Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 24.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? http://www.indivior.com/Response: Adults with moderate or severe opioid use disorder (OUD) were randomized to SUBLOCADE monthly injections or placebo and studied for 24 weeks. Participants receiving SUBLOCADE were given 2 monthly injections of 300 mg, followed by 4 monthly maintenance doses of 100 mg or 300 mg over the course of the study. (more…)
Alcohol / 02.06.2021

Decisions have added weight after going through rehabilitation. The priority you put on these decisions will determine the scope of your recovery period. To avoid a relapse, seeking out healthy social circles is the key. Distance Yourself from Triggers There are emotional triggers that will make you want a drink. Once you figure them out, it becomes much easier to avoid. Common triggers are people, relationships, and stress. During drug and alcohol rehabilitation, overcoming your weak points is a part of the process. People can unintentionally make you feel inadequate during normal conversations. When every other conversation with a specific individual causes this problem, you have to speak up. Let them know you’re uncomfortable with a specific subject. If they refuse to acknowledge it, move on and remove that trigger from your life. Short-term and long-term relationships have a big impact on your life. Breaking up with someone makes your future look bleak. When finding someone new fails, a sense of hopelessness sets in. The answer to resolving this problem is to ‘fully’ break up with someone. Staying in contact and reliving happy memories will give you false hope. Staying away from a former relationship trigger prevents bouts of drinking for the future. Stress can sometimes be related to time, or the lack of it. Time management is the best way to avoid this trigger. Having a plan means that you’re in a better position to complete your tasks. There is no need for fancy scheduling, and it helps create a good habit. When you’re productive, stress tends to take a backseat to everything else. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 28.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daimei Sasayama, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry Shinshu University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing worldwide. A 2016 US survey reported a prevalence of 1.85% in 8-year-olds, and a birth cohort study in Denmark reported that the future cumulative incidence of ASD could exceed 2.8%. Our recent regional cohort study in Japan reported an even higher cumulative incidence of 3.1%. So we examined whether the cumulative incidence in our regional cohort represents the nationwide incidence in Japan.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Opiods / 24.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank Peacock, MD, FACEP, FACC Professor of Emergency Medicine, Associate Chair Research Director, Department of Emergency Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Emergency medicine (EM) physicians, like myself, are always looking for ways to improve the patient experience. Often times, we will encounter a patient in the emergency department (ED) who is presenting with one of the most common side effects of opioids, which is opioid-induced constipation (OIC). OIC impacts 40-80% of patients on long-term opioid therapy[i],[ii] and may lead to emergency room visits which are associated with a significant burden on patients and the healthcare system. We wanted to compare the impact of treating OIC patients with FDA-approved prescription medications for OIC versus the impact of not treating OIC patients with an FDA-approved prescription medication for OIC in the ED setting to better understand the impact to overall ED costs and the length of stay for a hospitalized patient. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC / 09.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenechukwu Ndubisi Mezue, M.D Fellow in Nuclear Cardiology  Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Observational studies have shown that moderate alcohol intake may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanisms through which this benefit occurs is mostly unknown. Chronic stress is also known to associate with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and our group has shown in previous work that increased activity in the stress-associated regions of the brain (such as the amygdala) is significantly associated with increased bone marrow activity, arterial inflammation, and cardiovascular events. Our current study hypothesizes that moderate alcohol intake reduces cardiovascular events by reducing chronic stress-associated brain activity.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, CMAJ / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Windle, MPH PhD Student in Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health McGill University (Montréal, Québec, Canada) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concerns have been raised about the potential for increases in impaired driving following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada in October 2018. Data from Statistics Canada suggest that cannabis use in the previous three months increased among adults (15 and older) from 14% before legalization in 2018 to 17% in 2019. Among those users with a driver’s license, 13% reported driving within two hours of cannabis use. While this proportion remained the same before and after legalization, this indicates that the absolute number of individuals who reported driving within two hours of use has increased following legalization (due to an increase in the number of users). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 08.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica M. Wymore, MD MPH Assistant Professor, Neonatal- Perinatal Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology University of Colorado School of Medicine Children's Hospital Colorado Maya Bunik, MD, MPH  |  Professor, Pediatrics Medical Director, Child Health Clinic, Primary Care  |  Breastfeeding Management Clinic Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) School of Medicine| University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Children's Hospital Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana legalization has been increasing in the United States, with increasing consumption of marijuana products. