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1.  Gambling Disorder in the DSM-5: Opportunities to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment Especially in Substance Use and Homeless Populations 
Current addiction reports  2016;3(3):249-253.
In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), gambling disorder (GD) underwent several changes. This paper reviews recent research related to the revisions, including the elimination of the illegal acts criterion and the newly lowered diagnostic threshold. These studies suggest the removal of the illegal acts criterion has little impact in terms of prevalence or loss of diagnostic status among gamblers, especially when considered in combination with the newly lowered diagnostic threshold. Overall prevalence rates will increase modestly with the lowered threshold in community samples of gamblers. However, increases in GD prevalence rates may be more notable in settings that serve individuals at higher risk for gambling problems (e.g., substance abuse treatment clinics and homeless persons). GD is now aligned more closely with substance use addictions in DSM-5. This re-categorization, along with the lower threshold for diagnosis under DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, may lead to increased recognition of gambling problems, particularly in settings that serve high risk populations. These changes also may necessitate the training of more clinicians in the delivery of efficacious gambling treatments.
PMCID: PMC5193375  PMID: 28042525
pathological gambling; problem gambling; DSM-5; gambling disorder; homeless; substance use; mental disorder diagnosis
2.  A randomized controlled trial of brief interventions for problem gambling in substance abuse treatment patients 
This study evaluated the efficacy of brief gambling treatments in patients attending substance abuse treatment clinics.
Substance abuse treatment patients with gambling problems (N = 217) were randomly assigned to: a 10–15 minute Brief Psychoeducation intervention about gambling; a 10–15 minute Brief Advice intervention addressing gambling norms, risk factors, and methods to prevent additional problems; or four 50-min sessions consisting of motivational enhancement therapy plus cognitive-behavioral therapy for reducing gambling (MET+CBT). Gambling and related problems were assessed at baseline and throughout 24 months.
In the sample as a whole, days and dollars wagered as well as gambling problems decreased markedly from baseline through month 5; thereafter, reductions in dollars wagered and gambling problems continued to decrease modestly but significantly, while days gambled remained constant. Brief Advice significantly reduced days gambled between baseline and month 5 relative to Brief Psychoeducation. The MET+CBT condition engendered no benefit beyond Brief Advice in terms of days gambled, but it did lead to more precipitous reductions in dollars gambled and problems experienced in the initial five months, and it engendered greater clinically significant improvements in gambling in both the short and long term. MET+CBT also resulted in initial decreases in self-reported alcohol use and problems, but it did not differentially impact self-reported illicit drug use problems or submission of positive samples.
Gambling problems tend to dissipate over time regardless of the intervention applied, but offering MET+CBT was more efficacious in decreasing gambling than providing a brief single session intervention.
PMCID: PMC5036993  PMID: 27398781
gambling; treatment; brief interventions; cognitive behavioral treatment; motivational enhancement; substance abuse
3.  Substance Abuse Treatment Patients in Housing Programs Respond to Contingency Management Interventions 
Use of homeless and transitional housing (e.g., recovery homes) programs can be associated with success in substance abuse treatment, perhaps because many of these programs encourage or mandate sobriety. In this study, we examined whether contingency management (CM) protocols that use tangible incentives for submission of drug-free specimens or other specific behaviors are effective for treatment-seeking substance abusers whose behavior may also be shaped by housing programs. Of 355 participants in randomized trials of CM, 56 (16%) reported using transitional housing during the 12-week treatment period. Main and interaction effects of housing status and treatment condition were evaluated for the primary substance abuse treatment outcomes: a) longest duration of abstinence from alcohol, cocaine, and opioids, b) percentage of samples submitted that were negative for these substances, and c) treatment retention. After controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics, those who accessed housing programs submitted a higher percentage of negative samples (75%) compared to those who did not access housing programs (67%). Housing status groups did not differ in terms of longest duration of abstinence (accessed housing: M = 3.1 weeks, SE = 0.6; did not access housing: M = 3.9 weeks, SE = 0.3) or retention in substance abuse treatment (accessed housing: M = 6.4 weeks, SE = 0.6; did not access housing: M = 6.6 weeks, SE = 0.3). Regardless of housing status, CM was associated with longer durations of abstinence and treatment retention. No interactive effects of housing and treatment condition were observed (p > .05). Results suggest that those who accessed housing programs during substance abuse treatment benefit from CM to a comparable degree as their peers who did not use such programs. These effects suggest that CM remains appropriate for those accessing housing in community-based programs.
