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

Have the EAGLES landed? Safety of varenicline, bupropion and NRT in smokers with and without mental illnesses

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Paul Christiansen presents the results of the EAGLES RCT into the neuropsychiatric safety and efficacy of varenicline, bupropion, and nicotine patches in smokers with and without psychiatric disorders.

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Alcohol use disorder and increased mortality

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Matt Field summarises a recent Swedish longitudinal cohort study of alcohol use disorder and mortality across the lifespan. This study quantifies the environmental and genetic risk factors that contribute to increased mortality in people with alcohol use disorder.

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Guided or misguided? New advice on young people and drugs (SBIRT)

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Ian Hamilton considers a recent report from the American Academy of Paediatrics Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, which focuses on SBIRT (Substance Use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment)

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Mobile app for reducing binge drinking in young adults: better evidence needed

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Sally Adams appraises a naturalistic study about the D-ARIANNA mobile app, which aims to reduce levels of binge drinking in young people.

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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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