Kevin Lewis

November 20, 2011

Drugs, Arms, and Arrowheads: Theft From Archaeological Sites and the Dangers of Fieldwork

Blythe Bowman Proulx
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, November 2011, Pages 500-522

This article presents findings from a recent worldwide study of archaeological site looting, which largely fuels the international trade in illicitly obtained antiquities. Focused on practicing archaeologists' opinions about and personal experiences with site looting, the study surveyed 2,358 archaeologists excavating throughout the world in 118 countries. Key findings presented here include archaeologists' reports of connections between archaeological site looting and the production of and trade in methamphetamine across the United States. American archaeologists report run-ins with "meth heads" on their sites with increasing frequency. Other archaeologists working throughout the world report violent encounters with looters on site, some of whom even report being shot at and assaulted by looters. Overall findings suggest that archaeological fieldwork has become an increasingly dangerous occupation around the world.


Intelligence across childhood in relation to illegal drug use in adulthood: 1970 British Cohort Study

James White & David Batty
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, forthcoming

Background: Recent reports have linked high childhood IQ scores with excess alcohol intake and alcohol dependency in adult life, but the relationship with illegal drug use in later life is relatively unknown.

Methods: The authors used data from a large population-based birth cohort (1970 British Cohort Study) with measures of lifetime cannabis and cocaine use, parental social class and psychological distress at 16 years; cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and polydrug use (more than three drugs) in the past 12 months; and social class, educational attainment and gross monthly income at 30 years. All members of the cohort with IQ scores at 5 or 10 years were eligible to be included in the analyses.

Results: Of the 11 603 (at 5 years) and 11 397 (at 10 years) cohort members eligible, 7904 (68.1%) and 7946 (69.7%) were included in the analyses. IQ scores at 5 years were positively associated with cannabis (OR (bottom vs top tertile) =2.25, 95% CI 1.71 to 2.97) and cocaine use (OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.41 to 3.92) in women and with amphetamines (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.06), ecstasy (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.36) and polydrug use (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.26) in men at 30 years. IQ scores at 10 years were positively associated with cannabis, cocaine (only at 30 years), ecstasy, amphetamine and polydrug use. Associations were stronger in women than in men and were independent from psychological distress in adolescence and life-course socioeconomic position.

Conclusion: High childhood IQ may increase the risk of illegal drug use in adolescence and adulthood.


Decomposing the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Fatal Car Crashes during the Great Recession: Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Accidents

Chad Cotti & Nathan Tefft
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, August 2011

This paper investigates to what extent and in what ways conditions related to the 2007-2008 recession reduced fatal crashes. It hypothesizes that the reduction in fatal automobile accidents operates through both the quantity of driving and changes in behaviors associated with driving. Using state-by-quarter fixed effects models, the study shows that unemployment rate increases significantly reduce fatal accidents. Decomposing the fatal accident rate into accidents per mile traveled and miles traveled per capita reveals that higher unemployment is significantly associated with fewer accidents per mile, and also reveals that fatal accidents associated with alcohol are more responsive to unemployment rate changes than are accidents overall. These results suggest that the recession's "lost" fatal accidents occurred in areas hit harder by the recession and were in the form of fewer alcohol-related accidents per mile traveled rather than fewer miles traveled overall.


Motives for smoking in movies affect future smoking risk in middle school students: An experimental investigation

William Shadel et al.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, forthcoming

Background: Exposure to smoking in movies has been linked to adolescent smoking uptake. However, beyond linking amount of exposure to smoking in movies with adolescent smoking, whether the way that smoking is portrayed in movies matters for influencing adolescent smoking has not been investigated. This study experimentally examined how motivation for smoking depicted in movies affects self-reported future smoking risk (a composite measure with items that assess smoking refusal self-efficacy and smoking intentions) among early adolescents.

