Sunday, September 02, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, September 2, 2007


NCJ 219354
Ewald Witteveen; Erik J.C. van Ameijden; Maria Prins; Gerard M. Schippers
Factors Associated With the Initiation of Cocaine and Heroin Among Problem Drug Users--Reflections on Interventions
Substance Use & Misuse
Volume:42 Issue:6 Dated:2007 Pages:933 to 947

This study identified self-reported factors related to starting cocaine and heroin use among young problem users in Amsterdam, in order to facilitate the tailoring of treatment to their particular needs. The most common self-reported factors related to beginning cocaine and heroin use were the desire to experience emotions they believed would accompany the drugs' consumption, the drugs' availability, curiosity about their effects, the desire to fit into a drug-using peer group, misinformation about the drugs' benefits and harms, the desire for energy, and the desire to suppress negative emotions. Because drug use is largely motivated by the desire to suppress negative emotions and stimulate desired emotions, prevention and treatment strategies should focus on the nature and causes of the mental and emotional states from which youth want to escape, as well as constructive means of developing desired emotional states. In the current sample, the alleviation of family-related grief was the most mentioned factor. The provision of information to parents in order to help them develop parenting skills that facilitate caring, attention, and supervision could help youth better manage painful emotions. Youth must also be guided toward positive socializing opportunities and activities with peers. Further, misinformation about the positive benefits of drug use must be challenged with accurate information about the harmful consequences of drug use. This study, called the Young Drug Users in Amsterdam study involved an open cohort of 50 young problem drug users. Eligibility criteria were being 18-30 years old; the use of any form of heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, and/or methadone at least 3 days a week for at least 2 months prior to treatment intake; and Dutch nationality and living in Amsterdam more than 1 year or non-Dutch nationality and living in Amsterdam for more than 3 years. 3 tables and 42 references

NCJ 219338
Janet Reis
Bad Luck or Bad Decisions: College Students' Perceptions of the Reasons for and Consequences of Their Alcohol Overdose
Journal of Drug Education
Volume:37 Issue:1 Dated:2007 Pages:71 to 81

This study examined the reasons for and immediate consequences of an alcohol overdose as explained by 217 undergraduate students who had required a medical emergency transport because of excessive alcohol intake. The study found that 26 of the students attributed their overdose only to bad luck, and 191 students indicated their bad decisionmaking was responsible for their alcohol overdose. The students who attributed their overdose to bad luck were more likely to decide to change the type of alcoholic beverage consumed and worry about problems the overdose might cause with friends, and they were less likely to change how much they would drink. They were also less likely to indicate that they had learned something about themselves because of the overdose. The fact that the majority of students took responsibility for their overdose suggests that they knew they had engaged in risky experimentation. Friends were not blamed for pushing alcohol, but neither were they reported to be a protective buffer in helping monitor consumption. The majority of students intended to slow down their pace of alcohol consumption, and almost half planned to decrease the frequency of alcohol consumption. Many reported they had not known how to pace their drinking prior to their overdose. A realistic approach for preventing dangerous alcoholic overdoses might be to educate students about how many drinks an hour they can safely consume of various types of alcoholic beverages. Participants in the study were tracked through the student health center from fall 2002 to fall 2005. After release from the hospital and prior to their assessment for potential problematic drinking at the university's assessment program office, the students voluntarily anonymously completed the questionnaire, which contained a list of 14 possible reasons why the overdose occurred. Students checked the reasons they believed applied to them. 32 references

NCJ 219308
Kelly J. Clemens; Iain S. McGregor; Glenn E. Hunt; Jennifer L. Cornish
MDMA, Methamphetamine and Their Combination: Possible Lessons for Party Drug Users From Recent Preclinical Research
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume:26 Issue:1 Dated:January 2007 Pages:9 to 15

This article discusses recent findings concerning the acute and long-term effects of MDMA and methamphetamine (METH) and their combination in laboratory animals and the possible implications of these results for human users. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in employing animal models to characterize both the acute and the lasting effects of MDMA and methamphetamine (METH) on brain and behavior. Important recent findings made with animal models that inform the human situation include: (1) the greater tendency towards compulsive use of METH compared to MDMA, (2) the unique pro-social effects of MDMA and the neuroendocrine basis of this effect, (3) the ability of high ambient temperatures to modulate the rewarding properties of MDMA and METH, (4) the functional and emotional impairments observed in rats previously exposed to MDMA and METH, and (5) the likely synergistic adverse effects of combining MDMA and METH. This review underscores the utility of animal models in elucidating the neural substrates and environmental factors that drive MDMA and METH use and in providing a clear and realistic appraisal of the likely long-term hazards arising from exposure to these drugs. Recent concern has developed over the trend for users to combine the ingestion of MDMA and METH within the same drug-taking episode, either intentionally or inadvertently). As both have been independently linked to long-term adverse neural and behavioral effects, it is conceivable that the combination of the two drugs may be particularly harmful. 1 figure, 70 references

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