Research

Aggression Linked to Substance Use

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New Research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has found that people with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) – a condition with a significant genetic component characterised by regular outbursts of aggression, whether physical or verbal – are 5 times more likely to abuse substances such as alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.

US Adult Illicit Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder, and Medical Marijuana Laws 1991-1992 to 2012-2013

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IMPORTANCE: Over the last 25 years, illicit cannabis use and cannabis use disorders have increased among US adults, and 28 states have passed medical marijuana laws (MML). Little is known about MML and adult illicit cannabis use or cannabis use disorders considered over time.

OBJECTIVE: To present national data on state MML and degree of change in the prevalence of cannabis use and disorders.

Higher Taxes Needed to Lower Smoking Rates in South Asia

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New research published in The British Medical Journal supports the need to increase taxes on tobacco products in South Asia, suggesting that doing so could reduce consumption by at least 1/3 and, in turn, avoid around 35 - 45 million premature deaths. Previous research has shown raising taxes on tobacco products to be the most effective way of lowering smoking rates and putting people off from starting.

Do Surgical Procedures Increase the Risk of Opioid Dependence?

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A new study has found that having surgery may expose patients to a higher risk of developing long-term opioid dependence. According to the investigation, around 6% of people who had not taken opioids prior to their operation but were prescribed the drugs as pain-relief afterwards were still receiving them 3-6 months later. This window is much wider than what is normal for post-operation recovery. People who had been smokers, alcoholics or had

Marijuana Linked to Cardiovascular Problems

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Marijuana use may increase the risk of stroke and heart failure.

This was concluded to be the case even after accounting for demographic and lifestyle risk factors, as well as other health conditions.

The new findings on the potential cardiovascular effects of marijuana appear at a time when the drug could soon very well become legal for medicinal or recreational use in more than half of US states.

Should Opioid Dependent Patients Receive Immediate Access to Medical Treatment?

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New research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found through a comparison of treatment approaches for opioid dependence that, in an emergency setting, combining the medication buprenorphine with on-going care is more effective than referring patients to centres for addiction, with or without a brief intervention.

Estimation of National, Regional and Global Prevalence of Alcohol Use during Pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Citation
Popova S, Lange S, Probst C, Gmel G, Rehm J. Estimation of national, regional, and global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2016
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Background

Alcohol use during pregnancy is the direct cause of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). We aimed to estimate the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and FAS in the general population and, by linking these two indicators, estimate the number of pregnant women that consumed alcohol during pregnancy per one case of FAS.

Smoke-free Implementation in Colombia: Monitoring, Outside Funding and Business Support

Citation
Uang, R., Crosbie, E., & Glantz, S. (2017). Smokefree implementation in Colombia: Monitoring, outside funding, and business support. Salud Pública de México, 59(2), 128-136. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.21149/7884
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Objective: To analyze successful national smoke-free policy implementation in Colombia, a middle income country.

Materials and methods: Key informants at the national and local levels were interviewed and news sources and government ministry resolutions were reviewed.

The Comparative Effectiveness of Outpatient Treatment for Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Meta-Analysis

Citation
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 44 (2013) 145–158
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Multi-prong therapies centred on the family emerge as probably the most effective in this comprehensive and careful synthesis of the results of trials of non-residential programmes for substance using teenagers - but do the outcomes warrant the extra costs?

Effectiveness Bank Analysis: Mandatory Assessment for Arrestees Does Not Cut Crime

Citation
Tim McSweeney, Caitlin Hughes & Alison Ritter (2016): The impact of compliance with a compulsory model of drug diversion on treatment engagement and reoffending, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/09687637.2016.1219695
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Further evidence from England that the ‘Tough Choices’ schemes which force people arrested for certain offences to be tested for heroin or cocaine use and if positive to be assessed for treatment do not pay back in terms of treatment engagement or crime reduction.

The 'Tough Choices' Policy:

Quality of Behavioural Drug Treatment Implementation Dictates its Success

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Contingency management (CM) is a widely used behavioural therapy for substance use disorders. It offers material rewards for attending sessions and adhering to prescribed medication courses, amongst other positive behaviours.

A study recently published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment examines the link between practitioner capability to deliver the intended CM programme and session outcomes.