substance misuse

A drug is a chemical substance that acts on the brain and nervous system, changing a person’s mood, emotion or state of consciousness. Drugs are often classified by the effect they have.
Stimulants, such as cocaine, make people feel full of energy. Depressants (or sedatives), such as heroin, make people feel relaxed. Hallucinogens, such as LSD, make people see, feel or hear things that are not real. Drug or substance misuse is when a person regularly takes one or more drugs to change their mood, emotion or state of consciousness.

Our substance misuse Blogs

Can pharmacotherapy help smokers with severe mental disorders?

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Andrew Jones reports on an ecological pragmatic clinical trial, which suggests that it is feasible to support smoking cessation in people with severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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Institutional smoking bans reduce secondhand smoke exposure and harms, but more research is needed

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Olivia Maynard summarises a recent Cochrane systematic review about the impact of institutional smoking bans on reducing harms and secondhand smoke exposure in hospitals, universities and prisons.

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Psychiatric disorders: what’s the significance of non-random mating?

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Marcus Munafo considers the implications of a recent Swedish population study, which explores patterns of non-random mating within and across 11 major psychiatric disorders.

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Marijuana use and head and neck cancer risk #CannabisMatters

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9 case-controlled studies were included in this review of the effect of marijuana use on head and neck cancer. The findings suggest no association marijuana use and head and neck cancer but other reviews suggest that this may differ by tumour site

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Nalmefene for alcohol dependence: new evidence casts doubt over NICE recommendations

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Matt Field presents new evidence on the risks and benefits of nalmefene in the treatment of adult alcohol dependence, which casts further doubt over the controversial recommendations made by NICE and the European Medicines Agency.

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CBT and motivational interviewing: best bet for cannabis cessation? #CannabisMatters

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Mark Monaghan writes his debut Mental Elf blog about a systematic review on psychological and psychosocial interventions for cannabis cessation in adults. Part of our #CannabisMatters series, this review suggests that CBT and Motivational Interviewing may improve outcomes in a self-selected population of cannabis users.

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Periodontal disease associated with persistent cannabis use #CannabisMatters

Longitudinal studies are required to assess whether cannabis use leads to increased risk of depression

This study of the impact of cannabis use on physical health used participants from the 1972-3 Dunedin birth cohort. An association between cannabis use and poorer periodontal health at age 38 years and within-individual decline in periodontal health from ages 26 to 38 years was found.

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Psychosocial interventions for cannabis use disorder #CannabisMatters

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Ian Hamilton presents the findings of a recent Cochrane review, which finds that despite the large number of cannabis users seeking treatment, we still know relatively little about the best psychosocial interventions for cannabis use disorder.

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Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation in severe mental illness

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Andrew Jones reports on a recent systematic review and network meta-analysis of the efficacy and tolerability of pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation in severe mental illness, which finds a promising but low quality result for bupropion and varenicline.

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