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    Research News Roundup: September 22, 2022

    Journal: Addictive Behaviors, 2023,

    Authors: Brian TaeHyuk Keum & Miguel Ángel Cano

    Abstract: Online racism has been associated with alcohol-related coping, likely to deal with mental health symptoms that arise from experiencing racial discrimination in online settings. Thus, we examined online racism as a risk factor for alcohol-related problems by examining depressive/anxiety symptoms and coping-related drinking motives as mediators among Black, Latina/o/x, and Asian emerging adults in the U.S. We hypothesized that online racism would be associated with greater alcohol use severity through depressive/anxiety symptoms and coping-related drinking motives sequentially. With data from 322 participants (Mage = 23.28; Black, n = 108; Latina/o/x, n = 118; and Asian, n = 96), we conducted a multi-group path analysis of online racism (Perceived Online Racism Scale) linked to alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) via depressive (Patient Health Questionnaire-9)/Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7) symptoms and coping-related drinking motives (Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised Short Form). The hypothesized indirect pathway was significant in all groups. The direct effect was also significant for Latina/o/x and Asian groups. For the Black group, the direct effect was not significant, highlighting the salience of the mental health symptoms and drinking motives in explaining the link between online racism and alcohol use. Collectively, the results help to contextualize the risks of alcohol-related problems from experiencing contemporary forms of racial trauma such as online racial discrimination and provide implications for intervention development.

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

    Patient Evaluation of a Smartphone Application for Telehealth Care of Opioid Use Disorder

    Journal: Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 2022, doi: 10.1186/s13722-022-00331-4

    Authors: Jordon D. Bosse, Kim Hoffman, Katharina Wiest, P. Todd Korthuis, Ritwika Petluri, Kellie Pertl & Stephen A. Martin


    Background: People with opioid use disorder (OUD) face barriers to entering and remaining in life-saving treatment (e.g., stigma, detrimental interactions with health care, and privacy concerns). Telehealth and related technology can reduce barriers to entering and staying in care. Patient feedback is critical to the development of these newer treatment approaches to ensure they are usable and do not inadvertently recreate treatment barriers.

    Purpose: Evaluate the perceived usability of existing and planned features of a mobile application (app) that facilitates delivery of OUD treatment via telehealth.

    Methods: People with current or prior experience with OUD treatment were eligible for the study. Participants (n = 31; 55% women) provided feedback on an interactive prototype demonstration via individual qualitative interviews and completed a quantitative survey on the app’s perceived usability. Descriptive statistics summarized the usability survey. We analyzed qualitative interview transcripts to elicit common themes.

    Results: Participants were primarily white (77%) with a mean age of 42.2 years (range 22–69). Participants rated the six major features of the current app as helpful (median response 5 out of 5) and appreciated the flexibility of conducting a visit from a place of their choosing. Participants regarded the five proposed components of the app, such as daily affirmations and medication treatment-related reminders (e.g., pick up medication at pharmacy, medication schedule), as useful features with medians 5 out of 5, and reported they would recommend the app to others for OUD care. Participant qualitative interviews provided additional information on perceived usability of existing and proposed app features.

    Conclusion: Our study suggests that an appealing, easy-to-use app—with tools and features that effectively support care—could circumvent existing barriers and foster sustained recovery.

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

    Vaping Motivations: Association of Behavioral Inhibition and Behavioral Activation Systems with Nicotine and Cannabis Vaping among Adolescents

    Journal: Addictive Behaviors, 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107436

    Authors: Wura Jacobs, Ashley L. Merianos, E. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens & Adam Leventhal


    Background: Despite copious information on the hazards of nicotine and cannabis, many adolescents report vaping nicotine and cannabis. To advance knowledge on the precursors of vaping behaviors, this study examined the association of behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and behavioral activation system (BAS) sensitivities with nicotine and cannabis vaping among adolescents.

