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

Does teenage cannabis use lower intelligence?

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Ian Hamilton presents his debut blog on a recent prospective cohort study on the relationship between teenage cannabis use, IQ and educational attainment.

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Can MDMA and compassionate imagery therapy help increase self-compassion?

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Paul Christiansen reports on a small naturalistic experimental study of MDMA (Ecstasy) and compassionate imagery therapy to increase self-compassion and reduce self-criticism. He concludes that existing UK drug laws make this a challenging environment in which to create an evidence base.

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Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

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Sally Adams summarises a meta-analysis of specialty substance use disorder services following brief alcohol intervention, which finds a lack of evidence for SBIRTs despite the widespread public health support for this type of programme.

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Cigarette smoking may enhance vulnerability for cannabis dependence

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Andrew Jones considers the findings of a longitudinal study of young cannabis users in the UK, which highlights an association between cigarette smoking and cannabis dependence.

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Smoking and chronic mental illness: what’s the best way to quit or cut down?

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Meg Fluharty considers the findings of a BMJ State of the Art review, which looks at the evidence for smoking cessation in people with chronic mental illness such as schizophrenia, unipolar depression, bipolar depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD.

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Does parental drinking influence children’s drinking?

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Natasha Clarke helps us understand a recent systematic review of prospective cohort studies, which explores the links between parental alcohol drinking and alcohol consumption in their offspring.

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Drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness

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Meg Fluharty summarises a recently updated Cochrane systematic review about interventions for drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness.

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Depression in patients with alcohol use disorders

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Sally Adams summarises a recent meta-analysis of outcomes for independent and substance-induced disorders in people with depression and alcohol use disorders.

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