Addiction Audio

  • 35. Cannabis use in the US with Jonathan Caulkins

    22:32
    In this episode Dr Elle Wadsworth talks to Professor Jonathan Caulkins about self-reported cannabis use in the US between 1979 and 2022 and how those trends compare with alcohol use over the same period. The research focused on four specific time points, measuring cannabis prevalence against US policy changes. Dr Wadsworth and Professor Caulkins then talk about differences between cannabis and alcohol as intoxicants and the impact that cannabis regulations have on cannabis use and the intensity of cannabis use.Professor Caulkins also discusses the limitations of self-report when it comes to substance use, and how this is amplified when asking people about the impact that substance use is having on them and their families. He suggests instead asking people how other people’s substance use is affecting them in order to estimate harms from cannabis use.“Back in 1992 it [cannabis] was essentially a recreational or party drug, sort of a weekend activity and now it has morphed into something that is part of the daily routine for about 40% of its current users.” Original article: Changes in self-reported cannabis use in the United States from 1979 to 2022 by Jonathan Caulkins and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024)The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 34. Integrated care vans with Kathleen Page

    26:10
    In this episode, Ben Scher talks to Dr Kathleen Page about her evaluation of an integrated care van that ran in Baltimore offering healthcare interventions and buprenorphine prescribing. Dr Page discusses using a cluster randomised trial to compare outcomes in different neighbourhoods (those where the van did and didn't go) and to explore whether the van was effective at improving health outcomes for people who inject drugs.Dr Page also talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the research as well as the specific needs of people who accessed the van."When you go out on the van you really are serving a different group, a much more under-served group of people who generally mistrust or don't access the health system unless it's an emergency."Original article: Integrated care van delivery of evidence-based services for people who inject drugs: A cluster-randomized trial by Kathleen Page and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024)The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 33. Smoking and abdominal obesity with Germán Carrasquilla

    17:53
    In this episode Rob Calder talks to Dr Germán Carrasquilla about his study assessing whether smoking cased increases in abdominal obesity or belly fat. They discuss the implications of this kind of fat and note the importance of the findings for people who struggle to quit smoking. Germán talks about using Mendelian randomisation to identify a causal association between smoking and abdominal obesity. The findings, that 'smoking initiation and higher lifetime smoking may lead to increased abdominal fat', add evidence and important detail to the known health benefits of quitting smoking."People who might be afraid of quitting smoking due to putting on weight find these findings motivating to quit smoking because smoking increases this problematic internal fat which is a risk factor for many other diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease."Original article: Estimating causality between smoking and abdominal obesity by Mendelian randomization by Germán Carrasquilla and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024)The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 31. Benzodiazepines and treatment with Adam Bakker, Michael Liebrenz and Alexander Smith

    23:17
    In this episode Ben Scher talks to Dr Adam Bakker, Professor Michael Liebrenz and Dr Alexander Smith about their commentary in response to a previous paper by Domzaridou and colleages (2023). They discuss the complexities of providing treatment for people who use, and are prescribed, opiates, opiate agonist medications and benzodiazepines. They talk about using a combination of medical and non-medical treatments when working with people who use benzodiazepines as well as the research needed to bring clarity to this pressing clinical issue."This population is notoriously difficult to engage, but we should go the extra mile to retain them in treatment because of this high mortality."Original Article: Comment on Domzaridou et al.: Recognising the complexities of co-prescriptions and lifestyle factors in opioid agonist treatment by Adam Bakker and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024).The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 32. Contingency management with Gabriela Khazanov, James, McKay and Richard Rawson

    27:09
    In this episode, Ben Scher talks to Dr Gabriela Khazanov, Professor James McKay and Professor Richard Rawson. They discuss what contingency management is and how effective it can be in treatment settings. They also talk about how contingency management can be used for stimulant use disorders; an area where there are relatively few evidence-based treatments.the team goes on to discuss implementation of contingency management in the US and the barriers faced by practitioners such as predominant ethical concerns. They also cover how attitudes towards contingency management have changed over the past decade. The paper that was published in Addiction looked at ways to improve dissemination and implementation of contingency management.Often patients are not able to re-engage in contingency management if they drop out or they’re not allowed to repeat contingency management. And all of that was done to prevent fraud and waste and those kinds of concerns. But we don’t limit other kinds of treatment. We don’t limit behavioural therapy, typically we don’t limit the ability to take medications that could potentially be effective. Original article: Should contingency management protocols and dissemination practices be modified to accommodate rising stimulant use and harm reduction frameworks? by Gabriele Khazanov and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024). The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 30. Xylazine, heroin and drug markets with Caroline Copeland

