Based on a literature search undertaken to determine the impacts of past public health crises, and a systematic review of the effects of past economic crises on alcohol consumption, two main scenarios-with opposite predictions regarding the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the level and patterns of alcohol consumption-are introduced. The first scenario predicts an increase in consumption for some populations, particularly men, due to distress experienced as a result of the pandemic. A second scenario predicts the opposite outcome, a lowered level of consumption, based on the decreased physical and financial availability of alcohol. With the current restrictions on alcohol availability, it is postulated that, for the immediate future, the predominant scenario will likely be the second, while the distress experienced in the first may become more relevant in the medium-and longer-term future. Monitoring consumption levels both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic will be necessary to better understand the effects of COVID-19 on different groups, as well as to distinguish them from those arising from existing alcohol control policies. [Rehm J, Kilian C, Ferreira-Borges C, Jernigan D, Monteiro M, Parry CDH, Sanchez ZM, Manthey J. Alcohol use in times of the COVID 19: Implications for monitoring and policy. Drug Alcohol Rev 2020;39: 
OBJECTIVE:To understand crack cocaine craving among users and describe craving behaviors and coping strategies.
OBJETIVO: Identificar, entre usuários de crack, uma progressão no uso de drogas e seus fatores interferentes. MÉTODOS: Utilizou-se metodologia qualitativa para uma investigação mais profunda, considerando o ponto de vista que o entrevistado tem do fenômeno. Foram aplicados entrevistas de longa duração e questionários semi-estruturados. Foi delineada uma amostra intencional, e uma amostragem com critérios foi conseguida. Para atingir a saturação teórica, foram entrevistados 31 usuários ou ex-usuários de crack. RESULTADOS: Foram detectadas duas fases distintas de uso de drogas. A primeira, com drogas lícitas, sendo o cigarro e o álcool as mais citadas pela amostra. Parentes e amigos dos entrevistados foram os incentivadores do consumo, e o motivo alegado para o uso dessas substâncias foi a necessidade de autoconfiança. A idade precoce do consumo e o uso pesado de uma ou ambas as drogas foram determinantes para o início de uma escalada de drogas ilícitas. A maconha foi a primeira droga dessa segunda fase. Uma postura mais ativa na busca da droga como fonte de prazer passou a ser o motivo do consumo. CONCLUSÕES: O estudo revela que a identificação de uma seqüência de drogas parece estar mais associada a fatores externos (pressões de grupo, influência do tráfico etc.) do que à preferência do usuário. Foram identificadas duas progressões diferentes: entre os mais jovens (=30 anos), cuja a escalada começou com o cigarro e/ou álcool e passou pela maconha e cocaína aspirada até o uso de crack; e os mais velhos (>30 anos), que iniciaram o uso de drogas pelo cigarro e/ou álcool, seguido de maconha, medicamentos endovenosos, cocaína aspirada, cocaína endovenosa e, por fim, crack.
Stronger family ties and religion may help preventing alcohol abuse among students.
Although there are several limitations for study comparison and substantial heterogeneity in the findings, the present review suggests that regular cannabis use is associated with mild cognitive changes in addition to structural and functional alterations in the brain in adults. The morphological alterations could ultimately affect brain organization and function, but the associated time course for neuronal recovery as well as the real impact on cognitive functioning remain unknown. Also, it is still unclear whether the identified alterations are as a consequence of or precede cannabis use.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 2014 with 7th and 8th grade students from 72 public schools in 6 Brazilian cities. This trial aimed to evaluate the effects of an adapted European school-based drug prevention program Unplugged, called #Tamojunto in Brazil, which was implemented by the Ministry of Health as part of public policy. The experimental group (n = 3340) attended 12 classes in the #Tamojunto program, and the control group (n = 3318) did not receive a school prevention program. Baseline data were collected prior to program implementation, and follow-up data were collected 9 months later, allowing a matching of 4213 adolescents in both waves. The substances examined were alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, cocaine, and crack. Multilevel analyses were used to evaluate the changes in consumption of each drug between time points and between groups. The intervention and control groups had similar baseline characteristics. The mean age of the adolescents was 12.5 ± 0.7 years, and 51.3% were female. The program seemed to increase alcohol use initiation (first alcohol use); students in the experimental group had a 30% increased risk of initiating alcohol use during the 9-month follow-up (aRR = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.13-1.49, p < 0.001) compared to the control group. The opposite was found for the first inhalant use: the risk of using inhalants for the first time after baseline was lower in the experimental group (aRR = 0.78, 95%CI 0.63-0.96, p = 0.021) than the control group. The results of the #Tamojunto program suggest that the content and lessons regarding alcohol may enhance curiosity about its use among adolescents. We suggest a re-evaluation of the expansion of the #Tamojunto program in schools while analyzing why the program's effects were inconsistent with those of previous European studies.
OBJECTIVE:Alcohol and other drug use appears to reduce decision-making ability and increase the risk of unsafe sex, leading to possible unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases/human immunodeficiency virus/HIV transmission, and multiple sexual partners. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that risky sexual behaviors among adolescents are associated with legal and illegal drug use.METHODS:A national cross-sectional survey of 17,371 high-school students was conducted in 2010. Students were selected from 789 public and private schools in each of the 27 Brazilian state capitals by a multistage probabilistic sampling method and answered a self-report questionnaire. Weighted data were analyzed through basic contingency tables and logistic regressions testing for differences in condom use among adolescents who were sexually active during the past month.RESULTS:Approximately one third of the high school students had engaged in sexual intercourse in the month prior to the survey, and nearly half of these respondents had not used a condom. While overall sexual intercourse was more prevalent among boys, unsafe sexual intercourse was more prevalent among girls. Furthermore, a lower socioeconomic status was directly associated with non-condom use, while binge drinking and illegal drug use were independently associated with unsafe sexual intercourse.CONCLUSION:Adolescent alcohol and drug use were associated with unsafe sexual practices. School prevention programs must include drug use and sexuality topics simultaneously because both risk-taking behaviors occur simultaneously.
Brazil is currently experiencing a growing number of newly recorded cases of HIV infection among women, with transmission mainly occurring by sex. This increase may be associated with the development of sexually risky behavior among female crack users who, according to informal reports, prostitute themselves for drugs or for money to be used for buying drugs. Since epidemiologic studies have not yet addressed this phenomenon, the aim of this study was to investigate this in depth using a qualitative ethnographic approach. An intentional sample was utilized, composed of 75 female crack users in S?o Paulo, who were selected by specific criteria using the snowball strategy and key informants. Fourteen different chains of users were investigated, allowing us to include the largest possible number and variety of users. Each participant was submitted to a semi-structured in-depth interview that was guided by a questionnaire. Verbal information was corroborated and extended using participative observation. These 14?45-year-old women, who had little schooling and no job connections, opted to sell their bodies as a strategy to obtain drugs and to satisfy their compulsive use of crack. The subjects engaged in up to nine acts of sexual intercourse per day, in unsafe locations and with multiple partners who were approached in a besieging way and selected using subjective criteria. These crack users generally exchanged sex under craving for ridiculously low prices and left the use of protection up to the client. Because the users used inadequate pipes to smoke crack, it was common for them to have lesions on their lips and mouths. Since they often provided oral sex, they exposed themselves to considerable risk for infection with STDs including HIV, because of the contact of their partners? semen with their open wounds. These women make up an important risk group with respect to the transmission of STDs including AIDS.
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