The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN) was established in 1999 to determine effectiveness of drug abuse treatment interventions among diverse client populations and settings. To address dissemination of research findings, the CTN also has as its mission the transfer of research findings to treatment providers. In a qualitative study of adoption of evidence based practice in the context of two CTN clinical trials, we interviewed 29 participants from seven organizational levels of the multisite study organization about post-trial adoption, their role in the clinical trial, and interactions between the research initiative and clinic staff and setting. Analysis of interview data revealed a range of opinion among participants on the place of adoption within the CTN. Innovation within the CTN to support adoption and further observational research on dynamics of adoption within the CTN can increase dissemination of evidence-based drug abuse treatment interventions in the future.
This study examined self-reported reasons for the use of nine substances among nationally representative samples of US high school seniors participating in the Monitoring the Future study from 1976 through 2005. In general, social/recreational reasons were the most commonly reported reasons for the use of most drugs. However, for psychotherapeutic drugs, coping with negative affect and physical needs reasons were most commonly mentioned. Results indicated that the proportion of students reporting various reasons has shifted significantly over time. Further, we found significant differences by gender and race/ethnicity in reported reasons for use. Prevention and intervention efforts must address the facts that (1) while social usage reasons do predominate, it is essential to consider coping and drug-effect reasons for use as well; and (2) there are appreciable differences by gender and race/ethnicity in reasons for drug use.
Much empirical evidence indicates that the popularity of various drugs tends to increase and wane over time producing episodic epidemics of particular drugs. These epidemics mostly affect persons reaching their late teens at the time of the epidemic resulting in distinct drug generations. This article examines the drug generations present in the 2000s among arrestees in the 10 locations served by the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring-II program. At all 10 locations, our findings show that crack use is still common among older arrestees but not among arrestees born more recently. Marijuana is the drug most common among younger arrestees. The article also examines trends in heroin, methamphetamine, and powder cocaine use among arrestees at the few locations where their use was substantial.
This study evaluated treatment outcomes for the reduction of criminal justice involvement and substance use among opioid dependent clients in a therapeutic community setting under California's Proposition 36. We compared treatment outcomes between those mandated to treatment under Proposition 36 (n = 24) and those on probation but not involved in Proposition 36 (n = 61) over 12 months. Over time, both groups showed significant improvement on drug use and employment measures, were more likely to be involved in job training and less likely to be engaged in work activity, and had similar retention in treatment. There was no evidence that treatment outcomes were different between the two groups. These findings may be helpful in guiding policy makers and clinicians in states where similar initiatives are under consideration.
In this article, we applied a marginal structural model (MSM) to estimate the effect on later drug use of drug treatments occurring over 10 years following first use of the primary drug. The study was based on the longitudinal data that were collected in three projects among 421 subjects and covered 15 years since first use of their primary drug. The cumulative treatment effect was estimated by the inverse-probability of treatment weighted estimators of MSM as well as the traditional regression analysis. Contrary to the traditional regression analysis, results of the MSM showed that the cumulative treatment occurring over the 10 years significantly increased the likelihood of drug use abstinence in the subsequent 5-year period. From both the statistical and empirical point of view, MSM is a better approach to assessing cumulative treatment effects, considering its advantage of controlling for self-selection bias over time.
Problem-to-services matching is critical to patient-centered care. Further, the extent to which substance abuse treatment is individualized to meet specific client needs is a key predictor of success and represents "best practice" in substance abuse treatment. The CASPAR Resource Guide, an electronic database of local free and low-cost services, is an evidence-based tool designed to help counselors easily and quickly provide offsite referrals to services not available in most community treatment programs to increase problem-to-service matching. This paper examines system-level barriers to using the CASPAR Resource Guide among 30 counselors and 21 site directors across 16 sites in two different studies. Results from qualitative implementation analyses found that key program components needed to support the implementation of this evidence-based practice (e.g., individualized treatment planning, individual treatment sessions, and individual counselor supervision) were lacking, which jeopardized successful adoption of the CASPAR research interventions and prompted a redesign of the studies in order to enhance each program's ability to support individualized care.
The number and type of services offered at substance abuse treatment (SAT) facilities are important aspects of the quality of care. Managed care (MC) is a growing presence in SAT and has been shown to affect the provision of treatment. We expand on earlier work and examine the impact of managed care on the number and type of services offered by methadone maintenance (MM) and drug-free (DF) outpatient treatment facilities. We use the econometric technique of instrumental variables to address the issue of endogeneity of MC and service offerings, thereby allowing a causal interpretation of results. Using data from the 2000 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, we find that MC significantly increases the total number of services offered in MM outpatient facilities by four, yet decreases the number by two in DF outpatient facilities. We also show how the impact on specific services differs by modality and provide explanations for our findings.
