Published since 1884 by the Society for the Study of Addiction.
Editor-in-Chief, Robert West

This is a quick summary of the main discovery for each research paper we have published, organized issue by issue. The article titles are in bold and each key finding is below the article title.  Use the filters below to isolate key findings for each issue or search for a particular topic across all of this year's issues.

January 2018

Mecamylamine treatment for alcohol dependence: a randomized controlled trial

Mecamylamine did not reduce alcohol consumption significantly in either treatment-seeking smokers or non-smokers with alcohol use disorder.

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Prediction of alcohol use disorder using personality disorder traits: a twin study

Conduct disorder and self-harming impulsivity are the foremost risk traits for alcohol use disorder among the 80 personality disorder criteria of DSM-IV.

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Major life events and risk of alcohol use disorders: a prospective cohort study

There is a strong association between serious economic problems in adult life and risk of alcohol use disorders.

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The stability of baseline-defined categories of alcohol consumption during the adult life-course: a 28-year prospective cohort study

Among UK civil servants, alcohol consumption within baseline drinking categories is generally stable during the life-course, except among heavier baseline drinkers, for whom intakes decline with increasing age.

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Childhood traumatic experiences and the association with marijuana and cocaine use in adolescence through adulthood

In the US, childhood trauma (individual types and total number experienced) is significantly associated with marijuana and cocaine use throughout life.

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Risk factors for severe respiratory depression from prescription opioid overdose

The severity of symptoms in people attending US emergency departments because of prescription opioid overdose varied widely with the type of opioid and was worse in substance misusers and older patients.

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To take or not to take: the association between perceived addiction risk, expected analgesic response and likelihood of trying novel pain relievers in self-identified chronic pain patients

In the US, self-identified chronic pain patients (CPP) at higher risk for opioid misuse are more likely to report willingness to try a novel analgesic despite increasing addiction risk than CPP with low risk of opioid misuse.

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Association between universal hepatitis B prison vaccination, vaccine uptake and hepatitis B infection among people who inject drugs

In Scotland, uptake of hepatitis B virus vaccination among people in the community who inject drugs has increased since the 1999 introduction of universal prison vaccination.

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The relationship between gambling expenditure, socio-demographics, health-related correlates and gambling behaviour--a cross-sectional population-based survey in Finland

In Finland, men spend more than women on gambling relative to net income. Those on lower incomes spend proportionately more of their income on gambling than those on higher incomes.

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Self-changing behaviour in smoking cessation linked to trait and cognitive impulsivity

Among smokers who do not seek treatment to help them stop, those who succeed in stopping appear to have a lower tendency to act on impulse and inhibit thoughts than those who continue to smoke.

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Adult interest in using a hypothetical modified risk tobacco product: findings from wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (2013-14)

Among US adults, interest in using a hypothetical modified risk tobacco product is low overall, and highest among current experimental and established smokers.

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German EstSmoke: Estimating adult smoking-related costs and consequences of smoking cessation for Germany

Life-time healthcare costs of German smokers appear to be substantially greater than those of German nonsmokers.

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Effects of comorbid substance use disorders on outcomes in a Housing First intervention for homeless people with mental illness

Housing First programmes in Canada for people who are experiencing homelessness and mental illness are equally effective in people with and without comorbid substance use disorder (SUD).

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Associations of coffee genetic risk scores with consumption of coffee, tea and other beverages in the UK Biobank

Coffee-related genetic risk scores could be used as instrumental variables indexing combined coffee and tea consumption in Mendelian randomization studies.

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Effects of high alcohol intake, alcohol-related symptoms and smoking on mortality

The number of symptoms related to high alcohol intake and smoking appears to account for the positive association between alcohol consumption and early death.

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Scaling-up HCV prevention and treatment interventions in rural United States-- model projections for tackling an increasing epidemic

To decrease hepatitis C virus (HCV) incidence and prevalence in rural Indiana, USA, by 90% by 2025/30, both HCV treatment and prevention interventions must be increased.

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February 2018

Pharmacologically controlled drinking in the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorders

Evidence is inconclusive for using nalmefene, naltrexone, acamprosate, baclofen or topiramate to control drinking in patients with alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder.

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Using Bayes factors to evaluate evidence for no effect: examples from the SIPS project

Scientists who find non-significant results should calculate a Bayes factor to determine if there is evidence for a null hypothesis over an alternative hypothesis or that more data are needed.

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New cancer cases in France in 2015 attributable to different levels of alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption in France appears to cause almost 8% of new cancer cases, with light and moderate drinking contributing appreciably to this burden.

