Cannabis Use, Addiction Risk and Functional Impairment in Youth Seeking Treatment for Primary Mood or Anxiety Concerns.

Cannabis use, addiction risk and functional impairment in youth seeking treatment for primary mood or anxiety concerns.

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2013 Jul 10; 1-6
Osuch E, Vingilis E, Ross E, Forster C, Summerhurst C

Abstract Cannabis use is common in youth and there is evidence that the co-occurrence of cannabis use (and other substance use) with mental illnesses predicts poorer outcomes, including suicide. The main purposes of this study were to: (i) identify rates of cannabis use and substance use disorder risk, and (ii) predictors for cannabis use among youth seeking help for mood and/or anxiety concerns in a sample population prescreened to exclude primary substance use disorders; and (iii) to determine if there was an association between cannabis use and functional impairment in this sample. We investigated substance use risk as well as hypothesized predictors of cannabis use and functional impairment including demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, trait coping style, age of onset of several risk behaviors, current use of common addictive substances, level of functional impairment, and current psychiatric symptom severity. Results showed that approximately half of the participants were at moderate to high risk for a substance use disorder, and just over 4% appeared to have a primary substance use disorder. They also suggested an association between cannabis use and gender (male), age of first cannabis use, recent cigarette use, and functional impairment. Independently, functional impairment was predicted by inattentive coping style, depression severity, and total cannabis use score. These results confirm a high risk for addictive disorders and an association between cannabis use and functional impairment in this sample. These results support the need for substance use treatment programs to optimize care wherever youth with primary mood and/or anxiety concerns are seen. HubMed – addiction


History of depression and previous suicide attempt predict increased risk of suicide attempt following diagnosis of first-episode psychosis.

Evid Based Ment Health. 2013 Aug; 16(3): 67
Melle I

HubMed – addiction


Escalation of drug self-administration as a hallmark of persistent addiction liability.

Behav Pharmacol. 2013 Jul 8;
Edwards S, Koob GF

Drug addiction is a progressive, relapsing disease comprised of interlocking stages of disordered motivation. Numerous animal models describing various stages of the addiction process have been developed over the past few decades, providing considerable advantages for the modeling of drug addiction compared with other complex psychiatric disease states. Escalation of drug self-administration has emerged as a widely accepted operant conditioning model of excessive drug intake. We further argue here that drug-escalated animals represent a comprehensive model of addiction according to the manifestations of behavioral neuroadaptations resulting directly or indirectly from excessive drug consumption. In particular, drug-escalated animals exhibit a host of symptoms in line with multiple Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for substance dependence, which can be summarized as an emergence of uncontrollable drug-taking and drug-seeking behaviors as a consequence of within-circuit and between-circuit neuroadaptations. Such a transition from impulsive drug sampling to compulsive intake represents a highly valid conceptualization of the addiction timeline in humans, and further investigation of persistent or near-permanent (e.g. epigenetic) neuroadaptations generated by operant drug intake escalation models will continue to provide mechanisms and therapeutic interventions for reversing the aberrant neuroplasticity underlying addiction. HubMed – addiction


Abuse liability of novel ‘legal high’ designer stimulants: evidence from animal models.

Behav Pharmacol. 2013 Jul 8;
Watterson LR, Watterson E, Olive MF

In the last few years, the variety and recreational use of ‘legal high’ designer stimulants has increased to unprecedented levels. Since their rapid emergence in drug markets, numerous adverse physical and psychological effects have been extensively reported. However, less is understood about the potential for compulsive use of and addiction to these drugs. Recently, a small collection of scientific studies assessing the abuse liability of these drugs has emerged. This new knowledge has been derived primarily from animal studies using behaviorally based procedures which include intravenous self-administration, conditioned place preference, intracranial self-stimulation, and drug discrimination. In this review we present a brief history of the recent rise in designer stimulant use followed by a short methodological description of the aforementioned procedures. We then review neurochemical and abuse liability studies on designer stimulants that have been examined to date. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of these collective findings, our current understanding of the abuse liability of these drugs in relation to each other and the illicit drugs they are designed to mimic, and recommend future research directions. HubMed – addiction