Eric C Strain

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (148)818.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Working memory impairment in individuals with chronic opioid dependence can play a major role in cognitive and treatment outcomes. Cognitive training targeting working memory shows promise for improved function in substance use disorders. To date, cognitive training has not been incorporated as an adjunctive treatment for opioid dependence. Methods: Methadone maintenance patients were randomly assigned to experimental (n=28) or active control (n=28) 25-session computerized training and run in parallel. Cognitive and drug use outcomes were assessed before and after training. Results: Participants in the experimental condition showed performance improvements on two of four working memory measures, and both groups improved on a third measure of working memory performance. Less frequent drug use was found in the experimental group than in the control group post-training. In contrast to previous findings with stimulant users, no significant effect of working memory training on delay discounting was found using either hypothetical or real rewards. There were no group differences on working memory outcome measures that were dissimilar from the training tasks, suggesting that another mechanism (e.g., increased distress tolerance) may have driven drug use results. Conclusions: Working memory training improves performance on some measures of working memory in methadone maintenance patients, and may impact drug use outcomes. Working memory training shows promise in patients with substance use disorders; however, further research is needed to understand the mechanisms through which performance is improved and drug use outcomes are impacted.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.012 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Eric C. Strain
    Drug and alcohol dependence 06/2015; 153. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.06.002 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are growing concerns about nonmedical use of ADHD stimulants among adolescents; yet, little is known whether there exist heterogeneous subgroups among adolescents with nonmedical ADHD stimulant use according to their concurrent substance use. We used latent class analysis (LCA) to examine patterns of past-year problematic substance use (meeting any criteria for abuse or dependence) in a sample of 2203 adolescent participants from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health 2006-2011 who reported past-year nonmedical use of ADHD stimulants. Multivariable latent regression was used to assess the association of socio-demographic characteristics, mental health and behavioral problems with the latent classes. The model fit indices favored a four-class model, including a large class with frequent concurrent use of alcohol and marijuana (Alcohol/marijuana class; 41.2%), a second large class with infrequent use of other substances (Low substance class, 36.3%), a third class characterized by more frequent misuse of prescription drugs as well as other substances (Prescription drug+class; 14.8%), and finally a class characterized by problematic use of multiple substances (Multiple substance class; 7.7%). Compared with individuals in Low substance class, those in the other three classes were all more likely to report mental health problems, deviant behaviors and substance abuse service use. Adolescent nonmedical ADHD stimulants users are a heterogeneous group with distinct classes with regard to concurrent substance use, mental health and behavioral problems. The findings have implications for planning of tailored prevention and treatment programs to curb stimulant use for this age group. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Addictive behaviors 05/2015; 49:1-6. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.05.007 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Measurement of inappropriate medication use events (eg, abuse or misuse) in clinical trials is important in characterizing a medication's abuse potential. However, no gold standard assessment of inappropriate use events in clinical trials has been identified. In this systematic review, we examine the measurement properties (ie, content validity, cross-sectional reliability and construct validity, longitudinal construct validity, ability to detect change, and responder definitions) of instruments assessing inappropriate use of opioid and nonopioid prescription medications to identify any that meet U.S. and European regulatory agencies' rigorous standards for outcome measures in clinical trials. Sixteen published instruments were identified, most of which were not designed for the selected concept of interest and context of use. For this reason, many instruments were found to lack adequate content validity (or documentation of content validity) to evaluate current inappropriate medication use events; for example, evaluating inappropriate use across the life span rather than current use, including items that did not directly assess inappropriate use (eg, questions about anger), or failing to capture information pertinent to inappropriate use events (eg, intention and route of administration). In addition, the psychometric data across all instruments were generally limited in scope. A further limitation is the heterogeneous, nonstandardized use of inappropriate medication use terminology. These observations suggest that available instruments are not well suited for assessing current inappropriate medication use within the specific context of clinical trials. Further effort is needed to develop reliable and valid instruments to measure current inappropriate medication use events in clinical trials. Perspective: This systematic review evaluates the measurement properties of inappropriate medication use (eg, abuse or misuse) instruments to determine whether any meet regulatory standards for clinical trial outcome measures to assess abuse potential.