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Associations between adolescent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline: a longitudinal co-twin control study

Adolescent cannabis use does not cause a decline in IQ, even when that use reaches dependence.

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Extended-release naltrexone for methamphetamine dependence among men who have sex with men: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Extended-release naltrexone does not appear to reduce methamphetamine use or sexual risk behaviors among methamphetamine-dependent men who have sex with men.

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Does paying service providers by results improve recovery outcomes for drug misusers in treatment in England?

Drug addiction recovery services in England commissioned on a payment-by-results basis tend to have lower rates of treatment initiation and completion but higher rates of in-treatment abstinence and non-injecting than other services.

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Luck, come here! Automatic approach tendencies toward gambling cues in moderate- to high-risk gamblers

In the Netherlands, moderate- to high-risk gamblers appear to have a stronger tendency than non-problem gamblers to show an 'approach' tendency in a laboratory task to gambling-related pictures compared with neutral pictures. This gambling approach bias has been found to predict persistence in gambling behaviour over time.

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Ecological momentary analysis of the relations among stressful events, affective reactivity, and smoking among smokers with high versus low depressive symptoms during a quit attempt

Depressed smokers experience more exposure to stress, longer-lasting post-stress affective disturbance and greater risk of smoking relapse after stress than non-depressed smokers.

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Factors moderating the relative effectiveness of varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy in clients using smoking cessation services

In English stop-smoking services, the advantage of varenicline over nicotine replacement therapy is lower in pharmacy and GP settings than in specialist clinics.

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Evaluating the mutual pathways among electronic cigarette use, conventional smoking and nicotine dependence

E-cigarette use among young adults is not significantly associated with later conventional smoking, either directly or through nicotine dependence.

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Associations of parental alcohol use disorders and parental separation with offspring initiation of alcohol, cigarette and cannabis use and sexual debut in high-risk families

Parental alcohol use disorders and parental separation predict increased risk of early alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use and sexual debut in offspring from high-risk families.

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Alcohol e-Help: study protocol for web-based self-help program to reduce alcohol use in adults w/drinking patterns considered harmful, hazardous or suggestive of dependence in mid-income countries

If the World Health Organization's web-based self-help program, Alcohol e-Health, is found to be effective, its potential public health impact in countries with underdeveloped alcohol prevention and alcohol use disorder treatment systems is considerable.

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Moving alcohol prevention research forward--Part I: introducing a complex systems paradigm

A proposed complex systems paradigm for research into alcohol misuse can transcend limitations of traditional approaches and lead to high-leverage preventive interventions.

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Moving alcohol prevention research forward--Part II: new directions grounded in community-based system dynamics modeling

Community-based system dynamics modeling can provide powerful tools for policy and intervention decisions in alcohol misuse prevention.

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March 2018

Measuring treatment outcomes in gambling disorders: a systematic review

Measuring recovery from problem gambling needs to go beyond assessing gambling behaviour to encompass other aspects of people's wellbeing and functioning.

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The short-term impact of the alcohol act on alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions in Scotland: a natural experiment

The October 2011 implementation of the Alcohol Act in Scotland was not clearly associated with a reduction in alcohol-related deaths or hospital admissions in the 3-year period after implementation.

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A developmental-based motivational intervention to reduce alcohol and marijuana use among non-treatment-seeking young adults: a randomized controlled trial

A brief, longitudinally delivered, developmentally based motivational intervention for young adults did not produce reductions in binge alcohol, marijuana use or dual use days relative to a control condition.

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Socio-economic differentials in cannabis use trends in Australia

The decline in cannabis use in Australia from 2001 to 2013 occurred largely among higher socio-economic status groups.

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Non-medical use of psychoactive prescription drugs is associated with fatal poisoning

Non-prescribed psychoactive drugs are commonly found at postmortem in drug poisoning deaths in Finland, with history of drug abuse being a major contributing factor.

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Trends and age, period and cohort effects for marijuana use prevalence in the 1984-2015 US National Alcohol Surveys

Marijuana use in the US has risen steeply since 2005, but not because of the liberalization of marijuana policies in some states.

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Pharmacokinetics of concentrated naloxone nasal spray for opioid overdose reversal: Phase I healthy volunteer study

A concentrated 2mg intranasal naloxone spray delivers naloxone as effectively, over the critical first 15 minutes, as the standard 0.4mg intramuscular (IM) naloxone injection.

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Moral disapproval and perceived addiction to internet pornography: A longitudinal examination

Perceived addiction to internet pornography seems to be more strongly related to moral concerns around pornography use than to the amount of daily use.

