Children of older fathers have an increased risk of psychiatric and academic problems, says new cohort study

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Research suggests that the risk of developing psychiatric problems (such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability or schizophrenia) may be linked to increased paternal age at the time of conception. This seems quite plausible given that advancing age in men is associated with increased genetic mutations in sperm. However, studies so far have generally not [read the full story...]

CBT and motivational interviewing are effective treatments for comorbid alcohol use disorders and depression, says new meta-analysis

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Alcohol use disorder is frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder, and the disease burden associated with this dual diagnosis is considerably greater than that attributed to each disorder in isolation. This creates a problem for clinicians who are trying to treat depressed problem drinkers, because many services are set up to deal with only one [read the full story...]

US policy on prescription drug abuse: tackling an unique and significant problem

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The fact that drug overdoses are the second largest cause of premature death from unintentional injuries in the US (for example, in 2010 there was 38,329 drug overdose deaths) is not a surprising statistic. What may surprise readers is that of these deaths 22,134 were attributed to prescription drugs. Indeed, almost one and a half [read the full story...]

One in 10 people in South East London report that they suffer from disordered eating, according to new survey

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Historically, eating disorders have been discussed in a very black and white fashion; either you do or you don’t have one. Whilst this may be beneficial in terms of research and diagnosis, it isn’t particularly helpful for those that sit in the grey area between the two. People in this grey area are often referred [read the full story...]

Interventions for drug using offenders: What works in reducing drug use and criminal activity?

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It is estimated that between 10% (Gunn 1991) and 39% (Brooke 1996) of prisoners in the UK are dependent on illicit drugs; and that 14.5% of male and 31% of female prisoners have serious mental health problems (Steadman 2009). Drug use can be associated with many health, social and criminological consequences; and when mental health [read the full story...]

Illicit drug use: personality and poverty

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A considerable amount of research has attempted to shed light on the key antecedents of drug use. The role of personality traits, in particular, has been explored in great detail; indeed the idea of “the addictive personality” has often been discussed. Although we elves feel that the addictive personality is a simplification of a much [read the full story...]

Do smoking cessation treatments increase the risk of depression and suicide?

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Smoking is a major preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality throughout the world. There are an estimated 460,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in people aged over 35 every year, with an average annual cost to the NHS of £2.7 billion. Many strategies exist to help people give up smoking. The most common are [read the full story...]

Is gabapentin a promising drug for the treatment of alcohol dependence?

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Alcohol misuse is responsible for about 4% of all deaths annually, and in the UK it costs the NHS more than £3 billion per year.  A number of medications are currently licensed for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Unfortunately the medications don’t work for everyone and in the USA at least, fewer than 10% of [read the full story...]

Mood management can improve smoking cessation in patients with past and current depression

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There is a high rate of co-morbidity between depression and smoking; rates of smoking are approximately double in those with depression compared with the general population. In addition, smokers with depression tend to have higher rates of nicotine dependence, suffer greater negative affect during abstinence/withdrawal, are more likely to fail in quit attempts, and are [read the full story...]

Cochrane review finds no clear evidence for psychosocial interventions to help people with both severe mental illness and substance misuse

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Substance use is common in people with mental health problems, and this can have important negative consequences for health and social function. The high comorbidity of mental health problems and substance use is a major contributor to the shorter life expectancy of this population – a person with a severe mental disorder can expect to [read the full story...]