At present, it is not possible to interpret the evidence with any degree of certainty. Future research should consider that the distribution of alcohol consumption data is likely to be skewed and that appropriate measures of central tendency are reported.
Exploratory or pilot research studies for purposes other than collecting pilot or feasibility data for use in later, larger-scale studies should not be submitted under this FOA. However, they may be appropriate for submission to the R21 FOAs on Drug Abuse Prevention Intervention Research ( and Epidemiology and Prevention in Alcohol Research ().
The R34 mechanism is appropriate for pilot testing of new, revised, or adapted preventive interventions targeting drug or alcohol use or abuse, or prevention of HIV acquisition/transmission. This R34 mechanism does not support the development of intervention protocols, manuals, or the standardization of protocols. Rather, this mechanism is intended for research that aims to test: (1) novel preventive interventions based on translation of basic science findings; (2) preventive interventions in use that are untested; (3) novel approaches to taking efficacious interventions to scale in broad population settings, such as clinical medical settings or the broader health care system; (4) novel preventive interventions in settings not previously studied; or (5) effects of combining multiple efficacious or effective interventions in ways that have a likelihood of demonstrating additive or multiplicative effects.
NIDA's and NIAAA's drug and alcohol prevention research programs are comprehensive in nature and fully reflect the prevention research mission, objectives, and study areas advanced by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health. Examples of R34 topics are given below. These are illustrative and not exhaustive; investigators should not view the examples provided as limiting the areas of research of interest to NIDA and NIAAA.
An important emphasis of NIDA’s and NIAAA's prevention research programs is on prevention services research questions. Prevention services research forms the link between efficacy and effectiveness research on prevention interventions and adoption of evidence-based prevention practice; as such it involves identifying and determining how an intervention's internal and external features contribute to efficacy and effectiveness in services settings. Examples of internal features are: content, implementation strategies, fidelity, dosage, delivery setting and implementer training. Examples of external features are: exposure to other programs, media, enforcement of regulations and laws related to drug and alcohol use and community norms pertaining to drug and alcohol use and abuse. Questions around features that concentrate on the availability, organization, management, financing and sustainability of prevention interventions fall into the broad category of prevention services research. In preparation for large scale prevention services research projects, pilot studies are often needed to empirically test or validate in advance the feasibility of intervention protocols, implementation and fidelity measures and monitoring systems, or training and implementation methodologies. Such studies would be most appropriate for research under this R34 pilot project mechanism.
In many ways, this paper’s reliance on the self-report technique is critical to ensuring that attributable fractions are not overestimated based solely on the proximity of drugs or alcohol to the offence/s in question—a problem that exists for other administrative data sources. However, the self-report method itself introduces other counting risks that are likely to affect the generalisability of findings. It is possible, for example, that some offenders may inaccurately attribute drugs or alcohol as a means of disavowing their responsibility or culpability. It is also possible that some offenders underreport the involvement of drugs or alcohol for fear that this could further implicate them in other illegal activities, even though from a practical and policy perspective the presence of drugs/alcohol may have been an important environmental factor in the offence.
Finally, a number of other areas remain relatively underresearched in Australia. In particular, drug–crime attributions have typically been assessed for substances at an aggregate level; although separate estimates have been produced for illegal drugs and for alcohol, there have been no distinct estimates for discrete drug types. Moreover, with the exception of the DUCO study (Makkai & Payne 2003), little information has been collected about the self-perceived nature of the drug–crime relationship and the extent to which crimes can be attributed to economic, psychopharmacological or other motivations.
For example, researchers found that the ability to recall container warning label messages is highest among younger respondents, heavier drinkers, and purchasers of alcohol (Kaskutas and Greenfield 1997).
Together, this research indicates that investigators and policymakers must understand how people cognitively react to alcohol warnings so as to design warnings that produce the intended antidrinking attitudes or at least erode the confidence of pro-drinking beliefs.
Drug use also appears linked to a heightened risk of recidivism among prison populations. In a research project funded by the Criminology Research Council, the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre found significant legal and illegal substance abuse histories among prisoners soon to be released in Queensland (Kinner 2006) and that prisoners with a history of injecting drug use were found to be three times more likely to be re-incarcerated than their non-injecting peers.
Foreword | Estimating the extent to which criminal activity can be attributed to substance use is a challenging but important task. Quantifying the nexus between drugs and crime contributes to a robust assessment of the cost and burden of alcohol and drug abuse to the Australian community. For the criminal justice system in particular, drug crime estimates, such as those presented in this paper, help to direct more effective targeting of diversion and treatment policies.
The researchers concluded that, taken together, these findings suggest an unfortunate effect of brewer-sponsored counter-advertisements when compared to more conventional PSAs-that despite their initial intent, for youth, the brewer-sponsored advertisements may justify drinking in risky situations and promote alcohol sales more generally (Atkin et al.
NIAAA has a special interest in sex/gender differences in drinking patterns that become apparent during puberty, and the mechanisms underlying these differences. Specifically, we are interested in research that will increase our understanding of 1) the degree to which hormonal changes at puberty interact with neurodevelopmental processes to promote sex effects in alcohol use and misuse, and 2) the effects of adolescent alcohol exposure on these interactive processes. Research areas of include the following: