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1.
S Afr Med J ; 113(6): 50-56, 2023 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232764

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a significant contributor to injury-related morbidity and mortality in South Africa (SA).  During the COVID-19 global pandemic, restrictions to movement and to the legal access of alcohol* were introduced in SA.  This study aimed to investigate the effect of alcohol bans during the COVID-19 lockdown periods on injury-related mortality and the blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) in these deaths. METHODS: A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of injury-related deaths in Western Cape (WC) province, SA, between 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 was conducted. Cases where BAC testing was performed were further examined according to the periods of lockdown (AL5-1) and alcohol restrictions. RESULTS: A total of 16,027 injury-related cases were admitted to Forensic Pathology Service mortuaries in the WC over the two-year period.  An average decrease of 15.7% injury-related deaths in 2020 compared to 2019 was noted, as well as a 47.7% decrease in injury-related deaths during hard lockdown (April -May 2020) compared to the same period in 2019. In the injury-related deaths, 12,077 (75.4%) had blood specimens collected for BAC testing. In 5,078 (42.0%) of submitted cases, a positive BAC (≥0.01g/100 mL) was reported. No significant difference was observed in the mean positive BAC between 2019 and 2020, however in April and May 2020, the mean BACs observed (0.13 g/100 mL) was less than that in 2019 (0.18 g/100 mL). A high number of positive BACs in the 12-17-year age group (±23.4%) was observed. CONCLUSION: There was a clear decrease in injury-related deaths in the WC during the COVID-19-related lockdown periods that coincided with the alcohol ban and restriction of movement and an increase following relaxation of restrictions on alcohol sales and movement. The data illustrated that mean BACs were similar between all periods of alcohol restriction compared to 2019, apart from hard lockdown in April-May, 2020.  This coincided with a smaller mortuary intake during the level 5 and 4 lockdown periods.   Keywords: Alcohol; blood alcohol concentration; COVID-19; injury; lockdown; South Africa; violent death; Western Cape   * Alcohol refers to ethanol.


Subject(s)
Blood Alcohol Content , COVID-19 , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , South Africa/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Ethanol
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(10)2023 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239752

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol abuse. Its prevalence and associated risk factors are not well documented. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, has a well-documented association with bereavement. This report uses a cross-sectional, population-based survey to estimate prevalence of bingeing and its association with new bereavement. Bingeing is defined as 4 or more drinks (women) or 5 or more drinks (men) in a 2-4-h setting. For the first time in 2019, the Georgia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) included a bereavement item: 'Have you experienced the death of a family member or close friend in the years 2018 or 2019?' METHODS: Georgia BRFSS is a complex sampling survey administered annually. It is designed to represent the 8.1 million people aged 18 years and older in the U.S. state of Georgia. Alcohol consumption patterns are routinely measured in the common core. In 2019, the state added a new item probing for bereavement in the prior 24 months predating the COVID-19 pandemic. Imputation and weighting techniques were applied to yield the population prevalence rates of new bereavement, bingeing, and their co-occurrence with other high-risk health behaviors and outcomes. Multivariate models, adjusted for age, gender, and race, were used to estimate the risk for other unhealthy behaviors posed by the co-occurrence of bereavement and bingeing. RESULTS: In Georgia, bereavement (45.8%), and alcohol consumption (48.8%) are common. Bereavement and alcohol use co-occurred among 1,796,817 people (45% of all drinkers) with a subset of 608,282 persons reporting bereavement combined with bingeing. The most common types of bereavement were death of a friend/neighbor (30.7%) or three plus deaths (31.8%). CONCLUSIONS: While bingeing is a known risk to public health, its co-occurrence with recent bereavement is a new observation. Public health surveillance systems need to monitor this co-occurrence to protect both individual and societal health. In a time of global bereavement, documenting its influence on binge drinking can support the work towards Sustainable Development Goal #3-Good health and Well-Being.


