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1.
Int. j. morphol ; 41(2): 482-490, abr. 2023. ilus, tab, graf
Article in Spanish | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-20239353

ABSTRACT

En estudios preliminares objetivamos alta prevalencia de uso de sustancias psicoactivas (SP) entre alumnos de Anatomía, con mayor impacto entre los recursantes o aquellos con actividades laborales. La causa del uso es multifactorial, pero se destacan factores de riesgo y precipitantes como la carga horaria de la currícula, exigencias de estudio, el distrés por el afrontamiento cadavérico negativo, el nuevo contexto educativo y la cantidad de horas de sueño. El objetivo fue comparar la prevalencia de uso de SP entre las cohortes de 2011-2019, con focalización en los factores determinantes conductuales. Estudio observacional, transversal y comparativo mediante encuesta estandarizada y anónima en 945 alumnos (año 2011= 122; año 2013= 158; año 2015=204; año 2017= 228; año 2019= 233). Se aplicaron parámetros estadísticos, se definió la significación como p -0.84; AA: r> -0.71). En el caso de ansiolíticos benzodiacepínicos, se asoció con falta de sueño y distrés por el afrontamiento negativo al estudio con cadáveres. En las cohortes comparadas por el lapso de 9 años hallamos alta prevalencia de uso de sustancias psicoactivas con tendencia al incremento. Las variables actividad laboral y recursante fueron determinantes para el uso de sustancias, y se asociaron cuestiones relativas a la adaptabilidad universitaria y afrontamiento de estudio negativo con el cadáver; todos con incidencia pedagógica en el proceso de enseñanza y aprendizaje.


SUMMARY: In preliminary studies, we observed a high prevalence of the use of psychoactive substances (PS) among Anatomy students, with a greater impact among recurrent students or those with work activities. The cause of use is multifactorial, but risk and precipitating factors stand out, such as the workload of the curriculum, study demands, distress due to negative cadaveric coping, the new educational context and the number of hours of sleep. The objective was to compare the prevalence of SP use between the 2011-2019 cohorts, with a focus on behavioral determinants. Observational, cross-sectional and comparative study using a standardized and anonymous survey in 945 students (year 2011= 122; year 2013= 158; year 2015=204; year 2017= 228; year 2019= 233). Statistical parameters were applied, significance was defined as p -0.84; AA: r> -0.71). In the case of benzodiazepine anxiolytics, it was associated with lack of sleep and distress due to negative coping with the study with cadavers. In the cohorts compared for a period of 9 years, we found a high prevalence of psychoactive substance use with an increasing trend. The variables work activity and recurrence were determinants for the use of substances, and issues related to university adaptability and negative study coping with the corpse were associated; all with pedagogical impact on the teaching and learning process.


Subject(s)
Humans , Male , Female , Young Adult , Students, Medical/psychology , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Anatomy/education , Argentina , Adaptation, Psychological , Attitude to Death , Prevalence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Risk Factors , Cohort Studies , Dissection/education , Dissection/psychology , Psychological Distress
2.
Nurs Clin North Am ; 58(2): 141-151, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233040

ABSTRACT

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are complex illnesses and may occur in individuals with other physical and mental illnesses. Common comorbidities for SUDs include mental health illness and/or chronic pain. Nurses face additional risk factors for the development of SUD and comorbid illnesses. The relationships among these comorbidities and SUD are multifaceted, requiring understanding of the individual disease processes and how they may impact the manifestations of one another, as well as response to treatment considerations. Understanding the prevalence of these comorbidities and potential relationships is crucial to prevention, management, and treatment outcomes.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Prevalence , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Comorbidity , Mental Health , Risk Factors
3.
BMC Womens Health ; 23(1): 294, 2023 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240322