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Genome-wide association study of a nicotine metabolism biomarker in African American smokers: impact of chromosome 19 genetic influences

Three independent chromosome 19 signals account for ~20% of the variability in the nicotine metabolite ratio in African American smokers; knowledge of these may help to develop genomics-based personalization of tobacco dependence treatment.

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Trends in age of smoking initiation in the Netherlands: a shift towards older ages?

In the Netherlands, the peak age of smoking initiation (16 years) has not shifted despite new youth access laws.

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The effect of a behavioral activation treatment for substance use on post-treatment abstinence: a randomized controlled trial

A behavioral activation group treatment for substance use (LETS ACT) appears to increase the likelihood of abstinence and reduce adverse consequences from substance use up to 12 months post-treatment.

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Needle and syringe programmes and opioid substitution therapy for preventing HCV transmission among people who inject drugs: findings from a Cochrane Review and meta-analysis

Opioid substitution therapy reduces risk of hepatitis C acquisition and is strengthened in combination with needle and syringe programmes.

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April 2018

Predictors of smoking cessation during pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

A wide range of socio-demographic, relationship, social, smoking-related, pregnancy-related, health and psychological factors have been found to predict smoking cessation in pregnancy.

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Alcohol-related harm in emergency departments: a prospective, multi-centre study

Almost one in 10 presentations to emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand are alcohol related.

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Efficacy of a web-based intervention with and without guidance for employees with risky drinking: results of a three-arm randomized controlled trial

A web-based alcohol intervention, administered with or without guidance, significantly reduced drinking and improved mental health and work-related outcomes in the German working population.

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Communities mobilizing for change on alcohol (CMCA): secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial showing effects of community organizing on alcohol acquisition by youth in the Cherokee nation

A community organizing intervention, Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA), is effective in reducing availability of alcohol to underage youth in the US.

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Associations between methadone maintenance treatment and crime: a 17-year longitudinal cohort study of Canadian provincial offenders

Canadians with prior convictions and opioid dependence appear to commit fewer crimes when they are receiving methadone treatment compared with no methadone treatment.

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Impulsivity predicts poorer improvement in quality of life during early treatment for people with methamphetamine dependence

Among Australian methamphetamine-dependent people, elevated impulsivity (acting without sufficient deliberation) predicts lower improvement of social and psychological quality of life in the first 6-9 weeks of treatment.

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Relationship between high-risk patients receiving prescription opioids and high-volume opioid prescribers

Health care providers in the US who typically do not prescribe large volumes of opioids frequently prescribe opioids to patients at high risk of opioid misuse.

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Self-reported marijuana use over 25 years and abdominal adiposity: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study

Neither cumulative nor current marijuana use is associated with liver attenuation or total abdominal, visceral, subcutaneous, or intermuscular fat in mid-life.

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The prevalence, incidence, and gender and age-specific incidence of problem gambling: results of the Swedish longitudinal gambling study (Swelogs)

The incidence of problem gambling relapse in Sweden is likely to be higher than estimated and in future is likely to include higher proportions of women and older adults.

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Cost-effectiveness of personal tailored risk information and taster sessions to increase the uptake of the NHS stop smoking services: the Start2quit randomized controlled trial

To increase attendance at NHS Stop Smoking Services, a tailored letter and taster session in the services is likely to be more cost-effective than a generic letter in the long term.

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Cigarette use is increasing among people with illicit substance use disorders in the United States, 2002-14: emerging disparities in vulnerable populations

While cigarette smoking has declined in the U.S. for the past several decades, it has increased since 2002 among people with substance use disorders.

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Patterns of substance use and mortality risk in a cohort of 'hard-to-reach' polysubstance users

In a Norwegian prospective cohort study, 'hard-to-reach' polysubstance users had a more than 10 times higher mortality risk than the general population.

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The genetic and environmental architecture of substance use development from early adolescence into young adulthood: a longitudinal twin study of comorbidity of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use

Among Norwegian adolescents, there appear to be strong genetic effects on both substance-specific and comorbid use of alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco; individual differences in alcohol use can be explained partially by family background.

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Sexual identity differences in high-intensity binge drinking: findings from a US national sample

In the US, sexual minority women are more likely, and sexual minority men are equally likely, to drink at standard and high-intensity binge drinking levels as their heterosexual counterparts.

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Assessing causal relationships using genetic proxies for exposures: an introduction to Mendelian randomization

As genetic variants associated with addictive behaviours are identified, the potential for Mendelian randomization analyses will grow.

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May 2018

Diminishing benefit of smoking cessation medications during the first year: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

The proportion of smokers who use smoking cessation medications who benefit from doing so decreases during the course of the first year, but a net benefit still remains at 12 months.