Subject(s)
Bereavement , Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , United States , Georgia/epidemiology , Prevalence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Binge Drinking/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethanol , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
3.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0286183, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237257

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Smoking and excessive drinking place a strain on household budgets. We aimed to examine the impact of the cost-of-living crisis in Great Britain on the nature of smoking cessation and alcohol reduction attempts, and explore changes in health professionals offering support. METHODS: Data were from 14,567 past-year smokers and high-risk drinkers (AUDIT-C ≥5) participating in monthly representative surveys, January-2021 through December-2022. We estimated time trends in cost as a motive driving the most recent (smoking cessation/alcohol reduction) attempt, use of paid or evidence-based support, and receipt of GP offer of support for smoking cessation or alcohol reduction, and tested for moderation by occupational social grade. RESULTS: The proportion of attempts motivated by cost did not change significantly over time among smokers (25.4% [95%CI = 23.8-26.9%]), but increased between December-2021 and December-2022 among high-risk drinkers from less advantaged social grades (from 15.3% [95%CI 12.1-19.3] to 29.7% [20.1-44.1]). The only change in support use was an increase in smokers using paid support, specifically e-cigarettes (from 28.1% [23.7-33.3] to 38.2% [33.0-44.4]). Among those visiting their GP, the proportion who received an offer of support was similar over time among smokers (27.0% [25.7-28.2]) and high-risk drinkers (1.4% [1.1-1.6%]). CONCLUSIONS: There is limited evidence that the 2021/22 cost-of-living crisis affected the nature of attempts to stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption, or receipt of GP offer of support. It is encouraging that use of evidence-based support has not declined and that use of e-cigarettes in quit attempts has increased. However, cost is increasingly motivating alcohol reduction attempts among less advantaged drinkers, and rates of GPs offering support, especially for alcohol reduction, remain very low.


Subject(s)
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , United Kingdom , Tobacco Smoking , Smoking , Alcohol Drinking , Ethanol
4.
J Urban Health ; 100(3): 638-648, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244365

ABSTRACT

This study examined alcohol misuse and binge drinking prevalence among Harlem residents, in New York City, and their associations with psycho-social factors such as substance use, depression symptom severity, and perception of community policing during COVID-19. An online cross-sectional study was conducted among 398 adult residents between April and September 2021. Participants with a score of at least 3 for females or at least 4 for males out of 12 on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test were considered to have alcohol misuse. Binge drinking was defined as self-reporting having six or more drinks on one occasion. Modified Poisson regression models were used to examine associations. Results showed that 42.7% used alcohol before COVID-19, 69.1% used it during COVID-19, with 39% initiating or increasing alcohol use during COVID-19. Alcohol misuse and binge drinking prevalence during COVID-19 were 52.3% and 57.0%, respectively. Higher severity of depression symptomatology, history of drug use and smoking cigarettes, and experiencing housing insecurity were positively associated with both alcohol misuse and binge drinking. Lower satisfaction with community policing was only associated with alcohol misuse, while no significant associations were found between employment insecurity and food insecurity with alcohol misuse or binge drinking. The findings suggest that Harlem residents may have resorted to alcohol use as a coping mechanism to deal with the impacts of depression and social stressors during COVID-19. To mitigate alcohol misuse, improving access to mental health and substance use disorder services, and addressing public safety through improving relations with police could be beneficial.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Male , Female , Humans , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Binge Drinking/epidemiology , Binge Drinking/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , New York City/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Ethanol , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
5.
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 42(5): 1041-1053, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243332

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Initial COVID-19 restrictions forced changes in the contexts (e.g., with who and where) within which individuals consumed alcohol. We aimed to explore different profiles of drinking contexts during initial COVID-19 restrictions and their association with alcohol consumption. METHOD: We used latent class analysis (LCA) to explore subgroups of drinking contexts among 4891 respondents of the Global Drug Survey from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia who reported drinking alcohol in the month prior to data collection (3 May-21 June 2020). Ten binary LCA indicator variables were generated from a survey question about last month alcohol settings. Negative binomial regression was used to explore the association between the latent classes and respondents' total number of drinks consumed in the last 30 days (i.e., alcohol consumption). RESULTS: The LCA found six distinct classes of individuals who reported drinking in the following contexts: household (36.0%); alone (32.3%); alone and household (17.9%); gatherings and household (9.5%); party (3.2%); and everywhere (1.1%), with the last group associated with the highest probability of increased alcohol consumption during this time. Male respondents and those aged 35 or older were most likely to report increased alcohol consumption. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that drinking contexts, sex and age influenced alcohol consumption during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight a need for improved policy targeting risky drinking in home settings. Further research should explore whether COVID-19-induced shifts in alcohol use persist as restrictions are lifted.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , COVID-19 , Humans , Male , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Latent Class Analysis , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Australia/epidemiology , Ethanol
6.
N Z Med J ; 136(1576): 49-66, 2023 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242526