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected societies globally, prompting rising unemployment, insufficient household incomes, and stress and undermining women's and children's health within families. This study examined family violence and identified influencing factors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand. METHODS: A mixed-method design was used, entailing a questionnaire followed by focus group interviews. A cross-sectional survey was administered to investigate family violence among 1285 female respondents aged 15 years and above who were recruited through stratified sampling. The Cronbach alpha and and inter-raters Kappa coefficient values for the questionnaire were 0.67 and 1.00, respectively. In addition, a descriptive qualitative instrument was employed to analyze the data sets from four focus group interviews held with 32 staff members from agencies that deal with family violence. The researchers jointly developed the focus group questions, which focused on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on family violence. They independently analyzed data using content analysis. RESULTS: The majority of the study participants were aged above 45 years (>50%), married (61.1%), lived in single-family settings (52.5%), had lost their jobs (64.4%), and had economic constraints that were moderate (37.8%) to severe (40.6%). The prevalence of family violence, which was primarily physical, was 42.2%. Family income, stress, and substance abuse were the main factors associated with family violence. These findings were correlated with those from the qualitative interviews. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic had indirect impacts through family violence. Women were subjected to family violence behaviors, which were associated with household income, economic status, stress, and substance abuse. These behaviors included psychological and physical violence, as well as sexual abuse. Future interventions should focus on financial support and stress reduction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Domestic Violence , Intimate Partner Violence , Substance-Related Disorders , Child , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Women's Health , Prevalence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Thailand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Child Health , Risk Factors
4.
Epigenomics ; 15(7): 453-473, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238843

ABSTRACT

The rate of substance use is rising, especially among reproductive-age individuals. Emerging evidence suggests that paternal pre-conception and maternal prenatal substance use may alter offspring epigenetic regulation (changes to gene expression without modifying DNA) and outcomes later in life, including neurodevelopment and mental health. However, relatively little is known due to the complexities and limitations of existing studies, making causal interpretations challenging. This review examines the contributions and influence of parental substance use on the gametes and potential transmissibility to the offspring's epigenome as possible areas to target public health warnings and healthcare provider counseling of individuals or couples in the pre-conception and prenatal periods to ultimately mitigate short- and long-term offspring morbidity and mortality.


More people, especially those of reproductive age, are using substances, and there is growing evidence to suggest that parental substance use before and during pregnancy may adversely affect offspring and result in issues later in life, including mental health challenges. Such relationships have been demonstrated with nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, opioids and illegal drugs (e.g., heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines). Some of these adverse impacts on offspring can potentially be passed down in families even after parents have quit using the substance. Because more individuals are using drugs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that families learn more about the potential impact of substance use on their future offspring before they try to get pregnant.


Subject(s)
Epigenesis, Genetic , Substance-Related Disorders , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , DNA Methylation , Parents , Reproduction , Substance-Related Disorders/genetics
5.
AIDS Res Ther ; 20(1): 34, 2023 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236410

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mental health and medical follow-up of people living with HIV (PLWH) have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The objectives of this study were to assess anxiety, depression and substance use in Mexican PLWH during the pandemic; to explore the association of these symptoms with adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), and to compare patients with and without vulnerability factors (low socioeconomic level, previous psychological and/or psychiatric treatment). METHODS: We studied 1259 participants in a cross-sectional study, PLWH receiving care at the HIV clinic in Mexico City were contacted by telephone and invited to participate in the study. We included PLWH were receiving ART; answered a structured interview on sociodemographic data and adherence to ART; and completed the psychological instruments to assess depressive and anxiety symptoms and substance use risk. Data collection was performed from June 2020 to October 2021. RESULTS: 84.7% were men, 8% had inadequate ART adherence, 11% had moderate-severe symptoms of depression, and 13% had moderate-severe symptoms of anxiety. Adherence was related to psychological symptoms (p < 0.001). Vulnerable patients were more likely to be women, with low educational level and unemployed (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: It is important to address mental health of PLWH during the COVID-19 pandemic, with special attention to the most vulnerable individuals. Future studies are needed to understand the relationship between mental health and ART adherence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Substance-Related Disorders , Male , Humans , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/psychology , Pandemics , Mental Health , Cross-Sectional Studies , Mexico/epidemiology , Medication Adherence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/complications , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
6.
Addict Sci Clin Pract ; 18(1): 39, 2023 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235217

