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

Depression in patients with alcohol use disorders


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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Are e-cigarettes a gateway to tobacco smoking in youth?


Matt Field sets the record straight by providing a thoughtful and measured appraisal of the recent US cohort study linking e-cigarette use in young people with progression to regular tobacco smoking.

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Common mental health disorders linked with increased risk of violent reoffending in ex-prisoners


Ian Cummins considers the implications of a new cohort study of convicted prisoners in Sweden, which links psychiatric disorders with violent reoffending.

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Supervised injectable heroin for refractory heroin addiction


Eleanor Kennedy considers a new systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs of diamorphine-prescribing as treatment for refractory heroin addiction.

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SMS texting to quit smoking: a meta-analysis of text messaging interventions for smoking cessation

Text message

Olivia Maynard reviews a new meta-analysis of SMS text messaging for smoking cessation and reveals that this intervention is not as effective as other methods of helping people quit smoking.

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Varenicline is not associated with an increased risk of suicide or criminal behaviour

Champix Varenicline

Abi Rose summarises a recent cohort study, which concludes that the smoking cessation drug varenicline is not associated with increased risk of suicidal or criminal behaviour, and association with psychiatric disorders are likely due to other factors.  

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‘Could do better’: collective user involvement in substance misuse and mental health services


Martin Webber has a look at some Swedish research on user involvement through user advisory councils in mental health and substance misuse services.

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Psychodynamic therapy: time for a new approach?


Mark Smith summarises a recent narrative review about the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy for depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, somatic disorders and other mental health conditions.

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Does tobacco use cause psychosis?


Marcus Munafo appraises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective, case-control and cross-sectional studies, which finds that daily tobacco use is associated with an increased risk of psychosis and an earlier age at onset of psychotic illness.

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Substance use disorders increase mortality following release from prison


Andrew Jones summarises a recent nationwide longitudinal cohort study, which explores the relationship between substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders, and mortality after release from prison.

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