PMCID: PMC5154858  PMID: 27492676
incentives; homelessness; unstable housing; non-permanent housing; sober house; transitional housing; recovery housing
4.  Sedentary College Student Drinkers Can Start Exercising and Reduce Drinking after Intervention 
Heavy drinking by college students is exceedingly harmful to the individuals and to the overall college environment. Current interventions to reduce drinking and negative consequences are infrequently utilized. This randomized clinical trial examined an alternative approach that sought to increase exercise behavior, a substance free activity, in sedentary heavy drinking college students. Participants (N = 70) were randomized to an 8-week exercise intervention: (1) motivational interviewing plus weekly exercise contracting (MI+EC) or (2) motivational interviewing and weekly contingency management for exercise (MI+CM). Follow-up evaluations occurred at post-treatment (2 months) and 6 months post baseline. Participants in both interventions significantly increased exercise frequency initially, and the MI+CM participants exercised significantly more than the MI+EC intervention participants during the intervention period (d = 1.70). Exercise behavior decreased during the follow-up period in both groups. Significant reductions in drinking behaviors and consequences were noted over time, but were not related to changes in exercise or the interventions (ds ≤ 0.01). This study underscores the complex nature of promoting one specific health behavior change with the goal of changing another.
PMCID: PMC5687258  PMID: 27669095
motivational interviewing; contingency management; alcohol; physical activity
5.  Patients with diabetes respond well to contingency management treatment targeting alcohol and substance use 
Psychology, health & medicine  2014;20(8):916-926.
Alcohol and drug use contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetes and are associated with adverse health outcomes, but little research exists on treatments for substance use disorders (SUDs) in patients with diabetes. The aim of this study was to evaluate contingency management (CM) treatments targeting substance use in patients with diabetes. A secondary analysis evaluated the main and interactive effects of diabetes status and treatment condition on outcomes of 681 substance abusers. All participants were enrolled in randomized clinical trials comparing CM to standard care (SC). As in the main trials, CM treatment improved outcomes. However, there was a significant treatment condition X diabetes status interaction effect in terms of durations of abstinence achieved and proportion of negative samples submitted; patients with diabetes responded even more favorably than their counterparts without diabetes when receiving CM. Analyses of post-treatment effects revealed that patients with diabetes, regardless of the type of SUD treatment to which they were earlier assigned, were more likely than those without diabetes to be abstinent at the 9-month follow-up. The findings suggest CM may be an effective treatment for this vulnerable subgroup of substance abusing patients.
PMCID: PMC4668112  PMID: 25531935
substance abuse treatment; contingency management; diabetes; alcohol; cocaine
7.  Lifetime Suicide Attempt History, Quality of Life, and Objective Functioning among HIV/AIDS Patients with Alcohol and Illicit Substance Use Disorders 
This cross-sectional study evaluated lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in 170 HIV/AIDS patients with substance use disorders and the impact of suicide attempt history on subjective indices of quality of life and objective indices of cognitive and physical functioning. Compared to their counterparts without a history of a suicide attempt, patients with a history of a suicide attempt (n = 60, 35.3%) had significantly poorer emotional and cognitive quality of life scores (ps < .05), but not physical, social, or functional/global quality of life scores. Lifetime suicide attempt status was unrelated to objective indices of cognitive functioning, but there was a non-significant trend (p = .07) toward lower viral loads in those with a lifetime suicide attempt relative to those without. The findings indicate that suicide attempt histories are prevalent among HIV/AIDS patients with substance use disorders and relate to poorer perceived emotional and cognitive quality of life, but not objective functioning. HIV/AIDS patients with substance use disorders should be screened for lifetime histories of suicide attempts and offered assistance to improve perceived emotional and cognitive functioning.
PMCID: PMC5023430  PMID: 25953963
HIV; substance abuse; suicide; quality of life
8.  Proceedings of the 14th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Holloway, Aisha S. | Ferguson, Jennifer | Landale, Sarah | Cariola, Laura | Newbury-Birch, Dorothy | Flynn, Amy | Knight, John R. | Sherritt, Lon | Harris, Sion K. | O’Donnell, Amy J. | Kaner, Eileen | Hanratty, Barbara | Loree, Amy M. | Yonkers, Kimberly A. | Ondersma, Steven J. | Gilstead-Hayden, Kate | Martino, Steve | Adam, Angeline | Schwartz, Robert P. | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | McNeely, Jennifer | Berman, Anne H. | Kolaas, Karoline | Petersén, Elisabeth | Bendtsen, Preben | Hedman, Erik | Linderoth, Catharina | Müssener, Ulrika | Sinadinovic, Kristina | Spak, Fredrik | Gremyr, Ida | Thurang, Anna | Mitchell, Ann M. | Finnell, Deborah | Savage, Christine L. | Mahmoud, Khadejah F. | Riordan, Benjamin C. | Conner, Tamlin S. | Flett, Jayde A. M. | Scarf, Damian | McRee, Bonnie | Vendetti, Janice | Gallucci, Karen Steinberg | Robaina, Kate | Clark, Brendan J. | Jones, Jacqueline | Reed, Kathryne D. | Hodapp, Rachel M. | Douglas, Ivor | Burnham, Ellen L. | Aagaard, Laura | Cook, Paul F. | Harris, Brett R. | Yu, Jiang | Wolff, Margaret | Rogers, Meighan | Barbosa, Carolina | Wedehase, Brendan J. | Dunlap, Laura J. | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Dusek, Kristi A. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla T. | Hosler, Colleen | O’Grady, Kevin E. | Brown, Barry S. | Angus, Colin | Sherborne, Sidney | Gillespie, Duncan | Meier, Petra | Brennan, Alan | de Vargas, Divane | Soares, Janaina | Castelblanco, Donna | Doran, Kelly M. | Wittman, Ian | Shelley, Donna | Rotrosen, John | Gelberg, Lillian | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Maisto, Stephen A. | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Deng, Yanhong | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Bedimo, Roger | Gibert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C. | Simberkoff, Michael S. | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Fiellin, David A. | Giles, Emma L. | Coulton, Simon | Deluca, Paolo | Drummond, Colin | Howel, Denise | McColl, Elaine | McGovern, Ruth | Scott, Stephanie | Stamp, Elaine | Sumnall, Harry | Vale, Luke | Alabani, Viviana | Atkinson, Amanda | Boniface, Sadie | Frankham, Jo | Gilvarry, Eilish | Hendrie, Nadine | Howe, Nicola | McGeechan, Grant J. | Ramsey, Amy | Stanley, Grant | Clephane, Justine | Gardiner, David | Holmes, John | Martin, Neil | Shevills, Colin | Soutar, Melanie | Chi, Felicia W. | Weisner, Constance | Ross, Thekla B. | Mertens, Jennifer | Sterling, Stacy A. | Shorter, Gillian W. | Heather, Nick | Bray, Jeremy | Cohen, Hildie A. | McPherson, Tracy L. | Adam, Cyrille | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Gual, Antoni | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Colom, Joan | Ornelas, India J. | Doyle, Suzanne | Donovan, Dennis | Duran, Bonnie | Torres, Vanessa | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Paroz, Sophie | Bertholet, Nicolas | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Satterfield, Jason M. | Gregorich, Steven | Alvarado, Nicholas J. | Muñoz, Ricardo | Kulieva, Gozel | Vijayaraghavan, Maya | Adam, Angéline | Cunningham, John A. | Díaz, Estela | Palacio-Vieira, Jorge | Godinho, Alexandra | Kushir, Vladyslav | O’Brien, Kimberly H. M. | Aguinaldo, Laika D. | Sellers, Christina M. | Spirito, Anthony | Chang, Grace | Blake-Lamb, Tiffany | LaFave, Lea R. Ayers | Thies, Kathleen M. | Pepin, Amy L. | Sprangers, Kara E. | Bradley, Martha | Jorgensen, Shasta | Catano, Nico A. | Murray, Adelaide R. | Schachter, Deborah | Andersen, Ronald M. | Rey, Guillermina Natera | Vahidi, Mani | Rico, Melvin W. | Baumeister, Sebastian E. | Johansson, Magnus | Sinadinovic, Christina | Hermansson, Ulric | Andreasson, Sven | O’Grady, Megan A. | Kapoor, Sandeep | Akkari, Cherine | Bernal, Camila | Pappacena, Kristen | Morley, Jeanne | Auerbach, Mark | Neighbors, Charles J. | Kwon, Nancy | Conigliaro, Joseph | Morgenstern, Jon | Magill, Molly | Apodaca, Timothy R. | Borsari, Brian | Hoadley, Ariel | Scott Tonigan, J. | Moyers, Theresa | Fitzgerald, Niamh M. | Schölin, Lisa | Barticevic, Nicolas | Zuzulich, Soledad | Poblete, Fernando | Norambuena, Pablo | Sacco, Paul | Ting, Laura | Beaulieu, Michele | Wallace, Paul George | Andrews, Matthew | Daley, Kate | Shenker, Don | Gallagher, Louise | Watson, Rod | Weaver, Tim | Bruguera, Pol | Oliveras, Clara | Gavotti, Carolina | Barrio, Pablo | Braddick, Fleur | Miquel, Laia | Suárez, Montse | Bruguera, Carla | Brown, Richard L. | Capell, Julie Whelan | Paul Moberg, D. | Maslowsky, Julie | Saunders, Laura A. | McCormack, Ryan P. | Scheidell, Joy | Gonzalez, Mirelis | Bauroth, Sabrina | Liu, Weiwei | Lindsay, Dawn L. | Lincoln, Piper | Hagle, Holly | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Hammarberg, Anders | Andréasson, Sven | King, Sarah E. | Vargo, Rachael | Kameg, Brayden N. | Acquavita, Shauna P. | Van Loon, Ruth Anne | Smith, Rachel | Brehm, Bonnie