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Breaking Free Online (BFO), a computer-assisted therapy (CAT) program for substance use disorders (SUD), has been available across UK treatment services for the past decade and has demonstrated efficacy. The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to digital and 'telehealth' approaches to healthcare delivery becoming more common and accepted, and has in parallel, increased numbers of referrals to SUD services because of the impact pandemic-related stress has had on substance using habits in the general population. Digital and telehealth approaches, such as BFO, have the potential to support the treatment system to meet this increased demand for SUD services. METHODS: Parallel-group randomized controlled trial of eight-week BFO as an adjunct to standard treatment for SUD, in comparison to standard treatment only, at a National Health Service (NHS) Mental Health Trust in North-West England. Participants will be service users aged 18 years and over with demonstrable SUD for at least 12-months. Interventional and control groups will be compared on multiple measures from baseline to post-treatment assessment at eight-weeks, and then three and six-months follow-up. Primary outcome will be self-reported substance use, with secondary outcomes being standardized assessments of substance dependence, mental health, biopsychosocial functioning and quality of life. DISCUSSION: This study will examine whether BFO and telehealth support, when delivered as an adjunct to standard SUD interventions, improves outcomes for services users receiving NHS SUD treatment. Findings from the study will be used to inform both developments to the BFO program and guidance around augmenting the delivery of CAT programs via telehealth. Trial registration registered with ISRCTN on 25th May 2021-registration number: 13694016. PROTOCOL VERSION: 3.0 05th April 2022. TRIAL STATUS: This trial is currently open to recruitment-estimated to be completed in May 2023.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Therapy, Computer-Assisted , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life , State Medicine , Therapy, Computer-Assisted/methods , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Treatment Outcome , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
7.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286597, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235090

ABSTRACT

Single-measurement-point data collection to assess change has increased with studies assessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and of its containment, despite evidence of its lack of validity. Retrospective change is not equivalent to change in repeated self-reported measures giving raise to questions about the validity of the former. This paper purports to investigate inconsistencies between change measures by confronting retrospective change to information from longitudinally self-reported measures from the C-SURF cohort study. The study sample consists of 2,279 young men who participated in C-SURF between 2020 and 2021, and completed between May and June 2021 a survey covering change in alcohol, cigarette, cannabis and other addictive behaviors related to the pandemic. The aforementioned behaviors were assessed longitudinally at two time points using self-reports, and retrospective change since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis was also assessed at the second measurement time. Information from both prospective and retrospective change measures were confronted to identify inconsistent information for each behavior. Additionally, multiple logistic regressions were performed to assess associations between socioeconomic status, impulsivity, depression, and different indicators of motivation to complete the study and inconsistency between both measures for each behavior of interest. Importantly, inconsistent information in at least one of the investigated behaviors was found in about 90% of the participants. Small associations were found between inconsistency and different factors with a consistent effect of impulsivity. In the absence of evidence of the validity of retrospective change measures, studies relying on retrospective change should be interpreted with caution.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Male , Humans , Cohort Studies , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Pandemics , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
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
9.
JAMA Health Forum ; 4(6): e231200, 2023 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243934

ABSTRACT

This cohort study examines hospital use and mortality among persons with substance use disorder (SUD) who were released from New Jersey state prisons after a COVID-19 emergency prison release program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Prisons , Hospitals
10.
Public Health Res (Southampt) ; 11(3): 1-77, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234426

