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Clinical reviews on addiction

Increased risk of fatal overdose or suicide associated with stopping opioids

25 May 2020Paid-up subscribers

Ceasing treatment with opioids is associated with an increased risk of death from overdose and suicide, an observational study from the United States has found.

Most deaths in patients on methadone are not drug related

23 Jan 2020Paid-up subscribers

Non drug-related morbidities are the most common cause of death as methadone-treated opioid dependent patients age, a study from Scotland has found. The study authors used information from the Community Health Index and data on methadone prescriptions held within the Scottish National Prescribing Information System for 36,606 patients who had received one or more methadone prescriptions between 2009 and 2015.

Tramadol associated with longer use of opioids after surgery

24 Jun 2019Paid-up subscribers

A study from the United States has found that patients prescribed tramadol for postoperative pain have a higher risk of prolonged opioid use relative to those given other short-acting opioids.

Alcohol use disorder affects offspring’s behaviour in adulthood

25 Mar 2019Registered users

Parental alcohol use disorder is associated with an increased likelihood of marriage to a spouse with alcohol use disorder, a Swedish population-based study has found. In particular, daughters of affected mothers were more likely to have an affected spouse.

Deaths associated with opioid overdose increase

22 Feb 2019

A study from Ontario, Canada, has found that prescribed, diverted and illicit opioids all play an important role in the recent increase in opioid-related deaths.

Childhood trauma raises risk of drug misuse later on

23 Jan 2019Registered users

Individuals who suffer abuse as children are more likely to use marijuana or cocaine later in life, a study from the United States has found.

Patients prescribed opioids for analgesia at risk of dependence

25 Jul 2018Registered users

A systematic review and meta-analysis has estimated that the incidence of iatrogenic opioid dependence or abuse in patients prescribed opioids for pain is almost 1 in 20.

Marked regional variations identified in primary care opioid prescribing

23 Apr 2018Registered users

Opioid prescribing rates are increasing and show notable geographical variations across England. They are highest in the North and in areas of social deprivation, a study on primary care prescribing has shown. Virtually all the low prescribing areas were in the south of England and nine of the ten highest prescribing areas were northern clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs are being widely used long term

23 Jan 2018Registered users

A UK primary care survey has found that many patients are taking benzodiazepines or Z-drugs, recommended for short-term use, for at least a year.

Are differing emotional responses to alcohol associated with choice of drink?

20 Dec 2017Paid-up subscribers

Emotional responses to drinking appear to vary according to the type of drink imbibed and differ between men and women, an analysis of data from the Global Drug Survey (GDS) has found.

 

Smoking cessation

E-cigarette pilot study helps smokers quit

22 Jun 2020Paid-up subscribers

More than a third of smokers who completed a pilot study of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid quit smoking.

Tailor smoking cessation advice to the patient

20 Dec 2019Paid-up subscribers

Effectiveness of smoking cessation aids varies between different types of smokers, a survey-based UK study has found. The data presented in this large, representative sample may provide useful information for GPs and other treatment providers in tailoring quit smoking advice to individual patients.

Quitting smoking in pregnancy lowers risk of preterm birth

25 Nov 2019Paid-up subscribers

Smoking cessation in pregnant women is associated with a reduced risk of preterm birth, a large study from the United States has shown. Information was obtained from live birth certificates issued between 2011 and 2017 as part of the US National Vital Statistics System. Overall, 25,233,503 pregnant women who delivered live neonates and had data recorded on pre-pregnancy and trimester-specific cigarette smoking frequency were included in the analysis.

Many smokers and former smokers have misconceptions about nicotine

25 Sep 2019Paid-up subscribers

Nearly 40% of smokers and former smokers believe it is the nicotine in cigarettes that causes cancer, a UK study has found.

Benefits of quitting smoking outweigh the risks of weight gain

24 Jun 2019Paid-up subscribers

The cardiovascular and overall mortality benefits of stopping smoking far outweigh the risks of weight gain and acquiring type 2 diabetes, a study from the United States has shown.

 

Editorials

Identifying at-risk drinkers in primary care

23 Sep 2014Registered users

It has been estimated that around 20% of patients attending their GP are at risk from their drinking or have an alcohol use disorder. Without using specific screening tools GPs may typically detect about 40% of cases they see, but miss the majority. The study authors suggest a single or two question approach to initial screening, followed by either the CAGE or AUDIT test for those who are positive, and onward referral for those who test positive on the more in-depth questionnaire.