The majority of adolescents receiving substance abuse treatment also use tobacco, yet there are few data regarding the adoption of tobacco use assessment and smoking cessation services by adolescent treatment programs. Using data from a national sample of adolescent-only treatment programs (n = 154), this research measures the adoption of aspects of assessment and treatment from the Public Health Service's (2000) guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. When adoption of four intake/assessment practices was measured, adoption appeared high, but only 45% of programs had adopted all four practices. About 43% of programs offered some type of smoking cessation services. However, there was no association between adoption of intake procedures and the odds of availability of smoking cessation services, suggesting a lack of connection between the identification of treatment needs and the availability of services. The lack of smoking cessation services may represent a missed opportunity for early intervention with this population.
OBJECTIVE: To summarize challenges unique to obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for longitudinal substance abuse research, focusing on solutions and lessons learned. METHODS: Thirteen senior Principal Investigators with experience conducting research on substance abuse treatment and health services outcomes recalled instances from the prior 5 years when obtaining UCLA and non-UCLA IRB approval was hampered by differences in the interpretation of regulatory guidelines and how those differences were resolved. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Comprehensive yet flexible research protocols regarding (1) informed and voluntary consent, (2) participant payment, and (3) re-contact efforts are essential for securing IRB approval of longitudinal substance abuse studies. Specific examples of lessons learned are provided. CONCLUSIONS: Experiences can help researchers to provide appropriate and explicit justification for longitudinal substance abuse research protocols, thereby minimizing the burden and cost associated with meeting regulatory requirements as well as enhancing the efficiency, quantity, and quality of data collected.
This paper examines the arrest trajectories of adult men and women, drawn from a sample of clients admitted to substance abuse treatment. Growth-mixture modeling was used to identify distinctive trajectories in arrests for men and women between ages 18 and 45. In addition, the characteristics of men and women in each of the trajectory groups were compared by gender, arrest trajectory, and the interaction of gender and arrest trajectory. Findings indicated that while the shape of the five trajectories was similar for men and women, higher percentages of men than women were in the High trajectory group (12.5% vs. 8.5%), the Moderate group (27.9% vs. 20.9%), and Slow Increase group (25.5% vs. 20.6%), with more women than men being in the Low group (34.1% vs. 27.1%). Although arrests declined as men and women aged, there did not appear to be many individuals who had terminated their criminal career by age 45. Overall, more similarities than differences were observed in the characteristics of men and women across trajectories. Additional research should examine whether the causal factors influencing arrest trajectories differ by gender.
The goal of this research is to better understand the role that South Florida pain management clinics may be playing in the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. This study explores 1) the characteristics and practices of pain clinics that may be facilitating the drug-seeking endeavors of prescription drug abusers and 2) the drug-seeking behaviors of prescription drug abusers who use pain clinics as a primary source for drugs. Thirty in-depth interviews were conducted with prescription drug abusers in South Florida. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and codes were generated based on thematic analyses of the data. Using grounded theory strategies, the analysis revealed six main themes: "pill mills", on-site pharmacies, liberal prescribing habits, "sponsoring" drug diversion, pain doctor/pharmacy shopping, and faking symptoms/documentation. These findings should provide insights for law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and industry as they attempt to develop appropriate policy initiatives and recommendations for best practices.
Modern desistance research has examined many facets of desistance, in terms of theoretical predictors of desistance and recidivism, and in terms of differing types of offending. Though predicting desistance from illegal drug use is among these topics, no research to date has examined the predictors of desisting from prescription opioid abuse. This study uses longitudinal data from 318 prescription opioid users to analyze the effects of various predictors of desistance on declining nonmedical prescription opioid use, with an emphasis on gender differences among participants. Results indicate that theoretical and demographic characteristics correspond with differing rates of decline and further vary by gender.
This paper presents lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates and comorbidity data for substance abuse disorders among homeless and runaway adolescents. Data are from baseline interviews of a longitudinal diagnostic study of 428 (187 males and 241 females) homeless and runaway adolescents aged 16 to 19 years (mean age = 17.4 year, SD = 1.05). The data were collected by full-time interviewers on the streets and in shelters in eight Midwestern cities of various populations. About two thirds (60.5%) of the runaways met lifetime criteria for at least one of three substance disorders (alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse), and nearly one half (48.1%) met 12-month criteria for at least one of the disorders. Nearly all of the adolescents (93%) who met criteria for a substance disorder met criteria for at least one other mental disorder. Those factors most predictive of meeting lifetime criteria Include parenting practices, experience of abuse, and association with deviant peers.