ABSTRACT

Background: Substance use and offending are related in the context of other disinhibitory behaviours. Adolescents involved in the criminal justice system constitute a particularly vulnerable group, with a propensity to engage in risky behaviour that has long-term impact on their future health and well-being. Previous research of the RISKIT programme provided evidence of a potential effect in reducing substance use and risky behaviour in adolescents. Objectives: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a multicomponent psychosocial intervention compared with treatment as usual in reducing substance use for substance-using adolescents involved in the criminal justice system. Design: A mixed-methods, prospective, pragmatic, two-arm, randomised controlled trial with follow-up at 6 and 12 months post randomisation. Setting: The study was conducted across youth offending teams, pupil referral units and substance misuse teams across four areas of England (i.e. South East, London, North West, North East). Participants: Adolescents aged between 13 and 17 years (inclusive), recruited between September 2017 and June 2020. Interventions: Participants were randomised to treatment as usual or to treatment as usual in addition to the RISKIT-Criminal Justice System (RISKIT-CJS) programme. The RISKIT-CJS programme was a multicomponent intervention and consisted of two individual motivational interviews with a trained youth worker (lasting 45 minutes each) and two group sessions delivered over half a day on consecutive weeks. Main outcome measures: At 12 months, we assessed per cent days abstinent from substance use over the previous 28 days. Secondary outcome measures included well-being, motivational state, situational confidence, quality of life, resource use and fidelity of interventions delivered. Results: A total of 693 adolescents were assessed for eligibility, of whom 505 (73%) consented. Of these, 246 (49%) were allocated to the RISKIT-CJS intervention and 259 (51%) were allocated to treatment as usual only. At month 12, the overall follow-up rate was 57%: 55% in the RISKIT-CJS arm and 59% in the treatment-as-usual arm. At month 12, we observed an increase in per cent days abstinent from substances in both arms of the study, from 61% to 85%, but there was no evidence that the RISKIT-CJS intervention was superior to treatment as usual. A similar pattern was observed for secondary outcomes. The RISKIT-CJS intervention was not found to be any more cost-effective than treatment as usual. The qualitative research indicated that young people were positive about learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge. Although stakeholders considered the intervention worthwhile, they expressed concern that it came too late for the target population. Limitations: Our original aim to collect data on offences was thwarted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this affected both the statistical and economic analyses. Although 214 (87%) of the 246 participants allocated to the RISKIT-CJS intervention attended at least one individual face-to-face session, 98 (40%) attended a group session and only 47 (19%) attended all elements of the intervention. Conclusions: The RISKIT-CJS intervention was no more clinically effective or cost-effective than treatment as usual in reducing substance use among adolescents involved in the criminal justice system. Future research: The RISKIT-CJS intervention was considered more acceptable, and adherence was higher, in pupil referral units and substance misuse teams than in youth offending teams. Stakeholders in youth offending teams thought that the intervention was too late in the trajectory for their population. Trial registration: This trial is registered as ISRCTN77037777. Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Public Health Research programme and will be published in full in Public Health Research; Vol. 11, No. 3. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.


We explored how useful a psychological intervention was in reducing substance use among young people who had some involvement in the criminal justice system. We recruited young people aged between 13 and 17 years in four areas of England (i.e. South East, London, North West and North East). Young people were recruited from youth offending teams, pupil referral units and substance misuse teams. Those young people who were willing to participate were offered usual treatment and half, chosen at random, were offered an opportunity to take part in the RISKIT-Criminal Justice System (RISKIT-CJS) programme. The RISKIT-CJS programme had four distinct parts. The first was a 1-hour session that used an approach called motivational interviewing to explore the young person's substance use and discuss different strategies to change their behaviour. This was followed by two group sessions delivered over 2 consecutive weeks. These group sessions addressed risks associated with substance use, what triggers use and the health and social consequences. In addition, young people were taught new skills to help them manage in situations in which they might normally use substances. At the end of the group sessions, the young people had another motivational interview. Twelve months after participants started, we found that the frequency of substance use had decreased in both groups; however, the RISKIT-CJS intervention was no better than treatment as usual. When we spoke with young people who had taken part and staff involved with this population, we got a mixed picture. In some settings, particularly pupil referral units, the RISKIT-CJS intervention was well received by young people and staff, and staff felt that it was a useful additional resource to the work that they were currently undertaking. On the other hand, in the youth offending teams, the staff thought that the programme was too different from their normal work to be implemented easily and they considered the population they work with too established in their substance use and criminal activity to benefit from the programme.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Adolescent , Quality of Life , Prospective Studies , Criminal Law , Pandemics , Psychosocial Intervention , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
11.
Harm Reduct J ; 20(1): 71, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234375

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare and substance use services engagement, including primary and mental health services as well as residential and outpatient drug treatment. Women who inject drugs (WWID) face known barriers to healthcare and substance use service engagement, which pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on WWID's engagement with healthcare and substance use services, however, remains understudied. METHODS: To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on service-seeking and utilization, we conducted in-depth interviews with 27 cisgender WWID in Baltimore, Maryland, in April-September 2021. Iterative, team-based thematic analysis of interview transcripts identified disruptions and adaptations to healthcare and substance use services during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted service engagement for WWID through service closures, pandemic safety measures restricting in-person service provision, and concerns related to contracting COVID-19 at service sites. However, participants also described various service adaptations, including telehealth, multi-month prescriptions, and expanded service delivery modalities (e.g., mobile and home delivery of harm reduction services), which overwhelmingly increased service engagement. CONCLUSION: To build upon service adaptations occurring during the pandemic and maximize expanded access for WWID, it is vital for healthcare and substance use service providers to continue prioritizing expansion of service delivery modality options, like telehealth and the provision of existing harm reduction services through alternative platforms (e.g., mobile services), that facilitate care continuity and increase coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Telemedicine , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy
12.
Harm Reduct J ; 20(1): 70, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234261

