Cutting Edge Research & Findings for Substance Abusers

Two of the ILHBN projects focus on substance abuse research. Those projects were discussed at the 2022 ILHBN Annual Conference, held in Los Angeles, California. 

Mobile Assistance for Regulating Smoking (MARS)

The novel use of mHealth Data to Identify States of Vulnerability and Receptivity to Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIS) – denoted herein as the Mobile Application for Regulating Smoking or MARS study -- is led by Drs. Inbal Nahum-Shani and David Wetter at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and University of Utah. The project seeks to advance the field of theory-driven behavior change interventions by investigating the dynamic role of emotions, self-regulation, and context in detecting vulnerability to lapse, and receptivity to self-regulatory activities in adult smokers (19 years or older) attempting to quit, as well as ascertaining the utility of these states in triggering real-time self-regulatory recommendations. ILD are critical for identifying states of vulnerability and receptivity as close as possible to real time and in real world settings. Some of their publications include “The use of ambulatory assessment in smoking cessation”[1] and “Developments in Mobile Health Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions for Addiction Science.”[2]

Colorado Online Twins Study (CO-Twins)

Substance use behaviors are difficult to test in traditional longitudinal studies with infrequent (e.g., annual) assessments, particularly during vulnerable or critical transitional periods, such as around the transition from adolescence to adulthood, and following participation in intervention studies. CoTwins: A Twin Study of Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Use Development Leveraging Intensive Longitudinal Assessments – denoted herein as the CoTwins Study – led by Drs. Naomi Friedman and Scott Vrieze at the Universities of Colorado and Minnesota, respectively, uses smartphone sensors and weekly surveys to assess substance use, executive function, disinhibition, risk-taking, and social context on a quasi-continuous basis multiple years during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood (with participants ages from 14 to 21 years old). Intensive longitudinal measures derived from the smartphone's GPS, camera, and microphone, combined with all the quasi-experimental strengths of an adolescent twin study design, provide rigorous tests of whether and how environmental and social context disrupts normative developmental trends. Some of the publications their group has been focusing on, include “Association studies of up to 1.2 million individuals yield new insights into the genetic etiology of tobacco and alcohol use”[3] and “A prospective study of alcohol involvement and the dual-systems model of adolescent risk-taking during late adolescence and emerging”[4]as well as other current projects. 

[1] Vinci, Christine; Haslam, Aaron; Lam, Cho Y; Kumar, Santosh; Wetter, David W;

[2] Carpenter, Stephanie M; Menictas, Marianne; Nahum-Shani, Inbal; Wetter, David W; Murphy, Susan A

[3] Liu, Mengzhen; Jiang, Yu; Wedow, Robbee; et al.,

[4] Ellingson, Jarrod M; Corley, Robin; Hewitt, John K; Friedman, Naomi P;