J. | Diers, Tiffiny | Kim, Karissa | Barker, Andrea | Jones, Ashley L. | Skinner, Asheley C. | Hinman, Agatha | Svikis, Dace S. | Thacker, Casey L. | Resnicow, Ken | Beatty, Jessica R. | Janisse, James | Puder, Karoline | Bakshi, Ann-Sofie | Milward, Joanna M. | Kimergard, Andreas | Garnett, Claire V. | Crane, David | Brown, Jamie | West, Robert | Michie, Susan | Rosendahl, Ingvar | Andersson, Claes | Gajecki, Mikael | Blankers, Matthijs | Donoghue, Kim | Lynch, Ellen | Maconochie, Ian | Phillips, Ceri | Pockett, Rhys | Phillips, Tom | Patton, R. | Russell, Ian | Strang, John | Stewart, Maureen T. | Quinn, Amity E. | Brolin, Mary | Evans, Brooke | Horgan, Constance M. | Liu, Junqing | McCree, Fern | Kanovsky, Doug | Oberlander, Tyler | Zhang, Huan | Hamlin, Ben | Saunders, Robert | Barton, Mary B. | Scholle, Sarah H. | Santora, Patricia | Bhatt, Chirag | Ahmed, Kazi | Hodgkin, Dominic | Gao, Wenwu | Merrick, Elizabeth L. | Drebing, Charles E. | Larson, Mary Jo | Sharma, Monica | Petry, Nancy M. | Saitz, Richard | Weisner, Constance M. | Young-Wolff, Kelly C. | Lu, Wendy Y. | Blosnich, John R. | Lehavot, Keren | Glass, Joseph E. | Williams, Emily C. | Bensley, Kara M. | Chan, Gary | Dombrowski, Julie | Fortney, John | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Forray, Ariadna | Olmstead, Todd A. | Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn | Kershaw, Trace | Dillon, Pamela | Weaver, Michael F. | Grekin, Emily R. | Ellis, Jennifer D. | McGoron, Lucy | McGoron, Lucy
PMCID: PMC5606215
9.  Patients undergoing substance abuse treatment and receiving financial assistance for a physical disability respond well to contingency management treatment 
Physical illness and disability are common in individuals with substance use disorders, but little is known about the impact of physical disability status on substance use treatment outcomes. This study examined the main and interactive effects of physical disability payment status on substance use treatment. Participants (N=1,013) were enrolled in one of six prior randomized clinical trials comparing contingency management (CM) to standard care; 79 (7.8%) participants reported receiving disability payments, CM improved all three primary substance use outcomes: treatment retention, percent negative samples and longest duration of abstinence. There was no significant main effect of physical disability payment status on treatment outcomes; however, a significant treatment condition by physical disability status interaction effect emerged in terms of retention in treatment and duration of abstinence achieved. Patients who were receiving physical disability payments responded particularly well to CM, and their time in treatment and durations of drug and alcohol abstinence increased even more markedly with CM than did that of their counterparts who were not receiving physical disability assistance. These findings suggest an objectively defined cohort of patients receiving substance use treatment who respond particularly well to CM.
PMCID: PMC4581910  PMID: 26184649
substance abuse treatment; contingency management; disability
10.  Testing for Rewards: A Pilot Study to Improve Type 1 Diabetes Management in Adolescents 
Diabetes Care  2015;38(10):1952-1954.
To evaluate the effectiveness of monetary reinforcement to increase the frequency of self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG).
Ten adolescents with poorly controlled diabetes enrolled in a 12-week program in which they earned monetary reinforcers based on SMBG frequency ($0.10 per test, with bonuses for ≥4 tests per day, and $251.40 maximum).
SMBG increased from 1.8 ± 1.0 to 4.9 ± 1.0 tests per day (P < 0.001) with 90% completing four or more tests per day. Mean A1C fell from 9.3 ± 0.9% to 8.4 ± 1.5% (P = 0.05). Adolescents and parents reported high satisfaction with procedures.
Reinforcing adolescents for SMBG may increase testing and improve A1C.
PMCID: PMC4580608  PMID: 26203061
11.  Sex effects in cocaine using methadone patients randomized to contingency management interventions 
Contingency management (CM) is an effective treatment for promoting cocaine abstinence in patients receiving methadone maintenance. However, few studies have examined the effect of sex on treatment outcomes in this population. This study evaluated the impact of sex on longest duration of abstinence (LDA) and percent negative urine samples in 323 cocaine-using methadone patients from four randomized clinical trials comparing CM to standard methadone care. Overall, women had better treatment outcomes compared to men, demonstrated by an increase in both LDA and percentages of negative samples. Patients receiving CM also had significantly higher LDA and percentages of negative samples compared to patients receiving standard care, but sex by treatment condition effects were not significant. These data suggest that cocaine using methadone patients who are women have better substance use outcomes than men in interventions that regularly monitor cocaine use, and CM is equally efficacious regardless of sex.
PMCID: PMC4525716  PMID: 26237326
methadone treatment; cocaine; contingency management; sex differences; gender differences
12.  Smartphone applications to reduce alcohol consumption and help patients with alcohol use disorder: a state-of-the-art review 
Hazardous drinking and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are substantial contributors to USA and global morbidity and mortality. Patient self-management and continuing care are needed to combat these public health threats. However, services are rarely provided to patients outside of clinic settings or following brief intervention. Smartphone applications (“apps”) may help narrow the divide between traditional health care and patient needs. The purpose of this review is to identify and summarize smartphone apps to reduce alcohol consumption or treat AUD that have been evaluated for feasibility, acceptability, and/or efficacy. We searched two research databases for peer-reviewed journal articles published in English that evaluated smartphone apps to decrease alcohol consumption or treat AUD. We identified six apps. Two of these apps (A-CHESS and LBMI-A) promoted self-reported reductions in alcohol use, two (Promillekoll and PartyPlanner) failed to promote self-reported reductions in alcohol use, and two (HealthCall-S and Chimpshop) require further evaluation and testing before any conclusions regarding efficacy can be made. In summary, few evaluations of smartphone apps to reduce alcohol consumption or treat AUD have been reported in the scientific literature. Although advances in smartphone technology hold promise for disseminating interventions among hazardous drinkers and individuals with AUD, more systematic evaluations are necessary to ensure that smartphone apps are clinically useful.
PMCID: PMC4963021  PMID: 27478863
smartphone; app; mHealth; alcohol; alcohol use disorder; hazardous drinking
13.  Internet gambling in problem gambling college students 
Internet gambling is popular in college students and associated with problem gambling behaviors. This study evaluated Internet gambling in 117 students participating in study evaluating brief interventions to reduce gambling; the brief interventions consisted of minimal advice, motivational enhancement therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (1–4 sessions). Compared to their counterparts who did not gamble via the Internet (n = 60), those who reported recent Internet gambling (n = 57) wagered in greater frequencies and amounts and reported missing school more often and more problems with family and anxiety due to gambling. Recent Internet gamblers demonstrated similar reductions in gambling over time and in response to the brief interventions as non-Internet gamblers. These data suggest that Internet gambling is common in problem gambling college students, and students who wager over the Internet can benefit from brief interventions.
PMCID: PMC4055543  PMID: 24337905
gambling; problem gambling; Internet; college students
14.  Standard magnitude prize reinforcers can be as efficacious as larger magnitude reinforcers in cocaine-dependent methadone patients 
Contingency management (CM) reduces cocaine use in methadone patients, but only about 50% of patients respond to CM interventions. This study evaluated whether increasing magnitudes of reinforcement will improve outcomes.
Cocaine-dependent methadone patients (N = 240) were randomized to one of four 12-week treatment conditions: usual care (UC), UC plus “standard” prize CM in which average expected prize earnings were about $300, UC plus high magnitude prize CM in which average expected prize earnings were about $900, or UC plus voucher CM with an expected maximum of about $900 in vouchers.
All three CM conditions yielded significant reductions in cocaine use relative to UC, with effect sizes (d) ranging from 0.38 to 0.59. No differences were noted between CM conditions, with at least 55% of patients in each CM condition achieving one week or more of cocaine abstinence versus 35% in UC. During the 12 weeks after the intervention ended, CM increased time until relapse relative to UC, but the effects of CM were no longer significant at a 12-month follow-up.
Providing the standard magnitude of $300 in prizes was as effective as larger magnitude CM in cocaine-dependent methadone patients in this study. Given its strong evidence base and relatively low costs, standard magnitude prize CM should be considered for adoption in methadone clinics to encourage cocaine abstinence, but new methods need to be developed to sustain abstinence.
PMCID: PMC4362849  PMID: 25198284
contingency management; cocaine; methadone maintenance
15.  A retrospective and prospective analysis of trading sex for drugs or money in women substance abuse treatment patients 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2016;162:182-189.
Trading sex for drugs or money is common in substance abuse treatment patients, and this study evaluated prevalence and correlates of this behavior in women with cocaine use disorders initiating outpatient care. In addition, we examined the relation of sex trading status to treatment response in relation to usual care versus contingency management (CM), as well as predictors of continued involvement in sex trading over a 9-month period.
Women (N = 493) recruited from outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics were categorized according to histories of sex trading (n = 215, 43.6%) or not (n = 278).