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unprecedented increases in substance-related overdose fatalities have been observed in Texas and the U.S. since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and have made clear there is considerable need to reduce harms associated with drug use. At the federal level, initiatives have called for widespread dissemination and implementation of evidence-based harm reduction practices to reduce overdose deaths. Implementation of harm reduction strategies is challenging in Texas. There is a paucity of literature on understanding current harm reduction practices in Texas. As such, this qualitative study aims to understand harm reduction practices among people who use drugs (PWUD), harm reductionists, and emergency responders across four counties in Texas. This work would inform future efforts to scale and spread harm reduction in Texas. METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with N = 69 key stakeholders (25 harm reductionists; 24 PWUD; 20 emergency responders). Interviews were transcribed verbatim, coded for emergent themes, and analyzed using Applied Thematic Analysis with Nvivo 12. A community advisory board defined the research questions, reviewed the emergent themes, and assisted with interpretation of the data. RESULTS: Emergent themes highlighted barriers to harm reduction at micro and macro levels, from the individual experience of PWUD and harm reductionists to systemic issues in healthcare and the emergency medical response system. Specifically, (1) Texas has existing strengths in overdose prevention and response efforts on which to build, (2) PWUD are fearful of interacting with healthcare and 911 systems, (3) harm reductionists are in increasing need of support for reaching all PWUD communities, and (4) state-level policies may hinder widespread implementation and adoption of evidence-based harm reduction practices. CONCLUSIONS: Perspectives from harm reduction stakeholders highlighted existing strengths, avenues for improvement, and specific barriers that currently exist to harm reduction practices in Texas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Harm Reduction , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Overdose/prevention & control
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(11)2023 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240815

ABSTRACT

The year 2021 was the most deadly year for overdose deaths in the USA and Canada. The stress and social isolation stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with a flood of fentanyl into local drug markets created conditions in which people who use drugs were more susceptible to accidental overdose. Within territorial, state, and local policy communities, there have been longstanding efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality within this population; however, the current overdose crisis clearly indicates an urgent need for additional, easily accessible, and innovative services. Street-based drug testing programs allow individuals to learn the composition of their substances prior to use, averting unintended overdoses while also creating low threshold opportunities for individuals to connect to other harm reduction services, including substance use treatment programs. We sought to capture perspectives from service providers to document best practices around fielding community-based drug testing programs, including optimizing their position within a constellation of other harm reduction services to best serve local communities. We conducted 11 in-depth interviews from June to November 2022 via Zoom with harm reduction service providers to explore barriers and facilitators around the implementation of drug checking programs, the potential for integration with other health promotion services, and best practices for sustaining these programs, taking the local community and policy landscape into account. Interviews lasted 45-60 min and were recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to reduce the data, and transcripts were discussed by a team of trained analysts. Several key themes emerged from our interviews: (1) the instability of drug markets amid an inconsistent and dangerous drug supply; (2) implementing drug checking services in dynamic environments in response to the rapidly changing needs of local communities; (3) training and ongoing capacity building needed to create sustainable programs; and (4) the potential for integrating drug checking programs into other services. There are opportunities for this service to make a difference in overdose deaths as the contours of the drug market itself have changed over time, but a number of challenges remain to implement them effectively and sustain the service over time. Drug checking itself represents a paradox within the larger policy context, putting the sustainability of these programs at risk and challenging the potential to scale these programs as the overdose epidemic worsens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Drug Users , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Public Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Harm Reduction
14.
J Affect Disord ; 338: 32-40, 2023 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2328150

