Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, United States
Specialty Chief Editor
Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions
The Substance Use Disorders & Behavioral Addictions section of Frontiers in Public Health publishes high-quality fundamental, basic/applied, translational and clinical focused evidence-based reviews and original research across the field of translational and clinical addiction medicine and psychiatry. Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and behavioral addictions are the nation’s most pressing, unmet public health challenge. Currently, 20% of U.S. deaths are attributed to tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Drug use and behavioral addictions are important contributors to the reductions in life expectancy, depression and deaths of despair reported in the USA and elsewhere, and risky substance use and addiction are currently the largest preventable causes of death. Behavioral addictions , drug overdose and substance use disorders increased during COVID 19 as access to prevention and treatment drug use increased along with and gaming, gambling, pornography and social isolation.
Areas covered by this section include, but are not limited to:
• Preaddiction - Prevention, Early Intervention, and Treaments
• Opioid Use Disorders - epidemiology, trends, co-occurring illnesses, treatment and prevention
• Cannabis Use Disorder - epidemiology, trends, co-occurring illnesses, treatment and prevention
• Cocaine Use Disorders - epidemiology, trends, co-occurring illnesses, treatment and prevention
• Methamphetamie Use Disorders - epidemiology, trends, co-occurring illnesses, treatment and prevention
• Tobacco and Nicotine Use Disorders - epidemiology, vaping & smoking trends, co-occurring illnesses, treatment and prevention
• Alcohol Use Disorders - epidemiology, trends, co-occurring illnesses, treatment and prevention
• Behavioral Addictions
• Gambling, Gaming, and Sexual Compulsivity
• Sugar, Highly Processed Foods, and Overeating
• Medications for SUDs
• Drugs of Abuse as Treatments in Psychiatry- Ketamine, Psilocybin, Mescaline, LSD, Nitrous OxideBibliometric Articles
After careful discussion with the Chief Editors of Frontiers in Public Health, the journal has decided to no longer accept papers concerning simple bibliometric studies. Authors are still welcome to submit Systematic Reviews using publicly available data, but these must adhere to the PRISMA guidelines (please view a checklist here) and have a conclusion related to public health. Studies that are too clinically focused without relevance to public health will be transferred to a more applicable journal.
Drug overdose deaths in the United States spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic; recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than 105,000 lives will be lost in 2021. Many of the opioid overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids, including fentanyl. Opioid, cocaine, and methamphetamine deaths increased, much-involving fentanyl. Data show that in many peer countries, 50 percent or more of adults with high-risk opioid use receive medications like methadone that reduce the risk of overdose. In contrast, only 11 percent of Americans with opioid use disorder reported receiving these treatments in 2020. In the USA, opioid overdose kills nearly 200 people a day. Unfortunately, just 10 percent of people who could benefit from treatment get it. Addiction is a progressive illness where use is prioritized over health, and survival-related priorities lose their influence over behaviors and thoughts over time. Where is prevention and early intervention?
We agree with the Directors of NIDA and NIAAA have called for the adoption of the diagnostic term 'preaddiction' to improve early access to interventions and treatment when they are likely to be most successful. Preaddiction can be a new diagnosis like pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes and change the progressive course of the disease with intervention. Prevention works. Primary prevention is relatively inexpensive, including screening and intervention before adverse health outcomes occur. Drug abuse changes the brain, and some changes are not readily reversible. Methamphetamine research has emphasized the relevance of traumatic brain injury to substance use disorders, further supporting the importance of prevention. Besides psychoactive substance ingestion, several behaviors produce short-term rewards that decrease control over the behavior and cause repeat self-stimulation. Behavioral addictions are increasing rapidly, especially with technological innovations and high-speed internet. They can occur by themselves or co-occur with SUDs. The most common are gambling, internet, gaming, sex, shopping, binge eating, and food addictions. They share many features, including progressive course, natural history, phenomenology, tolerance, comorbidity, overlapping genetic contribution, neurobiological mechanisms, and response to treatment. Public health approaches like those that reversed the cigarette smoking epidemic, taxation, non-smokers protections, and others have been underutilized in the other SUDs. At the end of the day, prevention is the only 100% effective treatment when it works.
Edited by Mark S. Gold, MD. Distinguished Life Fellow, the American Psychiatric Association; Distinguished Fellow, American College of Clinical Pharmacology; Distinguished Fellow, American Society of Addiction Medicine; Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Anesthesiology, Community Health & Family Medicine; Chief, Distinguished Professor, Eminent Scholar, Distinguished Alumni Professor, Chairman and Emeritus Eminent Scholar University of Florida & McKnight Brain Institute- retired ; Emeritus, American College of Psychiatrists; Professor (Adjunct), Department of Psychiatry and National Council, Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine.
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Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Case Report, Classification, Clinical Trial, Community Case Study, Conceptual Analysis, Correction, Curriculum, Instruction, and Pedagogy, Data Report, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy Brief, Policy and Practice Reviews, Review, Study Protocol, Systematic Review, Technology and Code.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
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