Research roundup

New issues of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and Drug and Alcohol Dependence are out. Here are a few highlights:

Predicting nonresponse to juvenile drug court interventions

Results indicated that youth whose caregivers reported illegal drug use pretreatment were almost 10 times as likely to be classified into the nonresponder trajectory group. No other variable significantly distinguished drug use trajectory groups.

The SUMMIT Trial: A field comparison of buprenorphine versus methadone maintenance treatment

Participants choosing methadone had more severe substance abuse and psychiatric and physical problems but were more likely to remain in treatment. Survival analysis indicated those prescribed methadone were over twice as likely to be retained (hazard ratio for retention was 2.08 and 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.49–2.94 for methadone vs. buprenorphine), However, those retained on buprenorphine were more likely to suppress illicit opiate use (odds ratio = 2.136, 95% CI = 1.509–3.027, p < .001) and achieve detoxification. Buprenorphine may also recruit more individuals to treatment because 28% of those choosing buprenorphine (10% of the total sample) stated they would not have accessed treatment with methadone.

Double-blind fluoxetine trial in comorbid MDD–CUD youth and young adults

Fluoxetine did not demonstrate greater efficacy than placebo for treating either the depressive symptoms or the cannabis-related symptoms of our study sample of comorbid adolescents and young adults. The lack of a significant between-group difference in these symptoms may reflect limited medication efficacy, or may result from efficacy of the CBT/MET psychotherapy or from limited sample size.

Exposure to trauma: A comparison of cocaine-dependent cases and a community-matched sample

Cocaine dependence is strongly associated with an increased risk of exposure to traumatic events and PTSD, and experiencing multiple, violent traumas increases the risk of PTSD, regardless of cocaine dependence. The high prevalence of trauma seen in our community-based participants emphasizes the role of violence in the neighborhood and the connection between drug dependence, trauma exposure, and PTSD.

Prevalence and correlates of specialty substance use disorder treatment for Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System patients with high alcohol consumption

Approximately 3.9% of veterans with AUDIT-C scores of ≥8 received SUD treatment in the year after being surveyed.

Does heavy adolescent marijuana use lead to criminal involvement in adulthood? Evidence from a multiwave longitudinal study of urban African Americans

Utilizing propensity score matching to take into account the shared risk factors between drug use and crime, regression analyses on the matched samples show that heavy adolescent marijuana use may lead to drug and property crime and criminal justice system interactions, but not violent crime. The significant associations of early heavy marijuana use with school dropout and the progression to cocaine and/or heroin use only partially account for these findings. Results suggest that the prevention of heavy marijuana use among adolescents could potentially reduce the perpetration of drug and property crime in adulthood, as well as the burden on the criminal justice system, but would have little effect on violent crime.