Women with a history of trading sex were more likely to be African American, older and less educated, and they had more severe employment problems and were more likely to be HIV positive than those without this history. Controlling for baseline differences, both groups responded equally to substance abuse treatment in terms of retention and abstinence outcomes. Fifty-four women (11.3%) reported trading sex within the next nine months. Predictors of continued involvement in trading sex included a prior history of such behaviors and achieving less abstinence during treatment. Each additional week of abstinence during treatment was associated with a 16% reduction in the likelihood of trading sex over the follow-up.
Because over 40% of women receiving community-based treatment for cocaine use disorders have traded sex for drugs or money and more than 10% persist in the behavior, more intensive and directed approaches toward addressing this HIV risk behavior are recommended.
PMCID: PMC4833529  PMID: 27020748
substance abuse treatment; women; sexual behaviors; contingency management; sex exchange; transactional sex; prostitution
16.  A cross-sectional study of problem gambling and its correlates among college students in South India 
BJPsych open  2016;2(3):199-203.
In the Western world, a significant portion of college students have gambled. College gamblers have one of the highest rates of problem gambling. To date, there have been no studies on gambling participation or the rates of problem gambling in India.
This study evaluated the prevalence of gambling participation and problem gambling in college students in India. It also evaluated demographic and psychosocial correlates of gambling in that population.
We surveyed 5784 college students from 58 colleges in the district of Ernakulam, Kerala, India, using cluster random sampling. Students completed questionnaires that addressed gambling, substance use, psychological distress, suicidality and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A total of 5580 completed questionnaires were returned, and while only 1090 (19.5%) college students reported having ever gambled, 415 (7.4%) reported problem gambling. Lotteries were the most popular form of gambling. Problem gamblers in comparison with non-gamblers were significantly more likely to be male, have a part-time job, greater academic failures, higher substance use, higher psychological distress scores, higher suicidality and higher ADHD symptom scores. In comparison with non-problem gamblers, problem gamblers were significantly more likely to have greater academic failures, higher psychological distress scores, higher suicidality and higher ADHD symptom scores.
This study, the first to look at the prevalence of gambling in India, found relatively low rates of gambling participation in college students but high rates of problem gambling among those who did gamble. Correlates of gambling were generally similar to those noted in other countries. Since 38% of college students who had gambled had a gambling problem, there is a need for immediate public health measures to raise awareness about gambling, and to prevent and treat problem gambling in this population.
Declaration of interest
S.G. was (until October 2014) a member of the UK Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, and authored the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty report FR/AP/01 Gambling: The Hidden Addiction – Future Trends in Addictions (2014).
Copyright and usage
© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.
PMCID: PMC4995164  PMID: 27703776
17.  A randomized study of contingency management in cocaine-dependent patients with severe and persistent mental health disorders* 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2012;130(0):234-237.
Contingency management (CM) is efficacious for reducing drug use, but it has rarely been applied to patients with severe and persistent mental health problems. This study evaluated the efficacy of CM for reducing cocaine use in psychiatric patients treated at a community mental health center.
Nineteen cocaine-dependent patients with extensive histories of mental health problems and hospitalizations were randomized to twice weekly urine sample testing with or without CM for eight weeks. In the CM condition, patients earned the chance to win prizes for each cocaine-negative urine sample. Patients also completed an instrument assessing severity of psychiatric symptoms pre- and post-treatment.
Patients assigned to CM achieved a mean (standard deviation) of 2.9 (1.7) weeks of continuous cocaine abstinence versus 0.6 (1.7) weeks for patients in the testing only condition, p = .008, Cohen’s effect size d = 1.35. Of the 16 expected samples, 46.2% (27.5) were cocaine negative in the CM condition versus 13.8% (27.9) in the testing only condition, p = .02, d = 1.17, but proportions of negative samples submitted did not differ between groups. Reductions in psychiatric symptoms were noted over time in CM, but not the testing only, condition, p = .02.
CM yielded benefits for enhancing durations of abstinence in dual diagnosis patients, and it also was associated with reduced psychiatric symptoms. These findings call for larger-scale and longer-term evaluations of CM in psychiatric populations.
PMCID: PMC3593793  PMID: 23182410
dual diagnosis; depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; cocaine dependence; contingency management
18.  White Problem Gamblers Discount Delayed Rewards Less Steeply than their African American and Hispanic Counterparts 
Impulsivity is a core process underlying addictive behaviors, including non-pharmacological addictive behaviors such as problem gambling. Although considerable attention has been given to the investigation of delay discounting within the context of addiction-related behaviors, relatively little research has examined the relationship between discounting and individual variables, such as race/ethnicity. The purpose of this study was to compare discounting rates in the three most prevalent racial/ethnic groups in the US: Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics. The study was conducted in 315 individuals with problem gambling. Participants completed a delay-discounting questionnaire involving choices between a smaller amount of money delivered immediately and a larger amount delivered later. A hyperbolic discounting function estimated delay discounting rates based on participants’ indifference points obtained via the questionnaires. Results showed significant effects of race/ethnicity on delay discounting. White gamblers discounted delayed money at lower rates than African Americans and Hispanics, even after controlling for confounding variables. These data suggest that among individuals who develop problem gambling, Whites are less impulsive than African Americans and Hispanics, at least in terms of choosing between delayed and immediate reinforcers. These results have implications for evaluating the onset and treatment of addictive disorders from a health disparities perspective.