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Motivation to reduce alcohol consumption and subsequent attempts at reduction and changes in consumption in increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England: a prospective population survey

Excessive drinkers in England with greater motivation to reduce consumption are more likely to report an attempt to reduce during the next 6 months, but on average this does not appear to translate to reduced consumption.

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Estimating the drink driving attributable fraction of road traffic deaths in Mexico

An estimated 19.5% of car occupant deaths in Mexico in 2010-13 may have been caused by alcohol.

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Trends in alcohol-related mortality in East and West Germany, 1980-2014: age, period and cohort variations

Between 1980 and 2014, alcohol-related mortality declined in both East and West Germany but started earlier in West Germany. This difference can partly be explained by different drinking patterns before and changes in the health care system after the reunification.

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Lifetime marijuana use and subclinical atherosclerosis: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study

Marijuana use appears to be associated with subclinical atherosclerosis, but only among those who have ever used tobacco.

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Risk of amphetamine use disorder and mortality among incident users of prescribed stimulant medications in the Veterans Administration

Among adult incident stimulant medication users in the VA health-care system (2001 to 2012), comorbid substance use disorders were common and were risk factors for development of an amphetamine use disorder (AUD).

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Direct-acting antiviral treatment of chronic HCV-infected patients on opioid substitution therapy: Still a concern in clinical practice?

In Germany, direct-acting antiviral treatment can achieve equally high sustained virological response rates among former or current drug users and patients with no history of drug use.

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Brief telephone interventions for problem gambling: a randomized controlled trial

In treatment of problem gambling in New Zealand, brief telephone interventions are associated with reductions in days spent gambling and dollars lost that are similar to more intensive interventions.

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E-cigarette price sensitivity among middle- and high-school students: evidence from monitoring the future

Higher disposable e-cigarette prices appear to be associated with reduced e-cigarette use among adolescents in the US.

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Validation of a contextualized assessment of smoking behaviour in students

Social context plays an important role in smoking-related decision-making and simulated social contexts have potential for the study of context-related decision-making in addiction.

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Improving quit rates of web-delivered interventions for smoking cessation: full-scale randomized trial of WebQuit.org versus Smokefree.gov

The smoking cessation websites WebQuit.org and Smokefree.gov have similar 30-day point prevalence abstinence rates at 12 months.

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The associations between psychotic experiences and substance use and substance use disorders: findings from the World Health Organization World Mental Health surveys

Associations between psychotic experiences (PEs) and substance use/substance use disorders (SU/SUDs) are often bidirectional, but not all types of SU/SUDs are associated with PEs.

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Incidence and risk factors for mortality after release from prison in Australia: a prospective cohort study

People released from prison in Queensland, Australia are at increased risk of death, due particularly to drug-related causes. Those at greatest risk have poor physical and mental health and a history of risky substance use.

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Excess overdose mortality immediately following transfer of patients and their care as well as after cessation of opioid substitution therapy

In the UK, opioid-dependent people transferred to an alternative treatment provider for continuation of their OST experience high overdose mortality rates, especially within the first month.

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June 2018

Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the United States: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Synthesis of the current evidence does not support the hypothesis that US medical marijuana laws (MMLs) up to 2014 have led to increases in adolescent marijuana use prevalence.

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Immediate effects on adult drinkers of exposure to alcohol harm reduction advertisements with and without drinking guideline messages: experimental study

Television advertisements on the harms of drinking increase intentions to reduce drinking among both low- and high-risk drinkers.

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Adolescents' alcohol use and strength of policy relating to youth access, trading hours and driving under the influence: findings from Australia

Population-directed policies designed to reduce alcohol availability and promotion may reduce adolescents' alcohol use.

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Differences in mortality in a cohort of cocaine use disorder patients with concurrent alcohol or opiates disorder

Mortality risk and excess mortality are significantly greater among those with cocaine and opiates use disorder than among people with only cocaine use disorder or cocaine and alcohol use disorder.

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Increased non-fatal overdose risk associated with involuntary drug treatment in a longitudinal study with people who inject drugs

In Mexico, recent involuntary drug treatment is a risk factor for non-fatal drug overdose among people who inject drugs.

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Improving recruitment to pharmacological trials for illicit opioid use: findings from a qualitative focus group study

Recruitment of participants for clinical trials of pharmacological interventions for illicit opioid use could be improved if researchers became better at explaining clinical trials to potential participants. A checklist of issues to consider when designing trials is proposed.

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A reciprocal effects analysis of cannabis use and perceptions of risk

Longitudinal associations between cannabis use and perception of risks from cannabis use are reciprocal, with a stronger association between cannabis use and lower subsequent risk perception.