ABSTRACT

AIMS: New Zealand's public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic has largely been considered successful, although there have been concerns surrounding the potential harms of the lockdown restrictions enforced, including alteration of alcohol consumption. New Zealand utilised a four-tiered alert level system of lockdowns and restrictions, with Level 4 denoting strict lockdown. This study aimed to compare alcohol-related hospital presentations during these periods with corresponding calendar-matched dates from the preceding year. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective case-controlled analysis of all alcohol-related hospital presentations between 1 January 2019 to 2 December 2021 and compared COVID-19 restriction periods to corresponding calendar-matched pre-pandemic periods. RESULTS: A total of 3,722 and 3,479 alcohol-related acute hospital presentations occurred during the four COVID-19 restriction levels and corresponding control periods respectively. Alcohol-related presentations accounted for a greater proportion of all admissions during COVID-19 Alert Levels 3 and 1 than the respective control periods (both p⁢0.05), but not during Levels 4 and 2 (both p>0.30). Acute mental and behavioural disorders accounted for a greater proportion of alcohol-related presentations during Alert Levels 4 and 3 (both p≤0.02), although alcohol dependence was present in a lower proportion of presentations during Alert Levels 4, 3, and 2 (all p⁢0.01). There was no difference in acute medical conditions including hepatitis and pancreatitis during all alert levels (all p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Alcohol-related presentations were unchanged compared to matched control periods during the strictest level of lockdown, although acute mental and behavioural disorders accounted for a greater proportion of alcohol-related admissions during this period. New Zealand appears to have avoided the general trend of increased alcohol-related harms seen internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic and its lockdown restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Ethanol , Hospitals
7.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 9478, 2023 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240570

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is an unprecedented global pandemic, sparking grave public health emergencies. One of the measures to reduce COVID-19 transmissions recommended by the World Health Organization is hand hygiene, i.e., washing hands with soap and water or disinfecting them using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (ABHS). Unfortunately, competing ABHSs with unknown quality, safety, and efficacy thrived, posing yet another risk to consumers. This study aims to develop, optimise, and validate a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based analytical method to simultaneously identify and quantify ethanol or isopropyl alcohol as the active ingredient in ABHS, with simultaneous determination of methanol as an impurity. The GC-MS was operated in Electron Ionisation mode, and Selected Ion Monitoring was chosen as the data acquisition method for quantitation. The analytical method was validated for liquid and gel ABHSs, covering the specificity, linearity and range, accuracy, and precisions, including the limit of detection and the limit of quantitation. The specificity of each target analyte was established using the optimised chromatographic separation with unique quantifier and qualifier ions. The linearity was ascertained with a coefficient of determination (r2) of > 0.9994 over the corresponding specification range. Respectively, the accuracy and precisions were satisfactory within 98.99 to 101.09% and < 3.04% of the relative standard deviation. The method was successfully applied to 69 ABHS samples, where 14 contained insufficient amounts of the active ingredient. Alarmingly, four samples comprised a high amount of methanol ranging from 5.3 to 19.4% with respect to the active alcohol percentage, which may pose significant short- and long-term health issues, leading to life-threatening crises for consumers. The method established would benefit in protecting the public against the potential harm due to substandard or unsafe ABHS products, primarily due to the presence of hazardous impurities such as methanol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hand Sanitizers , Humans , Hand Sanitizers/chemistry , Ethanol/analysis , Methanol/analysis , 2-Propanol , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control
8.
Asia Pac J Public Health ; 35(4): 241-243, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322026

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drama , Humans , Ethanol , Television
9.
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 42(5): 1252-1263, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2319951

