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

Article Content

The Journal of Addictions Nursing's Editorial Board held their annual Editorial Board Meeting (virtually) in November. As we reflect back on 2021, we remain hopeful that 2022 will bring forth the best of the last year as we look forward to other achievements in the New Year! We remain committed to increasing the quality and quantity of articles in each issue and in highlighting the work of our nursing and other colleagues from the United States and worldwide.


In our first issue of the New Year, we have Timothy Joseph Sowicz, PhD, Brittany Huneycutt, BS, BSN, and Jungmin Lee, PhD, state that nurses make up large portions of the global and national healthcare workforce and, therefore, investigating their unique, disciplinary contributions for addressing the opioid epidemic is warranted. They provide a narrative literature review to understand nurses' actions and practices with persons with an OUD. Using several databases and keywords, 21 research studies met their inclusion criteria. Descriptions of nurses' practices with people with OUDs varied in their levels of specificity and aligned well with the scopes of practice outlined by the American Nurses Association and the International Nurses Society on Addictions. They conclude that theoretically informed studies that move beyond descriptions of nurses' practices are needed to advance discipline-specific knowledge and to showcase the unique contributions of nurses who make significant contributions to lessening adverse outcomes associated with OUDs.


Next, Dr. Adam Searby and Dr. Phil Maude's review explores contemporary literature exploring electronic gaming machine (EGM) use in the Australian context. EGMs, colloquially known in Australia as pokies (poker machines), lead statistics on gambling losses in Australia and are a substantially different form of gambling when compared with other means, such as sports or casino wagering. Their article focuses on Australian literature on EGMs, with comparisons made with international trends. The results of their search found that little literature exists regarding problematic EGM use in older adults; however, of the studies that do exist, problematic EGM use in the older adult is frequently related to mental ill health and alcohol, tobacco, and other substance use. They conclude that addiction nurses are in a unique position to assess and detect problematic EGM gambling in older adults.


Dr. Omar Al Omari and colleagues then present their work on substance misuse among Jordanian university students. The purpose of their study was to explore the lived experiences of university students who misuse Captagon (an amphetamine). The interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology was used. In-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with 10 Jordanian university students, aged 17-22 years, who were using Captagon for the last 6 months. Their results indicate three themes: (a) causes for use, (b) effects of taking amphetamines, and (c) seeking help behaviors and support. Increasing university students' knowledge about the negative consequences of substance misuse and raising awareness of strategies to address the problem may help young people to make more informed choices.


Next, Dr. Marian Wilson and her colleagues investigated the acceptability, feasibility, and treatment effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an adjunct treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms for adults initiating medically supervised methadone dose reduction. Upon completion of their program, satisfaction surveys found participants were generally satisfied with the ease and comfort of the treatment. The evidence that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an acceptable and feasible adjunct warrants further study to determine effects on withdrawal symptoms and associated methadone dose tapers.


Then, Ms. Alicja Binkowska, MA, and her associates explore an array of risk factors and moderators of cannabis dependence symptoms from ICD-10 endorsed by participants. A sample of 1,635 cannabis users completed an Internet survey consisting of measures of cannabis and other drug use. They found that the frequency of cannabis use appeared to be the strongest predictor of developing cannabis dependence symptoms. Other significant predictors of cannabis dependence symptoms were substance-dependency-related treatment seeking, mental health problems in the family, and pattern of substance use. Their work provides evidence that the frequency of cannabis use is the strongest predictor of cannabis dependence symptoms but that this relationship may be moderated by a number of factors.


We also have three columns in this issue. First, the Clinical Review column, "Risk Reduction Strategies for Adolescent Cannabis Use Considering COVID Stressors," by Dr. Susanne Fogger and Brenda L. Mayfield, MSN, PMHNP-BC, focuses on COVID-19's impact on cannabis use in adolescents with the application of the transtheoretical model of change to promote safer choices while supporting adolescent autonomy. They also incorporate behavioral health strategies to reduce the risks of cannabis use by equipping adolescents with guidelines, boundaries, and tools.


We then have the Peer Assistance column by Alison Bailey and her colleague, Dr. Sara Griffith. The North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) implemented an alternative-to-discipline program (AP) in 1995 for nurses experiencing a substance use disorder. There have been programmatic changes since its inception; however, COVID-19 posed significant challenges related to balancing the NCBON's public protection mandate against COVID-19 impacts on the nurses' ability to comply with the AP conditions. There were changes to the AP structure in response to COVID-19, and the NCBON identified modifications that facilitated opportunities for nurses to remain compliant with the conditions of the AP while meeting the mandate of public protection.


In the Perspectives column, Dr. LaRue and her colleagues discuss the rapid adoption of technology by the healthcare industry. They present a specific prototype they have been working on that could be used, with further development, for individuals with a substance use disorder. It will be interesting to see where 2022 takes us in terms of new technologies for promoting individuals' health and well-being.


Finally, we want to thank all of our editorial assistants, column editors, editorial board members, and peer reviewers for their time and dedication to making the Journal of Addictions Nursing what it is! We wish you well and are hopeful that the New Year will be a safe and healthy one for us all.