, doi: 10.1186/s13011-021-00415-5

    Authors: Mark Bounthavong, Kangho Suh, Meng Li, Patrick M. Spoutz, Britney Ann Stottlemyer & Aryana Sepass


    Background: Previous reports on healthcare costs and expenditures associated with populations prescribed an opioid primarily focused on populations who chronically use opioids or have opioid use disorder. However, studies that characterize the healthcare and expenditures costs among the wider number of people prescribed opioids in a nationally representative population are unavailable. We sought to characterize the healthcare costs and expenditures associated with a population prescribed an opioid in the U.S. from 2008 to 2017.

    Methods: A serial cross-sectional design was used to compare the economic burden of adult household respondents who were prescribed and not prescribed an opioid using pooled data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) between 2008 and 2017. Respondents with an opioid prescription were matched to respondents without an opioid prescription using propensity score match methods with survey weights. Two-part generalized linear models were used to estimate the survey-weighted annual healthcare expenditures and resource utilization adjusting for multiple covariates. Additionally, 10-year trend comparisons between the groups were performed. Costs were adjusted to 2019 US dollars.

    Results: There was a weighted total of 31,696,671 respondents with an opioid and 31,536,639 respondents without an opioid after propensity score matching. The sample had a mean (SD) age of 50.63 years (18.03), 58.9% females, and 81.6% Whites. Total annual economic burden among RPOs was $524 billion. Annual total expenditures per respondent with and without an opioid were $16,542 and $7067, respectively (P < 0.001). Similarly, adjusted prescription, outpatient, emergency department, and inpatient expenditures were significantly higher for respondents with an opioid compared to respondents without an opioid. Average annual increases in expenditures were significantly greater among respondents with an opioid compared to respondents without an opioid for total (+$185; 95% CI: $37–$334) and prescription (+$78; 95% CI: $28–$128) expenditures. There were no differences in the average annual trends for outpatient, emergency department, and inpatient expenditures between respondents with and without an opioid.

    Conclusions: Respondents with an opioid prescription had higher healthcare expenditures and resource utilization compared to respondents without an opioid prescription from 2008 to 2017. Specifically, significant annual increases were observed for total and prescription expenditures. Additionally, 10-year trends in total and prescription expenditures were higher among respondents with an opioid than respondents without an opioid.

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





    November 2021