The goal of the present study was to identify the dimensions present in items representing internal barriers to substance abuse treatment and to test their invariance across gender, ethnic, and age groups. Twenty items from the Barriers to Treatment Inventory (BTI) were used to assess the structure and nature of the internal treatment barriers of 518 clients presenting to a central intake unit for a substance abuse assessment. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed that a five factor model provided the best fit to the data. Internal treatment barriers were best described by five dimensions: absence of problem, negative social support, fear of treatment, privacy concerns, and committed lifestyle. Extending the confirmatory factor analysis to test multi-group invariance, there were some differences in measurement and structural relations among the internal barrier dimensions across gender, ethnic, and age groups. However, the lack of invariance was small and practically insubstantial. The findings led to the conclusion that the theoretical constructs measured by the five internal barrier dimensions are equivalent across important characteristics in this population.
To examine access to needed resources among low-income methamphetamine-using females, we conducted interviews with 30 women living in poor suburban communities of a large southeastern metropolis. As an invisible population in the suburbs, underserved by social services, the women remain geographically and socially anchored to their poor suburban enclaves as transit, treatment and education remain out of reach. The longitudinal study included three interviews over a two-year period. Resources needed by the women were identified in the first interview and a list of available services was provided to them. In subsequent interviews we asked how they accessed the services or barriers encountered and discussed these further in focus groups. Using a social capital framework in our qualitative analysis, we identified three processes for accessing needed resources: formal, informal and mediated. Implications for policymakers and social service providers are suggested, and models for future development proposed.
This study examines the longitudinal relations of multiple dimensions of acculturation and enculturation to heavy episodic drinking and marijuana use in a sample of 300 male, Mexican-American, serious juvenile offenders. We track trajectories between ages 15 and 20 and also consider the effects of participants' time spent residing in supervised settings during these years. Results showed some (although not entirely consistent) support for the hypothesis that bicultural adaptation is most functional in terms of lowered substance use involvement. The current findings demonstrate the importance of examining these relations longitudinally and among multiple dimensions of acculturation and enculturation, and they call into question simple models that suggest that greater acculturation is associated with greater substance use among Mexican-American adolescents.
This study provides a comprehensive multivariate analysis of drug use disclosure among arrestees interviewed between 2000 and 2001 at 37 sites across the U.S. served by the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program. Rates varied widely by drug and across sites. The marijuana disclosure rate varied from 68% in Fort Lauderdale to 93% in Spokane. The cocaine/crack disclosure rate varied from 28% in Chicago to 70% in Kansas City. Moreover, covariates of disclosure differed across drugs. This wide variation in disclosure suggests extreme caution be used when comparing self-reports of prevalence across drugs, locations, and individual characteristics - certainly at least for arrestees.
The Federal Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act (NARA) provided for compulsory treatment and supervised aftercare of narcotic addicts. The law was passed amid controversy as to whether addiction should be controlled by enforcement efforts or through treatment and prevention. Through NARA, treatment was permitted for offenders as a pre-trial civil commitment instead of prosecution for addicts convicted of specific crimes and for voluntary applicants. The law was complex in its implementation because each treatment category had burdensome legal and logistical particularities.
The addiction field lacks an accepted definition and reliable measure of confrontation. The Alcohol and Drug Confrontation Scale (ADCS) defines confrontation as warnings about the potential consequences of substance use. To assess psychometric properties, 323 individual entering recovery houses in U.S. urban and suburban areas were interviewed between 2003 and 2005 (20% women, 68% white). Analyses included test-retest reliability, confirmatory factor analysis, and measures of internal consistency. Findings support the ADCS as a reliable way of assessing two factors: Internal Support and External intensity. Confrontation was experienced as supportive, accurate and helpful. Additional studies should assess confrontation in different contexts.
A number of dramatic breakthroughs in the neurobiology of addiction have occurred in the past 40 years. Two domains will be highlighted: the neurocircuitry of addiction and the molecular biology of addiction targets. The neurobiological substrates for the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse have been largely identified both at the initial site of action and in the circuitry involved. In human imaging studies, decreases in dopaminergic function have been identified as a key element of addiction, lending support for research on the role of dopamine in addiction. Three novel areas currently are emerging: the role of deficits in frontal cortex functioning, changes in the brain neurocircuitry that convey long-term vulnerability to relapse, and the role of nondopaminergic systems in the neuroadaptations associated with the development of drug dependence. Parallel to these functional changes have been major advances in our understanding of the molecular biology of addiction; the greatest contribution has been in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of opioid action. This paper reviews the major developments in our understanding of the molecular biology of the endogenous opioid system and the use of genomics to advance our knowledge of the function and regulation of opioid receptors and endorphins.
