Substance Use

Rural Cancer and the Opioid Epidemic: Are Screening Disparities Further Exacerbated?

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Minjee Lee, PhD, MPH
Georgia Mueller-Luckey, PhD, MS
Yamile Molina, PhD, MPH
Jennifer K. Rose, MD
Rebecca Bolinski, MA
Brent Van Ham, MS, RN, CRC, CADC
Eric Adjei Boakye, PhD, MA
Wiley D. Jenkins, PhD, MPH

Objective:

Rural areas experience significant disparities in cancer incidence and mortality and are also disproportionately impacted by the drug use epidemic. People who use drugs (PWUDs) frequently experience healthcare-associated stigma sufficient to cause avoidance of all non-urgent care. Research associated with cancer risk and screening utilization among rural PWUDs is nearly nonexistent.

Methods:

We searched PubMed for articles describing rural healthcare access and cancer disparities, and drug use and healthcare-associated stigma.

Results:

Rural populations frequently experience increased rates of circumstances and behaviors associated with increased cancer risk, morbidity, and mortality, but also lesser access to and use of healthcare. Rural areas have been disproportionately impacted by many types of drug use, and the stigma PWUDs frequently encounter leads to deferred care and poorer health outcomes. The limited data suggest that PWUDs experience at least equal cancer risk as their non-PWUD peers but obtain screening less often. Whereas interventions to increase medical care engagement among PWUDs have succeeded, none has explored cancer risk and screening.

Conclusions:

Although there are mechanisms to increase cancer screening in rural areas, and methods to increase healthcare engagement for PWUDs, re- search should combine these evidence-based practices to explore implementation in this population with distinct risk profiles.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 9, Number 5, September 2022, pp. 1037-1043(7)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.9.5.3

2022-11-11T16:02:16-07:00November 11th, 2022|Cancer, Substance Use|

Drug Story Theater: A Mixed-Methods Study of a Peer-to-Peer Approach to Substance Abuse Education

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Joseph Shrand, MD Twitter
Madeline DiGiovanni, BS
Dana Lee, BS
Anita Kishore, MD
Andrés Martin, MD, MPH

Objective:

Drug Story Theater (DST) is a peer-to-peer intervention that engages teenagers in the early stages of their recovery to develop shows about the seduction of, addiction to, and recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Methods:

We analyzed anonymous surveys completed by students before and after attending a DST performance, and transcripts of focus group interviews conducted with (1) program developers, (2) stakeholders, (3) performers, and (4) audience members.

Results:

Students (N = 871) from 5 schools attended one of 2 DST performances. Participants demonstrated increased knowledge on 5 fact-based questions (mean improvement range, 19%- 35%; p < .001 for all), and favorable changes on 10 items addressing perceptions regarding substance use risk (paired t test range, 3.9-9.4; p < .001 for all). Through iterative thematic analysis we developed an alliterative “7P” model spanning 2 domains: (1) Participants (Performers and Peers); and (2) Program (Partnerships, Practicalities, and Prevention).

Conclusions:

Exposure to a DST performance improved knowledge and risk perceptions about addiction among middle and high school students. It remains to be seen if those changes can have an effect on the prevention of substance use and dependence among vulnerable youth, and whether the active components of DST can be replicated in other school environments.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 8, Number 4, July 2021, pp. 281-293(13)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.8.4.1

2021-08-26T16:09:29-06:00August 26th, 2021|Adolescents, School Health, Substance Use|

COVID-19 and People Who Use Drugs – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Suzan M. Walters, PhD Twitter
David W. Seal, PhD, FAAHB
Thomas J. Stopka, PhD, MHS
Megan E. Murphy, BS
Wiley D. Jenkins, PhD, MPH, FACE

Objective:

People who use drugs (PWUD) face increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, but also elevated risk associated from injection drug use. We describe factors underlying their increased risk and identify mechanisms for reducing or minimizing rates of COVID-19 transmission and other health outcomes.

Methods:

Our commentary draws upon empirical data, governmental and other reports, and field-based unpublished data from our own studies to inform our conclusion and recommendations.

Results:

Co-morbid health conditions (eg, diabetes), structural challenges (eg, homelessness, criminal justice involvement), stigma (eg, social devaluation, discrediting), and syndemic clustering of of overdose, HCV, and HIV among PWUD are exacerbated by COVID-19.

Conclusion:

Beyond the many challenges all people face to remain safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, PWUD face additional barriers to remaining safe not only from COVID-19 but from negative health outcomes associated with their living environments, socioeconomic positions, and injection drug use. Collaborative efforts among governmental agencies, health providers, SSPs, CBOs, and other agencies providing services to PWUD is essential to the development of programs and services to meet the many needs of PWUD, which have been particularly accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 5, October 2020, pp. 489-497(9)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.5.11

2021-04-29T22:13:10-06:00October 15th, 2020|COVID19, Substance Use|
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