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

Daily skunk cannabis use associated with a 5-fold increase in psychosis risk

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Luke Sheridan-Reins explores a recent paper on the contribution of cannabis use to variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across Europe.

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Smoking cessation for people with severe mental illness? “Oh yes they can!” SCIMITAR+

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David Shiers and Peter Byrne summarise the new SCIMITAR+ trial out today in The Lancet Psychiatry, which evaluates a bespoke smoking cessation intervention for people with severe mental illness.

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Involving consumers and survivors in mental health policy making

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Andrew Shepherd explores a paper that makes him ask: Does the language and implementation of evidence based practice essentially risk excluding different voices from mental heath policy making?

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Can smoking cessation improve cognitive functioning in people with psychosis?

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Dafni Katsampa explores a recent prospective cohort study that investigates the association between smoking behaviour and cognitive functioning in patients with psychosis, their siblings and healthy control subjects.

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Prescription drug misuse in women: US review inconclusive

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Rob Poole writes his debut elf blog on a recent systematic review of trends in prescription drug misuse among women, which finds a mixed and complex picture with few conclusive findings.

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Cannabis use in the developing brain: evidence from a recent cross-sectional meta-analysis

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Joe Barnby considers the findings of a recent meta-analysis of cross-sectional observational data, which explores the association of cannabis with cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults.

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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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