The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs

Current Issue

May 2024, Volume 43, Issue 4

The May 2024 issue (43:4) features a commentary discussing how it is time to reconsider the best practice models of substance use care for young people and comprehensive reviews on the burden of prenatal and early life maternal substance use among children at risk of maltreatment; young people's alcohol use in and around water; and approaches and reporting of alcohol and other drug testing for injured patients in hospital-based studies.

A series of papers focus on alcohol, with papers on the effects of the Sacramento Neighborhood Alcohol Prevention Project on rates of child abuse and neglect; socio-economic inequities in emergency department visits for wholly alcohol-attributable acute and chronic harms; characteristics, toxicology and major organ pathology of deaths due to acute alcohol toxicity in Australia; alcoholic beverage types consumed by population subgroups in the United States; and smartphone-delivered approach bias modification for reducing harmful drinking amongst middle–older age adults.

Other papers discussed the differences in stigma reduction related to injection drug use between people expressing conservative, moderate and progressive values following an online intervention; policies for recovery from drug use; approaches and reporting of alcohol and other drug testing for injured patients in hospital-based studies; adulteration and substitution of drugs purchased in Australia from cryptomarkets; increases in the use of drug testing kits among nightclub and festival attendees in New York City who use ecstasy; a multicentre case series of analytically confirmed gamma-hydroxybutyrate intoxications in Western Australian emergency departments; health utility among people who regularly use opioids in Australia; buprenorphine microdosing regimen using transdermal buprenorphine patches to transition from methadone to buprenorphine; and needle and syringe sharing among people who have recently injected drugs in Australia.

Finally, there is a letter on how more data on opioid diversion in response to a previous paper, with a response from the original authors.



Virtual Issues

Cannabis legalisation and its impact on access, use and public perceptions

Music Festival Context as a Site for Alcohol/Drug UseMusic Festival Context as a Site for Alcohol/Drug Use






Follow Drug and Alcohol Review on Twitter


What's new on Early View?

The latest COVID-19 research is available online.



The market matters: Shifting the minimum unit price
Nicholas Taylor, Michael Livingston
13 May 2024 | DOI:


Comprehensive Reviews

Digital alcohol marketing and gender: A narrative synthesis
Antonia C. Lyons, Kate Kersey, Carol Emslie, Elena Dimova, Annamae Burrows
22 April 2024 | DOI:

Opioid use, prescribing and fatal overdose patterns among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States: A scoping review and conceptual risk environment model
Jerel M. Ezell, Mai T. Pho, Babatunde P. Ajayi, Elinor Simek, Netra Shetty, Dawn A. Goddard-Eckrich, Ricky N. Bluthenthal
22 April 2024 | DOI:

Self-change from problems with alcohol and drugs: A scoping review of the literature since 2010
Florian De Meyer, Nellie Bencherif, Clara De Ruysscher, Lou Lippens, Wouter Vanderplasschen
19 March 2024 | DOI:



The impacts of alcohol marketing and advertising, and the alcohol industry's views on marketing regulations: Systematic reviews of systematic reviews
Norman Giesbrecht, Emilene Reisdorfer, Kevin Shield
27 May 2024 | DOI:

Effectiveness of web-based personalised feedback interventions for reducing alcohol consumption among university students: A systematic review and meta-analysis
María Pueyo-Garrigues, Hannah Carver, Amy Parr, María Lavilla-Gracia, Cristina Alfaro-Díaz, Nuria Esandi-Larramendi, Navidad Canga-Armayor
10 April 2024 | DOI:


Original Papers

Assessment of treatment retention rates and predictors of retention on opioid agonist treatment among adolescents
Pooja Shakya, Jaswant Jangra, Ravindra Rao, Ashwani Kumar Mishra, Roshan Bhad
17 June 2024 | DOI:

Through the looking glass: An alcohol advertisement every 3 minutes
Brienna N. Rutherford, Janni Leung, Daniel Stjepanović, Gary C. K. Chan
6 June 2024 | DOI:

Client and stakeholder perceptions of a novel, nurse practitioner-led alcohol and other drug ambulatory withdrawal service
Adam Searby, Dianna Burr, Carol Reid, Darren Smyth, Sean Hynes, Mary Fenech, Katharina Merollini, Jeanine Young
3 June 2024 | DOI:

Understanding cultural inclusion in alcohol and other drug services in New South Wales, Australia and assessing the acceptability of a cultural inclusion audit
Robyn Horwitz, Loren Brener, Sujith Kumar Prankumar, Tata de Jesus, Alison Jaworski, Ahmad Jadran, Joanne Bryant
2 June 2024 | DOI:

‘We didn't cause the opioid epidemic’: The experiences of Australians prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain at a time of increasing restrictions
Ria E. Hopkins, Gabrielle Campbell, Louisa Degenhardt, Natasa Gisev
27 May 2024 | DOI:

Geographic clustering of cannabis stores in Canadian cities: A spatial analysis of the legal cannabis market 4 years post-legalisation
Erik Loewen Friesen, Lauren Konikoff, Sarah Dickson, Daniel Thomas Myran
27 May 2024 | DOI:

Evaluation of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Hub Australia website
Melissa Mei Yin Cheung, Heather Jones, Natalie Eastwell, Tina Zhang, Kate Harford, Carol Bower, Elizabeth J. Elliott
27 May 2024 | DOI:

E-cigarette use in pregnancy in Australia: A cross-sectional survey of public antenatal clinic attendees
Alice Rice, Melanie Kingsland, Emma Doherty, Milly Licata, Belinda Tully, John Wiggers, Luke Wolfenden, Michelle Foster, Christophe Lecathelinais, Justine Daly
23 May 2024 | DOI:

Concurrent decline in teenage fertility rate and binge drinking? An observational study across 45 nations
Torleif Halkjelsvik, Vegard Fykse Skirbekk
21 May 2024 | DOI:

Micro-elimination of chronic hepatitis C virus in mental health settings: A prospective multicentre pragmatic trial
Cameron Gofton, Kindness Bondezi, Beth Kotze, Kristen McKee, Antoni Yesudoss, Geoff McCaughan, Jacob George
21 May 2024 | DOI:

Factors associated with very high-risk drinking in the Australian general population: How do men and women compare?
Victoria Kostadinov, Billie Bonevski, Nathan J. Harrison, Jacquie Bowden
20 May 2024 | DOI:

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on calls to an alcohol and drug helpline in Victoria, Australia, for alcohol, methamphetamine and cannabis use concerns
Annette Peart, Jasmin Grigg, Christopher J. Greenwood, Jessica J. Killian, Rowan P. Ogeil, Dan I. Lubman
15 May 2024 | DOI:

Determinants of psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic among people who use drugs in Montreal, Canada
Iuliia Makarenko, Nanor Minoyan, Stine Bordier Høj, Sasha Udhesister, Valérie Martel-Laferrière, Didier Jutras-Aswad, Sarah Larney, Julie Bruneau
13 May 2024 | DOI:

The reflections of health service providers on implementing contingency management for methamphetamine use disorder in Australia
Simon Clay, Zachary Wilkinson, Meredith Ginley, Shalini Arunogiri, Michael Christmass, Dean Membrey, Paul MacCartney, Rachel Sutherland, Samantha Colledge-Frisby, Alison D. Marshall, Jack Nagle, Louisa Degenhardt, Michael Farrell, Rebecca McKetin
5 May 2024 | DOI:

Stigma by association among alcohol and other drug and harm reduction workers: Implications for workplace outcomes
Loren Brener, Theresa Caruana, Elena Cama, Candice Gilford, Sione Crawford, Thomas Capell-Hattam, Courtney von Hippel
2 May 2024 | DOI:

Stocking and supplying naloxone: Findings from a representative sample of community pharmacies in Victoria, Australia
Nandini Karthikeyan, Ting Xia, Suzanne Nielsen, Louisa Picco
1 May 2024 | DOI:

‘Insulin is super dangerous if you don't know what you're doing’: Situating the risks of insulin within the image and performance enhancing drug community
Timothy Piatkowski, Luke Thomas Joseph Cox
25 April 2024 | DOI:

A qualitative study of using nicotine products for smoking cessation after discharge from residential drug and alcohol treatment in Australia
Joshua Trigg, Jane Rich, Edwina Williams, Amanda Baker, Linda Bauld, Ron Borland, Chris Bullen, Mark Daglish, Adrian Dunlop, Coral Gartner, David Jacka, Dan Lubman, Victoria Manning, Rose McCrohan, Cathy Segan, Natalie Walker, Billie Bonevski
23 April 2024 | DOI:

Pharmacological treatments for alcohol dependence: Evidence on uptake, inequalities and comparative effectiveness from a UK population-based cohort
Francesco Manca, Lisong Zhang, Niamh Fitzgerald, Frederick Ho, Hamish Innes, Bhautesh Jani, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Andrew McAuley, Clare Sharp, Jim Lewsey
23 April 2024 | DOI:

Stigma, and factors associated with experiencing stigma, while visiting health-care services among samples of people who use illegal drugs in Australia
Rachel Sutherland, Cate King, Antonia Karlsson, Carla Treloar, Timothy Broady, Udesha Chandrasena, Caroline Salom, Paul Dietze, Amy Peacock
21 April 2024 | DOI:

Alcohol screening in 22 Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations: Clinical context and who is screened
Teagan J. Weatherall, James H. Conigrave, K. S. Kylie Lee, Julia Vnuk, Rowena Ivers, Noel Hayman, Scott Wilson, Dennis Gray, Katherine M. Conigrave
19 April 2024 | DOI:

‘The wild west of medicine’: A qualitative investigation of the factors influencing Australian health-care practitioners' delivery of medicinal cannabis
Olivia Dobson, Michaela Barber, Myfanwy Graham, Adrian Carter, Michael Savic
17 April 2024 | DOI:

‘Everywhere I call, there's nothing available’: Understanding the alcohol treatment landscape and needs among unstably housed people who use alcohol in Rhode Island
Alexandra B. Collins, Michael Tan, Megan Smith, Sara J. Becker
16 April 2024 | DOI:

The ‘missing’ in the ‘endgame’ of hepatitis C elimination: A qualitative study in New South Wales, Australia
Carla Treloar, Kari Lancaster, Tim Rhodes, Lise Lafferty, Joanne Bryant, Jake Rance
10 April 2024 | DOI:

Cannabidiol use in France in 2022: Results from a nationwide representative sample of adults
Tangui Barré, Emmanuel Lahaie, Vincent Di Beo, Patrizia Carrieri, Raphaël Andler, Viêt Nguyen-Thanh, François Beck
1 April 2024 | DOI:

Trends in purchasing cross-border, illicit and home-brewed alcohol: A population study in Great Britain, 2020–2023
Sarah E. Jackson, Melissa Oldham, Colin Angus, John Holmes, Jamie Brown
21 March 2024 | DOI:

Prevalence and factors associated with polydrug use among clients seeking treatment for alcohol misuse
Samuel Lawson, Jamie Bryant, Megan Freund, Joshua Dizon, Paul S. Haber, Anthony Shakeshaft, Meryem Jefferies, Michael Farrell
10 March 2024 | DOI:

Psychological predictors of vaping uptake among non-smokers: A longitudinal investigation of New Zealand adults
Tamlin S. Conner, Grace E. Teah, Chris G. Sibley, Robin M. Turner, Damian Scarf, Andre Mason
4 March 2024 | DOI:


Brief Reports

Rotation from methadone to buprenorphine using a micro-dosing regime in patients with opioid use disorder and serious mental illness: A case series
Vivian C. Praeger, Matthew Y. Frei, Dan Pham, Adrian J. Praeger, Dan I. Lubman, Shalini Arunogiri
19 June 2024 | DOI:

Characterising individuals with a substance use disorder accessing hospital-based addiction care: Preliminary description of the outcomes for patients accessing addiction care prospective cohort study
Hannah James, Jeffrey Morgan, Seonaid Nolan
12 June 2024 | DOI:

Characterising methamphetamine/amphetamine use among opioid agonist therapy-seeking adults with prescription-type opioid use disorder in Canada
Jenna Langlois, Nadia Fairbairn, Didier Jutras-Aswad, Bernard Le Foll, Ron Lim, M. Eugenia Socías
9 May 2024 | DOI:

Where do high-risk drinking occasions occur more often? A cross-sectional, cross-country study
Alexandra Torney, Robin Room, Heng Jiang, Taisia Huckle, John Holmes, Sarah Callinan
8 April 2024 | DOI:

The absence of mandatory pregnancy warning labels in online alcohol purchasing contexts
Simone Pettigrew, Tazman Davies, Paula O'Brien, Bella Sträuli, Mark Petticrew, Jacquie Bowden
19 March 2024 | DOI:


Case Series

Brain and body disconnect: A retrospective case series of subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord from chronic nitrous oxide use in Perth, Western Australia
Jessamine Soderstrom, Jodie Grigg, Owen McWilliam, Daniel Fatovich
13 May 2024 | DOI:


Case Report

Management of loperamide-related opioid use disorder with buprenorphine within an Australian context: A case report
Andrew Dunn, Nicholas Wu, Frank Cordaro
9 May 2024 | DOI:



How can agent-based modelling provide new insights into the impact of minimum unit pricing in Scotland?
Jennifer Boyd, John Holmes, Naomi Gibbs, Charlotte Buckley, Robin Purshouse, Petra Meier
5 June 2024 | DOI:

Co-creating and implementing a novel pre-conference event to promote equity and inclusivity among academic researchers and people who use drugs
M. J. Stowe, Louise Hansford, Rachel Halford, Jason Wallace, Lise Lafferty
27 May 2024 | DOI:

Public health efforts to prevent expansion of alcohol retail availability in neighbourhoods with factors associated with high rates of alcohol-related harms: A case report
Melissa Hutchinson, Alexandra Swirski, Norman Giesbrecht
29 April 2024 | DOI:

Enhancing the SUSTAINable uptake of evidence to minimise harms from alcohol and other drugs in New South Wales, Australia
Sara Farnbach, Catherine Foley, Peter Gates, Alison Seccull, Alexandra Henderson, Andrea Zocco, Michael Farrell, Anthony Shakeshaft
17 April 2024 | DOI:

Letter to the Editor
Clinical effectiveness of pharmacist administration of long-acting injectable buprenorphine: Findings from the EPIC-MATOD study
Elizabeth Grist, Ali Cheetham, John Jackson, Pene Wood, Sarah Lord, Angelo Pricolo, Ferghal Armstrong, Kirsty Morgan, Catherine Nguyen, Tom Tran, Suzanne Nielsen
3 May 2024 | DOI:


Obituary: Kypros Kypri
Jennie Connor, Tanya Chikritzhs, Jim McCambridge, Peter G. Miller
27 May 2024 | DOI:


Upcoming Special Section - Vale Jude Byrne

Experiences of stigma and subsequent reduced access to health care among women who inject drugs
Loren Brener, Elena Cama, Timothy Broady, Mary Ellen Harrod, Carol Holly, Theresa Caruana, Kim Beadman, Carla Treloar
25 January 2024 | DOI:

The gendered violence of injecting-related stigma among relatively affluent, suburban women who inject drugs
George Christopher Dertadian, Theresa Caruana, Lisa Maher
12 November 2023 | DOI:

Information acquisition and dissemination among a sample of people who inject drugs in Australia
Rachel Sutherland, Amy Peacock, Sione Crawford, Carol Holly, Peta Gava, Jane Dicka, Geoff Manu, Jude Byrne
12 November 2023 | DOI:

SI-CBPAR: Towards structural indicators of community-based participatory action research
Beth E. Meyerson, Danielle M. Russell, Arlene Mahoney, Irene Garnett, Savannah Samorano
23 October 2023 | DOI:

Engaging families and parent advocates in research on substance use and drug policy reform: Guiding principles from a Canadian community-academic partnership
Rebecca J. Haines-Saah, Heather Morris, Petra Schulz, Emily Jenkins, Elaine Hyshka
22 August 2023 | DOI:

Enriching qualitative alcohol and other drug research by engaging lived experience peer researchers in a dual-interview approach: A case study
Amelia Berg, Leanne Francia, Tina Lam, Kirsty Morgan, Dan I. Lubman, Suzanne Nielsen
28 July 2023 | DOI:

Increasing linkage to hepatitis C care following trauma-informed rehabilitation: An education and quality improvement project among women
Agustina Crespi, Rafique Van Uum, Helen Lathouris, Chelsea Masterman, Kody Muncaster, Kayla Gaete, Camelia Capraru, Hemant Shah, Jordan J. Feld, Mia J. Biondi
13 July 2023 | DOI:

Factors associated with hepatitis C treatment uptake among females of childbearing age in New South Wales, Australia: A population-based study
Heather Valerio, Maryam Alavi, Alison D. Marshall, Behzad Hajarizadeh, Janaki Amin, Matthew Law, Shane Tillakeratne, Jacob George, Louisa Degenhardt, Jason Grebely, Gail V. Matthews, Gregory J. Dore
30 May 2023 | DOI:


Drug and Alcohol Review - Clinician's Corner

DAR Front Cover

Challenging some common assumptions about smoking




Most clients of alcohol and other drug services smoke tobacco, many heavily, and, at least in the past, it was not common to support smoking cessation [1]. This may have been understandable when most cessation efforts ended in failure.  Recently, vaping has emerged as an alternative mode of nicotine delivery, including in Australia [2] where most of the supply is via illegal, black-market channels. Evidence is now strong that vaping is associated with better quit success than conventional nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) (largely due to persistent use [3,4]) and some people are choosing to switch to vaping without deliberately quitting smoking. Further, more young people are now vaping than smoking in many developed countries, even in Australia [2]. This should be an opportunity to take a more proactive approach to encouraging smokers to consider giving up cigarettes.

In a recent paper in this Journal, Future nicotine use preferences of current cigarette smokers: Findings from the 2020 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [5], my colleagues and I explored smokers’ (from the general population) medium term (1-2 year) preferences about their smoking. Our four-country study, which includes Australia, found a notable minority said they wanted to continue smoking (21.5%); 8% who ‘didn’t know’; 13.7% who indicated they would like to stop smoking but use an alternative reduced harm nicotine product; and only a small majority (56.9%) reported wanting to both quit smoking and nicotine use altogether.

Among other things, we found more reluctance to quit among older smokers, and a general tendency for those with experience of vaping and positive beliefs about vaping to be both more open to quitting and to using alternative nicotine products. We suspect similar patterns would be found among clients of alcohol and other drug services. We now have both qualitative and quantitative evidence showing that people with severe alcohol and other drug problems welcome encouragement to use alternative forms of nicotine to quit, indeed some seem to prefer conventional NRT [6,7], so action is likely to be appreciated.

Among those smokers not currently interested in quitting, pointing out that alternative products now offer some of the same positive effects of smoking with far less of the potential harms, may stimulate experimentation [5]. By contrast, among those wanting to quit and having trouble, pointing out the potential greater ease of quitting and the retention of some of the positive values they get from smoking, might act to stimulate quitting [5]. One barrier to increased switching are widespread misbeliefs about the likely long-term harms of vaping [8]. Health professionals can help people understand that the science tells us these products are almost certainly far less harmful than smoking, with the empirical confirmation likely still some years away. This strategy should help. For more established older smokers, the difference in the mode of administration may mean it takes some period of use to get used to the alternatives and to develop similar expectations of value, so smokers should be encouraged to give alternatives such as vaping a real try, by using regularly over a period of weeks before deciding whether they are a potential longer-term option. Success in getting off smoking can provide an impetus to take on the other alcohol and other drug issues in clients’ lives.

Ron Borland
Deakin University, Geelong, Australia



  1. Mendelsohn CP, Wodak A. Smoking cessation in people with alcohol and other drug problems. Aust Fam Physician. 2016;45:569-73.
  2. National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2022–2023: Vaping and e-cigarette use in the NDSHS, February 2024. Available from:
  3. Lindson N, Butler AR, McRobbie H, Bullen C, Hajek P, Begh R, et al. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2024;10:CD010216.
  4. Lindson N, Theodoulou A, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Fanshawe TR, Sutton AJ, Livingstone-Banks J, Hajizadeh A, Zhu S, Aveyard P, Freeman SC, Agrawal S, Hartmann-Boyce J. Pharmacological and electronic cigarette interventions for smoking cessation in adults: component network meta‐ Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2023;9:CD015226.
  5. Li L, Borland R, LeGrande M, Gartner C. Future nicotine use preferences of current cigarette smokers: Findings from the 2020 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2024;43:359-70.
  6. Trigg J, Rich J, Williams E, Baker A, Bauld L, Borland R et al. A qualitative study of using nicotine products for smoking cessation after discharge from residential drug and alcohol treatment in Australia. Drug Alcohol Rev (in press)
  7. Bonevski B, Manning V, Wynne O, Gartner C, Borland R, Baker AL, et al. QuitNic: A pilot randomized controlled trial comparing nicotine vaping products with nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation following residential detoxification. NicotineTob Res. 2021;23:462-70.
  8. Yong HH, Gravely S, Borland R, Gartner C, Cummings KM, East KA, et al. Do smokers’ perceptions of the harmfulness of nicotine replacement therapy and nicotine vaping products as compared to cigarettes influence their use as an aid for smoking cessation? Findings from the ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Surveys. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022;24:1413-21.