Population-based Examination of Substance Use Disorders and Treatment Use Among US Young Adults in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2011-2019

Journal: Drug & Alcohol Dependence Reports, 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2023.100181

Authors: Wenhua Lu, Teresa Lopez-Castro, & Thinh Vu


Background: Compared with adults of other age groups, young adults are more likely to have substance use disorders (SUDs) but less likely to receive treatment. Untreated SUDs can lead to lethal consequences, particularly deaths related to drug overdose.

Objectives: This study aimed to examine trends and sociodemographic differences in the prevalence and treatment use of SUDs among US young adults aged 18 to 25 in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2011-2019.

Methods: Bivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine annual changes in the prevalence and treatment use of SUDs, and multivariable logistic regression was used to examine sociodemographic differences in SUD prevalence and treatment use in the pooled sample of young adults from 2011 to 2019.

Results: From 2011 to 2019, the overall SUD prevalence increased significantly from 5.4% to 6.2%. Cannabis use disorder was the most common SUD annually. Groups with lower prevalence of SUDs included females, young adults aged 22-25, and Hispanic, Black, and Asian participants. Across the survey years, the prevalence of treatment use fluctuated insignificantly between 10.9% and 16.9% among young adults with SUDs, and most young adults received SUD treatment in self-help groups and residential and outpatient rehabilitation facilities. Compared to White participants, treatment use was lower in Hispanic, Black, Asian participants, as well as young adults of two or more races. Young adults covered by Medicaid/CHIP were more likely to use treatment.

Conclusions: This study revealed an alarming level of unmet treatment need and significant disparities in treatment use among young adults with SUDs. To reduce barriers to treatment utilization, more coordinated efforts that leverage policy and structural changes alongside innovations to engage young adults with SUD care are needed.

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Prevalence and Factors Associated with Vaping Cannabidiol Among US Adolescents

Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2023, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.29167

Authors: Hongying Daisy Dai, Roma Subramanian, Avina Mahroke, & Ming Wang


Importance: e-Cigarette use and vaping marijuana (cannabis) are popular among US adolescents. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has recently increased in use.

Objectives: To examine the prevalence of and factors associated with youths vaping CBD.

Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study included a nationally representative sample of students from middle and high schools (typical age, 11-18 years) in the US from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted from January to May 2022.

Exposure: Demographic characteristics, harm perception of tobacco use, and vaping behaviors.

Main outcomes and measures: The main outcomes were weighted prevalence and population estimates of ever and current (past 30-day) vaping of CBD overall and by e-cigarette use status. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate the association of currently vaping CBD with demographic factors and e-cigarette and tobacco use behaviors stratified by current e-cigarette use status.

Results: The study included 28 291 participants (51.1% male; mean [SD] age, 14.5 [2.0] years). Among 2448 current e-cigarette users, 21.3% (95% CI, 18.4%-24.1%) reported any past-month vaping of CBD and 6.3% (95% CI, 4.7%-7.8%) reported that they did not know whether they had vaped CBD. Hispanic e-cigarette users were more likely than their non-Hispanic White peers to report currently vaping CBD (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3-2.8). Current e-cigarette users with higher frequency (≥20 days vs ≤5 days) and longer duration (2-3 years or >3 years vs <1 year) of use were more likely to report currently vaping CBD (frequency: AOR, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.1-1.9]; 2-3 years: AOR, 2.2 [95% CI, 1.2-3.9]; 3 years: AOR, 3.2 [95% CI, 1.7-6.1]). Among 25 091 noncurrent e-cigarette users, 1.2% (95% CI, 1.0%-1.5%) reported currently vaping CBD and 2.3% (95% CI, 2.1%-2.6%) reported that they did not know. High school students (vs middle school students; AOR, 4.2; 95% CI, 2.8-6.1) and gay or lesbian (AOR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.6-5.4) or bisexual (AOR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.8-4.0) (vs heterosexual) youths were more likely to report vaping CBD, while those who perceived tobacco as dangerous (vs not dangerous; AOR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.3-0.6) had lower odds of reporting vaping CBD.

Conclusions and relevance: In this cross-sectional study of US middle and high school students, the prevalence of youths vaping CBD was high, particularly among e-cigarette users and Hispanic and sexual minority populations. The findings suggest that evidence-based educational campaigns, interventions, and public policy changes are needed to reduce the harmful health outcomes possible with vaping CBD among developing youths.

