Archive for February, 2013

Differences Between Men and Women in Condom Use, Attitudes, & Skills.

February 25, 2013

This article by Pacific Northwest Node researchers Don Calsyn, Michelle Peavy, Betsy Wells, Mary Hatch-Maillette, as well as colleagues from the Greater New York and New England Consortium Nodes, recently published in American Journal on Addictions, reports on a study using data from two HIV risk reduction studies in the Clinical Trials Network (protocols CTN-0018 and -0019). The study compared treatment-seeking male and female substance abusers in their reported barriers to condom use and condom use skills.

The analysis revealed that men endorsed more barriers to condom use, especially in terms of their impact on sexual experience. For both men and women, stronger endorsement of barriers to condom use was associated with less use of condoms. However, the difference between condom users and non-users in endorsement of condom barriers in general is greater for men than women, especially for those who report having casual partners.

Conclusions: Results provide additional information about the treatment and prevention needs of treatment-seeking men and women. Understanding differences between men and women in their beliefs, knowledge, and skills related to condom use will allow clinicians to better tailor risk behavior interventions.

Citation: Calsyn DA, Peavy KM, Wells EA, et al. Differences Between Men and Women in Condom Use, Attitudes, and Skills in Substance Abuse Treatment Seekers. American Journal on Addictions 2013;22:150-157.


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Donald A. Calsyn, Friend and Colleague

February 13, 2013

CalsynThe Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and the Pacific NW Node are greatly saddened by the death of our colleague and friend, Don Calsyn, PhD.  Don died at his home on Sunday February 3, 2013.

Don was a Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and a Research Affiliate in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington. Prior to coming to ADAI in 2004, he directed Outpatient Services at the Addictions Treatment Center of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System.  His work in substance abuse and HIV/AIDS research at the UW and the VA Puget Sound spoke to his passionate commitment to reducing rates of HIV infection in those struggling with substance use disorders or other risk behaviors.

Don’s recent work included leading the protocol  NIDA CTN 0018,  “Reducing HIV/STD Risk Behaviors: A Research Study for Men in Drug Abuse Treatment.”   From the results of that study, Don and colleagues developed a treatment manual:  “Real Men Are Safe (REMAS): A Gender-Focused HIV and Sexual Risk Reduction Intervention for Men in Substance Abuse Treatment” and a related training video with CE for counselors.

A memorial gathering for family, friends, and colleagues on Sunday, February 10 was filled with laughter and tears.  Story after story revealed Don’s generosity and love of family, and of a life well-lived.

In lieu of flowers, the Calsyn family asks that any donations be made in Don’s name to the Albert and Virginia Calsyn Scholarship in Gerontology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Blvd., 107 Woods Hall, St. Louis, MO 63121; Attention: Maura  Wuellner  or by calling (314) 516-5666.  Named for Don’s parents, the scholarship was established in memory of his older brother, Robert, a psychologist and gerontologist, who died just a few months ago.

An obituary for Don appeared in the Seattle Times, where visitors may leave a note of remembrance in the online guestbook.   http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=donald-arthur-calsyn&pid=162940306   If you would like to send a card, you can address it c/o Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, 1107 NE 45th Street, Suite 120, Seattle, WA 98105-4631; we’ll deliver them to the Calsyn family.

CTN Platform Study from the PN Node Develops Suicide Prevention Intervention

February 5, 2013

This article, currently in-press at Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and written by William Voss, Erin Kaufman, Stephen O’Connor, and colleagues, describes the development and pilot testing of a suicide prevention intervention for patients in treatment for substance abuse, a population at 5-10 times the risk for suicide as the general population.

The Preventing Addiction Related Suicide (PARS) module was developed for use in intensive outpatient addiction treatment groups, and pilot-tested on 78 patients participating in three community treatment programs from the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network’s Pacific Northwest Node.

After receiving the intervention, the patients demonstrated significant post-treatment changes in knowledge and attitudes toward suicide prevention issues, with those gains maintained at 1-month follow-up. Changes in positive help-seeking behaviors in dealing with suicidal issues in friends, family, and self were also observed. Additionally, the PARS was highly rated by treatment staff as feasible within their standard clinical practice.

This pilot study suggests that broad-based suicide prevention in intensive outpatient addiction treatment groups is not only possible but feasible, acceptable, and potentially effective. Further development and testing of the PARS or other suicide prevention strategies is indicated.

Citation: Voss WD, Kaufman E, O’Connor SS, Comtois KA, Conner KR, Ries RK. Preventing Addiction Related Suicide: A Pilot Study. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2013 (in press).


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