Social Learning, Social Bonds, Self-Control and Adolescent Nicotine Vaping

Journal: Subst Use Misuse. 2021 Mar 23:1-12. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2021.1899226.

Authors: John P. Hoffman

Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine whether three theories of adolescent substance use — social learning, social bonding, and self-control — were useful for predicting adolescent nicotine vaping. Methods: The analysis utilized data on U.S. 8th and 10th grade students from the 2017 and 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) studies, repeated cross-sectional surveys that included 11,624 youth who responded to questions about past 12-month nicotine vaping. Measures from each of the three theories were used to predict the outcome using a zero-inflated negative binomial model. Results: The results demonstrated that variables from social learning and self-control theories were key predictors of nicotine vaping. Friends’ substance use appeared as the most consequential predictor, followed by low self-control or higher risk-taking propensities. An interaction effect also suggested that friends’ substance use had a stronger association with nicotine vaping among youth who reported higher self-control. Conclusions/Importance: The findings suggested that adolescent nicotine vaping is a consequence of social learning influences and low self-control. Future research should explore these and similar factors in more detail.

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Cost-effectiveness of Treatments for Opioid Use Disorder

Journal: JAMA Psychiatry. Published online March 31, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0247

Authors: Michael Fairley, PhDKeith Humphreys, PhDVilija R. Joyceet al

Background: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the US, yet many individuals with OUD do not receive treatment. The purpose of this paper is to assess the cost-effectiveness of OUD treatments and association of these treatments with outcomes in the US.

The treatments included: medications for addiction treatment (MAT) with buprenorphine, methadone or injectable extended-release naltrexone; psychotherapy (beyond standard counseling); overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND); and contingency management (CM).

In the absence of treatment, 42,717 overdoses (4,132 fatal and 38,585 nonfatal) and 12,660 deaths were estimated to occur in a cohort of 100,000 patients over five years, and 11.58 discounted lifetime QALYs were estimated to be experienced per person.

An estimated reduction in overdoses was associated with MAT with methadone (10.7%), MAT with buprenorphine or naltrexone (22.0%), and when combined with CM and psychotherapy (range of 21.0%-31.4%).

The authors also examined cost savings and found that overall these treatments were associated with cost savings compared with no treatment. The largest cost savings were associated with methadone plus CM.

As one reader has pointed out, this paper “testifies to the effectiveness of medications for opioid use disorder (OUD) and underscores the tragedy that so many people do not receive treatment.”

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Heated tobacco product awareness, use, and perceptions in a sample of young adults in the U.S.

Journal: Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Published 02 April 2021.

Authors: Carla J Berg, Ph.D., M.B.A.; Katelyn F Romm, Ph.D.; Brooke Patterson; Christina N. Wysota, M.P.H.

Background: In the US, the emergence of heated tobacco products (HTPs) marks an important time for identifying those most likely to use, particularly among young adults.

The authors analyzed Fall 2019 data from a longitudinal study of young adults (ages 18-34; n=2,375, Mage=24.66±4.68) in 6 US cities, 24.1% of whom used cigarettes and 32.7% e-cigarettes. They also assessed HTP awareness, use, and sources, as well as perceived risk, social acceptability, and likelihood of future use.

Among the results, the authors found that greater likelihood of future use correlated with being older, male, sexual minority, non-Hispanic, and current cigarette and e-cigarette users.  Also, HTPs were perceived as less addictive than cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes, and less harmful and more socially acceptable than other tobacco products except e-cigarettes and hookah.

The fact that HTPs are quite positively perceived underscores the potential penetration of HTPs among US young adults.

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Marijuana use and exercise among young and middle-aged adults

Journal: Preventive Medicine, 2021,

Authors: Michael T. French; Karoline Mortensen; & Manuel Alcalá Kovalski

Background: The prevalence of current marijuana use among American adults is about 16%. The popular perception of such users is that they do not exercise as much as those who do use marijuana. However, this view is challenged by researchers from the University of Miami’s Herbert Business School and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., who found that marijuana users are “equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users.”

In a press release, lead author Michael French noted, “Whereas other studies have been cross-sectional, looking at a point in time, we assessed changes over time…we were able to employ longitudinal statistical models and access more recent data.”

And, as the authors point out, “These findings are at odds with much of the existing literature, which generally shows a negative relationship between marijuana use and exercise.”

The primary data sets for the study were Waves IV and V of Add Health.

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