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: College students are vulnerable to suffering from anxiety and depression. Moreover, mental disorders can contribute to drug consumption or inappropriate use of prescribed drugs. Studies on this topic in Spanish college students are limited. This work analyses anxiety and depression and psychoactive drug intake pattern in the post-COVID era in college students. METHODS: An online survey was conducted among college students from UCM (Spain). The survey collected data including demographic, academic student perception, GAD-7 and PHQ-9 scales, and psychoactive substances consumption. RESULTS: A total of 6798 students were included; 44.1 % (CI95%: 42.9 to 45.3) showed symptoms of severe anxiety and 46.5 % (CI95%: 45.4 to 47.8) symptoms of severe or moderately severe depression. The perception of these symptoms did not change after returning to face-to-face university classes in the post-COVID19 era. Despite the high percentage of cases with clear symptoms of anxiety and depression, most students never had a diagnosis of mental illnesses [anxiety 69.2 % (CI95%: 68.1 to 70.3) and depression 78.1 % (CI95%: 77.1 to 79.1)]. Regarding psychoactive substances, valerian, melatonin, diazepam, and lorazepam were the most consumed. The most worrying issue was the consumption of diazepam, 10.8 % (CI95%: 9.8 to 11.8), and lorazepam, 7.7 % (CI95%: 6.9 to 8.6) without medical prescription. Among illicit drugs, cannabis is the most consumed. LIMITATIONS: The study was based on an online survey. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of anxiety and depression aligned with poor medical diagnosis and high intake of psychoactive drugs should not be underestimated. University policies should be implemented to improve the well-being of students.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Lorazepam , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/diagnosis , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Students/psychology , Universities
15.
J Med Virol ; 95(5): e28801, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324527

ABSTRACT

This study assessed the clinical efficacy of nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (NMV-r) in treating patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and substance use disorders (SUDs). This study included two cohorts: the first examined patients with SUDs, with and without a prescription for NMV-r, while the second compared patients prescribed with NMV-r, with and without a diagnosis of SUDs. SUDs were defined using ICD-10 codes, related to SUDs, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, opioid, and tobacco use disorders (TUD). Patients with underlying SUDs and COVID-19 were identified using the TriNetX network. We used 1:1 propensity score matching to create balanced groups. The primary outcome of interest was the composite outcome of all-cause hospitalization or death within 30 days. Propensity score matching yielded two matched groups of 10 601 patients each. The results showed that the use of NMV-r was associated with a lower risk of hospitalization or death, 30 days after COVID-19 diagnosis (hazard ratio (HR), 0.640; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.543-0.754), as well as a lower risk of all-cause hospitalization (HR, 0.699; 95% CI: 0.592-0.826) and all-cause death (HR, 0.084; 95% CI: 0.026-0.273). However, patients with SUDs had a higher risk of hospitalized or death within 30 days of COVID-19 diagnosis than those without SUDs, even with the use of NMV-r (HR, 1.783; 95% CI: 1.399-2.271). The study also found that patients with SUDs had a higher prevalence of comorbidities and adverse socioeconomic determinants of health than those without SUDs. Subgroup analysis showed that the benefits of NMV-r were consistent across most subgroups with different characteristics, including age (patients aged ≥60 years [HR, 0.507; 95% CI: 0.402-0.640]), sex (women [HR, 0.636; 95% CI: 0.517-0.783] and men [HR, 0.480; 95% CI: 0.373-0.618]), vaccine status (vaccinated <2 doses [HR, 0.514; 95% CI: 0.435-0.608]), SUD subtypes (alcohol use disorder [HR, 0.711; 95% CI: 0.511- 0.988], TUD [HR, 0.666; 95% CI: 0.555-0.800]) and Omicron wave (HR, 0.624; 95% CI: 0.536-0.726). Our findings indicate that NMV-r could reduce all-cause hospitalization and death in the treatment of COVID-19 among patients with SUDs and support the use of NMV-r for treating patients with SUDs and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19 Testing , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Treatment Outcome , Substance-Related Disorders/complications
16.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 494, 2023 May 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental health and substance use disorders disproportionately affect people with HIV (PWH), and may have been exacerbated during COVID-19. The Promoting Access to Care Engagement (PACE) trial was designed to assess the effectiveness of electronic screening for mental health and substance use in HIV primary care and enrolled PWH from October 2018 to July 2020. Our objective here was to compare screening rates and results for PWH before (October 2018 - February 2020) and early in the COVID-19 pandemic (March-July 2020). METHODS: Adult (≥ 18 years) PWH from 3 large HIV primary care clinics in a US-based integrated healthcare system were offered electronic screening online or via in-clinic tablet computer every 6 months. Screening completion and results (for depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and substance use) were analyzed using logistic regression with generalized estimating equations to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) before and after the start of the regional COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders on March 17, 2020. Models adjusted for demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity), HIV risk factors (men who have sex with men, injection drug use, heterosexual, other), medical center, and modality of screening completion (online or tablet). We conducted qualitative interviews with providers participating in the intervention to evaluate how the pandemic impacted patient care. RESULTS: Of 8,954 eligible visits, 3,904 completed screenings (420 during COVID, 3,484 pre-COVID), with lower overall completion rates during COVID (38% vs. 44%). Patients completing screening during COVID were more likely to be White (63% vs. 55%), male (94% vs. 90%), and MSM (80% vs., 75%). Adjusted PRs comparing COVID and pre-COVID (reference) were 0.70 (95% CI), 0.92 (95% CI), and 0.54 (95% CI) for tobacco use, any substance use, and suicidal ideation, respectively. No significant differences were found by era for depression, anxiety, alcohol, or cannabis use. These results were in contrast to provider-reported impressions of increases in substance use and mental health symptoms. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest PWH had modest declines in screening rates early in the COVID-19 pandemic which may have been affected by the shift to telemedicine. There was no evidence that mental health problems and substance use increased for PWH in primary care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03217058 (First registration date: 7/13/2017); https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03217058.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Humans , Male , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , Substance-Related Disorders/diagnosis , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
17.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 911, 2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323955

