Addiction and Substance Abuse

Predictors of Long-Term Opioid Use

An increase in opioid use disorders and fatal overdoses has resulted in a public health crisis in many regions of the United States and Canada. At the same time, as Thielke and colleagues (2017) pointed out, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of the long-term use of opioids to treat chronic pain. Thus, [...]

Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Reasons for Using E-Cigarettes

Recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics indicate that the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is a serious threat to efforts to reduce nicotine addiction among adolescents and young adults. Kong and colleagues (2015) conducted a serious of focus groups with students at the middle school, high school, and college level to better understand [...]

Adolescents Living the 24/7 Lifestyle

Calamaro, Mason, and Ratcliffe (2009) investigated the association between technology use, caffeine intake, and sleep behaviors in adolescents. The authors noted that sleep duration has decreased markedly for adolescents over the past 40 years and that insufficient sleep in that age group has been linked to a variety of psychological and physical health problems, ranging [...]

Solitary Binge Drinking and Suicidal Behavior

Research indicates that excessive alcohol consumption is a problem in many parts of the world and among both younger and older adults.  In this study, Gonzalez (2012) investigated binge drinking in American college students and its association with suicidal behavior. Participants were university students between the ages of 18 and 25 years old who were [...]

Integrating Smartphone Technology in Behavioral Healthcare

With smartphone ownership quickly becoming commonplace in many countries, the number of available applications (apps) has continued to soar.  A growing number of these, according to Luxton, McCann, Bush, Mishkind, and Reger (2011), are designed to facilitate mental health education, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. Examples include apps that track symptoms and if indicated offer a [...]

Ironic Effects of Dietary Supplementation

One might expect that the increased availability of dietary supplements would result in improvements in public health. Chiou, Yang, and Wan (2011) suggested that the opposite might occur. They hypothesized that taking a dietary supplement might increase one’s sense of invulnerability and thus lead to taking greater health risks. Eighty-two Taiwanese participants were asked to [...]

Loosening the Link between Childhood Poverty and Adolescent Smoking and Obesity

Poverty is often associated with elevated health risks, such as a higher body mass index (BMI) and increased smoking behavior. Evans and Kutcher (2011) hypothesized that the negative effects of poverty on adolescent health may be reduced by sufficient social capital. In this study, social capital was defined as (1) Community cohesion — social ties [...]