Reliance on self-report of alcohol and drug use behavior is typical among studies of substance abusers. Few studies have compared different instruments assessing frequency of drug use over long periods of time to compare findings and determine if the pattern of use is shown to be similar across measures. In this study, the UCLA Natural History Interview (NHI) and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) were administered at three annual follow-up periods (N = 301). The temporal pattern of the trajectories of days of use assessed by the ASI and NHI are comparable (in terms of both slope and intercept) for alcohol, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana use. Some discrepancies appear to arise from differences in terminology among the instruments. However, the patterns of drug use were consistent across instruments, supporting their reliability for longitudinal examination of self-reported drug use.
During the 1980s, social scientists and policy makers have been examining the different kinds of pressures that affect the behavior of drug addicts, and have been discussing how these pressures may be better managed to get addicts into treatment, to change their drug-related behaviors during treatment, and to maintain these changes following treatment. This article reviews the pressures inherent in the legal, social, and treatment systems of the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany, and discusses the utility of combining elements of the legal and treatment systems. The article presents six propositions summarizing the conclusions reached at a conference regarding the assessment and use of pressures in addiction treatment. The article also presents the final recommendations that were made. It was concluded that the present lack of knowledge about the effectiveness of compulsory treatment raises ethical, as well as practical questions. Although compulsory treatment is a tempting solution to the drug addiction problem, a complete social policy analysis of the use of coercive pressure must be undertaken before acceptance would be appropriate. Compulsory treatment must be judged not in terms of moralistic ideas or political expediency, but in terms of the entire range of treatment policy options.
This paper deals with the constitutionality of involuntary treatment of opiate addicts. Although the first laws permitting involuntary treatment of opiate addicts were enacted in the second half of the nineteenth century, addicts were not committed in large numbers until California and New York enacted new civil commitment legislation in the 1960s. Inevitably, the courts were called upon to decide if involuntary treatment was constitutional. Both the California and New York courts decided that it was. These decisions were heavily influenced by statements made by the United States Supreme Court in Robinson v. California. The Robinson case did not actually involve the constitutionality of involuntary treatment; it involved the question of whether it was constitutional for a state to make addiction a crime. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court declared (in a dictum) that a state might establish a program of compulsory treatment for opiate addicts either to discourage violation of its criminal laws against narcotic trafficking or to safeguard the general health or welfare of its inhabitants.
The social development model is a general theory of human behavior that seeks to explain antisocial behaviors through specification of predictive developmental relationships. It incorporates the effects of empirical predictors ("risk factors" and "protective factors") for antisocial behavior and attempts to synthesize the most strongly supported propositions of control theory, social learning theory, and differential association theory. This article examines the power of social development model constructs measured at ages 9 to 10 and 13 to 14 to predict drug use at ages 17 to 18. The sample of 590 is from the longitudinal panel of the Seattle Social Development Project, which in 1985 sampled fifth grade students from high crime neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington. Structural equation modeling techniques were used to examine the fit of the model to the data. Although all but one path coefficient were significant and in the expected direction, the model did not fit the data as well as expected (CFI=.87). We next specified second-order factors for each path to capture the substantial common variance in the constructs' opportunities, involvement, and rewards. This model fit the data well (CFI=.90). We conclude that the social development model provides an acceptable fit to predict drug use at ages 17 to 18. Implications for the temporal nature of key constructs and for prevention are discussed.
We explored changes in self-management skills and substance use from 7th to 11th grade in a multiwave study of predominantly minority adolescents (N = 1,756). Using latent growth curve analysis, we found that substance use significantly increased, whereas self-management skills significantly decreased. In a parallel process model, we found that participants who reported higher self-management skills in the 7th grade had smaller increases in substance use. Participants who had larger decreases in self-management skills tended to have greater increases in substance use. We also explored the influence of grades and gender and found that (a) participants with higher grades at baseline had lower initial substance use, higher initial self-management skills, and smaller increases in substance use, and (b) male participants had greater increases in substance use. These results suggest that the provision of self-management skills may be an effective strategy for preventing substance-use initiation and escalation during adolescence.