PMCID: PMC4783763  PMID: 24955678
Delay discounting; impulsivity; gambling; Whites; African Americans; Hispanics
19.  Interpersonal Guilt and Substance Use in College Students 
Substance abuse  2015;36(1):113-118.
The college years are a time for developing independence and separating from one’s family, and it is also a time in which substance use often escalates. This study examined the relationships between use of substances and interpersonal guilt, an emotion that can arise from feelings about separation, among 1,979 college students. Regular users of alcohol, cigarettes, cannabis, and other illicit drugs were compared with non-regular users of each substance. Sequential linear regression, controlling for confounding variables, examined relationships between regular use of each substance and scores on a guilt index. Risky drinkers and daily smokers had significantly more interpersonal guilt than their peers who did not regularly use these substances. In contrast, regular cannabis users had significantly less guilt than non-regular cannabis users. These data suggest that substance use among college students may be related to interpersonal guilt and family separation issues, and this relationship may vary across substances.
PMCID: PMC4782605  PMID: 24579980
guilt; substance use; alcohol; college students
20.  Correlates of Having Never Been HIV Tested Among Entrants to Substance Abuse Treatment Clinics: Empiric Findings from Real-World New England Settings 
Journal of psychoactive drugs  2014;46(3):208-214.
Routine testing is the cornerstone to identifying HIV, but not all substance abuse treatment patients have been tested. This study is a real-world evaluation of predictors of having never been HIV tested among patients initiating substance abuse treatment. Participants (N=614) from six New England clinics were asked whether they had ever been HIV tested. Eighty-five patients (13.8%) reported having never been tested and were compared to those who had undergone testing. Clinic, male gender (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.91, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.07-3.41) and having fewer employment (AOR=0.31; 95% CI=0.11-0.88) and medical problems (AOR=0.40, 95% CI=0.17-0.99) were independently correlated with having never been HIV tested. Thus, there is still considerable room for improved testing strategies as a clinically significant minority of substance abuse patients have never undergone HIV testing when they initiate treatment.
PMCID: PMC4780256  PMID: 25052879
substance abuse treatment; HIV; HIV testing; clinical settings
21.  Maintaining High Ambulatory Activity Levels of Sedentary Adults with a Reinforcement Thinning Schedule 
Physical inactivity is a leading cause of mortality. Reinforcement interventions appear useful for increasing activity and preventing adverse consequences of sedentary lifestyles. This study evaluated a reinforcement thinning schedule for maintaining high activity levels. Sedentary adults (n=77) were given pedometers and encouraged to walk ≥10,000 steps/day. Initially, all participants earned rewards for each day they walked ≥10,000 steps. Subsequently, 61 participants were randomized to a monitoring only condition or a monitoring plus reinforcement thinning condition, in which frequencies of monitoring and reinforcing walking decreased over 12 weeks. The mean ± SD percentage of participants in the monitoring plusreinforcement thinning condition who met walking goals was 83% ± 24% versus. 55% ± 31% for participants in the monitoring only condition, p < .001. Thus, this monitoring plusreinforcement thinning schedule maintained high rates of walking when it was in effect; however, groups did not differ at a 24-week follow-up. Monitoring plus reinforcement thinning schedules, nevertheless, hold potential to extend benefits of reinforcement interventions at low costs.
PMCID: PMC4778539  PMID: 25041789
contingency management; reinforcement schedule; walking; sedentary adults
22.  A Randomized Factorial Trial of Disulfiram and Contingency Management to Enhance Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Cocaine Dependence 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2016;160:135-142.
This study evaluated the extent to which the addition of disulfiram and contingency management for adherence and abstinence (CM), alone and in combination, might enhance the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for cocaine use disorders.
Factorial randomized double blind (for medication condition) clinical trial where CBT served as the platform and was delivered in weekly individual sessions in a community-based outpatient clinic. 99 outpatients who met DSM-IV criteria for current cocaine dependence were assigned to receive either disulfiram or placebo, and either CM or no CM. Cocaine and other substance use was assessed via a daily calendar with thrice weekly urine sample testing for 12 weeks with a one-year follow-up (80% interviewed at one year).
