Journal of Drug Issues

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Primary Purpose for Committing a Crime and Past-30 Day Opioid Misuse: A Statewide Sample of Justice-Involved Children

    The prevalence of opioid misuse (OM) among justice-involved children (JIC) is significantly higher than children in the general population, yet little research has examined the predictors of OM among JIC. Goldstein’s “economic compulsive model” hypothesizes that JIC who commit crimes for material gain will have a higher likelihood of meeting past-30 day (P30D) OM criteria. The data in this study were cross-sectional and represented 79,960 Florida JIC. To test the hypothesis, logistic regression analyses were utilized. Over 2000 JIC (2.67%) met P30D OM criteria and JIC who committed crimes for material gain were 2.55 times as likely to meet P30D OM criteria. Findings indicate that children may be incarcerated due to an inability to afford their addiction, contributing to the criminalization of mental health. JIC could benefit from the increased utilization of drug courts and the implementation of a cascade of care model.

  • Substance Use and Chemsex in MSM - A Latent Class Analysis

    Engagement in “chemsex” among men who have sex with men is associated with higher rates of STIs and HIV seroconversion as well as an increased mental health burden. MSM were recruited for an anonymous online survey. The survey included questions of substance use, consumption motives, sexual risk behavior, HIV serostatus, and psychological characteristics. A latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups based on the consumed substances. 597 MSM answered the questionnaire. The latent class analysis revealed four different clusters. Most men described the use of amyl nitrite and cannabis (n = 370). One cluster consumed mainly MDMA, cocaine, and amphetamine (n = 106) and another cluster used mainly chemsex-related drugs (n = 43). A fourth cluster reported a range of consumed substances (n = 78). This cluster reported higher rates of suicide attempts, STIs, and risk behaviors. Substances typically related to chemsex were consumed in a sexualized context to a relevant extent.

  • The Intersection Between Sex and Race in Understanding Substance Co-Use Patterns in Adolescents From the Fragile Families Study

    The current study examined the prevalence of alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis co-use among a longitudinal cohort of youth predominately born to single-parent families. Data were drawn from wave six of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 2976; Mage = 15.6; 49% female; 53% non-Hispanic Black, 27% Hispanic, 20% White). Adolescents’ reports of their past 30-day use of alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis were used to construct eight mutually exclusive use groups. Multinomial logistic regressions adjusting for sociodemographic factors revealed that Black adolescents were at lower relative risk of using Alcohol Only compared to White adolescents. Black males were at greater relative risk of using Cannabis Only than both White males and Black females. Finally, Hispanic males were at a marginally increased relative risk of co-using Alcohol and Cannabis compared to White males. Prevention efforts targeting Black and Hispanic males’ use of cannabis (both alone and in combination with alcohol) may be beneficial.

  • Court-Mandated Treatment Outcomes for Prescribed Opioid Use Disorder: A Gender Based Study

    This study provides empirical information suggesting court-mandated treatment may be a more effective treatment pathway for opioid use disorder (OUD). To examine the effects of mandated treatment for prescription opioid users, we consider the differences in discharge completion rates for court-mandated and non-mandated treatment for both males and females. We use the Treatment Episode Data Set-Discharges (TEDS-D) from 2015 to 2017 with 13,239, 14,765, and 15,433 cases, respectively, to study successful completion rates for males and females with OUD. Logistic regression analysis confirms a greater completion rate for mandated treatment episodes. Of all mandated females, 59% completed treatment in each of the 3 years as compared to the 59%, 65%, and 64% of successful completion for mandated males, respectively, from 2015 to 2017. Our results suggest court-mandated treatment pathways are more effective on treatment completion for individuals with OUD, yet treatment completion disparity between sexes increases even when females are mandated.

  • The Spiral of Positive Feedback: Go-Along Interviews About Adolescents’ Perceptions of and Reactions to Alcohol Posts on Social Media

    Go-along interviews among adolescents (N = 26, Mage = 16.31, SD = .83) were conducted to examine how adolescents interpret alcohol posts in terms of appropriateness and how this, in turn, plays a role in adolescents’ reactions toward alcohol posts on public and private social media entries. The findings of this study, first, indicate that alcohol posts were classified as appropriate or inappropriate based on the amount of alcohol and the displayed behavior in the post. Second, most posts, including inappropriate ones, received positive or no feedback. Moreover, adolescents deliberately seemed to withhold negative feedback out of fear of being misjudged by peers. Still, negative reactions were expressed more quickly in safer off- and online environments (i.e., face-to-face conversation and online chat messages) because they were visible to close friends only. This is important in view of prevention as it unravels the interesting role of private environments in stimulating negative interpersonal communication.