Based on social control perspectives and results from prior studies we test hypotheses about the extent to which characteristics of family and social networks are associated with substance use disorders (SUD), and whether these associations vary by sex. In this study SUD is alcohol or illicit drug abuse or dependence as defined by criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. With nationally representative data of adult Latinos from the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLAAS), we found that respondents' language use with family, rather than language proficiency, appears to be a more efficient proxy for social assimilation to represent differential levels of risk of SUD. SUD was positively associated with problematic family relations for men but not women, and SUD was positively associated with more frequent interactions with friends for women but not men. The results suggest that the salient features of social assimilation associated with SUD include the context of language use and transformations in family and social network relationships that differ in important ways between Latino men and women.
This article focuses on the interaction between the larger community's drug markets and youth and adult prison gangs, and the process that leads to specific adverse consequences both to the youth gangs as organizations, and to individual members. Described is the emergence of a restructured heroin market dominated by an adult prison gang. A major consequence of this was the increasing use of heroin among Mexican American gang members and their transformation from autonomous youth gangs to extensions of the adult prison gangs or their demise. Data was collected from 160 members of 26 Mexican American youth gangs and key informants in San Antonio. Findings focus on organizational rules, drug market transformations, consequences on members, and the impact of heroin on the gang's organization. Discussed is how the dominance of prison gangs is related to the increased incarceration and recidivism rates of Mexican Americans and declining economic opportunities for urban minorities.
The purposes of this study were to: a) identify trajectory groups of frequent marijuana use during emerging adulthood, b) distinguish among trajectory groups according to demographic and lifestyle characteristics, and c) examine how the trajectory groups relate to behavioral, attitudinal, and social-emotional correlates over time. National panel data from the Monitoring the Future study were used: 18 cohorts of high school seniors (classes of 1977-94) were followed biennially through age 24. Frequent marijuana use was defined as 3+ occasions of use in past month and/or 20 to 40+ occasions in past year. Based on four waves of complete longitudinal data (N=19,952), six frequent marijuana use trajectory groups were identified: chronic, decreased, increased, fling, rare, and abstain. Categorical analyses revealed trajectory group differences in demographic and lifestyle characteristics at senior year and age 24. The trajectory groups varied significantly in longitudinal patterns of other substance use, problem behaviors, and well-being.
Time-space sampling has been used to generate representative samples of both hard-to-reach and location-based populations. Because of its emphasis on multi-tiered randomization (i.e., time, space, and individual), some have questioned the feasibility of time-space sampling as a cost-effective strategy. In an effort to better understand issues related to drug use among club-going young adults (ages 18 to 29) in the New York City nightlife scene, two variations of time-space sampling methods were utilized and compared (Version 1: randomized venue, day, and individuals within venues: Version 2: randomized venue and day). A list of nightlife venues were randomized and survey teams approached potential participants as they entered or exited venues to conduct brief anonymous surveys. Over the course of 24 months, 18,169 approaches were conducted and 10,678 consented to complete the brief questionnaire (V1 response rate = 46.0%, V2 response rate = 62.5%). Drug use was fairly common, with nearly two-thirds of the sample reporting having ever tried an illegal drug and more than half of drug users specifically tried either MDMA/ecstasy and/or cocaine. There were few differences between young adults surveyed during Version 1 and Version 2. Time-space sampling is an effective strategy to quickly detect and screen club drug users. Although caution is urged, elimination of the third tier of randomization (i.e., individual level counting) from time-space sampling may significantly improve response rates while only minimally impacting sample characteristics.
Efforts have expanded to create AIDS prevention programs for drug users that consider the social context and interpersonal relationships within which risky practices take place. The Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) project is designed to train active drug users as "Peer/Public Health Advocates" (PHAs) to bring a structured, peer-led intervention into the sites where they and their drug-using social networks use illicit drugs. The RAP Peer Health Advocacy training curriculum and peer-led intervention promote harm reduction among drug users and support drug-user organization to reduce infectious disease and other harm in the context of injection drug use, crack cocaine use, and sexual activity. Initial findings suggest that RAP PHAs perceive a significant positive role change in themselves while conducting health advocacy work, and willingly and successfully carry the peer-led intervention into locations of high-risk drug activity to deliver it to their peers even in the absence of project staff support.
Although the use of illicit substances, particularly those commonly categorized as "club drugs", among men who have sex with men (MSM), is well established in the literature, little is known about the decision making process that is used in deciding whether or not to use a particular substance. In this study, we examine the positive and negative attitudes and perceptions among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in regards to three specific drugs: crystal methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy. The findings reported here emerged from the baseline quantitative interviews and an accompanying qualitative phase of the Healthy Young Men's study (HYM), a longitudinal study examining risk and protective factors for substance use and sexual risk among an ethnically diverse sample of YMSM. Findings are discussed in relation to framing how service providers and others can design new and innovative interventions to prevent young men from initiating substance use.