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Screening for problem gambling within mental health services: a comparison of the classification accuracy of brief instruments

The five-item Brief Problem Gambling Screen (BPGS) will be useful for mental health services wanting to screen for any level of gambling problem.

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The effects of prescribing varenicline on two-year health outcomes: an observational cohort study using electronic medical records

Varenicline prescription in UK primary care does not appear to increase likelihood of death, myocardial infarction or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease over the following 2 years compared with NRT, but may cause more weight gain and reduce primary care attendance possibly through increased smoking cessation rates.

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Education is the strongest socio-economic predictor of smoking in pregnancy

In Finland, socio-economic disparities in smoking in pregnancy are attributable primarily to differences in the mother's educational level (low versus high) and orientation (vocational versus general).

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Measuring spatial and temporal trends of nicotine and alcohol consumption in Australia using wastewater-based epidemiology

Wastewater-based epidemiology can be used to evaluate the geographic, temporal and weekly profiles of nicotine and alcohol consumption in different communities nationally.

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Diminished alternative reinforcement as a mechanism linking conduct problems and substance use in adolescence: a longitudinal examination

Diminished alternative reinforcement may be a modifiable mechanism linking early adolescent conduct problems and subsequent marijuana use.

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July 2018

SUPPLEMENT: Development and application of an economic model (EQUIPTMOD) to assess the impact of smoking cessation

The economic model, EQUIPTMOD, provides an invaluable tool for assessment of the return on investment of policies aimed at promoting smoking cessation.

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SUPPLEMENT: Estimates of effectiveness and reach for 'return on investment' modelling of smoking cessation interventions using data from England

Parameter estimates for the effectiveness and reach of interventions that increase population quit-smoking attempt and success rates can contribute to ROI estimates in support of national or regional policy decisions.

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SUPPLEMENT: Estimates of costs for modelling return on investment from smoking cessation interventions

Costs of treating smoking-attributable diseases and implementing smoking cessation interventions vary substantially across Hungary, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and England. Cost estimates can contribute to return on investment estimates in support of national or regional policy decisions.

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SUPPLEMENT: A utility of model input uncertainty analysis in transferring tobacco control-related economic evidence to countries with scarce resources: results from the EQUIPT study

Countries with limited research time and resources can adapt the EQUIPTMOD return-on-investment model to their own settings by collecting data on a small number of model inputs.

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SUPPLEMENT: Cost-effectiveness of increasing the reach of smoking cessation interventions in Germany: results from the EQUIPTMOD

Increasing the reach of group-based behavioural support, financial incentives and varenicline for smoking cessation by just 1% of current annual quit attempts would be a cost-effective way to improve the population's health outcomes.

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SUPPLEMENT: Cost-effectiveness of alternative smoking cessation scenarios in Spain: results from the EQUIPTMOD

According to the EQUIPTMOD modelling tool it would be cost-effective for Spain to expand the reach of existing GP brief interventions for smoking cessation, provide pro-active telephone support, and reimburse smoking cessation medication.

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SUPPLEMENT: Cost-effectiveness of possible future smoking cessation strategies in Hungary: results from the EQUIPTMOD

According to the EQUIPTMOD modelling tool, it would be cost-effective for Hungary to start a social marketing campaign and double the reach of current group-based behavioural support therapies and proactive telephone support for smoking cessation.

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SUPPLEMENT: Is it cost-effective to provide internet-based interventions to complement the current provision of smoking cessation services in the Netherlands? An analysis based on the EQUIPTMOD

Providing internet-based smoking cessation interventions to complement the current provision of smoking cessation services could be a cost-saving policy option in the Netherlands.

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SUPPLEMENT: Assessment of cost-effective changes to the current and potential provision of smoking cessation services: an analysis based on the EQUIPTMOD

Current provision of smoking cessation services in the Netherlands and England can benefit economically from the inclusion of cytisine and increasing the reach of brief physician advice, text-messaging support and group-based therapy.

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Extended-release injectable naltrexone for opioid use disorder: a systematic review

Many people who intend to start extended-release naltrexone do not do so, and most who do start discontinue treatment prematurely.

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The future of the international drug control system and national drug prohibitions

International drug treaties will need reform as more countries legalise cannabis.

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Unrecorded alcohol use: a global modelling study based on nominal group assessments and survey data

A new method for modelling country-level proportion of unrecorded alcohol use shows that lower-income countries have a higher proportion of unrecorded alcohol than higher-income countries.

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Impacts of licensed premises trading hour policies on alcohol-related harms

An agent-based simulation model suggests that restricting trading hours of licensed venues reduces rates of alcohol-related harm and extending trading hours of bottle shops increases rates of alcohol-related harm.

