Alcohol & substance misuse

The phrases substance use disorder or disorders due to psychoactive drug use refer to conditions arising from the abuse of alcohol and psychoactive drugs.

Alcohol and other substances can have varied physiological and psychological effects. In the short term, the individual may perceive these effects as quite desirable. For example, the anxiety-relieving properties of alcohol, the alerting effects of caffeine and the sense of well being induced by options. However, prolonged and heavy usage may result in physical harm, dependency and withdrawal problems and long term psychological damage or social harm.


Alcohol & substance misuse handout (.pdf)

Links to Blog posts featuring alcohol or substance misuse

Internal video resources

External links
— Ruby wax talks to Alastair Campbell about his breakdown which was fuelled by his heavy alcohol use.
Leaflets from the Royal College of Psychiatrists on alcohol and drugs.
— The Royal College of Psychiatrists have a number of podcasts on mood disorders. This one discusses substance misuse problems in older people.
— Considered to be one of the the most influential skateboarders of all time, Tony Alva, an original Z-Boy, hit a bottom 4 years ago battling drug addiction and alcoholism. There, at his lowest point, his reliance on successes and ego came into perspective for the first time. Tony’s fight for sobriety and truth has recently lead him to a new perspective on life and direction moving forward.

— “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” Agatha Christie. A letter written and narrated by a mother longing for her child.

— Film maker Jawed Taiman (an Afghan now living in the UK), meets and observes families who are addicted to opium in Kabul, Afghanistan. He also observes the patients and workers of a private detox treatment centre, desperately under-funded, struggling to help the many victims of the Afghan opium trade. We are privileged to meet addicted youths, and are offered a rare insight into detox centres working in Afghanistan and into the lives of whole families who are blighted with drugs.

— A webinar from the American Psychiatric Association that demonstrates the use of the NIDA-Modified Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (NM-ASSIST), a Web-based interactive tool that guides clinicians through a series of screening questions and, based on the patient’s responses, generates a substance involvement score that suggests the level of intervention needed. It will also provide an overview of substance abuse curriculum resources that were developed in partnership with the American Medical Association and eight medical schools across the US. These CRs provide accurate scientific information on substance abuse, addiction, its consequences, and treatment in a variety of formats. The topic areas covered include prescription drug abuse, methamphetamine abuse, and general substance use disorders and are targeted towards medical students, residents as well as medical school faculty.

— The BBC Newsbeat ‘booze calculator‘ will tell you what the drinks you’ve consumed have done to your body and your bank account.
— The BBC have another useful section on alcohol including video about binge drinking and the AUDIT questionnaire. They also have a good section on addictions in general
— A web site highlighting the link between alcohol and cancer