Text Messages as a Tool for Assessing Public Concern About Drug Problems.

Text messages as a tool for assessing public concern about drug problems.

Int J Drug Policy. 2013 Jul 9;
Yoonessi A, Ekhtiari H

The prevalence of drug use and associated problems can change rapidly, necessitating rapid and accurate data collection. In addition, advances in telecommunication technology have allowed for fast-paced, interactive communication, facilitating both rapid data gathering and engagement of health-seekers in the data collection process. Text messaging to television (TV) programs, an example of such telecommunication technology, can be used to gather data on the rapidly changing concerns about drugs.One of the most popular Iranian TV shows on the topic of drug problems is called ‘Hobab’ (Bubble). This program has nearly one million viewers and interacts with them through a text messaging system. The first two sessions of Hobab, shown during the winter of 2011, addressed the topic of drugs. The viewers were urged to ask questions about drug use, problems of addiction and the program addressed these questions. We used content analysis to extract summaries of viewers’ text-messages and feedback.5443 messages were received. Methamphetamine (24%), opium (14%), crystalline-heroin (8%), methadone (4%), cigarette (2%), burned opium (2%), tramadol (2%), cannabis (1%), brown heroin (1%), Ritalin (0.3%), morphine (0.2%), and alcohol (0.2%) were the drugs most frequently mentioned in the questions. Other frequently mentioned topics related to drugs are also reported.Text messages during a live TV program can be considered as a method for gathering data on public health issues, including drugs and addiction. Public concern related to drugs reflected in text messages could potentially provide an indirect indication of the hidden and rapidly changing pattern of problem drug use. Methamphetamine was the most frequently mentioned drug for which the Iranian audience requested information. HubMed – addiction

Drug trajectories among youth undergoing treatment: The influence of psychological problems and delinquency.

J Adolesc. 2013 Aug; 36(4): 705-716
Brunelle N, Bertrand K, Beaudoin I, Ledoux C, Gendron A, Arseneault C

Previous research has documented associations of addiction with delinquency and psychological problems. However, few studies have evaluated their influence on adolescent’s drug use trajectories. The current study aims to examine the influence of these factors on the recovery trajectories of 199 youths aged 15.6 years on average admitted to inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers, followed up three and six months later. Results indicate that youth who show higher severity of drug abuse exhibit greater improvement than youth with a lower severity of drug abuse at the onset of treatment. Although psychological problems were associated with baseline drug use, they did not influence drug use trajectory over time. Only delinquency influenced the recovery trajectories of these youth. Results suggest that a high level of delinquency can have a significant effect on the drug recovery process of adolescents and that interventions should attempt to reduce both drug use and delinquency. HubMed – addiction

Stress and addiction.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Jul 9;
Hildebrandt T, Greif R

Appetitive behaviors such as substance use and eating are under significant regulatory control by the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic pituitary gonadal (HPG) axes. Recent research has begun to examine how these systems interact to cause and maintain poor regulation of these appetitive behaviors. A range of potential molecular, neuroendocrine, and hormonal mechanisms are involved in these interactions and may explain individual differences in both risk and resilience to a range of addictions. This manuscript provides a commentary on research presented during the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology’s mini-conference on sex differences in eating and addiction with an emphasis on how HPG and HPA axis interactions affect appetitive behaviors in classic addictions and may be used to help inform the ongoing debate about the validity of food addiction. HubMed – addiction

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