1. Mitchell, Ann M. PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FIAAN, FAAN

Article Content

As we continue in 2021, and spring is coming, we remain hopeful that, in the New Year, we will hold on the best of last year and continue to move forward in 2021. At the Journal of Addictions Nursing, we remain committed to highlighting the work of our colleagues worldwide. We are hoping to have a Special Topic Issue this year on the expanding use of technology across the substance use continuum. In this issue, we have a number of articles addressing a variety of topics.


In the first article of this new issue, Dr. Hyun and colleagues' purpose was to identify the direct, indirect, and total influence of depression on alcohol use disorders and problem gambling to determine the relative magnitudes of specific mediating effects of spirituality in 239 South Korean college students. Their findings suggest that spirituality affects two specific addiction problems in different ways. They conclude that college students' excessive drinking and problem gambling may be prevented by developing and applying an intervention program that strengthens connectedness to spirituality.


In the next article, Dr. Hines and colleagues evaluate whether an educational research project consisting of education on opioids, toxicity, and overdose response could affect student knowledge, skills, and confidence in responding to overdoses. Data from 284 BSN students showed improved student opioid knowledge, skills, and confidence and were relevant across the undergraduate nursing curriculum.


Next, Drs. Golden and Buchanan performed a feasibility study to make system level change by using motivational interviewing (MI), tailored discharge education, and electronic medical record flow sheet intervention in patients with alcohol use disorder.


Pre/post confidence scores were statistically significant, indicating the intervention was effective in raising confidence levels for behavior change.


Dr. Auerbach and her colleagues, in the fourth article, estimate the prevalence of unintended pregnancy among opioid-using women, thereby supporting efforts to develop interventions to reduce unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy rates in opioid-using women were high, indicating a critical need for intervention. Routine inclusion of pregnancy planning in opioid treatment care is important.


Next, Dr. Elliott and her colleagues aimed to increase belief/attitudes of doctoral nurse practitioner students about their ability to care for individuals with opioid use disorders (OUDs). This study found that students had more positive beliefs and attitudes about individuals with OUDs after they had participated in their multifaceted intervention.


Dr. Danda provides a historical overview of harm reduction nursing in Canada from 1998 to 2018. This review will help direct care nurses, educators, and administrators understand past and present trends and to identify future possibilities for integration in inpatient mental healthcare.


Next, Dr. Moll and her colleagues investigate the situations that lead women to seek treatment for drug addiction. Social, family, and health problems were the main impact of drug addiction among the women. Specifically, it was affective and material losses experienced during the period of addiction that led the women to seek treatment. It is necessary to facilitate women's access to treatment for drug addiction and to incorporate their families into the treatment process.


Mr. Lee and his colleagues examine differences in perceptions of peer alcohol use after grouping students based on their frequency of binge drinking over a 2-week period. Students who binge drink had significantly higher perceptions of peer alcohol use than their non-binge-drinking and abstaining peers. They conclude that it may be feasible to use perceptions of peer alcohol use to identify at-risk students to curtail dangerous drinking behavior.


Next, Drs. McMorrow and Chang's study aimed to determine whether MI training with a standardized patient simulation improved nurse practitioner students' knowledge, confidence, and skills in MI. Results indicated that the MI training showed a significant impact on students' confidence in MI and promising impacts on students' MI knowledge and skills. Students valued the training, favoring the standardized patient component, and planned to use MI in future practice. This type of program can be incorporated into graduate programs and could better prepare students to address OUD and effectively encourage behavior change.


Dr. Lunch and her colleagues, in their quality improvement project, completed in a Veterans Administration Medical Center, laid the groundwork for implementation of a syringe service program. This project included a needs assessment to determine the scope of substance use disorder within the system and initiated the change process needed for syringe service program implementation. Two educational modules were conducted for staff to increase knowledge, skills, and trauma-informed practice when working with people who use drugs. Standardized document templates for program implementation in federal systems were also developed.


Drs. Madden and Fogger conducted a quality improvement project to implement the U.S. Public Health Service guidelines for tobacco cessation in a women's residential substance use treatment facility. Interventions reduced cigarette smoking in a population at a high risk for adverse outcomes related to use. Results suggest that more clients are interested in tobacco treatment than previously estimated. Increased administrative, clinical, and pharmacy support can sustain and further assist clients with tobacco cessation.


In Media Watch, Dr. Baird presents information on COVID-19 and opioid overdoses. She presents a number of relevant references and websites that can be accessed to increase understanding of the intersection between these two phenomena.


In Dr. Lorman's Pharmacology Corner, Drs. Goldin and Salani present information on ayahuasca, a pan-Amazonian botanical hallucinogenic decoction. It has been used for spiritual and psychotherapeutic benefits and is gaining popularity in the United States. Primary care providers need to be familiar with the pharmacology, possible drug interactions, and management of ayahuasca ingestion for optimal decision making and to educate the public about its potential risks.


Finally, Dr. Rundio in Stories From the Field presents information on keeping addiction treatment centers safe during COVID. He presents a sample of screening questions that can be used and offers interventions to keep centers safe during the pandemic.