Elena Argento

Elena Argento
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · BC Centre on Substance Use

PhD

About

29
Publications
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Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
International drug policy is rapidly evolving in tandem with promising evidence for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) in treating a range of mental health conditions. Canada is among the countries increasingly expanding access to psychedelic substances for therapeutic purposes. The 8-year ban on medical exemptions through the Canadian Specia...
Article
Despite growing availability of several evidence-based approaches in the treatment of substance use disorders, existing pharmacotherapy and psychosocial interventions continue to have significant limitations, such as low treatment retention rates and high rates of relapse. There is a need to develop new strategies and models to address these limita...
Article
Background Psychedelic-assisted therapies are receiving mounting attention for their therapeutic potential. However, little is known about interest among women who experience elevated risk of mental health and substance use disorders. This study examined interest in receiving psychedelic-assisted therapy and socio-structural factors associated with...
Article
Background Research into the therapeutic and naturalistic uses of psychedelics for improving outcomes related to mental health disorders has generated increasing interest in recent years. While controlled clinical trials of psychedelics have signaled benefits for treating substance use disorders, this area has not been well studied in the context o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Globally, sex workers experience a disproportionate burden of violence and human rights violations linked to criminalisation, punitive law enforcement, and lack of labour protections. Social injustices including poor working conditions, violence and victimisation, police harassment, and discrimination constitute severe violations of sex workers’ he...
Chapter
Indigenous populations in Canada and globally experience a disproportionate burden of social and health-related risks and harms due to multigenerational impacts of colonialism, racialized policies, and related trauma. Associated outcomes include elevated rates of mental health and substance use disorders and devastating disconnection from tradition...
Article
Full-text available
Background Following a global wave of end-demand criminalization of sex work, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) was implemented in Canada, which has implications for the health and safety of sex workers. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the PCEPA on sex workers’ access to health, violence, and sex worker-led...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction and aims: A previous observational study of ayahuasca-assisted therapy demonstrated statistically significant reductions in self-reported problematic cocaine use among members of an Indigenous community in Canada. This paper aims to qualitatively explore the impact of ayahuasca-assisted therapy on addiction and other substance use-rel...
Article
Full-text available
Suicide is a critical public health concern globally. Sex workers experience a disproportionate burden of social and health inequities driven by forms of violence, stigma, and criminalization, yet empirical research on suicidality is limited. This study longitudinally investigated the burden and socio-structural correlates of recent suicidality amo...
Article
Full-text available
Background Across diverse regions globally, sex workers continue to face a disproportionate burden of HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs). Evidence suggests that behavioural and biomedical interventions are only moderately successful in reducing STBBIs at the population level, leading to calls for increased struct...
Article
The increasing contamination of the drug supply with illicitly manufactured fentanyl and related analogs in North America has resulted in the most severe drug-overdose crisis in history. Available pharmacotherapy options for the treatment of opioid use disorder have had limited success in curbing the current crisis, and a growing body of evidence h...
Article
Full-text available
Background/aims: Given high rates of depression and suicide among marginalized women, and increasing calls to integrate trauma-informed biomedical and community-led structural interventions, this study longitudinally examines the potential moderating effect of psychedelic use on the relationship between other illicit drug use and suicide risk. Me...
Article
Full-text available
Objective This study aimed to longitudinally investigate whether ever having used a psychedelic drug can have a protective effect on incidence of suicidality among marginalised women. Design Longitudinal community-based cohort study. Setting Data were drawn from a prospective, community-based cohort of marginalised women in Metro Vancouver, Canad...
Article
Background: Despite rapid increases in crystal methamphetamine (CM) use worldwide and established gendered patterns of use, empirical research on CM injection initiation among sex workers is limited. Given the wide range of harms associated with CM, alongside stimulant effects including sexual dis-inhibition and prolonged awake-ness, this study ai...
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Full-text available
Men sex workers in Vancouver have largely transitioned from street to online solicitation coinciding with losing “Boystown,” the main outdoor sex work stroll for men. This article explores strategies and barriers to increase safety among men and trans sex workers and clients of men in Vancouver, Canada. Qualitative interviews were conducted (2012-2...
Article
Full-text available
Community empowerment can be a powerful determinant of HIV risk among sex workers (SWs). This study modeled the impact of social cohesion on client condom refusal among SWs in Vancouver. Longitudinal data were drawn from a prospective cohort of SWs (2010-2013). Lippman and colleagues' Social Cohesion Scale measured SWs' connectedness (i.e., percept...
Article
Background: Despite high HIV burden among sex workers (SWs) globally, and relatively high prevalence of client condom use, research on potential HIV/STI risk pathways of intimate partnerships is limited. This study investigated partner/dyad-level factors associated with inconsistent condom use among SWs with intimate partners in Vancouver, Canada....
Article
Background: The nonmedical use of prescription opioids (POs) is a major public health concern, causing extensive morbidity and mortality in North America. Canada has the second highest consumption rate of POs globally and data indicate nonmedical PO use (NPOU) is growing among key populations and increasingly available in street-level drug markets...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is associated with increased risk of HIV among women globally. There is limited evidence and understanding about IPV and potential HIV risk pathways among sex workers (SWs). This study aims to longitudinally evaluate prevalence and correlates of IPV among street and off-street SWs over two-years follow-u...
Article
We conducted a systematic review in June 2012 (updated September 2013) to examine the prevalence and factors shaping sexual or physical violence against sex workers globally. We identified 1536 (update = 340) unique articles. We included 28 studies, with 14 more contributing to violence prevalence estimates. Lifetime prevalence of any or combined w...
Article
The non-medical use of and harms related to prescription opioid (PO) analgesics - key medications to treat severe and chronic pain - are an emerging public health concern globally. PO use is proportionally highest in North America, where, consequently, nonmedical PO use (NMPOU) and morbidity/mortality are high and well documented for the United Sta...
Article
p>Objective: Non-medical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) is a major health problem in North America and increasingly prevalent among First Nations people. More than 50% of many Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities in northern Ontario report NMPOU, resulting in extensive health and social problems. Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is the most effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence from community-led HIV prevention projects suggests that structural interventions may result in reduced rates of HIV and STIs. The complex relationship between empowerment and confronting stigma, discrimination and physical abuse necessitates further investigation into the impact that such interventions have on the personal risks for sex w...