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study: (i) determined the population coverage of alcohol delivery and to-go/carryout policies (i.e., policies permitting bars/restaurants to sell individual drinks for off-site consumption) in 2019 and 2020; and (ii) identified characteristics associated with alcohol delivery and to-go purchases. METHODS: Data are from the National Alcohol Survey and Alcohol Policy Information System (n = 1677 adults, 52.1% female). Population coverage models summed state populations across state-level bar/restaurant delivery and to-go/carryout policies by beverage. Regression outcomes were past-year alcohol delivery and to-go purchases. Independent variables included demographics, excessive drinking, COVID-19 impacts and state COVID-19 bar/restaurant alcohol laws. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression models tested associations between delivery/to-go purchases and independent variables. RESULTS: Overall, 7.5% of adults had alcohol delivered and 14.5% bought alcohol to-go. From December 2019 to December 2020, the number of people living in states allowing beer/wine/spirits delivery (284%) and to-go sales (627%) rose steeply. People who were Black (vs. White; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.92, p < 0.001), excessive drinkers (vs. non-excessive drinkers; aOR 2.06, p < 0.001) or lived in states allowing beer/wine/spirits to-go sales (aOR 2.20, p = 0.01) had higher odds of buying alcohol to-go. Conversely, older people had lower odds of buying alcohol to-go (aOR 0.97, p < 0.001). People with some college or more (vs. high school degree or less, aOR 2.21, p < 0.001) and a higher economic burden (vs. fewer COVID-19 impacts, aOR 2.32, p = 0.05) had higher odds of alcohol delivery. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: A select sub-population defined by socioeconomic status, race, excessive drinking and state policies bought alcohol for delivery or to-go in the Unites States.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Aged , Male , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Alcoholic Beverages , Ethanol , Public Policy
10.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 248: 109929, 2023 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317990

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Substance use trends during the COVID-19 pandemic have been extensively documented. However, relatively less is known about the associations between pandemic-related experiences and substance use. METHOD: In July 2020 and January 2021, a broad U.S. community sample (N = 1123) completed online assessments of past month alcohol, cannabis, and nicotine use and the 92-item Epidemic-Pandemic Impacts Inventory, a multidimensional measure of pandemic-related experiences. We examined links between substance use frequency, and pandemic impact on emotional, physical, economic, and other key domains, using Bayesian Gaussian graphical networks in which edges represent significant associations between variables (referred to as nodes). Bayesian network comparison approaches were used to assess the evidence of stability (or change) in associations between the two timepoints. RESULTS: After controlling for all other nodes in the network, multiple significant edges connecting substance use nodes and pandemic-experience nodes were observed across both time points, including positive- (r range 0.07-0.23) and negative-associations (r range -0.25 to -0.11). Alcohol was positively associated with social and emotional pandemic impacts and negatively associated with economic impacts. Nicotine was positively associated with economic impact and negatively associated with social impact. Cannabis was positively associated with emotional impact. Network comparison suggested these associations were stable across the two timepoints. CONCLUSION: Alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis use had unique associations to a few specific domains among a broad range of pandemic-related experiences. Given the cross-sectional nature of these analyses with observational data, further investigation is needed to identify potential causal links.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Nicotine , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Ethanol
11.
Intern Med J ; 53(5): 830-834, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317664

ABSTRACT

This audit collates data on alcohol-related gastrointestinal (GI) admissions at Monash Health, Victoria, during the prolonged, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related lockdown July to October 2020 compared with the same periods in 2019 and 2021. We found a 58% increase in admissions in 2020 and a 16% increase in 2021, which also increased disproportionately to overall health service emergency presentations. Self-reported alcohol consumption increased by 2.5-fold and was greatest in 2020. Clinical severity was unchanged and cirrhosis was the only factor associated with severe disease. This study suggests an association between the pandemic-related lockdown, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related GI hospitalisation. Our study provides support for resourcing and adapting alcohol and other drug services during and beyond the COVID-19 lockdown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pancreatitis , Humans , Communicable Disease Control , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage , Ethanol , Alcohol Drinking , Hospitalization , Liver
12.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e071208, 2023 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314594

