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

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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Smokescreen: smoking in the movies and initiation of smoking in adolescents

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Sally Adams on a new systematic review and meta-analysis which suggests that smoking imagery in films may increase the risk of smoking initiation in young people.

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Cannabis and mental illness: it’s complicated!

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Suzi Gage considers the findings of a big new US cohort study, which investigates the relationship between cannabis use and various substance use, mood and anxiety disorders.

The blog also features a podcast interview with Suzi Gage talking about this new study and her own work in this field, plus a short conversation with Ian Hamilton highlighting his forthcoming #CannabisMatters event.

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Searching for solutions: a new brief intervention for comorbid substance misuse in acute psychiatric inpatients

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Ian Hamilton presents the findings of a recent pilot randomised trial of a brief intervention for comorbid substance misuse in psychiatric inpatient settings.

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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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