  • Emerging Attitudes Regarding Decriminalization: Predictors of Pro-Drug Decriminalization Attitudes in Canada

    Canada and the United States have recently evaluated the decriminalization of drugs as multiple provinces and states put motions forward to consider drug decriminalization legislation. The influence of factors such as demographics, substance use, perceived substance use risk, and personality have not been widely studied in predicting attitudes toward drug decriminalization. A total of 504 participants were drawn from university (n = 269, 53.37%) and community samples (n = 235, 46.63%) through online social media groups and posts (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc). Analyses indicated that male gender, single or non-married relationship status, living outside of Atlantic Canada, higher problematic alcohol use scores, lower Extraversion, higher Open-mindedness, and lower perceived risk of using substances emerged as significant predictors of support for drug decriminalization. These findings have important implications as public attitudes toward a substance influence drug policy.

  • A Preliminary Study Examining Self-Reported Invincibility, Alcohol Problems, and the Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants in College Students

    The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS) is becoming more common among college students. Identifying the variables associated with NMUPS is important for educational efforts and to promote wellness in vulnerable students. The present study examined the relationships between self-reported invincibility, alcohol problems, and NMUPS in 175 college students. Path analysis tested the hypotheses that males would report higher invincibility that would be related to alcohol use and alcohol problems. Using structural equation modeling, significant relationships were found between invincibility and alcohol-related problems. Alcohol problems may be related to NMUPS. A total effect of invincibility, mediated by alcohol use, may be a path whereby invincibility positively influences NMUPS. Students reporting high levels of invincibility may be at risk for the NMUPS and might benefit from efforts regarding the potential harmful consequences of taking these substances without a prescription.

  • Illicit Drug Use Pattern, Health-Risk Behaviors, and Social Contexts Among Indonesian Students

    Health-risk behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption, and premarital sex) among Indonesian students are important issues. Understanding the association of these health-risk behaviors and adolescents’ social contexts (family, peers, and neighborhood characteristics) to illicit drug use is required to develop strategies in preventing illicit drug use in Indonesia. The study used a multi-stage cluster random sampling method to collect data from the 2016 National Narcotics Survey of Indonesian students. The sample included 31,439 students. The result shows that the illicit drug use pattern was different from previous studies: the most prevalent was at the senior high school level. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that smoking, alcohol consumption, premarital sex, peers, sex, family, and neighborhood were associated with illicit drug use. The study highlighted the importance of health-risk behaviors, social contexts of adolescents, and the illicit drug use pattern as considering factors in developing strategies to reduce illicit drug use prevalence.

  • Assessing the Relationships Between COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders and Opioid Overdoses in the State of Pennsylvania

    COVID-19 is compounding opioid use disorder throughout the United States. While recent commentaries provide useful policy recommendations, few studies examine the intersection of COVID-19 policy responses and patterns of opioid overdose. We examine opioid overdoses prior to and following the Pennsylvania stay-at-home order implemented on April 1, 2020. Using data from the Pennsylvania Overdose Information Network, we measure change in monthly incidents of opioid-related overdose pre- versus post-April 1, and the significance of change by gender, age, race, drug class, and naloxone doses administered. Findings demonstrate statistically significant increases in overdose incidents among both men and women, White and Black groups, and several age groups, most notably the 30–39 and 40–49 ranges, following April 1. Significant increases were observed for overdoses involving heroin, fentanyl, fentanyl analogs or other synthetic opioids, pharmaceutical opioids, and carfentanil. The study emphasizes the need for opioid use to be addressed alongside efforts to mitigate and manage COVID-19 infection.

  • Loss or Theft of Controlled Substances Declared to Health Canada From 2014 to 2018: A Retrospective Study

    Theft of prescription drugs is nothing new for Canadian pharmacists. Recently, an increasing body of literature has covered the diversion of controlled substances from Canadian hospitals. However, little has been published in the scientific literature concerning the data collected by Health Canada’s Loss or Theft Report Program regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Data from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2018, were obtained from Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances (OCS). Reports to the OCS are mostly provided by pharmacies and hospitals, by veterinarian, dental, and physician clinics, pharmaceutical distributors and producers, and federal establishments and organizations. Entries include information related to the date, province, and location type; type of loss or theft; and generic name of the product, its strength, dosage form, quantity, and drug identification number. During the studied period, 45,379 submissions to the OCS provided information to create 213,895 entries to the database. After exclusions, 212,317 reports were retained for analysis. Opioids count for 45% of reports, benzodiazepines for 29%, and psychostimulants for 21%. Approximately, 29 million individual doses were lost or stolen of which 7.7 million were opioids (26%), totalizing approximately 178 million oral morphine milligram equivalents with 95% having been lost or stolen in community pharmacies. Moreover, approximately four out of 10 individual doses lost in community pharmacies are unexplained losses, which represent about 4.6 million individual doses. Reporting lost or stolen controlled substances and precursors is essential to tracking the diversion of Canada’s prescription drugs. Pharmacists therefore have an important role to play when it comes to minimizing their potential diversion. A better understanding of the situation across Canada may help to increase health care professionals’ awareness, improve practices, enhance the quality of collected data, and prevent further losses and thefts.

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