Substance misuse, specifically novel psychoactive substances (NPSs), can have multiple effects on physical and psychological health and well-being. This is of particular concern to people with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) as their use may impact on effective glucose management and may result in acute complications and deleterious consequences. This review aims to investigate the physical and
psychological effects of NPSs and traditional illicit drug use on glycaemic control and corresponding self-care for people with T1DM.
We performed a literature search of seven electronic databases for articles published between 2011- 2017 , using MeSH search headings: diabetes, young people, substance misuse, novel psychoactive substances, club drugs, street drugs, rave drugs, legal highs, designer drugs, research chemicals, glycaemic control, ketoacidosis, self-management, and harm reduction.
Literature was scant, despite the available evidence of increased substance use in the UK. There is a paucity of evidence about the effects of NPSs and traditional illicit drug use on glycaemic control, and a lack of educational information which could be used to inform users with T1DM and health care professionals about their risks and preventative self-care strategies. Patient awareness of potential problems with regard to safety is an essential component of
effective risk management, health protection and glycaemic control. Health care professionals also require evidence-based information regarding these components in order to inform and empower
patients who choose to participate in this potential risky behaviour.
Charlton, J., Albanese, A., & Brodie, L. (2018). The challenges of type 1 diabetes and new psychoactive substance misuse. Practical Diabetes, 35(3), 81-85a. https://doi.org/10.1002/pdi.2168