Methods: A randomized laboratory experiment was used. Adolescents were exposed to movie scenes depicting one of three movie smoking motives: social smoking motive (characters smoked to facilitate social interaction); relaxation smoking motive (characters smoked to relax); or no smoking motive (characters smoked with no apparent motive, i.e., in neutral contexts and/or with neutral affect). Responses to these movie scenes were contrasted (within subjects) to participants' responses to control movie scenes in which no smoking was present; these control scenes matched to the smoking scenes with the same characters in similar situations but where no smoking was present. A total of 358 adolescents, aged 11-14 years, participated.

Results: Compared with participants exposed to movie scenes depicting characters smoking with no clear motive, adolescents exposed to movie scenes depicting characters smoking for social motives and adolescents exposed to movie scenes depicting characters smoking for relaxation motives had significantly greater chances of having increases in their future smoking risk.

Conclusions: Exposure to movies that portray smoking motives places adolescents at particular risk for future smoking.


Alcohol and aggressive behavior in men - moderating effects of oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms

Ada Johansson et al.
Genes, Brain and Behavior, forthcoming

We explored if the disposition to react with aggression while alcohol intoxicated was moderated by polymorphic variants of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR). Twelve OXTR polymorphisms were genotyped in 116 Finnish men (aged 18-30, M = 22.7, SD = 2.4) who were randomly assigned to an alcohol condition in which they received an alcohol dose of 0.7g pure ethanol / kg body weight or a placebo condition. Aggressive behavior was measured using a laboratory paradigm in which aggressive behavior was operationalized as the level of aversive noise administered to a fictive opponent. No main effects of the polymorphisms on aggressive behavior were found after controlling for multiple testing. The interactive effect between alcohol and two of the OXTR polymorphisms (rs4564970 and rs1488467) on aggressive behavior was nominally significant and remained significant for the rs4564970 when controlled for multiple tests. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first experimental study suggesting interactive effects of specific genetic variants and alcohol on aggressive behavior in humans.


Cannabis use and mental health problems

Jan van Ours & Jenny Williams
Journal of Applied Econometrics, November/December 2011, Pages 1137-1156

This paper investigates whether cannabis use leads to worse mental health. To do so, we account for common unobserved factors affecting mental health and cannabis consumption by modeling mental health jointly with the dynamics of cannabis use. Our main finding is that using cannabis increases the likelihood of mental health problems, with current use having a larger effect than past use. The estimates suggest a dose-response relationship between the frequency of recent cannabis use and the probability of currently experiencing a mental health problem.


Longitudinal Associations Between Other-Sex Friendships and Substance Use in Adolescence

François Poulin, Anne-Sophie Denault & Sara Pedersen
Journal of Research on Adolescence, December 2011, Pages 776-788

The impact of the changes in the gender composition of friendship networks during early adolescence on substance use in late adolescence was examined. The hypothesis was that initial level and increase in the proportion of other-sex friends in the network would be associated with higher levels of substance use among girls, but not among boys. Girls and boys (n=390) were interviewed annually from ages 12 to 18 (79% retention). For both boys and girls, initial level in the proportion of other-sex friends predicted alcohol use in late adolescence, whereas it was predictive of drug use in girls only. Moreover, for girls only, a faster increase in the proportion of other-sex friends in the network predicted later use of alcohol and drugs.


Racial/Ethnic Variations in Substance-Related Disorders Among Adolescents in the United States

Li-Tzy Wu et al.
Archives of General Psychiatry, November 2011, Pages 1176-1185

Context: While young racial/ethnic groups are the fastest growing population in the United States, data about substance-related disorders among adolescents of various racial/ethnic backgrounds are lacking.

Objective: To examine the magnitude of past-year DSM-IV substance-related disorders (alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, analgesic opioids, stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers) among adolescents of white, Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander, and multiple race/ethnicity.

Design: The 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Setting: Academic research.

Participants: Noninstitutionalized household adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.

Main Outcome Measures: Substance-related disorders were assessed by standardized survey questions administered using the audio computer-assisted self-interviewing method.

