Integrative data analysis of clinical trials network studies to examine the impact of psychosocial treatments for black people who use cocaine: Study protocol
BACKGROUND:Cocaine overdose death rates among Black people are higher than that of any other racial/ethnic group, attributable to synthetic opioids in the cocaine supply. Understanding the most effective psychostimulant use treatment interventions for Black people is a high priority. While some interventions have proven effective for the general population, their comparative effectiveness among Black people remains unknown. To address this gap, our NIDA-funded Clinical Trials Network (CTN) study (0125), will use Integrative Data Analysis (IDA) to examine treatment effectiveness across 9 CTN studies. This manuscript describes the study protocol for CTN-0125. METHODS:Of the 59 completed randomized clinical trials in the CTN with available datasets, nine met our inclusion criteria: 1) behavioral intervention, 2) targeted cocaine use or use disorder, 3) included sub-samples of participants who self-identified as Black and 4) included outcome measures of cocaine and psychostimulant use and consequences. We aim to 1) estimate scale scores of cocaine use severity while considering study-level measurement non-invariance, 2) compare the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for psychostimulant use, and 3) explore individual (e.g., concomitant opioid use, age, sex, employment, pre-treatment psychiatric status) and study-level moderators (e.g., attendance/retention) to evaluate subgroup differences in treatment effectiveness. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The NIDA CTN provides a unique collection of studies that can offer insight into what interventions are most efficacious for Black people. Findings from our CTN-0125 study have the potential to substantially inform treatment approaches specifically designed for Black people who use psychostimulants.
Promoting alcohol treatment engagement post-hospitalization with brief intervention, medications and CBT4CBT: protocol for a randomized clinical trial in a diverse patient population
BACKGROUND:Alcohol use disorder (AUD) commonly causes hospitalization, particularly for individuals disproportionately impacted by structural racism and other forms of marginalization. The optimal approach for engaging hospitalized patients with AUD in treatment post-hospital discharge is unknown. We describe the rationale, aims, and protocol for Project ENHANCE (ENhancing Hospital-initiated Alcohol TreatmeNt to InCrease Engagement), a clinical trial testing increasingly intensive approaches using a hybrid type 1 effectiveness-implementation approach. METHODS:We are randomizing English and/or Spanish-speaking individuals with untreated AUD (n = 450) from a large, urban, academic hospital in New Haven, CT to: (1) Brief Negotiation Interview (with referral and telephone booster) alone (BNI), (2) BNI plus facilitated initiation of medications for alcohol use disorder (BNI + MAUD), or (3) BNI + MAUD + initiation of computer-based training for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT4CBT, BNI + MAUD + CBT4CBT). Interventions are delivered by Health Promotion Advocates. The primary outcome is AUD treatment engagement 34 days post-hospital discharge. Secondary outcomes include AUD treatment engagement 90 days post-discharge and changes in self-reported alcohol use and phosphatidylethanol. Exploratory outcomes include health care utilization. We will explore whether the effectiveness of the interventions on AUD treatment engagement and alcohol use outcomes differ across and within racialized and ethnic groups, consistent with disproportionate impacts of AUD. Lastly, we will conduct an implementation-focused process evaluation, including individual-level collection and statistical comparisons between the three conditions of costs to providers and to patients, cost-effectiveness indices (effectiveness/cost ratios), and cost-benefit indices (benefit/cost ratios, net benefit [benefits minus costs). Graphs of individual- and group-level effectiveness x cost, and benefits x costs, will portray relationships between costs and effectiveness and between costs and benefits for the three conditions, in a manner that community representatives also should be able to understand and use. CONCLUSIONS:Project ENHANCE is expected to generate novel findings to inform future hospital-based efforts to promote AUD treatment engagement among diverse patient populations, including those most impacted by AUD. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT05338151.