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Despite cultural, religious and legal constraints, alcohol and drug abuse is rising in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Therefore, we aim to produce a scoping review to summarise available scientific literature on alcohol and substance dependence (ASD) in all ethnic and religious groups in the UAE to inform future scientific inquiries. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Social work faculty from the UAE University will conduct the scoping review between March 2023 and February 2024. Drawing on the participants, concept, context (PCC) framework, the following review question was developed: What can be learnt from a review of scientific literature on alcohol and substance abuse in all ethnic and religious groups in the UAE? The scientific literature on ASD in the UAE published between 1971 and January 2023, in either English or Arabic, will be considered, including all ethnic, religious and age groups. Grey literature, such as postgraduate dissertations and conference proceedings, will also be considered. Eight English and two Arabic databases and print copies of literature sources in university libraries will be included. EndNote and Covidence software will be used for deduplication, screening and data extraction. Screening and reviewing search results will involve two English-speaking and two Arabic-speaking team members who will work independently. A third reviewer will resolve conflicts. The inter-rater reliability data from the title and abstract screening stage will be exported, and Cohen's kappa coefficient will be calculated. Data charting informed by the Covidence data extraction tool 2.0 will occur after pilot testing, followed by qualitative content analysis. Reporting of the findings will align with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews tool. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required for this study because this is a scoping review of published studies and grey literature. Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journal publications, scientific conferences and a policy brief.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Ethanol , Reproducibility of Results , Review Literature as Topic , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , United Arab Emirates/epidemiology
13.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 19(1): 2204048, 2023 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313636

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are the most effective mechanism for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. However, reluctance to accept vaccines has hindered the efforts of health authorities to combat the virus. In Haiti, as of July 2021, less than 1% of the country's population has been fully vaccinated in part due to vaccine hesitancy. Our goal was to assess Haitian attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination and investigate the primary reasons for Moderna vaccine hesitancy. We conducted a cross-sectional survey across three rural Haitian communities, in September 2021. The research team used electronic tablets to collect quantitative data from 1,071 respondents, selected randomly across the communities. We report descriptive statistics and identify variables associated with vaccine acceptance using logistic regression built using a backward stepwise approach. Among 1,071 respondents, the overall acceptance rate was 27.0% (n = 285). The most common reason for vaccine hesitancy was "concern about side effects" (n = 484, 67.1%) followed by "concern about contracting COVID-19 from the vaccine" (n = 472, 65.4%). Three-quarters of respondents (n = 817) identified their healthcare workers as their most trustworthy source for information related to the vaccine. In the bivariate analysis, male gender (p = .06) and no history of drinking alcohol (p < .001) were significantly associated with being more likely to take the vaccine. In the final reduced model, only those with a history of drinking alcohol were significantly more likely to take the vaccine (aOR = 1.47 (1.23, 1.87) p < .001). The acceptance rate for the COVID-19 vaccine is low, and public health experts should design and strengthen vaccination campaigns to combat misinformation and public distrust.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Haiti , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , Ethanol , Vaccination
14.
J Physician Assist Educ ; 34(2): 91-97, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313406

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to discover the substance use prevalence among physician assistant students (PA-S) compared with the age-relevant general US population and to examine the frequency of stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression during the didactic and clinical phases, while accounting for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A 20-item survey instrument was created. Self-reported data included demographics, anxiety, burnout, tobacco, illicit substances, and prescription medication use. Outcome-based inventories included a modified Perceived Stress Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Concise. The survey was emailed to all US programs (∼270 programs; ∼25,000 students), with 54 programs approving dissemination to their students (n∼4,760). RESULTS: Of the 1432 responses (30% response rate, 96% completion rate), the final validated sample was 1378 students (56.1% didactic, 43.8% clinical). When compared with the national population, PA-S prevalence for tobacco (5.2%) and illicit substance use (9.9%) were notably lower; alcohol (53.5%) was comparable; and prescription medication (7.0%) is only reported for PA students due to the lack of a national comparison. A higher frequency of substance use was observed during the didactic (52.5%) vs clinical (47.5%) phases. Stress was the dominant factor in both phases (93.5% didactic, 86.1% clinical). Respondents reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had minimal impact on reported rates, other than alcohol. DISCUSSION: Although PA-S substance use prevalence is at or below the national population, PA programs are encouraged to review their policies and provide conversations and resources for students who may have one or more risk factors and experience a negative effect from current substance use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physician Assistants , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Tobacco , Prevalence , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Physician Assistants/education , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Students , Ethanol
15.
Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc ; 299: 122880, 2023 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2312926