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Thailand was the first country in Asia to legalize the use and purchase of cannabis leaves in February 2021 and the whole plant in June 2022 after the 2019 allowance for medical purposes. The study explored trends in cannabis use in Thailand before and after the recreational cannabis allowance was imposed. METHODS: Cannabis and other variables of substance use, cannabis use disorder, and attitude towards cannabis of the Thai population aged 18 to 65 years in 2019 (n = 5,002), 2020 (n = 5,389) and 2021 (n = 5,669) were obtained from annual surveys conducted in the last two months of each year by the Centre for Addiction Studies. The surveys were repeat cross-sectional surveys of the general population of Thailand. Repeated variables from at least two annual surveys were included for analysis using the Chi-square test and the t-test. RESULTS: The prevalence of cannabis use in the past year had increased from 2.2% in 2019 to 2.5% and 4.2% in 2020 and 2021 respectively, while those of methamphetamine, alcohol, and tobacco use had decreased. Trends in past-year drinking/eating cannabis products had increased, especially among the middle age group (40-49 years) from 2.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3, 3.1) in 2019 and 1.1% (95% CI: 0.6, 1.9) in 2020 to 3.8% (95% CI: 2.8, 5.0) in 2021. The younger population aged 18-19 had an increase in cannabis smoking from 0.9% (95% CI: 0.1, 3.3) in 2019 to 2.0% (95% CI: 0.5, 5.1) and 2.2% (95% CI: 0.7, 5.1) in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Symptoms of cannabis use disorder among cannabis users increased from 2019 to 2020 and then reversed afterwards in 2021. Thais had greater health knowledge about the benefits and harms of cannabis and had attitudes toward more harm of cannabis in 2021; however, 35.6% or a third of the sample in 2021 truly believed that cannabis was a cure for cancer, and 23.2% or one-fourth were uncertain or did not believe that cannabis was addictive. CONCLUSIONS: Although most of the substances had a lower prevalence of use during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, cannabis had a higher use after legalization. Thai youth had a growing trend to smoke cannabis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , Marijuana Abuse , Substance-Related Disorders , Middle Aged , Adolescent , Humans , Marijuana Abuse/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Developing Countries , Pandemics , Thailand/epidemiology
18.
Soc Sci Med ; 328: 115973, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323851