Years of life lost due to deaths of despair and COVID-19 in the United States in 2020: patterns of excess mortality by gender, race and ethnicity
BACKGROUND:In 2020 COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States. Increases in suicides, overdoses, and alcohol related deaths were seen-which make up deaths of despair. How deaths of despair compare to COVID-19 across racial, ethnic, and gender subpopulations is relatively unknown. Preliminary studies showed inequalities in COVID-19 mortality for Black and Hispanic Americans in the pandemic's onset. This study analyzes the racial, ethnic and gender disparities in years of life lost due to COVID-19 and deaths of despair (suicide, overdose, and alcohol deaths) in 2020. METHODS:This cross-sectional study calculated and compared years of life lost (YLL) due to Deaths of Despair and COVID-19 by gender, race, and ethnicity. YLL was calculated using the CDC WONDER database to pull death records based on ICD-10 codes and the Social Security Administration Period Life Table was used to get estimated life expectancy for each subpopulation. RESULTS:In 2020, COVID-19 caused 350,831 deaths and 4,405,699 YLL. By contrast, deaths of despair contributed to 178,598 deaths and 6,045,819 YLL. Men had more deaths and YLL than women due to COVID-19 and deaths of despair. Among White Americans and more than one race identification both had greater burden of deaths of despair YLL than COVID-19 YLL. However, for all other racial categories (Native American/Alaskan Native, Asian, Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) COVID-19 caused more YLL than deaths of despair. Also, Hispanic or Latino persons had disproportionately higher mortality across all causes: COVID-19 and all deaths of despair causes. CONCLUSIONS:This study found greater deaths of despair mortality burden and differences in burden across gender, race, and ethnicity in 2020. The results indicate the need to bolster behavioral health research, support mental health workforce development and education, increase access to evidence-based substance use treatment, and address systemic inequities and social determinants of deaths of despair and COVID-19.
Emerging Perspectives in Addiction Psychiatry
Despite their legality, alcohol and tobacco both have a well-documented potential for misuse and elevate users' likelihood for disease. Dependence on alcohol also contributes to opioid overdoses, which claim 130 lives every day. Although awareness of the opioid epidemic is rising broadly among health care professionals, a majority of Americans still do not receive adequate, FDA-approved medications for their addiction. Effective medications are available for alcohol use disorder and medications for opioid use disorder have validated benefits that justify their use. In recent years, psychedelic compounds have attracted interest among scientists for their potential to alter mood and cognition in beneficial manners. Already, some evidence supports the use of psilocybin in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety; psychedelic compounds also have potential as alcohol use disorder treatments and may help reduce symptoms tied to opioid withdrawal. Because substance use disorders can culminate in death, a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the treatment of people with substance use disorders is essential.
Breaking through social determinants of health: Results from a feasibility study of Imani Breakthrough, a community developed substance use intervention for Black and Latinx people
Racial and ethnic disparities in substance use intervention design, implementation, and dissemination have been recognized for years, yet few intervention programs have been designed and conducted by and for people who use substances. Imani Breakthrough is a two-phase 22-week intervention developed by the community, run by facilitators with lived experience and church members, that is implemented in Black and Latinx church settings. This community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach is a concept developed in response to a call for action from the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to address rising rates of death due to opioid overdose, and other negative consequences of substance misuse. After nine months of didactic community meetings, the final design involved twelve weeks of education in a group setting related to the recovery process, including the impact of trauma and racism on substance use, and a focus on citizenship and community participation and the 8 dimensions of wellness, followed by ten weeks of mutual support, with intensive wraparound support and life coaching focused on the social determinants of health (SDOH). We found the Imani intervention was feasible and acceptable, with 42 % of participants retained at 12 weeks. In addition, in a subset of participants with complete data, we found a significant increase in both citizenship scores and dimensions of wellness from baseline to week 12, with the greatest improvements in the occupational, intellectual, financial, and personal responsibility dimensions. As drug overdose rates among Black and Latinx people who use substances continue to increase, it is imperative that we address the inequities in the SDOH that contribute to this disparity gap so that we can develop interventions tailored to the specific needs of Black and Latinx people who use drugs. The Imani Breakthrough intervention shows promise as a community-driven approach that can address these disparities and promote health equity.
Structural Racism in Psychiatric Research Careers: Eradicating Barriers to a More Diverse Workforce
Investigators from minoritized backgrounds are underrepresented in psychiatric research. That underrepresentation contributes to disparities in outcomes of access to mental health care. Drawing on lived experience, scholarly qualitative reports, and empirical data, the authors review how the underrepresentation of minoritized researchers arises from interlocking, self-reinforcing effects of structural biases in our research training and funding institutions. Minoritized researchers experience diminished early access to advanced training and opportunities, stereotype threats and microaggressions, isolation due to lack of peers and senior mentors, decreased access to early funding, and unique community and personal financial pressures. These represent structural racism-a system of institutional assumptions and practices that perpetuates race-based disparities, in spite of those institutions' efforts to increase diversity and in contradiction to the values that academic leaders outwardly espouse. The authors further review potential approaches to reversing these structural biases, including undergraduate-focused research experiences, financial support for faculty who lead training/mentoring programs, targeted mentoring through scholarly societies, better use of federal diversity supplement funding, support for scientific reentry, cohort building, diversity efforts targeting senior leadership, and rigorous examination of hiring, compensation, and promotion practices. Several of these approaches have empirically proven best practices and models for dissemination. If implemented alongside outcome measurement, they have the potential to reverse decades of structural bias in psychiatry and psychiatric research.
Integrating Ambulatory Addiction Consultation Service Into a Community Mental Health Center
Despite the escalation in substance related overdose mortality-culminating in more than 100,000 deaths in each of the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic-healthcare systems have not kept up with the demands for care among people who use drugs. There remains a significant gap in access to evidence-based treatment. The addiction consult services has served to address this gap, as a critical intervention that engages mostly hospitalized patients and initiate addiction treatment in acute settings, but little is known about addiction consult services in ambulatory settings. This model of care could potentially serve to scale up the care for people who use drugs in the community by embedding the limited number of addiction professionals within existing ambulatory systems, thus extending their reach. We describe here an innovative, yet simple and potentially replicable model for an ambulatory addiction consultation service in a large, advanced community mental health center.
Racial Disparities in Access to Psychedelic Treatments and Inclusion in Research Trials
As psychedelic-assisted therapy research and clinical trials continue to grow, there is a positive outlook on the future, but also concerns about who will benefit. Most research shows that there is an obvious deficit of racial and ethnically minoritized populations, defined within the article, enrolling in studies. The objectives of this paper are (1) to provide a history of psychedelics and its resurgence over the last two decades; (2) to present an understanding of the racialization of psychedelics in the treatment of psychiatric disorders; (3) to showcase the current inequity of psychedelic medicine; and (4) to operationalize an antiracism framework for racial equity to decolonize psychedelic research, or remove the historically pervasive White power dynamic in hopes of shifting power back to the originating indigenous cultures. The psychedelic movement is in a rare place to optimize inclusion and this article aims to demonstrate how. [Psychiatr Ann. 2022;52(12):494-499.].
Lack of Racial and Ethnic Diversity Among Addiction Physicians [Letter]
Racial and ethnic differences in alcohol, cannabis, and illicit substance use treatment: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of studies done in the USA
Reports from uncontrolled trials and surveys suggest that there are disparities in substance-use outcomes for minoritised racial and ethnic populations, yet few of these disparities have emerged from randomised clinical trials (RCTs). We conducted a systematic review of RCTs published in English of Black or Latinx adults with any non-nicotine substance use disorder that reported rates of treatment initiation, engagement, or substance-use outcome by race or ethnicity. Study quality was assessed by the Joanna Briggs Institute appraisal tool and a Yale internally validated quality assessment. Of the 5204 studies, 50 RCTs met the inclusion criteria, all done in the USA, 24 compared treatment initiation, engagement, or outcome across races or ethnicities and 26 compared these same factors within a race. Few RCTs have reported outcomes specifically for Black or Latinx populations, with nine reporting significant differences by race or ethnicity. Significant differences were found in all studies that evaluated the baseline differences in social determinants. This Review explains the need for optimisation of RCTs to inform the design, delivery, and dissemination of treatment to historically excluded communities.