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

Can psychosocial interventions help reduce parental substance use?

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In her debut blog, Lilli Waples summarises a recent Cochrane Review on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions to reduce parental substance use.

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Opioid Agonist Treatment associated with 50% lower risk of mortality, but political epiphany still needed to reduce drug-related deaths

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Ian Hamilton appraises a systematic review and meta-analysis on the association of opioid agonist treatment with all-cause mortality and specific causes of death among people with opioid dependence.

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Are homeless people more likely to die by suicide?

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Ian Cummins explores a study that analysed data from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health, which finds that homeless people were more likely to die by suicide after discharge from hospital than non-homeless people.

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Alcohol and bipolar: how does heavy alcohol use predict the course of bipolar disorder?

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Danielle Windget and Sammy Eden review a recent study on the patterns and clinical correlates of lifetime alcohol consumption in women and men with bipolar disorder.

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MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder: is it feasible?

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Anya Borissova reviews a recent UK pilot study which suggests that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a feasible intervention to use in people with alcohol use disorder. Now we need randomised trials that can reliably measure safety and effectiveness.

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Cost-effective strategies for mental health workplace intervention

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Chris Sampson summarises a review on the cost-effectiveness of mental health workplace interventions, which presents up-to-date evidence on the different things that employers can do to help those in their workforce affected by mental health problems or substance misuse.

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Stopping smoking in acute mental health units: what works?

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Zoe Stoneley reviews a Taiwanese study on nicotine replacement therapy and healthy lifestyle psychoeducation for smoking reduction in acute psychiatric inpatients.

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Increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic: explained

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Ian Hamilton reviews a recent longitudinal study from Finland, which explores the psychological stressors predicting increased drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Violence and mental illness: does ignoring this blog stigmatise some people who need our help?

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In his debut blog, Joseph Schwartz explores a systematic review finding that a range of psychiatric disorders are associated with an elevated risk of violence.

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Is there a causal link between mental health problems and risk of COVID-19 infection?

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In his debut blog, Andrew Steptoe summarises two recent papers using electronic health record datasets, which suggest that having a psychiatric diagnosis may put people at risk of COVID-19 infection.

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