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To buffer the economic impacts of the pandemic-induced economic downturns, the U.S. government passed major economic stimulus bills that provided cash payments to affected citizens and a large boost to unemployment benefits. We ask what impact these enhanced safety-net policies have had on mental health and stress-induced substance use among low-income Americans, especially enhanced unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, which constituted a large economic transfer to those eligible. METHODS: Using individual fixed effects analysis of a panel of nearly 900 low-income Americans since the start of the pandemic from the Understanding America Survey, we examine how receipt of enhanced unemployment benefits has impacted the mental health burden and substance use behaviors of low-income Americans. We additionally examine the buffering effect of a set of other safety-net measures (Stimulus, Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, housing assistance, EITC, WIC, and CHIP). RESULTS: We found that job loss, regardless of benefit receipt, was associated with increased stress and decreased average substance use, driven by reduced smoking when compared with those were employed. Yet, when factoring in UI receipt we see that receiving UI was associated with reduced stress, but no impact on depression or substance use. In contrast, those who did not receive UI experienced greater stress compared with those who were employed. Overall, we found that people who remained employed used substances more than people who were unemployed regardless of UI receipt with the exception of drinking. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that enhanced unemployment offset some of the negative mental health effects of the pandemic and did not increase routine substance use among the unemployed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Unemployment , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
19.
BMC Psychiatry ; 23(1): 346, 2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321316

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Suicidal behaviors are prevalent among inpatients with severe mental conditions and may result in many dying by suicide. Few studies have focused on the burden of suicidal behaviors among these inpatients in low-income settings, despite suicide being consistently higher in lower-income countries such as Uganda. This study, therefore, provides the prevalence and associated factors of suicidal behaviors and suicide attempts among inpatients with severe mental conditions in Uganda. METHOD: This was a retrospective chart review of all individuals admitted with severe mental conditions to a large psychiatry inpatient unit in Uganda for four years (2018-2021). Two separate logistic regressions were conducted to determine the factors associated with suicidal behaviors or suicidal attempts among the admitted individuals. RESULTS: The prevalence of suicidal behavior and suicidal attempts among 3104 (mean age = 33, Standard deviation [SD] = 14.0; 56% were males) were 6.12% and 3.45%, respectively. Having a diagnosis of depression increased the likelihood of both suicidal behaviors (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 5.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.14-13.37; p =0.001) and attempts (aOR: 10.73; 95% CI: 3.44-33.50; p < 0.001). However, a diagnosis of substance-related disorder increased the likelihood of having attempted suicide (aOR: 4.14; 95% CI: 1.21-14.15; p = 0.023). The likelihood of having suicidal behavior decreased as one increased in age (aOR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94-0.99; p = 0.006) and increased among individuals reporting stress from financial constraints (aOR: 2.26; 95% CI: 1.05-4.86; p = 0.036). CONCLUSION: Suicidal behaviors are common among inpatients managed for severe mental health conditions in Uganda, especially those with substance use and depressive disorders. In addition, financial stressors are a main predictor in this low-income country. Therefore, regular screening for suicide behaviors is warranted, especially among individuals with depression, and substance use, among those who are young, and among those reporting financial constraints/stress.


Subject(s)
Substance-Related Disorders , Suicidal Ideation , Male , Humans , Adult , Female , Inpatients , Mental Health , Retrospective Studies , Hospitals, Psychiatric , Uganda/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Risk Factors
20.
J Health Care Poor Underserved ; 33(4): 1821-1843, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317630

ABSTRACT

We sought to estimate the impact of temporary financial assistance (TFA) for housing-related expenses from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on costs for a variety of health care services. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of Veterans who entered the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program between 10/2015 and 9/2018. We assessed the effect of TFA on health care costs using a multivariable difference-in-difference approach. Outcomes were direct medical costs of health care encounters (i.e., emergency department, outpatient mental health, inpatient mental health, outpatient substance use disorder treatment, and residential behavioral health) in the VA system. Temporary financial assistance was associated with a decrease in ED (-$11, p<.003), outpatient mental health (-$28, p<.001), outpatient substance use disorder treatment (-$25, p<.001), inpatient mental health (-$258, p<.001), and residential behavioral health (-$181, p<.001) costs per quarter for Veterans in the rapid re-housing component of SSVF. These results can inform policy debates regarding proper solutions to housing instability.


Subject(s)
Housing Instability , Ill-Housed Persons , Public Housing , Veterans , Humans , Health Care Costs , Health Expenditures , Ill-Housed Persons/psychology , Housing , Retrospective Studies , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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