Substance Use

The use or misuse of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis (marijuana), stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids.

Opioids and Hepatitis C: How OxyContin Fed a New Epidemic

Feb. 12, 2019

Purdue Pharma’s 2010 reformulation of OxyContin as an abuse-resistant pill was supposed to be a breakthrough in battling the burgeoning opioid epidemic. Purdue executives and policymakers touted the reformulation as a way to dampen the supply of abusable drugs, thereby reducing opioid addiction and death. Nearly a decade later, it appears that the policy had several serious unintended consequences.

Why Deaths Continue to Rise in the Opioid Epidemic

Jan. 22, 2019

Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2017, a 9.6% increase from 2016. Deaths continue to soar, even as states and health systems implement policies to curb the overprescribing of opioids that led to the epidemic in the first place. It’s hard not to be discouraged by these numbers and our failure to reduce overdose deaths.

Trends in Opioid Prescribing and Dispensing by Veterinarians in Pennsylvania

Jan. 17, 2019

Dana L. Clarke, Kenneth J. Drobatz, Chloe Korzekwa, Lewis S. Nelson, Jeanmarie Perrone

Abstract [from journal]

Importance: Veterinarians are a subset of opioid prescribers.

Objective: To assess the quantity and trends in prescribing and dispensing of several different opioids in the past 11 years in a large veterinary hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study inventoried all opioid tablets and/or patches dispensed or prescribed by veterinarians practicing in a multispecialty academic veterinary teaching hospital in Philadelphia...

Cost-effectiveness of two opioid use disorder treatments

Dec. 18, 2018

[reposted from the CHERISH blog]

One key strategy in reducing deaths from the opioid epidemic is to improve access to existing evidence-based treatments. Two new economic studies by CHERISH Investigators Drs. Sean Murphy, Kathryn McCollister, and Bruce Schackman can help providers, patients, and payers sort through alternative pharmacotherapies to prevent opioid relapse.

Closing the gaps in opioid use disorder research, policy and practice: conference proceedings

Dec. 1, 2018

Matthew A. Miclette, Jared A. Leff, Isabella Cuan, Jeffrey H. Samet, Brendan Saloner, Gary Mendell, Yuhua Bao, Michael A. Ashburn, Marcus A. Bachhuber, Bruce R. Schackman, Daniel E. Polsky, Zachary F. Meisel

Abstract [from journal]

Drug overdose deaths involving opioids have surged in recent years and the economic cost of the opioid epidemic is estimated to be over $500 billion annually. In the midst of calls for declaring a national emergency, health policy decision makers are considering the best ways to allocate resources to curb the epidemic. On June 9, 2017, 116 invited health researchers, clinicians, policymakers, health system leaders, and other...

A Randomized Trial of Yoga for Stress and Substance Use among People Living With HIV in Reentry

Sep. 27, 2018

Alexandra S. Wimberly, Malitta Engstrom, Molly Layde, James R. McKay

Abstract [from journal]

Background: People in reentry from prison or jail (returning citizens) living with HIV and substance use problems often experience numerous stressors and are at high risk for resumed substance use. Interventions are needed to manage stress as a pathway to reduced substance use.

Objective: This study explored the effect of a hatha yoga intervention as compared to treatment as usual on stress and substance use among returning citizens living with HIV and substance use problems.

Methods:...

Cost-effective Screening and Treatment of Hepatitis C

Issue Brief
Sep. 17, 2018

In just five years, hepatitis C has changed from a difficult-to-treat chronic condition to one that is readily cured by a short course of medication. Medical breakthroughs have now created the possibility of eliminating the transmission of HCV, but also bring a new challenge for the health system—how to identify individuals carrying the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and how to pay for life-saving treatments. This Issue Brief reviews recent evidence on the cost-effectiveness of screening and treatment strategies, and makes the case for universal, one-time HCV screening for all US adults.

Adolescent E-Cigarette, Hookah, and Conventional Cigarette Use and Subsequent Marijuana Use

Janet Audrain McGovern, PhD
Sep. 12, 2018

Janet Audrain-McGovern, Matthew D. Stone, Jessica Barrington-Trimis, Jennifer B. Unger, Adam M. Leventhal

ABSTRACT [FROM JOURNAL]

Objectives: Noncigarette tobacco products may confer a risk of marijuana use similar to combustible cigarettes. We examined whether adolescent electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), hookah, or combustible cigarette use is associated with initiating and currently using marijuana as well as using both tobacco and marijuana concurrently.

Methods: Adolescents from 10 public schools in Los Angeles, California, completed in-classroom surveys at baseline (fall 2013,

...

Pages