Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 02.03.2020 Interview with: Karl Alcover, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Behavioral Health Innovations Washington State University What is the background for this study? Response: It has been a public health focus to prevent early exposure to drugs. Our paper shows that the average age of initiation of drug use among adolescents and young adults has been increasing from 2004 to 2017. We found that 12 of 18 drugs (including alcohol and tobacco products) had statistically increasing average ages of initiation. To our knowledge, no studies have documented these findings. We think this is great news because delaying initiation of drugs prevents early exposure, which we know is associated with various long-term negative health outcomes. Also, these promising trends may serve as initial evidence that prevention strategies, especially those that focus on adolescents and young adults, are working. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019 Interview with: Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis are the most commonly used substances during pregnancy. High alcohol consumption has been linked with preterm birth, and tobacco and/or cannabis use is associated with low birth weight. Much of what we know about predictors of drug use during pregnancy comes from the United States and Australia, with limited studies in Canada. The objective of our study was therefore to assess the relative effects of socioeconomic, demographic, and mental health risk factors associated with drug use during pregnancy. Our retrospective cohort study consisted of 25,734 pregnant women from Southwestern Ontario. We found that maternal depression was the top risk factor associated with all three substances. Compared to women who were not depressed during their pregnancy, women who were depressed were 2.2 times more likely to use alcohol (95% CI: 1.6, 2.9), 1.7 times more likely to smoke tobacco (95% CI: 1.5, 2.0), and 2.6 times more likely to use cannabis (95% CI: 2.0, 3.4). (more…)
Addiction, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 28.02.2018 Interview with: Khary Rigg, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Mental Health Law & Policy University of South Florida What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past two decades, the demographic profile of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) users has changed. In particular, African American MDMA use has risen in some cities. One possible explanation of this new trend is the drug’s recent popularity (as molly) in hip-hop/rap (HHR) music. Several top rappers endorse the drug as a way to have fun or get women “loose.” There are currently no studies, however, that investigate the extent to which African American MDMA users listen to. hip-hop/rap music or the influence that these pro-MDMA messages have on their use of the drug. This study used survey and interview data to identify the extent to which hip-hop/rap music is listened to by African American MDMA users and assess the perceived influence of HHR music on their decision to begin using. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 27.10.2016 Interview with: Brett Wolfson-Stofko, PhD Post-Doctoral Fellow Behavioral Science Training Program Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research Rory Meyers College of Nursing New York University New York, NY 10003 Research Associate Institute for Special Populations National Development & Research Institutes, Inc. What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Drug overdose mortality rates per year continue to rise in the US. Previous research suggests that public bathrooms are among the most popular public injection locations for people who inject drugs (PWID) in New York City. Though syringe exchange programs provide sterile injection equipment they are not authorized to offer a safe and sanitary space for injection which leads many, particularly those that are unstably housed, to inject in public spaces. This study interviewed 86 business managers throughout NYC and 58% (n = 50) of these managers had encountered drug use in their business bathroom within the past 6 months. Over one-third found improperly disposed syringes and 14% encountered unresponsive individuals. Only 10% of managers reported some form of overdose recognition and naloxone training while 64% of managers thought overdose recognition and naloxone training would be useful for them and their staff. (more…)
Addiction, Mental Health Research / 26.11.2014 Interview with: Melissa Anne Elin Authen Weibell Consultant Psychiatrist Helse Stavanger HF Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Weibell: Little is known about the effect of different patterns of substance use on outcomes in first-episode psychosis and the few studies that exist are often cross-sectional and heterogeneous. This new study investigated different patterns of substance use in an epidemiological first-episode psychosis (FEP) sample longitudinally, with the hypothesis that continuous use would predict poorer outcomes compared to never users or stop users. The study included 301 patients aged 16-65 with first episode non-affective included (1997-2001) from three separate catchment areas in Norway and Denmark. Four patterns of substance use were defined; never used (153 patients), persistent use(43), completely stopped use having previously used (36), and on-off use (48) during the first 2-years of follow-up. 184 patients were followed up at 10 years and compared on symptom levels and remission status. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA / 06.08.2014

Dr. Richard Saitz MD MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts Interview with: Dr. Richard Saitz MD MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Saitz: We found that brief counseling interventions had no efficacy for reducing the frequency of illicit drug use or drug use consequences among primary care patients identified by screening as using drugs. (more…)