    Journal of Pain 02/2015; 16(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jpain.2015.01.009 · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Methadone maintenance patients (MMP) often abuse other drugs, including alcohol. The combined use of methadone and alcohol could impair performance and daily functioning. Objective: To examine the effects of methadone in combination with alcohol, as well as acute increases in methadone, on performance outcomes. Methods: This double-blind, double-dummy, crossover study included eight opioid-dependent participants stabilized on methadone. Participants completed six inpatient sessions corresponding to methadone (100% or 150% of daily dose) and beverage (placebo, 0.25 or 0.50 g/kg alcohol). Performance tasks were completed before and after drug administration. Area under the time-course values were analyzed by a 2 (methadone dose) by 3 (alcohol dose) repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: Main effects of methadone were observed for two attention outcomes, suggesting reduced accuracy and slowed responding at an elevated methadone dose. In addition, main effects of alcohol were observed for episodic memory (false alarms and response bias) suggesting more impulsive responding as alcohol dose increased. No robust interactions of methadone and alcohol were observed for any outcome. Conclusions: Study findings indicate that an acute increase in methadone (150%) and a moderate dose of alcohol (2–3 drinks) can impair distinct aspects of performance, although no significant interactive effect between methadone and alcohol was found. Future studies with larger sample sizes, larger doses, and more clinically informative tasks could expand on the present findings and further explore the cognitive consequences of concurrent opioid and alcohol use.
    The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 01/2015; 41(3). DOI:10.3109/00952990.2014.987348 · 1.78 Impact Factor
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 01/2015; 146:e38-e39. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.09.476 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Eric C Strain
  • Kelly E. Dunn · Eric C. Strain
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 01/2015; 146:e270. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.09.200 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the use of employment-based abstinence reinforcement in out-of-treatment injection drug users, in this secondary analysis of a previously reported trial. Participants (N = 33) could work in the therapeutic workplace, a model employment-based program for drug addiction, for 30 weeks and could earn approximately $10 per hr. During a 4-week induction, participants only had to work to earn pay. After induction, access to the workplace was contingent on enrollment in methadone treatment. After participants met the methadone contingency for 3 weeks, they had to provide opiate-negative urine samples to maintain maximum pay. After participants met those contingencies for 3 weeks, they had to provide opiate- and cocaine-negative urine samples to maintain maximum pay. The percentage of drug-negative urine samples remained stable until the abstinence reinforcement contingency for each drug was applied. The percentage of opiate- and cocaine-negative urine samples increased abruptly and significantly after the opiate- and cocaine-abstinence contingencies, respectively, were applied. These results demonstrate that the sequential administration of employment-based abstinence reinforcement can increase opiate and cocaine abstinence among out-of-treatment injection drug users.
    Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 12/2014; 47(4). DOI:10.1002/jaba.158 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim Epidemiological data indicate that nonmedical use of prescription stimulants has increased over the past decade. However, little is known regarding the source of the misused stimulants and whether different sources correspond to differences in risk profiles and associated social and health problems Method Data from the 2006 to 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health were used. A total of 4,945 participants who used prescription stimulants nonmedically and also reported their source of misused stimulants were categorized by the source: friend/relative, physician and illegal. Logistic regression models compared the socio-demographic, mental health and behavioral problems, and stimulant use-related problems (onset, recency, frequency, severity) according to the source of the misused stimulants Results The most common sources of stimulants were friends/relatives, followed by physicians and illegal sources. Compared to participants reporting friends/relatives as the source, participants reporting an illegal source were more likely to be male, unemployed, have less than a high school education, a history of criminal behavior and an earlier age of use onset. Participants reporting a physician source were more likely to have mental health problems and mental health service use. Higher odds of past-month stimulant use, frequent use (≥10 days per year), drug dependence and substance service use were found in individuals reporting physician and illegal sources Conclusions Identifying the source of misused stimulants may be useful in detecting distinct subgroups of nonmedical prescription stimulant users, which may inform development of tailored prevention and treatment programs and contribute to individual treatment planning.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 12/2014; 145. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.09.781 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Health systems in the USA have received a mandate to improve quality while reining in costs. Several opportunities have been created to stimulate this transformation. This paper describes the design, early implementation and lessons learned for the behavioural components of the John Hopkins Community Health Partnership (J-CHiP) programme. J-CHiP is designed to improve health outcomes and reduce the total healthcare costs of a group of high healthcare use patients who are insured by the government-funded health insurance programmes, Medicaid and Medicare. These patients have a disproportionately high prevalence of depression, other psychiatric conditions, and unhealthy behaviours that could be addressed with behavioural interventions. The J-CHiP behavioural intervention is based on integrated care models, which include embedding mental health professionals into primary sites. A four-session behaviour-based protocol was developed to motivate self-efficacy through illness management skills. In addition to staff embedded in primary care, the programme design includes expedited access to specialist psychiatric services as well as a community outreach component that addresses stigma. The progress and challenges involved with developing this programme over a relatively short period of time are discussed.