This study investigated whether organizational changes occurred when nicotine treatments were tested in specialty care clinics. Two intervention clinics (one drug treatment and one HIV-care) participated in clinical trials for nicotine treatment. Three clinics (two drug and one HIV-care) were control clinics. Staff in the intervention clinics (n=57) and in the control clinics (n=62) were surveyed at baseline and 18 months later. Staff surveys concerned nicotine-related knowledge, beliefs about treating smoking, self-efficacy in delivering such treatment, nicotine related practices, and barriers to providing nicotine treatment. Mean scale scores at 18 months were no different in clinics participating in the clinical trials from the control group for any of the five scales (knowledge, practices, barriers, efficacy, and beliefs). The presence of a smoking cessation clinical trial did not influence staff knowledge, attitudes, or practices related to smoking in these clinics. More specific organizational intervention may influence staff practices related to addressing smoking among clients in drug treatment and HIV-care clinics.
Research has identified a wide range of health conditions related to alcohol and drug use in studies conducted primarily in developed countries and in populations with severe alcohol and drug problems. Little is known about medical conditions in those with less severe alcohol and drug use in developing countries. We used WHO AUDIT and ASSIST screeners to identify hazardous drinking or drug use in public health clinics in Cape Town, South Africa, and included questions about doctor-diagnosed medical conditions. Using logistic regression we examined the relationship of medical conditions to hazardous alcohol, drug and tobacco use. Those with hazardous substance use had higher prevalence of many health conditions including tuberculosis. Hepatitis B, migraine, chronic bronchitis, and liver cirrhosis. Optimal treatment for some medical conditions may include treatment of underlying hazardous substance use, particularly use of drugs other than alcohol. In these populations, access to substance use treatment is limited and even brief interventions or advice may be useful.
This secondary analysis compared outcomes of African-American adults newly-admitted to buprenorphine treatment who were on parole and probation to patients who were not under criminal justice supervision. Buprenorphine patients (N=300) were randomly assigned to receive either Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) or Standard Outpatient Treatment (OP) treatment and were assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-months. There were no differences between groups in treatment retention. Among probationers/parolees, IOP was associated with lower 3-month treatment retention compared to OP, but among participants not on probation/parole the relationship was reversed (p=.004). Both conditions showed significant declines in heroin and cocaine use, illegal activity, and in meeting DSM-IV criteria for opioid and cocaine dependence. Probationers/parolees reported lower frequency of illegal activities at 3-months compared to non-probationers/parolees (p=.007). Buprenorphine treatment should be made more widely available to individuals on parole/probation as they respond as well to treatment as patients not supervised by the criminal justice system.
This qualitative study is about barriers to the utilization of HIV testing as perceived by African Americans who have recently used cocaine and who live in the rural Delta region of Arkansas. Affordability, physical accessibility, and geographic availability were not perceived as barriers to HIV testing in this sample, yet acceptability was still perceived as poor. Acceptability due to social mores and norms was a major barrier. Many said testing was unacceptable because of fear of social costs. Many were confident of being HIV-negative based on risky assumptions about testing and the notification process. Small-town social and sexual networks added to concerns about reputation and risk. System approaches may fail if they focus solely on improving access to HIV services but do not take into consideration deeply internalized experiences of rural African Americans as well as involvement of the community in developing programs and services.
This study qualitatively examines the religious and spiritual dimensions of cutting down and stopping cocaine use among African Americans in rural and urban areas of Arkansas. The analyses compare and contrast the narrative data of 28 current cocaine users living in communities where the Black church plays a fundamental role in the social and cultural lives of many African Americans, highlighting the ways that participants used religious symbols, idiomatic expression, and Biblical scriptures to interpret and make sense of their substance-use experiences. Participants drew on diverse religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, including participation in organized religion, reliance on a personal relationship with God, and God's will to cut down and stop cocaine use. Our findings suggest that culturally sensitive interventions addressing the influence of religion and spirituality in substance use are needed to reduce cocaine use and promote recovery in this at-risk, minority population.
This study examined the role played by aftercare following (mainly) inpatient community-based treatment in the outcomes of criminal ex-offenders with substance use disorders. Two hundred and seventy individuals who had been released from the criminal justice system were randomly assigned to either a Therapeutic Community (TC), recovery homes called Oxford Houses (OHs), or usual care settings (UA). The OHs and TCs are residential settings that emphasized socialization and abstinence from drugs and alcohol, but OHs do not include the formal therapeutic change interventions common to TCs, nor did they include any on-site access to drug abuse or health care professionals. UA involved what occurred naturally after completing treatment, which included staying with friends or family members, their own house or apartment, homeless shelters, or other settings. Longer lengths of stay in either the TCs or OHs were associated with increased employment, and reduced alcohol and drug use. Those assigned to the OH condition received more money from employment, worked more days, achieved higher continuous alcohol sobriety rates, and had more favorable cost-benefit ratios.