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Alcohol, pattern of drinking and all-cause mortality in Russia, Belarus and Hungary: a retrospective indirect cohort study based on mortality of relatives

Drinking frequency is associated positively with mortality among men and women in Russia, Belarus and Hungary. The mortality risk is higher among frequent drinkers who exhibit binge and hazardous drinking patterns.

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Cost-effectiveness of hydromorphone for severe opioid use disorder: findings from the SALOME randomized clinical trial

Injectable hydromorphone appears to provide similar outcomes to injectable diacetylmorphine and might provide greater benefit than methadone alone as well as being cost‐saving.

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The relationship between methamphetamine use and heterosexual behaviour: evidence from a prospective longitudinal study

Methamphetamine use is associated with an increase in being sexually active, having multiple and casual sex partners, and having condomless sex with casual partners, but is not associated with a change in condom use per se.

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Neonatal outcomes after fetal exposure to methadone and buprenorphine: national registry studies from the Czech Republic and Norway

Two national cohorts of women (Czech Republic and Norway) receiving opioid maintenance treatment during pregnancy showed small but not statistically significant differences in neonatal outcomes in favour of buprenorphine compared with methadone.

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Do predictors of smoking relapse change as a function of duration of abstinence? Findings from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia

Among adult smokers in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, factors associated with smoking relapse differ between the early and later stages of quit attempts, suggesting relapse determinants change as a function of abstinence duration.

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Estimating the health-care costs of children born to pregnant smokers in England: cohort study using primary and secondary health-care data

In England, maternal smoking in pregnancy is associated with increased child health-care costs over the first 5 years of life, driven primarily by greater hospital in-patient care.

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'Are the Times A-changin'? Trends in adolescent substance use in Europe

From 1999 to 2015 European adolescents showed strong decreasing trends in cigarette use and moderate decreases in alcohol use. Cannabis use increased in southern Europe and the Balkans.

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Investigating causal associations between use of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis: a two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization study

Two-sample Mendelian randomization analyses (which can test for causal effects in observational data) have found little evidence for causal relationships between nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and cannabis use.

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Corrected US opioid-involved drug poisoning deaths and mortality rates, 1999-2015

Death certificate reports understate the prevalence of and changes over time in opioid and heroin/synthetic opioid-involved drug mortality in the United States.

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'Addressed to you not as a smoker... but as a doctor': doctor-targeted cigarette advertisements in JAMA

Analysis of doctor-targeted tobacco ads in US medical journals from 1936 to 1953 suggest that tobacco companies targeted physicians as a potential sales force to assuage the public's fear of health risks and to recruit them as allies against negative publicity.

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August 2018

Baclofen: its effectiveness in reducing harmful drinking, craving, and negative mood. A meta-analysis

As a treatment for alcohol use disorders, baclofen yields higher rates of abstinence than placebo. However, it does not appear to be better in terms of increasing number of abstinent days or decreasing heavy drinking, craving, anxiety or depression.

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Treatment Response and Non-response in CBT and Network Support for Alcohol Disorders: Targeted Mechanisms and Common Factors

Long-term success in Packaged Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Network Support treatments for alcohol use disorder appears to be mediated by both general mechanisms (developing coping skills and self-efficacy) and treatment-targeted mechanisms (developing network strategies that emphasize social support and avoiding friends who drink).

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Drink Less Enjoy More: effects of a multi-component intervention on improving adherence to, and knowledge of, alcohol legislation in a UK nightlife setting

A community-based multi-component intervention concerning alcohol sales legislation in the UK was associated with reduced sales of alcohol to pseudo-intoxicated patrons in on-licensed premises in a UK nightlife setting and improved nightlife patron awareness of associated legislation.

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Attempts to reduce alcohol intake and treatment needs among people with probable alcohol dependence in England: a general population survey

Adults in England with probable alcohol dependence, measured through the AUDIT, demonstrate higher motivation to quit drinking and greater use of specialist treatment and self-driven support compared with other alcohol users, but most do not access treatment resources to support their attempts.

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An investigation of an open-access model for scaling up methadone maintenance treatment

An open-access model for rapid enrolment of people with opioid use disorder in methadone treatment appears to improve treatment access, capacity, and financial sustainability without evidence of deleterious effects on treatment outcomes.

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The impact of buprenorphine and methadone on mortality: a primary care cohort study in the United Kingdom

In UK general medical practice, opioid substitution treatment with buprenorphine is associated with lower mortality risk than methadone. In the population, buprenorphine is unlikely to give greater overall protection because of shorter treatment duration.