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Updated Perspectives on the Neurobiology of Substance Use Disorders Using Neuroimaging

Journal: Substance Abuse & Rehabilitation, 2023, doi: 10.2147/SAR.S362861

Authors: Kevin S, Murnane, Amber N. Edinoff, Elyse M. Cornett, & Alan D. Kaye


Substance use problems impair social functioning, academic achievement, and employability. Psychological, biological, social, and environmental factors can contribute to substance use disorders. In recent years, neuroimaging breakthroughs have helped elucidate the mechanisms of substance misuse and its effects on the brain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) are all examples. Neuroimaging studies suggest substance misuse affects executive function, reward, memory, and stress systems. Recent neuroimaging research attempts have provided clinicians with improved tools to diagnose patients who misuse substances, comprehend the complicated neuroanatomy and neurobiology involved, and devise individually tailored and monitorable treatment regimens for individuals with substance use disorders. This review describes the most recent developments in drug misuse neuroimaging, including the neurobiology of substance use disorders, neuroimaging, and substance use disorders, established neuroimaging techniques, recent developments with established neuroimaging techniques and substance use disorders, and emerging clinical neuroimaging technology.

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Examining Sociodemographic Correlates of Opioid Use, Misuse, and Use Disorders in the All of Us Research Program

Journal: PLoS One, 2023, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0290416

Authors: Hsueh-Han Yeh, Cathryn Peltz-Rauchman, Christine C. Johnson, Pamala A. Pawloski, David Chesla, Stephen C. Waring, Alan B. Stevens, … Brian K. Ahmedani


Background: The All of Us Research Program enrolls diverse US participants which provide a unique opportunity to better understand the problem of opioid use. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of opioid use and its association with sociodemographic characteristics from survey data and electronic health record (EHR).

Methods: A total of 214,206 participants were included in this study who competed survey modules and shared EHR data. Adjusted logistic regressions were used to explore the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and opioid use.

Results: The lifetime prevalence of street opioids was 4%, and the nonmedical use of prescription opioids was 9%. Men had higher odds of lifetime opioid use (aOR: 1.4 to 3.1) but reduced odds of current nonmedical use of prescription opioids (aOR: 0.6). Participants from other racial and ethnic groups were at reduced odds of lifetime use (aOR: 0.2 to 0.9) but increased odds of current use (aOR: 1.9 to 9.9) compared with non-Hispanic White participants. Foreign-born participants were at reduced risks of opioid use and diagnosed with opioid use disorders (OUD) compared with US-born participants (aOR: 0.36 to 0.67). Men, Younger, White, and US-born participants are more likely to have OUD.

Conclusions: All of Us research data can be used as an indicator of national trends for monitoring the prevalence of receiving prescription opioids, diagnosis of OUD, and non-medical use of opioids in the US. The program employs a longitudinal design for routinely collecting health-related data including EHR data, that will contribute to the literature by providing important clinical information related to opioids over time. Additionally, this data will enhance the estimates of the prevalence of OUD among diverse populations, including groups that are underrepresented in the national survey data.

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A Qualitative Study of Interest in and Preferences for Potential Medications to Treat Methamphetamine Use Disorder

Journal: Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 2023, doi: 10.1186/s13722-023-00401-1

Authors: Karla D. Wagner, Charles Marks, Phillip Fiuty, Robert W. Harding, & Kimberly Page


Introduction: We examined acceptability of and preferences for potential medications for treating methamphetamine use disorder (MUD) among people who use methamphetamine and examined how benefits and drawbacks of methamphetamine use affect perceived acceptability and preferences.

Methods: We conducted qualitative interviews as part of a larger study in 2019-2020. The interview assessed patterns of substance use (including methamphetamine), benefits and drawbacks of methamphetamine use, and interest in a medication to treat MUD. Analysis used an inductive thematic approach, guided by three primary questions: (1) would participants be interested in taking a potential medication for MUD?; (2) what effects would they would like from such a medication?; and (3) what would their ideal treatment route and schedule be (e.g. daily pill, monthly injection)?.

Results: We interviewed 20 people reporting methamphetamine use in the past 3 months (10 from Reno, Nevada, USA and 10 from Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, USA). Seven used exclusively methamphetamine, while thirteen used other substances in addition to methamphetamine. Most were enthusiastic about a potential medication to treat MUD. Of those who were not interested (n = 5), all indicated no current concerns about their methamphetamine use. Perceived functional benefits of methamphetamine use (i.e., energy, counteracting opioid sedation, and improved social and emotional wellbeing) informed preferences for a replacement-type medication that would confer the same benefits while mitigating drawbacks (e.g., psychosis, hallucinations, withdrawal). Opinions on preferred dosing varied, with some preferring longer acting medications for convenience, while others preferred daily dosing that would align with existing routines.

Conclusion: Participants were excited about a potential for a medication to treat MUD. Their preferences were informed by the functional role of methamphetamine in their lives and a desire to maintain the stimulant effects while mitigating harms of illicit methamphetamine. Treatment outcomes that emphasize functioning and wellbeing, rather than abstinence, should be explored.

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