A preliminary report questioning the efficacy of zidovudine (AZT) in the early treatment of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) implicitly questions the expedited process by which AZT was approved. While the public historically has influenced drug policy, recent changes were brought about by activists threatening civil insurrection to expand access to unapproved treatments. Turner's social conflict theory is used to explain the recent structural changes in the drug approval process in terms of the overt struggle for control over access to potentially life-saving drugs. This passion for change is shown to be a result of the stigma of the disease itself. Challenging the hegemony of the FDA was a mechanism by which activists coped with the imputed stigma of AIDS. While controversial, activism has increased access to new drugs and will have a far-reaching impact on how future drugs are approved.
Health services research is a multidisciplinary field that examines ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high-quality care. This specialty within substance abuse research developed from policy analyses and needs assessments that shaped federal policy and promoted system development in the 1970s. After the authorization of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), patient information systems supported studies of treatment processes and outcomes. Health services research grew substantially in the 1990s when NIAAA and NIDA moved into the National Institutes of Health and legislation allocated 15% of their research portfolio to services research. The next decade will emphasize research on quality of care, adoption and use of evidence-based practices (including medication), financing reforms and integration of substance abuse treatment with primary care and mental health services.
The level of alcohol consumption in Russia is among the highest in the world and is often associated with a variety of problems in the country. Until recently, however, it was impossible to examine the health and social burdens associated with consumption in Russia due to Soviet secrecy surrounding vital statistics and health data related to alcohol and other topics. This study employed newly available mortality data to describe the demographic, temporal, and spatial patterns of mortality resulting directly from chronic and acute alcohol consumption in the country. The data reveal that in spite of high overall rates of alcohol-related mortality in Russia, levels of mortality vary considerably along these dimensions. Although descriptive in nature, the patterns of alcohol-related mortality in Russia presented here should provide initial observations with which to generate and test hypotheses concerning the causes and consequences of these patterns.
The current study examined: 1) whether using cigarettes to enhance the effects of other drugs (here referred to as "boosting") is a unique practice related to blunts (i.e., small cheap cigars hollowed out and filled with cannabis) or marijuana use only; 2) the prevalence of boosting among drug-using young people; and 3) the relationship between boosting and other drug-related risk behaviors. We present data collected from 89 Southeast Asian American youth and young adults in Northern California (35 females). 72% respondents reported any lifetime boosting. Controlling for gender, results of linear regression analyses show a significant positive relationship between frequency of boosting to enhance alcohol high and number of drinks per occasion. Boosting was also found to be associated with use of blunts but not other forms of marijuana and with the number of blunts on a typical day. The findings indicate that boosting may be common among drug-using Southeast Asian youths. These findings also indicate a need for further research on boosting as an aspect of cigarette uptake and maintenance among drug- and alcohol-involved youths.
Ecstasy and LSD use is widespread in large Brazilian cities, but there is limited information on their use among young, middle-class, club goers in Brazil. We conducted standardized face-to-face interviews with 200 male and female ecstasy and/or LSD users, focusing on drug use and sexual history, current risk behaviors, and psychiatric symptomatology. Participants with early sexual debut (before 14) were more likely to report lifetime use of marijuana and powder and crack cocaine than those with later sexual initiation. Early sexual debut was associated with past year sexual risk behaviors, including having sex while high (Prevalence Ratio (PR)=1.3), having two or more sex partners (PR=1.3), as well as history of sexual abuse (PR=13.6). Depression and anxiety scores were similar by age of sexual initiation. The implications of these findings are discussed.
This article examines the relationship between substance use and gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and nativity among 250 Asian American youths involved in the dance club/rave scene. We find distinct patterns of drug use differing by country of origin and ethnicity. However, contrary to some literature we do not find significant differences corresponding to immigration status, or number of years in the U.S. The most significant differences between subgroups are related to gender and sexuality: male respondents consume more drugs, more frequently than female respondents, and non-heterosexual respondents consume more than heterosexual respondents, with differing patterns for men's and women's sexual subgroups. There were also significant gender and sexuality differences with respect to the contexts in which respondents consume drugs, with the most significant differences being between heterosexual and non-heterosexual men. As we discuss, these findings illustrate the need for further investigation of drug use patterns of gender and sexuality within Asian American communities.