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) do not recommend marijuana use during pregnancy or lactation due to concerning though limited data on the effects of perinatal marijuana exposure. As there has been increasing prevalence of women using marijuana during pregnancy due to legalization and perceptions of safety, we sought to determine the duration of THC excretion in breast milk among women who had evidence of marijuana use at delivery and abstained post-partum.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cannabis / 10.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ran Abuhasira MD, PhD student Cannabis Clinical Research Institute and Clinical Research Center Soroka University Medical Center, and Faculty of Health Sciences Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Beer Sheva, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? cannabis marijuana weed pot Response: The background for the study is the steady rise of cannabis use as a therapeutic in Israel and in many countries around the world. This largest increasing population of patients treated with medical cannabis is the older adults. However, very little data was published about cannabis treatment in older adults, and specifically about the cardiovascular and metabolic implications. T he main finding of the study is that cannabis treatment for 3 months was associated with a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, as measured by consequent 24-hours ABPM tests. In addition, no significant changes were found in blood lipids profile, hemoglobin A1C, fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, kidney function tests, electrolytes, anthropometric measurements, and ECG parameters. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA / 05.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elodie C. Warren, MPH Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Graduate MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that the US has been experiencing an opioid crisis for the past two decades. And we know that among communities of color, rates of overdose deaths are continuing to increase, even though overall national rates decreased between 2017 and 2018. To better understand how the opioid crisis has differently affected racial/ethnic groups, we looked at how heroin treatment admissions changed over time by race/ethnicity, age, and sex. We found that there were stark differences when comparing non-Hispanic Black men and women to non-Hispanic White men and women. Importantly, our study suggests the existence of an aging cohort of Black men and women (likely including survivors of a heroin epidemic that hit urban areas more than 40 years ago) that continues to struggle with heroin addiction. This points to the need for targeted interventions in chronically underserved communities.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 03.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin J. Warnick, PhD Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Carson College of Business Washington State University Vancouver MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Popular culture has perpetuated a notion that cannabis users are more creative. Along these lines, some successful CEOs and entrepreneurs—like Steve Jobs, for example—have claimed that cannabis use has benefitted their creativity at work. Despite such claims and increased legalization and use of cannabis, the implications of cannabis use for entrepreneurs’ creativity has yet to be rigorously tested. My coauthors and I were very intrigued to dive into the implications of cannabis use for entrepreneurs, whether good or bad. This seemed all the more relevant given the increasing legalization, destigmatization, and use of cannabis.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cannabis, Opiods, Yale / 29.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Balázs Kovács PhD Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Yale School of Management MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study looks at the association between the prevalence of legal cannabis stores, called “dispensaries”, and opioid-related mortality rates in the U.S.  We find that higher cannabis dispensary counts are associated with reduced opioid-related mortality rates.   We find this relationship holds for both medical dispensaries, which only serve patients who have a state-approved medical card or doctor’s recommendation, as well as for recreational dispensaries, which sell to adults 21 years and older.  The statistical associations we find appears most pronounced with the class of opioids that includes fentanyl and its analogs.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, UCSF / 15.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eric R. Pedersen, Ph.D. Adjunct Behavioral Scientist, RAND Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In November of 2016, CA voted to legalize cannabis for sale and possession to adults 21 and older for recreational use. It wasn’t until January of 2018 that stores in most parts of LA County (we call these “outlets”) were legally able to begin selling recreational cannabis. We were collecting data from about 2,500 young adults in LA County as part of a longitudinal study (Principal Investigator Elizabeth D’Amico at RAND) and were able to look at cannabis use and intentions assessed at a period prior to the opening of the recreational cannabis outlets (pre-January 2018) to a period when those outlets were open (after January 2018). It has been suggested that once cannabis was more available for recreational purchase (and not just for medical purposes among those enrolled in CA’s medical marijuana program), use of cannabis among young adults would increase.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pancreatic, PLoS / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine and Graduate College Director of the Translational Gastroenterology Unit Division of Digestive Diseases Rush University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study builds on recent population based studies where opium use was found to be possible risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Although opium use is not a common recreational habit in the United States, opioid use has been rising remarkably over the past decade. In fact, opioid misuse and overdose have evolved into a public health crisis here with increasing opioid prescription use and abuse over the past decade. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 24.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li Li, MS, PhD Candidate Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, Ohio State University Graduate Research Associate, Center for Injury Research and Policy The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use impairs cognitive abilities necessary for safe driving, including reaction time, road lane-tracking ability, and attention maintenance. Given increasing legalization of marijuana use in the US, our study aimed to estimate marijuana-impaired driving among teens at a national level and help to identify the current prevalence to guide future intervention programs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 20.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18510 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US continues to be adversely impacted by an iatrogenic opioid epidemic. There have been increasing reports of “vet shopping” or diverting opioids from pets to their owners [2]. In humans, methadone is the number one prescription opioid when expressed in terms of morphine mg equivalents (MME) [3]. The goal of this study was to examine the changing pattern of opioid and other controlled substance use by veterinary teaching institutions.  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 07.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sitara Weerakoon, MPH (she/her) PhD Candidate | Epidemiology & Biostatistics Graduate Research Assistant Center for Pediatric Population Health UTHealth MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Measures to control the spread of COVID-19 included stay-at-home mandates and business lockdown policies which resulted in many facing a loss of income or employment and more time spent isolated at home. Life stressors (like job loss and social isolation) have been shown to be associated with increased drinking at unhealthy levels. Those with a history of mental health problems may be even more at risk. We aimed to see if binge drinking (5 or more drinks [male] or 4 or more drinks [female] in one session) and levels of alcohol consumption among binge drinkers were impacted by these pandemic-related factors. We found that increased time spent at home (in weeks) was associated with a 19% increase in the odds of binge drinking and binge drinkers with a previous diagnosis of depression and current depression symptoms (during the early months of the pandemic) had a 237% greater odds of drinking more alcohol (vs drinking the same amount) compared to those with no history and current symptoms of depression. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Opiods, UCLA / 03.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph Friedman, MD/PhD student David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Numerous researchers, clinicians, officials, harm reduction agencies, and people who use drugs have sounded the alarm that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the United States overdose crisis. However, data sources typically used to track overdoses in the US often have long lags that impede timely monitoring and response. For example, the CDC released preliminary overdose figures for 2019 in July 2020, and even these numbers may change. As they are available in near real-time, emergency medical services (EMS) data have increasingly been used as a source of up-to-date information to monitor epidemiological shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we used data from the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS), a large registry of over 10,000 EMS agencies in 47 states that represented over 80% of all EMS activations nationally in 2020. We used the data to track shifts in overdose-related cardiac arrests observed by EMS.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Ophthalmology, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 09.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Uhr MD Ophthalmologist Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Disparities in American society have been at the forefront of the public consciousness in recent months. As part of the larger discussion about inequality, disparities in health outcomes have received much attention. In light of the renewed recognition that these disparities are stark and widespread, we felt it important to evaluate disparities in our own field, ophthalmology. Previous studies have shown disparate outcomes for individual eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataract, and retinal detachment. Although the common and relevant endpoint of these is visual impairment, few prior studies have examined disparities in visual impairment more broadly. Our aim was to provide an updated analysis of disparity in visual impairment among adults in the United States based on race and socioeconomic status.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While many studies have examined the acute effects of cannabis on other mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis there is almost no research on acute effects of cannabis on symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in humans.  Nevertheless, we have previously found that acute cannabis intoxication is associated with reductions in anxiety as well as with reductions in the intrusive thoughts characteristic of PTSD. Further previous research using a rodent model of compulsive behavior has provided pre-clinical evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) - which is the second most common constituent in the cannabis plant - reduces compulsive behavior. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 09.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher Kaufmann, PhD Co-first author of the study and assistant professor Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine UC San Diego  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We examined cannabis use by older patients seen in our geriatrics clinic at the University of California San Diego. We surveyed patients who came to our clinic for routine care, and found that 15% of those surveyed had used cannabis within the past 3 years. Half of users reported using cannabis regularly and most used for medical purposes. The most common targeted conditions were pain, problems sleeping, and anxiety, and patients found cannabis to be helpful in treating these conditions. We also found that 61% had initiated cannabis use after age 60, and these new users engaged in less risky consumption practices than current users who also used earlier in life.