Results: Of 72 561 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, 37.0% used alcohol or drugs in the past year; 7.9% met criteria for a substance-related disorder, with Native Americans having the highest prevalence of use (47.5%) and disorder (15.0%). Analgesic opioids were the second most commonly used illegal drugs, following marijuana, in all racial/ethnic groups; analgesic opioid use was comparatively prevalent among adolescents of Native American (9.7%) and multiple race/ethnicity (8.8%). Among 27 705 past-year alcohol or drug users, Native Americans (31.5%), adolescents of multiple race/ethnicity (25.2%), adolescents of white race/ethnicity (22.9%), and Hispanics (21.0%) had the highest rates of substance-related disorders. Adolescents used marijuana more frequently than alcohol or other drugs, and 25.9% of marijuana users met criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence. After controlling for adolescents' age, socioeconomic variables, population density of residence, self-rated health, and survey year, adjusted analyses of adolescent substance users indicated elevated odds of substance-related disorders among Native Americans, adolescents of multiple race/ethnicity, adolescents of white race/ethnicity, and Hispanics compared with African Americans; African Americans did not differ from Asians or Pacific Islanders.

Conclusions: Substance use is widespread among adolescents of Native American, white, Hispanic, and multiple race/ethnicity. These groups also are disproportionately affected by substance-related disorders.


Anger, Hostility, and Aggression as Predictors of Persistent Smoking During Pregnancy

Rina Eiden et al.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, November 2011, Pages 926-932

Objective: We examined the role of anger, hostility, and aggression, in addition to depression and stress, in predicting persistent smoking during pregnancy in a low-income sample.

Method: The sample consisted of 270 pregnant women (189 smokers, 81 nonsmokers) recruited into a prospective study of prenatal cigarette exposure in the first trimester. Persistent pregnancy smoking was defined as self-reporting daily smoking in at least two trimesters, a positive salivary cotinine level in at least two trimesters, or infant meconium positive for nicotine and/ or its metabolites.

Results: Persistent smokers reported higher prenatal stress and negative affect symptoms (depression, anger, hostility, aggression) than nonpersistent smokers or nonsmokers. However, in the context of model testing, maternal anger, hostility, and aggression each accounted for unique variance in persistent smoking, whereas symptoms of depression and stress did not.

Conclusions: To date, interventions for pregnant low-income smokers have been largely ineffective. The current results suggest that anger management interventions may be particularly effective for low-income persistent pregnant smokers and may be more likely to prevent relapse than depression-focused interventions.


Prevalence, frequency, and initiation of hookah tobacco smoking among first-year female college students: A one-year longitudinal study

Robyn Fielder, Kate Carey & Michael Carey
Addictive Behaviors, forthcoming

Hookah tobacco smoking has become increasingly prevalent among college students, but little is known about frequency of use or patterns of use over time, including during the transition to college. The goals of this longitudinal cohort study were to assess the: (a) lifetime prevalence, (b) current prevalence, (c) frequency of use, and (d) pattern of initiation of hookah tobacco smoking among female students during the first year of college. First-year female college students (N = 483) at a large private university in upstate New York completed 13 monthly online surveys about their hookah tobacco use from August 2009 to August 2010. Lifetime prevalence of hookah use increased from 29% at college entry to 45% at one-year follow-up. The highest rates of hookah initiation occurred in the first two months of students' first semester of college. Current (past 30 days) hookah use ranged from 5% to 13% during the year after college entry. On average, hookah users reported smoking hookah two days per month. Hookah tobacco use is common among female college students. The transition to college is a vulnerable time for hookah initiation. Preventive efforts should begin in high school and continue through college, with a focus on students' first few months on campus.


