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

Long-term outcomes of childhood sexual abuse #ISTSS2019

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Raphael Underwood summarises a recent umbrella review (a synthesis of meta-analyses), which aimed to evaluate the current literature regarding childhood sexual abuse and long-term outcomes (psychosocial outcomes, psychiatric diagnoses and physical health outcomes).

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The global drug problem: who cares? #LxAddictions19

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Ian Hamilton shares his thoughts on the new Drug Use series published yesterday in The Lancet: The global drug problem – change but not progression.

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Amphetamine-like stimulant use: what do we know about who uses them and how drug using careers develop?

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Harry Sumnall considers a systematic narrative review, which looks at the individual, social and environmental influences that shape key phases in the amphetamine-like stimulant use trajectory

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“It doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”: sexual minorities and paranoia

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Sarah Carr explores a recent cross-sectional study on sexual minority status and symptoms of psychosis, which looks at the role of bullying, discrimination, social support and drug use.

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Can contingency management help people with psychosis give up cannabis? The CIRCLE trial

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Ian Hamilton summarises the recently published CIRCLE trial, which looks at the clinical and cost-effectiveness of contingency management for cannabis use in early psychosis.

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Can a ‘personalised psychosocial toolbox’ help people reduce ‘on-top’ drug use during opioid substitution treatment?

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Vicky Carlisle summarises a promising recent RCT on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an adjunctive personalised psychosocial intervention in treatment-resistant maintenance opioid agonist therapy.

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Prevalence of comorbid personality disorder and alcohol use disorder

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People diagnosed with “personality disorders” are likely to also experience alcohol problems.

Dean Connolly summarises a recent systematic review that confirms the very high prevalence of comorbid personality disorders and alcohol use disorders.

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We know how to reduce premature deaths from co-morbid mental health and substance use problems, so why aren’t we doing anything about it?

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Ian Hamilton looks at a Swedish 42-year follow-up study, which looks at the impact that psychiatric comorbidity can have on premature death in a cohort of patients with substance use disorders.

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Adolescent cannabis use and risk of depression and suicide

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Benjamin Janaway blogs about a major data analysis that links adolescent cannabis use with increased risk of depression and suicide. He considers the opportunities for early recognition of cannabis use and public intervention.

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Do general hospital staff stigmatise people with mental illness?

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Rebecca Stevenson writes her debut elf blog on a recent systematic review looking at general hospital health professionals’ attitudes and perceived dangerousness towards patients with comorbid mental and physical health conditions.

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