ABSTRACT

Favipiravir and aspirin are co-administered during COVID-19 treatment to prevent venous thromboembolism. For the first time, a spectrofluorometric method has been developed for the simultaneous analysis of favipiravir and aspirin in plasma matrix at nano-gram detection limits. The native fluorescence spectra of favipiravir and aspirin in ethanol showed overlapping emission spectra at 423 nm and 403 nm, respectively, after excitation at 368 nm and 298 nm, respectively. Direct simultaneous determination with normal fluorescence spectroscopy was difficult. The use of synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy for analyzing the studied drugs in ethanol at Δλ = 80 nm improved spectral resolution and enabled the determination of favipiravir and aspirin in the plasma matrix at 437 nm and 384 nm, respectively. The method described allowed sensitive determination of favipiravir and aspirin over a concentration range of 10-500 ng/mL and 35-1600 ng/mL, respectively. The described method was validated with respect to the ICH M10 guidelines and successfully applied for the simultaneous determination of the mentioned drugs in pure form and in the spiked plasma matrix. Moreover, the compliance of the method with the concepts of environmentally friendly analytical chemistry was evaluated using two metrics, the Green Analytical Procedure Index and the AGREE tool. The results showed that the described method was consistent with the accepted metrics for green analytical chemistry.


Subject(s)
Aspirin , COVID-19 , Humans , Spectrometry, Fluorescence/methods , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Ethanol
16.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e40160, 2022 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2310716

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dry January, a temporary alcohol abstinence campaign, encourages individuals to reflect on their relationship with alcohol by temporarily abstaining from consumption during the month of January. Though Dry January has become a global phenomenon, there has been limited investigation into Dry January participants' experiences. One means through which to gain insights into individuals' Dry January-related experiences is by leveraging large-scale social media data (eg, Twitter chatter) to explore and characterize public discourse concerning Dry January. OBJECTIVE: We sought to answer the following questions: (1) What themes are present within a corpus of tweets about Dry January, and is there consistency in the language used to discuss Dry January across multiple years of tweets (2020-2022)? (2) Do unique themes or patterns emerge in Dry January 2021 tweets after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic? and (3) What is the association with tweet composition (ie, sentiment and human-authored vs bot-authored) and engagement with Dry January tweets? METHODS: We applied natural language processing techniques to a large sample of tweets (n=222,917) containing the term "dry january" or "dryjanuary" posted from December 15 to February 15 across three separate years of participation (2020-2022). Term frequency inverse document frequency, k-means clustering, and principal component analysis were used for data visualization to identify the optimal number of clusters per year. Once data were visualized, we ran interpretation models to afford within-year (or within-cluster) comparisons. Latent Dirichlet allocation topic modeling was used to examine content within each cluster per given year. Valence Aware Dictionary and Sentiment Reasoner sentiment analysis was used to examine affect per cluster per year. The Botometer automated account check was used to determine average bot score per cluster per year. Last, to assess user engagement with Dry January content, we took the average number of likes and retweets per cluster and ran correlations with other outcome variables of interest. RESULTS: We observed several similar topics per year (eg, Dry January resources, Dry January health benefits, updates related to Dry January progress), suggesting relative consistency in Dry January content over time. Although there was overlap in themes across multiple years of tweets, unique themes related to individuals' experiences with alcohol during the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic were detected in the corpus of tweets from 2021. Also, tweet composition was associated with engagement, including number of likes, retweets, and quote-tweets per post. Bot-dominant clusters had fewer likes, retweets, or quote tweets compared with human-authored clusters. CONCLUSIONS: The findings underscore the utility for using large-scale social media, such as discussions on Twitter, to study drinking reduction attempts and to monitor the ongoing dynamic needs of persons contemplating, preparing for, or actively pursuing attempts to quit or cut down on their drinking.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Humans , Natural Language Processing , Infodemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethanol
17.
Soc Sci Med ; 326: 115925, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2310705