    Methods: Data were part of a longitudinal survey on substance use and mental health among adolescents and included 2,467 11th grade students from 10 public high schools in California. Participants completed a 20-item scale assessing BIS (one aspect) and BAS (three aspects: drive, fun-seeking, reward responsiveness) sensitivities at baseline and reported their past 30-day nicotine and cannabis vaping at baseline and again at 6-month follow-up. Unadjusted and adjusted (controlled for demographic characteristics and product-specific baseline vaping) regression models estimated vaping risk at follow-up by BIS/BAS scores at baseline.

    Results: Bivariate analyses showed participants who vaped nicotine had significantly higher drive and fun-seeking scores (p < 0.05); and cannabis vapers had lower BIS and reward responsiveness scores (p < 0.05) compared to non-users. Higher fun seeking scores was associated with increased odds (OR = 1.15, 95 %CI = 1.03–1.29) of nicotine vaping and higher reward responsiveness scores reduced odds (OR = 0.89, 95 %CI = 0.79–0.99) of nicotine vaping. Higher scores on BIS was associated with decreased the odds (OR = 0.91, 95 %CI = 0.84–0.99) of cannabis vaping.

    Conclusion: Different behavioral motivations should be targeted when developing interventions designed to reduce nicotine and cannabis vaping among diverse adolescents.

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

    Student Tobacco Use, Secondhand Smoke Exposure, and Policy Beliefs before and after Implementation of a Tobacco-Free Campus Policy: Analysis of Five U.S. College and University Campuses

    Journal: Preventive Medicine, 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107238

    Authors: Amy L. Nyman, Saiza Jivani, Amelia Jazwa, Erica Heath, Pamela B. Redmon, Bidisha Sinha, Matthew J. Hayat & Michael P. Eriksen

    Abstract: The adoption of comprehensive tobacco policies by colleges and universities may help reduce student tobacco use. To this end, The American Cancer Society’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI) awarded grants to 106 higher learning institutions to adopt 100% tobacco-free campus policies. This study measured changes in student tobacco use, reported exposure to secondhand smoke, and support for types of tobacco policies among five TFGCI grantee institutions who implemented 100% tobacco-free policies. Students at five U.S. TFGCI grantee institutions completed two independent cross-sectional online surveys regarding tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and policy attitudes, once before (n = 2499) and once after (n = 1667) their campuses adopted a tobacco-free policy. Students were less likely to report current cigarette smoking (aOR: 0.73, 95% C.I.: 0.63, 0.85) and exposure to secondhand smoke on campus (aOR: 0.42, 95% C.I.: 0.23, 0.76) following the policy change. In contrast, students were more likely to report past 30-day use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) (aOR: 2.16, C.I.: 1.77, 2.63) following the policy change, despite the policy’s inclusion of all tobacco and nicotine products. Tobacco-free campus policies can be associated with decreases in tobacco product use and environmental smoke exposure. The extent of their effectiveness may vary by product and the inclusion of tailored messaging, cessation support, and enforcement approaches. To discourage use of these products among students, colleges and universities should adopt 100% tobacco-free policies, monitor product use trends, offer cessation support and messaging customized for specific groups and products, and utilize a comprehensive enforcement strategy.

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

    Adolescents’ Perceptions of Substance Use Harms are Contingent on Mode of Administration and Type of Substance

    Journal: Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 2022, doi: 10.1177/11782218221119584

    Authors: Kevin Cummins & Yang Lu


    Early vaping research often did not differentiate between substances vaped. The present study investigates risk perceptions for vaped nicotine and vaped cannabis. A school-based census of 9th and 11th graders yielded 431 responses to the California Healthy Kids Survey. Differences in harm perceptions were evaluated using multilevel mixed-effects models. Students were more likely to report nicotine vaping as great-moderate risk in comparison to cannabis vaping. Additionally, vaped cannabis was viewed as riskier than traditional administration. These results indicate that differences in harm perceptions may need to be addressed when targeting specific classes of substance use in investigations and interventions.

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