Internet-based interventions for harmful drinking show small beneficial effects

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Andrew Jones summarises a recent meta-analysis on the effectiveness of guided and unguided low-intensity Internet interventions for adult alcohol misuse.

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Meta-review presents the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders

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This recent and well-conducted meta-review concludes that the impact on mortality and suicide of mental disorders is substantial, and probably poorly appreciated as a public health problem. Raphael Underwood’s blog summarises the data for all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders.

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New study estimates that UK smokers with mental illness cost the economy £2.34 billion

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This new study estimates that there are approximately 3 million smokers in the UK with mental illness, and the direct cost of treatment to the NHS in this population was £719 million in 2010. The total smoking-attributable costs for this group are estimated at £2.34 billion.

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Homelessness and mental illness in children and young people

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This study explores the prevalence of psychiatric disorder and comorbidity among a UK sample of young people with experience of homelessness. It finds an extremely high prevalence of mental illness, combined with low levels of mental health service use.

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Acamprosate and oral naltrexone may improve consumption related outcomes for people with alcohol use disorders

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A new systematic review suggests that, when used alongside psychosocial interventions, medication can result in better alcohol consumption outcomes for people with drinking problems.

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How does buprenorphine fair as an alternative to methadone for treating opioid dependence?

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Meg Fluharty summarises a recent Cochrane review, which tells us that high-dose buprenorphine is an effective maintenance treatment for heroin compared to placebo, but fixed flexible-dosing methadone is superior to buprenorphine at participant retention.

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Should we be prescribing medication to help people with alcohol use disorders?

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Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) are common, chronic conditions which cause substantial harm to the individual and society. They are associated with substantial morbidity (Schuckit, 2009) and responsible for approximately 4% of all deaths annually. The approximate cost of AUDs to the National Health Service is upwards of £3 billion per year. Less than one-third of [read the full story...]

NICE evidence update: Interventions to reduce substance misuse among vulnerable young people

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have recently searched for any new evidence that may be relevant to a public health guideline published in 2007; ‘Interventions to reduce substance misuse among vulnerable young people’. In this blog I summarise the new evidence that has emerged and highlight whether or not it is likely [read the full story...]

Cannabis, cigarette smoking and psychosis: do we need a rethink?

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The relationship between cannabis and psychosis has been one of the hottest topics in psychiatry over the last decade, and with good reason. Policy-makers still disagree on whether cannabis should be legalised or how it should be classified, with Uruguay being the most recent country to legalise it. Drawing broadly from work initiated by Robin [read the full story...]

Targeted mindfulness-based relapse prevention may support long-term outcomes for substance use disorders

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Approximately 10.6% of individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) in the US seek treatment, with 40-60% relapsing within a year (Dept of Health and Human Services, 2008; McLellan et al, 2000). This highlights a real need for substance abuse treatment that focuses on relapse prevention. This blog summarises a recent RCT from JAMA Psychiatry on [read the full story...]