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: The first COVID-19 lockdown impacted the social life and behaviors of university students, such as alcohol use. While previous studies have reported changes in students' alcohol use during the lockdown, knowledge of risk groups like binge drinkers is limited. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to investigate how the first lockdown impacted the alcohol use of university students who were regular binge drinkers before the lockdown. METHODS: Cross-sectional data were used to explore self-reported changes in alcohol use and associated psychosocial effects in regular binge drinking versus regular drinking university students (N = 7355) during the first COVID-19 lockdown (Spring 2020) in the Netherlands. RESULTS: University students generally drank less alcohol and reduced binge drinking behaviors during the lockdown. Being a binge drinker who increased/maintained alcohol use, or a regular drinker who increased, was associated with older age, fewer servings of alcohol per week before COVID-19, higher contact with friends, and not living with parents. Among regular binge drinkers, men increased their alcohol use during the lockdown significantly more than women. Among regular drinkers, those with high depressive symptoms and low resilience had increased alcohol use. CONCLUSIONS: These findings give insight into significant changes in drinking behaviors among university students during the first COVID-19 lockdown. More importantly, it underscores the need to reckon vulnerable students considering drinking type and associated psychosocial variables for increasing or maintaining higher alcohol use during societal stress periods. In the present study, an unexpected at-risk group emerged among regular drinkers who increased alcohol use during the lockdown in association with their mental state (i.e., depression and resilience). As the COVID-19 pandemic, and the possibility of similar scenarios in the future, is still present in the current student life, specific preventive strategies and interventions should be targeted accordingly.


Subject(s)
Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Pandemics , Universities , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Ethanol , Social Environment , Students/psychology , Binge Drinking/epidemiology
18.
Psychol Addict Behav ; 36(7): 885-894, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296154

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Associations between mood and drinking are part of many theoretical models of problematic alcohol use. Laboratory and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) research on associations between mood and drinking behavior has produced mixed findings, and these constructs are often measured using different methods depending on research context. The present study compares associations between mood and alcohol consumption across research contexts (laboratory vs. daily life) and measurement methods (breathalyzer vs. self-report). METHOD: Forty-five young adults (53% women, Mage = 24.5) who drank moderate-to-heavy amounts completed an alcohol administration session and then 6 weeks of EMA with ambulatory breathalyzer samples. Participants reported their current mood (happy, nervous, upset, and excited) in both the laboratory and during EMA. Momentary, day, and person-level mood variables were examined in multilevel models predicting objective alcohol consumption [breath alcohol concentration (BrAC); lab and EMA] and subjective consumption (self-reported drinking occurrence and number of drinks; EMA). RESULTS: We identified discrepant mood-BrAC associations across laboratory and EMA contexts. Momentary excitement was negatively associated with BrAC in the lab, but positively associated with BrAC during EMA (ps < .01). We also identified discrepancies within EMA depending on the alcohol consumption measure used (BrAC or self-reported number of drinks) and the level of analysis (momentary or day). CONCLUSIONS: Studies testing theoretical models involving directional mood-alcohol associations (e.g., affective reinforcement models) need to carefully consider how research context and methods may influence findings of associations between mood and drinking. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Affect , Alcohol Drinking , Young Adult , Humans , Female , Adult , Male , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Affect/physiology , Ecological Momentary Assessment , Ethanol/analysis , Breath Tests
19.
J R Coll Physicians Edinb ; 53(1): 65-70, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299307

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, alcohol causes a death every 10 seconds. The harmful effects are much wider in terms of impaired health and wellbeing of those affected and their families, particularly the most disadvantaged. The wider societal impact and financial costs are huge. Scotland, which has a particularly unhealthy relationship with alcohol and where the cost of alcohol harm is estimated at £3.6 billion, has introduced innovative public health measures such as minimum unit pricing (MUP). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the death toll rising. This article examines the history of alcohol harm and policy interventions in Scotland in recent decades. The lessons learned provide a range of measures of proven efficacy that clinicians and government should employ to tackle Scotland's on-going alcohol crisis, and should be of interest to clinicians and policy makers everywhere.


Subject(s)
Alcoholic Beverages , COVID-19 , Humans , Public Health , Pandemics , Commerce , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethanol , Scotland/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/adverse effects , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Health Policy
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