‘Smoking Genes': A Genetic Association Study

Zoraida Verde et al.
PLoS ONE, October 2011, e26668

Some controversy exists on the specific genetic variants that are associated with nicotine dependence and smoking-related phenotypes. The purpose of this study was to analyse the association of smoking status and smoking-related phenotypes (included nicotine dependence) with 17 candidate genetic variants: CYP2A6*1×2, CYP2A6*2 (1799T>A) [rs1801272], CYP2A6*9 (-48T>G) [rs28399433], CYP2A6*12, CYP2A13*2 (3375C>T) [rs8192789], CYP2A13*3 (7520C>G), CYP2A13*4 (579G>A), CYP2A13*7 (578C>T) [rs72552266], CYP2B6*4 (785A>G), CYP2B6*9 (516G>T), CHRNA3 546C>T [rs578776], CHRNA5 1192G>A [rs16969968], CNR1 3764C>G [rs6928499], DRD2-ANKK1 2137G>A (Taq1A) [rs1800497], 5HTT LPR, HTR2A -1438A>G [rs6311] and OPRM1 118A>G [rs1799971]. We studied the genotypes of the aforementioned polymorphisms in a cohort of Spanish smokers (cases, N = 126) and ethnically matched never smokers (controls, N = 80). The results showed significant between-group differences for CYP2A6*2 and CYP2A6*12 (both P<0.001). Compared with carriers of variant alleles, the odds ratio (OR) for being a non-smoker in individuals with the wild-type genotype of CYP2A6*12 and DRD2-ANKK1 2137G>A (Taq1A) polymorphisms was 3.60 (95%CI: 1.75, 7.44) and 2.63 (95%CI: 1.41, 4.89) respectively. Compared with the wild-type genotype, the OR for being a non-smoker in carriers of the minor CYP2A6*2 allele was 1.80 (95%CI: 1.24, 2.65). We found a significant genotype effect (all P≤0.017) for the following smoking-related phenotypes: (i) cigarettes smoked per day and CYP2A13*3; (ii) pack years smoked and CYP2A6*2, CYP2A6*1×2, CYP2A13*7, CYP2B6*4 and DRD2-ANKK1 2137G>A (Taq1A); (iii) nicotine dependence (assessed with the Fagestrom test) and CYP2A6*9. Overall, our results suggest that genetic variants potentially involved in nicotine metabolization (mainly, CYP2A6 polymorphisms) are those showing the strongest association with smoking-related phenotypes, as opposed to genetic variants influencing the brain effects of nicotine, e.g., through nicotinic acetylcholine (CHRNA5), serotoninergic (HTR2A), opioid (OPRM1) or cannabinoid receptors (CNR1).


The relationship of microaggressions with alcohol use and anxiety among ethnic minority college students in a historically white institution

Arthur Blume et al.
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, forthcoming

Little is known about how microaggressions may impact the health and mental health of college students of color attending historically White universities. In this study, students provided self-report of the number of racial and ethnic microaggressions they had experienced over the previous month, as well as data on anxiety symptoms (Beck Anxiety Inventory), alcohol consumption (Daily Drinking Questionnaire) and consequences (Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index), and self-efficacy to cope with daily hassles (General Self-efficacy Scale) and with high risk drinking situations (Situational Confidence Questionnaire). As expected, students of color reported significantly more microaggressions than their European American counterparts. Microaggressions and self-efficacy were significantly associated with anxiety (Full Model R2 = .20; p < .001), microaggressions and self-efficacy were significantly associated with binge drinking (Full Model R2 = .10; p < .01), and microaggressions, binge drinking events, self-efficacy, and microaggressions × self-efficacy interaction were significantly associated with alcohol related consequences (Full Model R2 = .28; p < .001) among the students of color. Results suggest that microaggressions may represent a health and mental health risk to students of color. Implications of study results and future research directions are discussed.\


Race/ethnicity and sex differences in progression from drinking initiation to the development of alcohol dependence

Anika Alvanzo et al.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1 November 2011, Pages 375-382

Background: Prior studies on the course of alcohol use disorders have reported a "telescoping" effect with women progressing from drinking initiation to alcohol dependence faster than men. However, there is a paucity of population-based analyses that have examined progression to alcohol dependence comparing race/ethnicity subgroups, and little is known about whether the telescoping effect for women varies by race/ethnicity. We examined whether a telescoping effect is present in the general population comparing race/ethnicity subgroups and comparing men and women stratified by race.