    20:40
    In this episode Ben Scher talks to Dr Caroline Copeland about her work analysing drug death data to identify drug use trends, harms and to inform policy. Caroline talks about how xylazine first entered the US drug market but has been increasingly identified in Europe and the UK, even being identified in vapes sold as containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Caroline covers the harms from xylazine and the implications for public health practitioners before relating the UK issues to wider global drug markets."The other really nasty thing that xylazine does is that it can cause blood vessels to contract, and our tissues need blood.....to survive, and if we're closing off those blood vessels, that tissue is going to die and it's going to turn into sores on your skin. And if they get infected it can lead to amputation"Dr Caroline Copeland is a senior lecturer in pharmacology and toxicology at King’s College London and the director of the National Programme on Substance Use Mortality.Original article: Broad evidence of xylazine in the UK illicit drug market beyond heroin supplies, triangulating from toxicology, drug testing and law enforcement by Caroline Copeland and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024)The opinions expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 29. Synthetic opioid production in Europe with Paul Griffiths

    33:15
    In this episode, Dr Elle Wadsworth talks to Paul Griffiths about synthetic drug production in Europe including the differences between lab-made substances and diverted medical drugs. They discuss organised crime and its impact on cocaine production, drug availability and the potential for drug contamination. They also cover fentanyl and the potential for a heroin drought resulting from changes in opium production in Afghanistan.Paul talks about the complexities of European drug markets explaining how they commonly respond to changes in both supply and demand. Elle and Paul then discuss how researchers can monitor drug trends through wastewater analysis and other methods.“These are often very small labs, but because of the potency of these drugs, it means very small production runs can have quite a big impact on local drug consumption patterns and mortality and morbidity. So we saw a few years ago, ten or fifteen years, one lab in central Europe we had a very brief outbreak of deaths in about three countries all related to a very very small, a kitchen lab it was actually in someone’s kitchen but it had an impact.”Paul Griffiths is the scientific director for the EMCDDA – the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug AddictionOriginal article: Opioid problems are changing in Europe with worrying signals that synthetic opioids may play a more significant role in the future by Paul Griffiths and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024)The opinions expressed in this post reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 28. Alcohol-free drinks in the US with Molly Bowdring

    17:01
    In this episode Dr Merve Mollaahmetoglu talks to Dr Molly Bowdring about her recent article on the impact of alcohol-free drinks such as zero-percent beers, wines and mocktails. Molly talks about using survey data to explore different patterns, such as using non-alcoholic drinks to slow alcohol consumption, to alternate days or as part of someones recovery. Merve and Molly discuss the occasional differences between how people think non-alcoholic drinks change their alcohol consumption and what actually happens to their overall use.If you're somebody who already uses them, be reflective about how is this impacting your desire for alcohol and your consumption in that same night or across the week and just be curious about the relation between your non-alcoholic beverage use and your alcohol use.Original article: Non-alcoholic beverage consumption among US adults who consume alcohol by Molly Bowdring and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2024)The opinions expressed in this post reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
  • 27. Gambling advertising with Philip Newall

    32:02
    In this episode, Rob Calder talks to Dr Philip Newall about how the gambling industry frames the evidence on gambling advertising. Philip talks about researching the kinds of bets that are commonly advertised, explaining how they are often projected to be 'good' bets when the chances of winning are very small. "It's really got the two sides of the coin there in that it appears really attractive, but actually it's the bookmaker that's really winning the most. And that's the underlying psychology in how they're able to offer things that seem good but are actually really profitable for them."Philip also talks about how difficult it can be corralling 50 people into co-writing a short letter.Dr Philip Newall is a lecturer in psychological science at the University of Bristol, a member of the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (although speaking on this podcast in an independent capacity) and the joint winner of the Society for the Study of Addiction’s Impact Prize in 2023.Original article: No evidence of harm’ implies no evidence of safety: Framing the lack of causal evidence in gambling advertising research by Philip Newall and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2023)The opinions expressed in this post reflect the views of the host and interviewees and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the SSA or Addiction journal.The SSA does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information in external sources or links and accepts no responsibility or liability for any consequences arising from the use of such information.
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