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Drugs and Alcohol Today
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.245
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 136  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1745-9265 - ISSN (Online) 2042-8359
Published by Emerald Homepage  [342 journals]
  • In this issue
    • Pages: 157 - 158
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Volume 18, Issue 3, Page 157-158, September 2018.

      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-08-21T01:23:57Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-09-2018-065
  • Demand and supply of opiates in an unregulated market
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to estimate the demand and supply of opiates in the USA during the period 1870–1914 when the market was virtually unregulated. Design/methodology/approach The price and quantity of opiates is econometrically estimated using a data set constructed primarily from pharmaceutical trade journals. Findings Per capita opiate consumption varies in inverse proportion to its price, a price elasticity of demand of unity. The supply of opiates to the USA is perfectly elastic, a horizontal line, implying the USA was a “price-taker” in the world market for opium. The number of medical schools, a proxy for the state of medical science, significantly effects opiate consumption, as does the import tariff on opium. Research limitations/implications Opiate use, both medicinal and addictive, is highly responsive to purely the economic forces of price and income. The influential role of the medical profession in shaping the pattern of consumption is confirmed. Data limitations prevent making substantive statements about usage of the various sub-categories of opium, requiring all opium to be treated as equivalent units of morphine sulfate. Practical implications Decriminalized access to opiates and other addictive substances is likely to result in a significant increase in usage, which could be controlled by taxation. Originality/value Prior studies of unregulated opiate demand and supply have covered Indonesia and Taiwan under colonial government monopoly, not a major western country user like the USA. Also, this paper uses a newly created consistent set of inflation-adjusted opiate prices covering a long period (1870–1914).
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-07-12T10:22:59Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-02-2018-0007
  • The role of spirituality in alcohol abstinence self-efficacy amongst
           alcoholics anonymous members
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Previous research indicates that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can play an effective role in alcohol use disorder recovery (Kelly, Stout, Magill, Tonigan and Pagano, 2011). Acceptance of a “Higher Power” and experiencing a “spiritual awakening” are essential components of AA recovery programme (Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to identify if there are high associations in levels of spirituality and alcohol abstinence self-efficacy (AASE) measures amongst AA members. Design/methodology/approach Self-reported measures were collected from members of AA of their spiritual and religious beliefs and their everyday experiences of alcohol abstinence. Demographic information of participant’s ethnical background, age and length of AA membership was also obtained. Findings The analysis revealed high levels of spirituality amongst participants with a mean of 70.14 (2dp). There was no difference in participant high or low spiritual beliefs and their attitude towards alcohol abstinence. The frequency measures of spiritual activities showed that 73.7 per cent of participants engage in private spiritual or religious activities more than once a week. Originality/value Overall the study supports previously conduced researches in the field of spirituality and AASE amongst AA members when considering other variables associated with sustained sobriety. The implications of the results of this study are discussed and suggestions have been made for further investigation.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-06-11T10:59:08Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-09-2017-0049
  • The impact of employment on perceived recovery from opiate dependence
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Less than 15 per cent of people starting opiate substitution treatment (OST) in England are employed, but few gain employment during treatment. Increasingly punitive approaches have been tried to encourage individuals with substance dependence into employment in the hope of facilitating recovery. It is not clear which factors are associated with the successful maintenance of employment whilst receiving OST, and whether this group can be said to be “in recovery”. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional study of the OST population in one English region was conducted between January and April 2017. Measures of physical health, employment patterns, drug use, mental health, recovery capital, and dependence severity were administered to 55 employed and 55 unemployed clients. Findings Those in employment had higher levels of “recovery capital”, better physical and mental health, fewer drug problems, and less severe dependence, despite reporting heroin use at a similar level. Three variables were significantly associated with employment: longest period of employment (OR=1.01, p=0.003); number of chronic medical conditions (OR=0.44, p=0.011); and number of days of psychological problems in the last month (OR=0.95, p=0.031). Practical implications These results suggest that abstinence may not be required in order to maintain stable employment when OST is in place. Different treatment strategies are required for clients receiving OST already in employment compared with those who are unemployed. Originality/value This is the first UK study to the author’s knowledge to focus on people receiving OST who are also in employment.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-05-18T09:28:45Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-12-2017-0062