Methods: This study uses data from Wave I of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to compare a nationally representative sample of White, Black and Hispanic adults 18-44 years of age (n = 21,106). Time to event analyses compare the risk of alcohol initiation, onset of alcohol dependence, and the transition from initial use to onset of alcohol dependence in the three race/ethnicity groups and for males and females in each race/ethnicity group.

Results: Whites were younger than Blacks and Hispanics of the same sex at drinking onset and progressed to alcohol dependence at a faster rate than both Blacks and Hispanics. In addition, we found no evidence of a telescoping effect in women for any race/ethnicity group.

Conclusions: The present study illustrates differences in the course of transition from alcohol initiation to the development of dependence by race/ethnicity but not sex. Our findings highlight the need for additional study of factors resulting in race/ethnicity differences in order to inform culturally relevant prevention and intervention initiatives.


Psychosocial problems in childhood and later alcohol consumption: A life course approach with historical information

Janne Leino et al.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, November 2011, Pages 749-756

Aims: Childhood psychosocial problems have been associated with poor alcohol habits in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to investigate further the association in men by using information from historical health records.

Methods: As part of the epidemiological FinDrink Study, we examined the association between childhood psychosocial problems and total ethanol consumption, binge drinking, and abstinence in later life among Finnish men. The participants were a sample from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), a population-based cohort study in eastern Finland. The data on childhood psychosocial factors were collected from health records (n = 952, 35.5% of the entire study sample), mainly from the 1930s to the 1950s. Questionnaire data on alcohol consumption were obtained from the baseline examinations of the KIHD cohort in 1984-1989.

Results: Controlling for age and examination year, the men who had been considered psychosocially disadvantaged by elementary school nurses had a 2.72-fold (95% confidence interval 1.30-5.65) risk of bingeing on fortified wine in later life. After adjustment for adulthood behavioural and socioeconomic factors the association (odds ratio 3.71, 95% confidence interval 1.56-8.84) appeared even stronger. Childhood psychosocial problems also contributed to abstinence, but did not appear to increase the total amount of ethanol consumed.

Conclusions: Psychosocial problems observed in boys seem to contribute to different alcohol habits in later life. However, the factors eventually involved in the manifestation of problematic drinking patterns through the life course still require further research.


Post-ban self-reports on economic impact of smoke-free bars and restaurants are biased by pre-ban attitudes. A longitudinal study among employees

Ingeborg Lund & Karl Erik Lund
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, November 2011, Pages 776-779

Introduction: Objective sales data have indicated that the Norwegian indoor smoke-free regime implemented in June 2004 did not affect the hospitality business negatively. This paper investigates whether self-reports on the economic impact of the smoking ban from employees in the hospitality sector gave similar results, and whether post-ban self-reports on the economic impact of the ban were influenced by pre-ban attitudes towards smoke-free policies.

Methods: A random sample of 516 employees in bars and restaurants stated their attitudes towards smoke-free policies shortly before the ban became effective. One year later, the same respondents gave their perceptions of changes in patronage for their workplace. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires and telephone interviews.

Results: 56.4% of the hospitality workers stated that the ban on smoking had led to a large reduction (28.2%) or some reduction (28.2%) in the number of patrons, a result inconsistent with analysis of sales data. After adjusting for demographic and smoking-related variables, a negative pre-ban attitude significantly increased the odds for reporting a negative economic impact post ban (odds ratio 2.48, confidence interval 1.48-4.14).

Conclusions: Subjective reports of the economic impact from an indoor ban on smoking are influenced by attitudes towards smoke-free policies and should not be considered as a valid measure of the economic effect.


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