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Tobacco Research / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabella Lanza, PhD Associate Professor of Human Development California State University, Long Beach   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first study to examine both nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping trajectories across adolescence and young adulthood, which allowed us to assess whether poly-substance vaping is common among adolescents and young adults. Poly-substance vaping (nicotine and cannabis vaping) was reported among a significant proportion of participants in the study (25% were identified as poly-substance vapers). For those that either escalated to frequent nicotine vaping use in adolescence or initiated frequent nicotine vaping use in young adulthood, the probability of engaging in cannabis vaping was very high (85%+).    (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 02.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Heather Breeze Clayton, PhD, MPH Senior Scientist, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now have policies in place legalizing marijuana for medical or adult use. While the health effects of marijuana use continue to be studied, substantial evidence suggests that a number of health risks – including cognitive and mental health outcomes- are made worse by earlier initiation of marijuana, and heavier use patterns. Scientific knowledge about the association between marijuana use and other health and risk-taking behavior in youth is still evolving. Accordingly, we sought to use nationally representative data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to assess what the relationship is between different patterns of marijuana use in youth (more established use vs. non-established use patterns) and a number of risk-taking and violence related behaviors. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 30.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard, Ph.D. Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School Senior Sociologist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are ample anecdotal jokes and stories about increased alcohol use during COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders. Our study provides robust longitudinal evidence that people drank more frequently, and for women in particular, more heavily, and with more negative consequences, during the initial stages of COVID-19 compared to their own behaviors from a year earlier (May/June 2020 compared to May/June 2019). Women’s alcohol consumption was most significantly changed, with a 17% increase in number of days drinking, and a 41% increase in days of binge drinking (when they had four or more drinks in a couple of hours). This means that, nationally, one in five women drank heavily one more day a month than the same time in 2019, on average. Women also reported a 39% increase in alcohol-related problems, such as “I took foolish risks” or “I failed to do what was expected of me” because of drinking alcohol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah E. Paul, BA , Graduate Student and Ryan Bogdan, PhD, Associate Professor BRAIN Lab Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 63130 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Sarah Paul: This study was motivated by several trends in cannabis use, its legal landscape, and people's perception of risk. As more states legalize recreational cannabis use, cannabis has become more accessible as well as more potent. Over the past couple of decades, the percentage of adolescents and adults who think that cannabis use is risky or harmful has fallen substantially. Cannabis dispensaries have been reported to actually recommend cannabis to pregnant women for the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea. And finally, between 2002/2003 and 2016/2017, the percentage of women reporting cannabis use during their pregnancies rose 106%. Given these trends and the mixed literature regarding the potential consequences associated with prenatal cannabis exposure, we aimed to comprehensively examine a range of outcomes in a large, representative sample while accounting for a host of important potentially confounding covariates. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rong Xu PhD Center for Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery, School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Chronic use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs is associated with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases, all of which are also risk factors for COVID-19 infection and for worse outcomes.  Additionally, individuals with substance use disorders are more likely to experience social adversity such as homelessness, decreased access to health care, housing insecurity among others. Based on these, we hypothesis or predict that individuals with SUD are especially vulnerable for COVID-19 infection and adverse outcomes. In our study, we found that  individuals with substance use disorders, especially individuals with OUD and African Americans with SUD, as having increased risk for COVID-19 and its adverse outcomes  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, Memory, Pediatrics / 04.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jarrod Ellingson PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry Anschutz Medical Campus University of Colorado Denver  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that cannabis use is associated with many negative outcomes, but there could be many of reasons for that. For example, socioeconomic factors and peer influences both affect adolescent cannabis use and poorer cognitive functioning. To account for some of those risk factors, we studied nearly 600 sibling pairs with moderate to heavy cannabis use. We found that, as a person uses more cannabis than their sibling, they tend to have worse memory recall than their sibling. (more…)