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

Nicotine without smoke: new RCP report on e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction

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Debutant blogger and vaping activist Lorien Jollye presents a new tobacco harm reduction report from the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians.

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Cannabis: what do we know and what do we need to know?

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Ian Hamilton considers a recent literature review published in JAMA Psychiatry, which explores the effects of cannabis use on human behaviour, Including cognition, motivation and psychosis.

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Nicotine patches, Varenicline and combination NRT: as good/bad as each other?

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Paul Christiansen considers the findings of a recent RCT, which evaluates the effects of nicotine patches versus varenicline versus combination nicotine replacement therapy on smoking cessation at 26 weeks.

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Does integrated care work for substance use and schizophrenia?

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Ian Hamilton reviews a recent long-term US study of integrated care for people with a dual diagnosis of substance use and schizophrenia, which concludes that recovery is possible, but it takes time.

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Should we stigmatise smokers?

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Andrew Jones on a recent systematic review that brings together quantitative and qualitative research about the positive and negative impact of tobacco cessation campaigns and measures. The review concludes that stigmatising of smoking can lead to unintended consequences, such as increased stress, social isolation and smoking relapse.

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Alcohol and tobacco in YouTube music videos: young female teenagers most exposed

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Sally Adams charts the presence of tobacco and alcohol in YouTube music videos and considers the impact that this content has on adults and young people in Britain.

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Bariatric surgery can help improve depression, says new meta-analysis

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Emily Stapley reports on a new JAMA meta-analysis, which finds that mental illnesses such as depression and binge eating disorder are common among patients seeking and undergoing bariatric surgery.

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New alcohol guidelines: what you need to know

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Olivia Maynard takes a sober look at the new Department of Health alcohol guidelines, which say it’s safest for both men and women to not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

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