13 research outputs found

    The mental health experiences and needs of methamphetamine users in Cape Town: A mixed-methods study

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    Background. South Africa (SA) has a burgeoning problem of methamphetamine use, particularly in the Western Cape Province. Although methamphetamine has been associated with elevated psychological distress, there has been little examination of the mental health needs of out-of-treatment methamphetamine users in SA.Objective. To describe the mental health experiences and needs of out-of-treatment methamphetamine users in Cape Town. Methods. Active methamphetamine users were recruited using respondent-driven sampling techniques. Eligible participants (N=360) completed a computer-assisted assessment and clinical interview, where they provided data on mental health symptoms and treatment- seeking behaviour. A subset of 30 participants completed qualitative in-depth interviews in which they provided narrative accounts of their mental health experiences and needs. Analysis of the mixed-methods data was conducted using a concurrent triangulation strategy whereby both methods contributed equally to the analysis and were used for cross-validation. Results. About half of the participants met screening criteria for depression and traumatic stress, and there were some indications of paranoia. Using substances to cope with psychological distress was common, with participants talking about using methamphetamine to numb their feelings or forget stressful memories. One-third of women and 13% of men had previously tried to commit suicide. Despite the huge mental health burden in this population, very few had ever received mental health treatment. Conclusion. The data indicate a need for integrated care that addresses both substance use and psychiatric needs in this population. Mental health and drug treatment services targeting methamphetamine users should include a concerted focus on suicide prevention.

    Independent effects of HIV infection and cocaine dependence on neurocognitive impairment in a community sample living in the southern United States

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    Prior studies have established that methamphetamine and HIV can have additive deleterious effects on neurocognitive functioning, but there has been relatively little research on other stimulants like cocaine. This study investigated the effects of cocaine and HIV on neurocognitive impairment in a large, well-characterized sample

    Motives for cannabis use in high-risk adolescent users.

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    Brain multimodal co-alterations related to delay discounting: a multimodal MRI fusion analysis in persons with and without cocaine use disorder.

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    BACKGROUND: Delay discounting has been proposed as a behavioral marker of substance use disorders. Innovative analytic approaches that integrate information from multiple neuroimaging modalities can provide new insights into the complex effects of drug use on the brain. This study implemented a supervised multimodal fusion approach to reveal neural networks associated with delay discounting that distinguish persons with and without cocaine use disorder (CUD). METHODS: Adults with (n = 35) and without (n = 37) CUD completed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to acquire high-resolution anatomical, resting-state functional, and diffusion-weighted images. Pre-computed features from each data modality included whole-brain voxel-wise maps for gray matter volume, fractional anisotropy, and regional homogeneity, respectively. With delay discounting as the reference, multimodal canonical component analysis plus joint independent component analysis was used to identify co-alterations in brain structure and function. RESULTS: The sample was 58% male and 78% African-American. As expected, participants with CUD had higher delay discounting compared to those without CUD. One joint component was identified that correlated with delay discounting across all modalities, involving regions in the thalamus, dorsal striatum, frontopolar cortex, occipital lobe, and corpus callosum. The components were negatively correlated with delay discounting, such that weaker loadings were associated with higher discounting. The component loadings were lower in persons with CUD, meaning the component was expressed less strongly. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reveal structural and functional co-alterations linked to delay discounting, particularly in brain regions involved in reward salience, executive control, and visual attention and connecting white matter tracts. Importantly, these multimodal networks were weaker in persons with CUD, indicating less cognitive control that may contribute to impulsive behaviors

    Cocaine use is associated with cerebral white matter hyperintensities in HIV disease

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    Abstract Background White matter hyperintensities (WMH), a marker of cerebral small vessel disease and predictor of cognitive decline, are observed at higher rates in persons with HIV (PWH). The use of cocaine, a potent central nervous system stimulant, is disproportionately common in PWH and may contribute to WMH. Methods The sample included of 110 PWH on antiretroviral therapy. Fluid‐attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and T1‐weighted anatomical MRI scans were collected, along with neuropsychological testing. FLAIR images were processed using the Lesion Segmentation Toolbox. A hierarchical regression model was run to investigate predictors of WMH burden [block 1: demographics; block 2: cerebrovascular disease (CVD) risk; block 3: lesion burden]. Results The sample was 20% female and 79% African American with a mean age of 45.37. All participants had persistent HIV viral suppression, and the median CD4+ T‐cell count was 750. Nearly a third (29%) currently used cocaine regularly, with an average of 23.75 (SD = 20.95) days in the past 90. In the hierarchical linear regression model, cocaine use was a significant predictor of WMH burden (β = .28). WMH burden was significantly correlated with poorer cognitive function (r = −0.27). Finally, higher WMH burden was significantly associated with increased serum concentrations of interferon‐γ‐inducible protein 10 (IP‐10) but lower concentrations of myeloperoxidase (MPO); however, these markers did not differ by COC status. Conclusions WMH burden is associated with poorer cognitive performance in PWH. Cocaine use and CVD risk independently contribute to WMH, and addressing these conditions as part of HIV care may mitigate brain injury underlying neurocognitive impairment

    Independent effects of HIV infection and cocaine dependence on neurocognitive impairment in a community sample living in the southern United States

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    BACKGROUND: Prior studies have established that methamphetamine and HIV can have additive deleterious effects on neurocognitive functioning, but there has been relatively little research on other stimulants like cocaine. This study investigated the effects of cocaine and HIV on neurocognitive impairment in a large, well-characterized sample. METHODS: The sample included 193 adults across four groups: HIV-positive cocaine users (n=48), HIV-negative cocaine users (n=53), HIV-positive non-drug users (n=60), and HIV-negative non-drug users (n=32). Cocaine users met criteria for lifetime dependence and had past-month cocaine use. A comprehensive battery assessed substance abuse and neurocognitive functioning. RESULTS: Participants were mostly male (66%) and African-American (85%), with a mean age of 46.09 years. The rate of global impairment was 33%, with no significant main effects across groups on likelihood of impairment. There were main effects for cocaine on processing speed and executive functioning, with cocaine users having greater impairment (F=9.33 and F=4.22, respectively), and for HIV on attention, with HIV-infected persons having greater impairment (F=5.55). There was an interaction effect for executive functioning, with the three patient groups having greater impairment than controls (F=5.05). Nonparametric analyses revealed significant additive impairment in the presence of both HIV and cocaine for processing speed. CONCLUSIONS: While cocaine does not appear to increase vulnerability to global HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment, it does have independent adverse effects on executive functioning and processing speed. Given prior evidence that domain-specific deficits predict real-world impairments, our results may help explain the poorer behavioral and functional outcomes observed in HIV-infected cocaine users
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