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Journal article

'Drone strikes

Author:
DALY Max
Journal article citation:
Druglink, 27(6), November 2012, pp.8-11.
Publisher:
Drugscope
Place of publication:
London

In this article, the author reports on the results of the Druglink Street Drug Trends 2012 survey. The survey, undertaken between September and November 2012, was based on information from police forces, drug action teams, frontline treatment services and user groups in 20 towns and cities, and from interviews and questionnaires involving drug experts, national drug services and drug workers across the UK. The article focuses in particular on the survey findings concerning use of mephedrone. It reports that despite a ban in 2010 mephedrone is becoming a significant problematic drug, and that more people are requesting help with physical and psychological problems associated with their mephedrone use. It notes mephedrone's relatively low cost, easy availability and reliable potency, and that it is being taken by a more diverse population. It discusses trends in use of the drug and possible reasons for this, and includes a brief user case example and a Barnsley case study report for Addaction on mephedrone injecting. It also reports on other major trends revealed in the 2012 survey.

Journal article

Patterns and predictors of changes in substance use in individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders

Authors:
BENNETT Melanie E., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 8(1), January 2012, pp.2-12.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Involving 240 participants recruited from outpatient mental health treatment centres who were assessed 5 times over 12 months, this US study looked at cocaine use in individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders. It examined patterns of cocaine use over time, baseline predictors of continued cocaine use over one year, and predictors of transitions into and out of drug use and treatment. The article describes the participants, the measures used, data analysis and study results. Overall, the researchers found that rates and intensity of cocaine use did not change over the year, but a number of baseline variables were found to predict a decreased likelihood of cocaine use and transitions into and out of outpatient substance abuse treatment. They discuss the study results and report that the findings illustrate how drug use may show a cyclical pattern for those with serious mental illness, in which more severe use is followed by decreased use over time.

Journal article

Adderall abuse on college campuses: a comprehensive literature review

Author:
VARGA Matthew D.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 9(3), June 2012, pp.293-313.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Over the last ten years, prescription stimulant abuse has dramatically increased. However, the amount of research regarding college students and illicit prescription stimulant use is inadequate. This has important implications for college mental health professionals and higher education administrators. In this comprehensive literature review the author explored factors contributing to illicit use, self-medication, and recreational use of controlled prescription stimulants, and explored the potential consequences for those students abusing stimulants. The review also provided recommendations for educating, combating, and assisting students who illicitly use prescriptions stimulants on college campuses. Implications for practice are considered.

Book Full text available online for free

Perceptions of the social harms associated with khat use

Authors:
SYKES Wendy, et al
Publisher:
Great Britain. Home Office
Publication year:
2010
Pagination:
19p.
Place of publication:
London

This report describes the findings from a study exploring the perceived social harms associated with the use of khat (a vegetable stimulant grown and used in the countries of East Africa and the Middle East and available through a variety of outlets in the UK). The study comprised focus groups and interviews with: members of the Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities; members of the wider community; and practitioners including those from health, education and enforcement fields. In addition, a short survey of Drug Action Teams was conducted to gauge the availability of treatment service provision for khat users. Findings showed that khat was used all three communities and considered by users, non-users and many practitioners to be a normal, socially accepted practice, cutting across the social spectrum. Heavy khat use was perceived as problematic. Perceptions of the harms associated with khat included harm to: physical and mental health; work and finances; and relationships, marriage and family life.

Journal article

The public stigma of mental illness and drug addiction: findings from a stratified random sample

Authors:
CORRIGAN Patrick W., KUWABARA Sachiko A., O'SHAUGHNESSY John
Journal article citation:
Journal of Social Work, 9(2), April 2009, pp.139-147.
Publisher:
Sage

Previous research has shown that people labelled with drug addiction are viewed as more blameworthy and dangerous compared to individuals labelled with mental illness who, in turn, are viewed more harshly than those with physical disabilities. Endorsement of such stereotypes often lead to less helping behaviour and more avoidance of people with drug addiction compared to those with mental illness. In this study, attribution and dangerousness models are tested on a stratified random sample of the US population. The sample was recruited from a national online research panel (N = 815). Research participants read a vignette about a person with one of the three health conditions (mental illness, drug addiction, or physically handicapped in a wheelchair) and were asked to complete items representing attribution and dangerousness judgments about the person.  Results found addiction to drugs was seen as more blameworthy and dangerous compared to mental illness.

