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


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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Alcohol use and people with learning disabilities


Yesterday we posted about a U.S. review which identified the small number of studies on substance abuse and the lack of clear estimates of prevalence. Normally, here at Elf towers, we only identify studies that are reviews of literature, or single studies that report results. But given yesterday’s posting, we thought it might be interesting [read the full story…]

Substance abusers with learning disabilities less likely to receive or remain in treatment


We have posted previously about substance abuse in people with learning disabilities. A study in the Netherlands found estimates of the occurrence of substance use varied greatly, but that alcohol was reported to be used most often, even though this was at lower rates than reported in the general population. We also identified a study [read the full story…]

High prevalence of substance abuse found by audit of service users in forensic learning disability service


Last week we posted about a study in the Netherlands which called for more cross sector collaboration to tackle the issue of substance misuse , but there is little in the literature about possible links between the prevalence of substance abuse and links to offending behaviour among people with learning disabilities. The authors of this [read the full story…]

Services call for more cross sector collaboration to deal with substance abuse in people with learning disabilities


This study from the Netherlands looked at the perspectives of staff to substance use and misuse among people with learning disabilities. The authors point out that the use of psychoactive substances is a growing problem among clients of learning disability services in the Netherlands. However, there are few official statistics and rates of use are [read the full story…]