Research and Science
A qualitative exploration of the potential role of using online social media support communities to increase initiation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)
Journal of Substance Use
In this qualitative study, the authors interviewed persons with opioid use disorder (OUD), family members of persons with OUD, and key stakeholders to assess the potential for a peer-led online community for persons with OUD. All three groups supported an online peer-led community, believing peers would be more empathetic, and persons with OUD expressed that only peers could truly understand them. Potential benefits indicated by interviewees included convenience, sense of anonymity, and ease of speaking online to others versus in person. Interviewees expressed interest in getting information about treatment options and where to access treatment, and other topics such as mental health and treatment for pain other than opioids. Overall, there was a strong interest in and conveyed need for such a community.
Substance Use Overdose Deaths Among Black and Indigenous Women in Wisconsin: A Review of Death Certificate Data From 2018 to 2020
Journal of Addiction Medicine
In Wisconsin, overdose deaths increased 11-fold from 2000 to 2020, with over 1200 deaths in 2020. Because of disparities in substance use initiation, relapse, and treatment success among racially minoritized women, this study investigated overdose death rates among Black and Indigenous women in Wisconsin from 2018 to 2020. Death rates (per 100,000) in 2018 were 14.1 for White women, 20.8 for Black women, and 26.5 for Indigenous women; these rates increased in 2020 to 16.4, 32.5, and 59.9 for White, Black, and Indigenous women, respectively. Regression findings illustrated that being Black or Indigenous and aged 15 to 44 or 45 to 64 years were significantly more likely to die from most causes of death (any drug, any opioid, prescription opioid, heroin, synthetic opioids, and cocaine). This study confirms that deaths in Wisconsin are disproportionately higher in female minoritized populations.
Structural indices of brain aging in methamphetamine use disorder
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
People with methamphetamine use disorder (MUD), recently abstinent (n=89), were matched with healthy controls. MRI images were used to assess overall brain volume, volume of white matter lesions, and choroid plexus volume. All three are known predictors of brain biological age and cognitive impairment. Increased white matter lesions are also a predictor of stroke, which can further impair cognition. Those with MUD had reduced brain volume, increased white matter lesions, and increased choroid plexus volume indicating increased brain age compared to controls. The authors note that the increased brain age and resulting cognitive impairment in those with MUD may impede the behavioral treatments for MUD.