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

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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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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