Journal article

Smoking guns

Author:
SALE Anabel Unity
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 5.05.05, 2005, pp.30-31.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

The author listens to opposing views about the effect of cannabis on the mental health of users. Lord Victor Adebowale Chief Executive of Turning Point argues that the effects of cannabis are not clear, whilst Cliff Prior Chief Executive of Rethink argues that cannabis needs to be treated as a major public health risk.

Journal article

Validity of self-reported drug use among people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders

Authors:
JACKSON Carlos T., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 1(1), 2004, pp.49-63.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

The validity of self-reports of drug use from individuals who abuse substances has been questioned. Results from studies examining the accuracy of such self-reports have been mixed, indicating the need for closer examinations of the factors associated with concordance between self-reported drug use and results of urine screens. Methods: As part of a larger study examining the effectiveness of interventions for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, we examined the agreement between self-report and urine screens for recent drug use. Overall, the concordance between self-report and results from urine screens was high (80-84% agreement overall and 75-79% for the subset where the urine screen indicated recent drug use). Estimates for the likelihood of use of marijuana and cocaine within the past 30 days were 15% and 32%, respectively, based on urine screens, 25% and 35% based on self-report, and 28% and 43% based on information from both sources combined. About 1/3 of individuals who had at least one positive urine screen misrepresented their drug use at least once. Such misrepresentation tended to increase with time in the study. The relatively high concordance rates between selfreport and urine screens indicate that situations can be structured so that individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders report instances of substance use accurately most of the time. Given the observed increase in failure to report use through time, the utility of biologicalmarkers may be more valuable as clients develop relationships with clinicians. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre, Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580)

Journal article

Doing their heads in?

Author:
COWARD Ros
Journal article citation:
Young Minds Magazine, 75, March 2005, pp.22-23.
Publisher:
YoungMinds

Investigates increasing worry that cannabis is damaging the mental health of the young.

Book

Alcohol and other drug misuse

Author:
ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Publication year:
1999
Pagination:
10p.
Place of publication:
London

Part of a series of booklets describing a range of mental health and other problems, aiming to make people more understanding of what these are and of the people who suffer from them. This pamphlet looks at alcohol and other drug misuse.

Journal article

Examining the temporal relationship between methamphetamine use and mental health comorbidity

Authors:
LEE Nicole K., HARNEY Angela M., PENNAY Amy E.
Journal article citation:
Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 5(1), 2012, pp.23-31.
Publisher:
Emerald

Methamphetamine users experience frequent and severe mental health problems. This paper examined the temporal sequencing of methamphetamine use and the onset of mental health problems. A self-reported timeline examined the sequencing of first use, regular use and problematic use of methamphetamine and mental health issues among 126 users with lifetime dependence (71% men, average age 32.5 years, 84% Australian born). The majority of the sample (69 per cent) reported previous mental health diagnosis or treatment. Of these, 22 per cent reported mental health problems prior to first use of methamphetamine and 72 per cent after (with the rest same time or unsure). On the timeline, mental health symptoms were first indicated around a year after first regular use of methamphetamine and around the same time as problematic use. Respondents identified a lag time of five years between first problematic use of methamphetamine and seeking treatment for methamphetamine-related problems, but those that received mental health treatment engaged in methamphetamine treatment earlier. The authors conclude that mental health problems coincided with problematic methamphetamine use (rather than any use) suggesting interventions may be better directed at preventing transition to heavy use, more potent forms or injecting, rather than at prevention of uptake. On this basis, stepped care might be appropriate for methamphetamine users.

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