    International Review of Psychiatry 12/2014; 26(6):648-56. DOI:10.3109/09540261.2014.979777 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Topiramate is being investigated as a potential pharmacotherapy for the treatment of addictive disorders. However, its cognitive side effects raise concerns about its use, especially in populations with cognitive impairment, such as persons with chronic substance use disorders. This study investigated topiramate's cognitive effects in individuals dually dependent on cocaine and opioids as part of a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of topiramate for cocaine dependence treatment. After 5 weeks of stabilization on daily oral methadone (M = 96 mg), participants were randomized to topiramate (n = 18) or placebo (n = 22). Cognitive testing took place at 2 time points: study weeks 4 through 5 to assess baseline performance and 10 to 13 weeks later to assess performance during stable dosing (300 mg topiramate or placebo). All participants were maintained on methadone at both testing times, and testing occurred 2 hours after the daily methadone plus topiramate/placebo administration. The topiramate and placebo groups did not differ on sex, level of education, premorbid intelligence, methadone dose, or illicit drug use. Topiramate slowed psychomotor and information processing speed, worsened divided attention, reduced n-back working memory accuracy, and increased the false alarm rate in recognition memory. Topiramate had no effects on visual processing, other measures of psychomotor function, risk-taking, self-control, Sternberg working memory, free recall, and metamemory. These findings indicate that topiramate may cause cognitive impairment in this population. This effect may limit its acceptability and use as a treatment in individuals with chronic opioid and cocaine use disorders, among whom preexisting cognitive impairments are common. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 11/2014; DOI:10.1037/adb0000027 · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e90-e91. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.263 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e197. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.550 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) represent a large public health burden with relatively few efficacious pharmacotherapies. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for new AUD therapies can be hampered by ineffective recruitment, leading to increased trial costs. The current analyses examined the effectiveness of recruitment efforts during 2 consecutive outpatient RCTs of novel AUD pharmacotherapies conducted between 2009 and 2012. Methods: During an initial phone screen, participants identified an ad source for learning about the study. Qualified persons were then scheduled for in-person screens (IPSs). The present analyses examined demographic differences among the 8 ad sources utilized. Recruitment effectiveness was determined by dividing the number of persons meeting criteria for an IPS by the total number of callers from each ad source. Cost-effectiveness was determined by dividing total ad source cost by number of screens, participants randomized, and completers. Results: A total of 1813 calls resulted in 1005 completed phone screens. The most common ad source was television (34%), followed by print (29%), word-of-mouth (11%), flyer (8%), internet (5%), radio (5%), bus ad (2%), and billboard (1%). Participants reporting bus ads (46%), billboard (44%), or print ads (34%) were significantly more likely than the other sources to meet criteria to be scheduled for IPSs. The most cost-effective ad source was print ($2506 per completer), whereas bus ad was the least cost-effective ($13,376 per completer). Conclusions: Recruitment in AUD RCTs can be successful using diverse advertising methods. The present analyses favored use of print ads as most cost-effective.
    Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment 07/2014; Publish Ahead of Print:1. DOI:10.1097/ADT.0000000000000047
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e226-e227. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.627 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Eric C Strain
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e1. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.695 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e52-e53. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.163 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e183. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.512 · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Denis G. Antoine · Eric C. Strain · Annie Umbricht · H. Geniaux
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2014; 140:e6. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.038 · 3.42 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
818.10 Total Impact Points


  • 1992–2014
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1991–2014
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2013
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of Mental Health
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Kentucky
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Lexington, KY, United States
  • 1996
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse
      Роквилл, Maryland, United States