Since the first drug court in Miami in 1989, the drug court movement has spread throughout the United States, influencing how drug-involved offenders are treated in the criminal justice system. This paper reports on an outcome evaluation of a drug court in San Mateo County, California. Arrest rates were compared for drug court participants (N=618) and non-participants (N=75), and for graduates (N=257) and non-graduates (N=361). Factors associated with rearrest were assessed for participants in both groups. During a two-year follow-up period, there were no significant differences in rearrest rates between the participant and non-participant groups. Comparisons between graduates and non-graduates showed lower rearrest rates for graduates (19% vs. 53%, χ(2)(1)=73.5, p<0.01). In a model including participants and non-participants, only a prior history of conviction predicted an increased likelihood of rearrest whereas being female and older decreased the likelihood of rearrest. In addition, among drug court participants only, graduating decreased the likelihood of rearrest.
This report describes the development and measurement characteristics of a new measure of smoking knowledge, attitudes, and practices (S-KAP) among treatment providers. Data are based on survey responses from 336 paid staff working in one of three drug abuse treatment or HIV care settings. Exploratory factor analysis, used to examine the factor structure, pointed towards five underlying factors: a single "knowledge" factor, three "attitude" factors ('treatment barriers,' 'counselor self-factor. The Knowledge scale had a standardized Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .85. The coefficients for Barriers, Self-Efficacy, and Attitudes were .81, .72, and .74, respectively. The Practice scale had a standardized Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .91. These results indicate that the proposed scales have reasonably good psychometric characteristics and will allow researchers to quantify staff knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding smoking cessation treatments and issues.
This study examined smoking-related knowledge, beliefs, self-efficacy, smoking cessation practices, and barriers to providing smoking cessation services in a workforce sample. The 11 participating clinics (N=335 staff) included substance abuse treatment and HIV care clinics categorized into three types: Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) clinics, hospital-based clinics, and community-based clinics. Staff in both VAMC and hospital-based settings shared characteristics that may predict smoking-related knowledge, beliefs, and practices (higher education level, low smoking rates, fewer staff in recovery, and location in hospital-affiliated environments where there was greater emphasis on physical health). However, staff in VAMC settings outperformed those in both hospital-based and community-based clinic settings on measures of smoking-related knowledge, beliefs, self-efficacy, and practices. Well-developed procedures to support VAMC clinicians in addressing smoking may account for these findings. Findings suggest that both reductions in staff smoking, and development and implementation of smoking policy are needed to support staff in better addressing nicotine dependence in community-based treatment settings.
Low income adults with substance use disorders (SUDs) have a high prevalence of tobacco use and often limited access to tobacco cessation treatment. This study examines the relationship between low-income SUD patient census (i.e., percentage of patients whose treatment costs are covered by Medicaid and Federal block grants) and SUD programs' availability of three evidence-based tobacco cessation services: behavioral treatments, system-level support, and pharmacotherapy. Data were collected from a random sample of 1,006 program administrators in 2010. Mixed-effects models results show that the percentage of low-income patients is significantly positively associated with the availability of behavioral treatments and system-level support but not pharmacotherapy. Thus, low-income patients may have similar access to tobacco cessation pharmacotherapy but greater access to behavioral treatments and system-level support. However, the availability of tobacco cessation services is not widespread overall, which may hamper access to extensive services to address low-income SUD patients' high smoking rates.
Many substance users report that they experience multiple barriers that produce significant challenges to linking with treatment services. Being on a waiting list is frequently mentioned as a barrier, leading some people to give up on treatment and to continue using, while prompting others to view sobriety during the waiting period as proof they do not need treatment. This ethnographic study examines the views that 52 substance users have of the waiting time before treatment and the strategies they created to overcome it. Understanding how substance users react to waiting time itself and in relation to other barriers can lead to services that are effective in encouraging treatment linkage.
Studies examining differences in mortality among long-term drug users have been limited. In this paper, we introduce a Bayesian framework that jointly models survival data using a Weibull proportional hazard model with frailty, and substance and alcohol data using mixed-effects models, to examine differences in mortality among heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine users from five long-term follow-up studies. The traditional approach to analyzing combined survival data from numerous studies assumes that the studies are homogeneous, thus the estimates may be biased due to unobserved heterogeneity among studies. Our approach allows us to structurally combine the data from different studies while accounting for correlation among subjects within each study. Markov chain Monte Carlo facilitates the implementation of Bayesian analyses. Despite the complexity of the model, our approach is relatively straightforward to implement using WinBUGS. We demonstrate our joint modeling approach to the combined data and discuss the results from both approaches.