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Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) for opioid use disorder in clinical practice: Vivitrol's Cost and Treatment Outcomes Registry

Among opioid-dependent people receiving extended release naltrexone treatment, better mental health, higher education and lower recent drug use at baseline are associated with greater treatment duration, which itself is associated with lower relapse rates and improved outcomes.

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Associations between personality disorders and cannabis use and cannabis use disorder: a population‐based twin study

Individual differences in liability to cannabis use and cannabis use disorder appear to be linked to genetic risks correlated with antisocial and borderline personality disorder traits.

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A survey of tobacco dependence treatment guidelines content in 61 countries

Although most tobacco dependence treatment guidelines in 61 countries assessed in 2016 follow the WHO's FCTC Article 14 recommendations and do not differ significantly by income level, improvements are needed in keeping guidelines up-to-date, applying good writing practices and developing a dissemination strategy.

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Factors associated with the efficacy of smoking cessation treatments and predictors of smoking abstinence in EAGLES

A range of smoker characteristics (psychiatric history, cigarette dependence prior use of NRT) are associated with lower cessation rates but do not substantially influence efficacy of varenicline, bupropion or NRT.

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Trajectory classes of cannabis use and heavy drinking among rural African American adolescents: multi‐level predictors of class membership

Cannabis use and heavy drinking across adolescence and young adulthood in rural African-Americans show several distinct developmental courses.

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Four-year follow-up of an internet-based brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol use in young men

An internet-based brief intervention directed at unhealthy alcohol use among young men does not appear to reduce drinking over the long-term.

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Methamphetamine psychosis: insights from the past

Research findings from the 1930s to the 1970s suggest that paranoid psychosis should be considered a probable consequence of high-dose methamphetamine use.

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Can one simple questionnaire assess substance-related and behavioural addiction problems? Results of a proposed new screener for community epidemiology

The proposed Screener for Substance and Behavioural Addiction is a reliable and valid measure to assess the lay public's self-attributed indicators of addiction across 10 substances and behaviours.

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Using the Advocacy Coalition Framework and Multiple Streams policy theories to examine the role of evidence, research and other types of knowledge in drug policy

The relationship between evidence and drug policy action is complex and follows multiple causal pathways.

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September 2018

Alcohol industry involvement in policy making: A systematic review

Those who act on behalf of the alcohol industry are highly strategic, rhetorically sophisticated, and well organised in influencing national policy-making.

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Perception of Physical Attractiveness When Consuming and Not Consuming Alcohol: A Meta-analysis

Consuming alcohol may have a small effect of increasing a person's perception of the attractiveness of people of the opposite sex.

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Reducing the standard serving size of alcoholic beverages prompts reductions in alcohol consumption

Reducing the serving size of alcoholic beverages in the United Kingdom appears to lead to a reduction in alcohol consumption within single drinking occasions.

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Texting to Reduce Alcohol Misuse (TRAM): main findings from a randomized controlled trial of a text message intervention to reduce binge drinking among disadvantaged men

A text-messaging intervention to reduce binge drinking in disadvantaged men did not appear to reduce prevalence of binge drinking at 12-month follow‐up.

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Sexual-orientation differences in alcohol use trajectories and disorders in emerging adulthood: results from a longitudinal cohort study in the United States

In the US, throughout emerging adulthood several sexual-minority subgroups appear to have higher odds of belonging to heavier alcohol use trajectories than those who are completely heterosexual.

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Sickness absence diagnoses among abstainers, low-risk drinkers and at-risk drinkers: consideration of the U-shaped association between alcohol use and sickness absence in four cohort studies

People from Finland, France and the UK who reported not drinking any alcohol over several years were absent from work due to illness more often than low-risk drinkers.

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Are changes in drinking related to changes in cannabis use among Swedish adolescents? A time-series analysis for the period 1989-2016

From 1989 to 2016 there appears to be a positive association (becoming weaker over time) between alcohol and cannabis consumption among Swedish adolescents who use cannabis.

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Effects of a Prior Authorization Policy for Extended-release/Long-acting Opioids on Utilization and Outcomes in a State Medicaid Program

Oklahoma's 2008 prior authorization policy for extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioids may have reduced the number of opioid-naive patients initiating ER/LA opioid use by more than half while increasing short-acting opioid prescriptions by 7%.

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Testing associations between cannabis use and subcortical volumes in two large population-based samples

In exploratory analyses based on young adult and middle-aged samples, normal variation in cannabis use is unrelated statistically to individual differences in brain morphology as measured by subcortical volume.

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An RCT with the combination of varenicline and bupropion for smoking cessation: clinical implications for front line use

The addition of bupropion to varenicline treatment does not appear to increase smoking abstinence rates above that of varenicline alone.

