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

Alcohol brief interventions: how can content, provider and setting reduce alcohol consumption?

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Olivia Maynard considers the findings of a recent systematic review that evaluates the effectiveness of alcohol brief interventions in reducing consumption. The review focuses specifically on the impact of the intervention content, provider group and setting.

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Sex matters: why have females been excluded from addiction research?

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Ian Hamilton explores two recent articles that consider the shocking sex and gender inequities in addiction research.

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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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