  • Quality of life and better than well: a mixed method study of long-term
           (post five years) recovery and recovery capital
    • Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to compare quality of life scores in a long-term recovery population group (post five years) with a general population group and to explore how any differences might be explained by recovering individuals themselves in a small number of follow up qualitative interviews. Design/methodology/approach A sequential explanatory mixed method design combining quantitative quality of life measure (WHOQOL-BREF, 1996) and six subsequent semi-structured individual interviews. The quality of life measure compared long-term recovery scores (post five years) with the general population group. The subsequent qualitative semi-structured interviews explored what the participants themselves said about their recovery. Findings The quantitative data provide evidence of a significant difference in quality of life (WHOQoL-BREF) in two domains. The long-term recovery group (five or more years into recovery) scored higher in both the environment and psychological domains than the general population group. Of the long-term recovery group, 17 people who still accessed mutual aid scored higher in all four domains than those 23 people who did not. The interviews provide evidence of the this difference as result of growth in psychological elements of recovery, such as developing perspective, improvement in self-esteem, spirituality, as well as contributing as part of wider social involvement. Research limitations/implications This study provides support for the quality of life measure as useful in recovery research. The empirical data support the concept of recovery involving improvements in many areas of life and potentially beyond the norm, termed “better than well” (Best and Lubman, 2012; Valentine, 2011; Hibbert and Best, 2011). Limitations: snowballing method of recruitment, and undertaken by public health practitioner. Some suggestions of women and those who attend mutual aid having higher quality of life but sample too small. Practical implications Use QoL measure more in recovery research. Public health practitioners and policy makers need to work with partners and agencies to ensure that there is much more work, not just treatment focused, addressing the wider social and environmental context to support individuals recovering from alcohol and drugs over the longer term. Originality/value One of small number of studies using with participants who have experienced long-term (post five years) recovery, also use of quality of life measure (WHOQOL-BREF, 1996) with this population.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-05-04T11:38:19Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-11-2017-0059
  • Poems and pancakes for alcohol harm reduction
    • First page: 159
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Programmes to promote alcohol awareness and harm reduction in the general population often take an atomised approach, encouraging individual drinkers to understand their unit intake and adjust it accordingly. Although many public health practitioners harbour doubts about the value of this approach, few clear alternatives have emerged. The purpose of this paper is to provide such an alternative. Design/methodology/approach Alcohol Concern’s Communities Together project was rooted in the idea that drinking patterns can only be understood in their social context. It was an attempt to take seriously Harold Holder’s injunction to “cease to focus narrowly on the individual and begin to adopt broader community perspectives on alcohol problems”. The project applied Asset-Based Community Development methods, handing a large degree of control over to the participants, drawing on their own talents and enthusiasms, and recognising their autonomy and their authority as experts in their own lives. Findings The project outputs have been described as “community development with an alcohol twist”. They included a range of activities and events that created inclusive and non-judgemental spaces for people to think about alcohol and draw their own conclusions. It was also a lesson in humility for those of us who like to consider ourselves as the experts in public health: we had to learn that we did not have all the answers to questions about other people’s lives. Practical implications The project indicates that community development may be a valid alternative to more traditional and more didactic approaches to alcohol harm reduction. Originality/value The project may provide an innovative and flexible model that could be applied in various communities in order to address alcohol misuse in an engaging and undogmatic fashion that helps people take more control of their own lives.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-04-26T08:04:15Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-07-2017-0032
  • Cannabis use as harm reduction in the Eastern Caribbean
    • First page: 172
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present evidence of the therapeutic value of cannabis as a harm reduction intervention with people who smoke crack cocaine. Design/methodology/approach A desk study of published peer-reviewed material supporting the use of cannabis as therapeutic in mitigating some of the harms associated with crack cocaine smoking. Findings The use of cannabis as a harm reduction strategy for crack cocaine use has been commented on in the scientific literature since the 1980s. The officially scheduling of cannabis as having no medicinal value hampered further study despite the reporting of positive findings and numerous calls for more research. Practical implications There are currently no approved pharmaceutical substitutions for crack cocaine. Cannabis has shown itself effective in mitigating harms for 30–40 per cent of people. Cannabis is inexpensive and readily available and should be allowed for those people who want to use it. Originality/value Poly drug use is often framed in a negative context. In this paper, the author shows that with cannabis and crack, the poly drug use is actually a valid harm reduction strategy.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-08-09T10:30:04Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-06-2018-0031
  • Multiple substance use among patients attending treatment for
           substance-related problems in Switzerland
    • First page: 178
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to estimate the share of multiple substance disorders among clients entering treatment for substance-related problems, to identify the most frequent combinations of the substances involved and to investigate the profiles of the clients involved. Design/methodology/approach Data were taken from the Swiss treatment monitoring system act-info applied among inpatient and outpatient facilities (reporting years 2013–2015). All cases with information on multiple substance disorders, according to a definition close to the diagnosis F19 from the ICD-10 classification of disease were included. The measurements comprised designated primary substance, existing multiple substance use disorder, substances involved and basic socio-demographics. Findings From 10,009 clients included in the study, 1,653 (16.5 per cent) were reported as having multiple substance use disorders. A great variety of substance combinations was identified and alcohol was found in the majority of them. Practical implications Treatment strategies targeting accurately substance-related disorders as a whole complex should be promoted. In particular the alcohol-related aspect of the disorder should not be neglected when the focus is on illegal drugs. Originality/value Multiple substance use was until recently not sufficiently documented in treatment monitoring systems. A recent version of the European treatment demand indicator (TDI) has introduced the notion of “polydrug use problem” as complementary information to the primary substance, which remains the key variable for reporting treatment demand. This study represents a first attempt to explore systematically this new data.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-08-16T08:30:35Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-06-2018-0033
  • Sharing risk experiences of polydrug use on YouTube
    • First page: 188
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to discuss what kinds of messages about the risks of polydrug use are mediated in YouTube video blogs and on what kinds of norms and values do the vloggers base these messages. Design/methodology/approach The data consist of 12 YouTube videos where vloggers share their own experiences of the risks and harms of polydrug use. In the analysis, the actantial model of Greimas’ theory of structural semiotics was applied. Findings Two main types of videos were identified – sobriety and controlled use – where polydrug use has different meanings. In sobriety videos, polydrug use is presented as the heavy use of multiple substances. In the videos dealing with controlled use, polydrug use is taken as the combining of certain substances. Whereas the sobriety videos emphasized total abstinence from all substances due to their destructiveness, the videos about controlled use emphasized risk awareness when combining substances. Despite modern digital media and a new generation operating in this space, the messages of the risks of polydrug use mainly repeat those of familiar discourses. Originality/value This paper offers an analytical insight into the ways in which the risks of polydrug use are conceptualized in a YouTube context that is increasingly gaining a foothold among the youth. Greimas’ actantial model offers a fruitful tool to find semiotic meanings that hide under the surface. The model has not been applied in previous drug research.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-08-09T10:25:04Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-03-2018-0013
  • Prevalence of alcohol and medication use among elderly individuals in
    • First page: 198
      Abstract: Drugs and Alcohol Today, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The world’s aging population has led to a greater use of prescription and non-prescription medication by the elderly. Besides, older drinkers consume alcohol often regardless of the medication they consume. The purpose of this paper is to examine the intake of medication and alcohol simultaneously in a group of elderly in the community of Madrid, and the possible differences in consumption between men and women. Design/methodology/approach An observational cross-sectional study of 342 elderly in Madrid, aged 65–96 years was conducted, including the collection of anthropometric data (weight, height, waist circumference, BMI), information about the quantity of daily alcohol intake and medication taken from each subject. Findings A high percentage of the sample used medication, especially women. A smaller percentage of the sample consumed alcohol, being more frequent among men and decreasing with age. In addition, almost half of the sample (46.4 percent) combined medication intake with alcohol, especially men. High alcohol consumption was observed simultaneously in those subjects taking medication; in addition to the non-perception of the real risk to health. Statistically significant sex differences were observed, since men drank more, including when taking medication; although women may be more vulnerable to harm derived from alcohol. Originality/value This study contributed to estimate the risk to the public health of old people, and the integrity of their health, by observing the consumption of both medication and alcohol, given that medication taken in conjunction with alcohol can cause adverse side effects.
      Citation: Drugs and Alcohol Today
      PubDate: 2018-08-09T10:24:56Z
      DOI: 10.1108/DAT-11-2017-0060
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