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A randomized controlled evaluation of the tobacco status project, a Facebook intervention for young adults

Compared with referral to a smoking cessation website, a USA-focused Facebook smoking cessation intervention did not improve abstinence over 1 year, but increased abstinence at the end of treatment and participants found it engaging.

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Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal

A single 800-mg oral dose of cannabidiol reduced the salience and pleasantness of cigarette cues, compared with placebo, after overnight cigarette abstinence in dependent smokers. It did not influence tobacco craving or withdrawal.

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Does early exposure to caffeine promote smoking and alcohol use behavior? A prospective analysis of middle school students

Caffeine may promote early use of other types of substances among middle school-aged adolescents.

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Impact of current and scaled-up levels of hepatitis C prevention and treatment interventions for people who inject drugs in three UK settings

Current opioid substitution therapy and high-coverage needle and syringe provision is averting substantial hepatitis C transmission in the UK. Maintaining this coverage while getting current drug injectors into treatment can reduce incidence by 90% by 2030.

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Keeping Secrets: Leslie E. Keeley, the Gold Cure and the Nineteenth-century Neuroscience of Addiction

Dr Leslie E. Keeley was a famous addiction cure doctor at the turn of the twentieth century, but mainstream medicine dismissed him as a quack. The article examines the role of contextual issues in the acceptance or rejection of theories of addiction, particularly the neuroscientific theories of the early twenty-first century.

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October 2018 – Current Issue

Drawing attention to a neglected injection-related harm: a systematic review of AA amyloidosis among people who inject drugs

Injecting-related skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are a significant cause of morbidity and premature mortality among people who inject drugs. There is strong evidence of an association between SSTIs and AA amyloidosis.

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National Cancer Societies and their public statements on alcohol consumption and cancer risk

In 2017, the American Cancer Society and Canadian Cancer Society websites failed to state that alcohol is a group 1 carcinogen and can cause cancer at low doses, and that there is no safe threshold for cancer risk.

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Adverse adult consequences of different alcohol use patterns in adolescence: an integrative analysis of data to age 30 years from four Australasian cohorts

Frequency of adolescent drinking is a major predictor of substance use problems in adulthood.

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Estimating mental health impacts of alcohol's harms from other drinkers: using propensity scoring methods with national cross-sectional data from the United States

Financial troubles due to someone else's drinking and assaults perpetrated by drinking intimates (spouses, other partners or family members) are associated with worse mental health

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Effectiveness, safety and feasibility of extended-release naltrexone for opioid dependence: a 9-month follow-up to a 3-month randomized trial

Opioid-dependent people who switch from buprenorphine-naltrexone treatment after 3 months to extended-release naltrexone (XR-N) treatment for 9 months appear to have similar treatment completion rates, abstinence rates and adverse event profiles to people on XR-N from the start of treatment.

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Evolution of clinical characteristics and outcomes of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist exposure in the United States: analysis of National Poison Data System data from 2010 to 2015

In the US, hospitalization for toxicity from synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (Spice, Mamba) increased significantly between 2010 and 2015.

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Prevalence of youth gambling and potential influence of substance use and other risk factors throughout 33 European countries: first results from the 2015 ESPAD study

Underage gambling in Europe appears to be associated positively with alcohol, tobacco and other substance use (but not cannabis); truancy; going out at night; and active participation in sports.

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'Real-world' compensatory behaviour with low nicotine concentration e-liquid: subjective effects and nicotine, acrolein and formaldehyde exposure

People who use e-cigarettes with lower nicotine concentration e-liquids may exhibit compensatory behaviour (e.g. higher number and duration of puffs) and higher negative affect, urge to vape and formaldehyde exposure.

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Cigarette brand diversity and price changes during the implementation of plain packaging in the United Kingdom

The implementation of plain packaging laws in the UK was associated with increased prices of manufactured cigarettes.

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Fetal assessment in buprenorphine-maintained women using fetal magnetoencephalography: a pilot study

A novel biomagnetic technique may allow simultaneous quantification of cardiac and brain activities in buprenorphine-exposed and non-exposed fetuses in the third trimester.

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Global statistics on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use: 2017 status report

In 2015, alcohol and tobacco use between them cost the human population more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life years, with illicit drugs costing further tens of millions.

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Denise Kandel's classic work on the gateway sequence of drug acquisition

During the early 1970s Denise Kandel and her colleagues documented an 'invariant sequence' in initiation of drug use: starting with alcohol and tobacco, progressing to cannabis and then to other illicit, or 'harder' drugs. This observation became known as the 'gateway sequence' of drug use.

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