The primary hypothesis that CM and disulfiram would produce the best cocaine outcomes was not confirmed, nor was there a main effect for disulfiram. For the primary outcome (percent days of abstinence, self report), there was a significant interaction, with the best cocaine outcomes were seen for the combination of CM and placebo, with the two groups assigned to disulfiram associated with intermediate outcomes, and poorest cocaine outcome among those assigned to placebo and no CM. The secondary outcome (urinalysis) indicated a significant effect favoring CM over no CM but the interaction effect was not significant. One year follow-up data indicated sustained treatment effects across conditions.
CM enhances outcomes for CBT treatment of cocaine dependence, but disulfiram provided no added benefit to the combination of CM and CBT. Clinical identifier: NCT00350870
PMCID: PMC4767616  PMID: 26817621
cocaine dependence; disulfiram therapy; contingency management; cognitive therapies; randomized trial
23.  Concordance between gambling disorder diagnoses in the DSM-IV and DSM-5; Results from the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Disorders 
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) eliminates the committing illegal acts criterion and reduces the threshold for a diagnosis of gambling disorder to four of nine criteria. This study compared the DSM-5 “4 of 9” classification system to the “5 of 10” DSM-IV system, as well as other permutations (i.e., just lowing the threshold to four criteria or just eliminating the illegal acts criterion) in 43,093 respondents to the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions. Subgroups were analyzed to ascertain if changes will impact differentially diagnoses based on gender, age or race/ethnicity. In the full sample and each subpopulation, prevalence rates were higher when the DSM-5 classification system was employed relative to the DSM-IV system, but the hit rate between the two systems ranged from 99.80% to 99.96%. Across all gender, age and racial/ethnic subgroups, specificity was greater than 99% when the DSM-5 system was employed relative to the DSM-IV system, and sensitivity was 100%. Results from this study suggest that eliminating the illegal acts criterion has little impact on diagnosis of gambling disorder, but lowering the threshold for diagnosis does increase the base rate in the general population and each subgroup, even though overall rates remain low and sensitivity and specificity are high.
PMCID: PMC4669212  PMID: 24588275
pathological gambling; gambling; diagnoses; DSM-5
24.  Associations between Antisocial Personality Disorder and Sex on Discounting Rates 
The Psychological record  2014;64(4):639-644.
Numerous studies show that individuals with substance use and gambling problems discount delayed and probabilistic outcomes at different rates than controls. Few studies, however, investigated the association of discounting with antisocial personality disorders (ASPD), and none evaluated whether sex impacts these relationships. Because females with ASPD exhibit different patterns of antisocial behavior than their male counterparts, they may also differ in their decision-making tendencies. This study examined the effects of ASPD and sex on discounting in pathological gamblers. Results revealed effects of ASPD, and an interaction between ASPD and sex, on probability discounting rates. None of these variables, however, were related to delay discounting. Females with ASPD highly preferred probabilistic outcomes, suggesting that female gamblers with ASPD are particularly impulsive when it comes to probabilistic rewards. Greater understanding of sex differences in ASPD might help guide the selection of more effective sex-specific prevention and treatment programs.
PMCID: PMC4212828  PMID: 25364042
Probability discounting; delay discounting; sex; gambling; antisocial personality disorder
25.  Training Opioid Addiction Treatment Providers to Adopt Contingency Management: A Prospective Pilot Trial of a Comprehensive Implementation Science Approach 
Substance abuse  2016;37(1):134-140.
Few prospective studies have evaluated theory-driven approaches to the implementation of evidence-based opioid treatment. This study compared the effectiveness of an implementation model (Science to Service Laboratory; SSL) to training as usual (TAU) in promoting the adoption of contingency management across a multi-site opiate addiction treatment program. We also examined whether the SSL affected putative mediators of contingency management adoption (perceived innovation characteristics and organizational readiness to change).
Sixty treatment providers (39 SSL, 21 TAU) from 15 geographically diverse satellite clinics (7 SSL, 8 TAU) participated in the 12-month study. Both conditions received didactic contingency management training and those in the pre-determined experimental region received 9 months of SSL-enhanced training. Contingency management adoption was monitored biweekly, while putative mediators were measured at baseline, 3-, and 12-months.
Relative to providers in the TAU region, treatment providers in the SSL region had comparable likelihood of contingency management adoption in the first 20 weeks of the study, and then significantly higher likelihood of adoption (odds ratios = 2.4-13.5) for the remainder of the study. SSL providers also reported higher levels of one perceived innovation characteristic (Observability) and one aspect of organizational readiness to change (Adequacy of Training Resources), although there was no evidence that the SSL affected these putative mediators over time.
Results of this study indicate that a fully powered randomized trial of the SSL is warranted. Considerations for a future evaluation are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4847430  PMID: 26682582
opioid; contingency management; adoption; implementation

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