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

Smoking bans and violence on mental health wards: what’s the link?

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John Baker isn’t convinced by the findings of a systematic review on smoking bans and violence in mental health settings, which concludes that the introduction of smoke-free policies generally do not lead to an increase in violence.

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Victims of crime with mental illness: differences between Denmark and the US

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Chris Millar writes his debut blog on a recent paper that explores the link between mental illness and being subjected to crime in Denmark and the United States. This blog asks: how much do poverty and the safety net matter? There are some important implications for policy makers.

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Community action has little impact on harms from alcohol use disorder

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Natasha Clarke explores a systematic review of Whole of Community interventions to reduce population level harms arising from alcohol and other drug use.

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What can genetics tell us about the link between cannabis and schizophrenia? #MHQT

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Suzi Gage summarises a recent GWAS of lifetime cannabis use, which reveals new risk loci, genetic overlap with psychiatric traits, and a causal influence of schizophrenia. Interesting new evidence ahead of our Mental Health Question Time #MHQT event in London tomorrow.

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The US opioid crisis: quantifying the impact

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Emma Wincup examines a recent US cross-sectional study that measures the burden of opioid-related mortality in the United States, which suggests that opioids (prescribed and illicit) could kill nearly half a million people across America over the next decade.

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Inhaling evidence about tobacco and psychosis

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Ian Hamilton explores a recent Finnish study of adolescent tobacco smoking and the risk of psychosis, which found that young people aged 15-16 who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day were three times more likely to have psychosis by the time they reached age 30.

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The burden of mortality and morbidity carried by marginalised populations

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Noortje Uphoff appraises a systematic review and meta-analysis of morbidity and mortality in homeless individuals, prisoners, sex workers and individuals with substance use disorders in high-income countries.

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Joint risks? Tobacco and cannabis and psychotic symptoms

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James MacCabe appraises a recent study, which looks at the association of combined patterns of tobacco and cannabis use in adolescents who go on to experience psychotic symptoms.

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Chemsex: just dance or bad romance?

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Dean Connolly presents the findings of a recent literature review on chemsex, which explores sexualised drug use in UK men who have sex with men.

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Adolescent cannabis use increases risk of an adult psychotic diagnosis

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Thomas Richardson looks at a recent prospective cohort study in the British Journal of Psychiatry on adolescent cannabis use, baseline prodromal symptoms and the risk of psychosis.

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