Kyle Dyer

Kyle Dyer

Dr Kyle Dyer is Director of Distance Learning at the IoPPN, Kings College London and studies the acute effects of drugs of abuse. 'Follow' to see my comments in your activity feed and twitter @MahliD

Location London

Achievements

Activity

  • Welcome Mariany - I spent 8 years in Perth working across the University of Western Australia and Next Step. Is most of your work with memphetamine users?

  • Yes that's a key point. We need to move beyond a search for a single 'cause' of addiction, and indeed the thought that there might be a single 'panacea'

  • Yes - we need to think beyond a single 'cause' of addiction, and look rather how various risks, genetic, psychological, environmental, add up.

  • HI Karen - click on my name to follow

  • Hi Dorothy - drug molecules and actions are varied but no matter what mechanism of action of a drug (eg directly binding to a receptor or changing levels of neurotransmitters) and effects, ingesting any drug of abuse and dependence will be associated with increased activity in the dopamine pathway (mesolimbic and mesocortical). It's this activation of the...

  • Glad to have you on board Dorothy. I think you might like Claire's showcase on the IoPPN Brain Bank, while next week Mitul Mehta shows some of his neuroimaging work. While there is certainly a biological underpinning to drug dependence, we musn't forget that biology interacts with psychosocial and socioeconcomic/environmental elements. I hope you enjoy the...

  • Great to have you on the course Kalin. I do hope you find it useful

  • Thanks for doing the survey - we are keen to understands the attitudes toward dependence of all who did this course and then seeing whether the information we provide in the course can affect those attitudes. We appreciate that you took the time to do the survey

  • Hi – methamphetamine increases levels of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline - which we also use when in ‘fight or flight’ situations. Effects can range from arousal, reduced fatigue, euphoria, positive mood, accelerated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, pupil dilation, increased temperature, reduced appetite,...

  • Welcome - later in the course we examine co-exisiting mental health and drug dependence; I hope you find it useful

  • Welcome Hilary. Next week we look at the role of nature vs nature in the development of dependence - that is, we explore genetic and environmental risks. I hope you enjoy the course

  • Thanks for your feedback Kris

  • This is a great point Jem. The benefits of the term is that it highlights the need for support through treatment and workforce training needs but it is an ambiguous term, implies homogenous needs and ‘severity’ and creates a negative stereotype of ‘difficult client’. See this excellent article by Guest & Holland 2011 worth reading called Co‐existing mental...

  • I've done preliminary research that shows that divided methadone dosing (split dosing) can reduce withdrawal and associated mood among methadone clients. The evidence in the literature shows that flattening the methadone concentration-time curve can help in maintenance and detox.

  • Hi - previously we've found that some internet navigators, such as older versions of explorer, don't work well with FutureLearn. I've found that firefox or chrome, both easy to download, work best. If you still have problems contact FutureLearn for further support

  • let me know if spot any typos. Glad you're enjoying the course

  • I hope you enjoy the rest of the course

  • Next week we'll look in more detail at genetic and environmental risks for addiction

  • You're both right - you're talking about negative reinforcement, the reinforcing of a behaviour (drugs, sex, gambling, eating) to alleviate a discomfort (depression, anxiety, grief, trauma etc). Remember, everyone's journey into and out of addiction is unique.

  • You got it! A mix of environmental and genetic risks followed by neuroadaptation...but you'll find there is even more to the story

  • Welcome Anita - I hope this course gives you lots of new information to reflect upon and write. I'll be interested to hear if your views change as the course moves on.

  • Welcome - I hope you enjoy the course

  • We don't touch on behavioural addictions directly - but so many people are raising them that I think we really should.

  • Welcome Helen, I hope you find this course is helpful. You sound like you observe and listen and reflect - so I hope we can give you some food for thought.

  • Welcome Kingsley - I hope you find this course really useful.

  • It's great to have you on board. You're right the needs and feelings of family, friends and carers are often not discussed.

  • Welcome Jacqueline - I hope this course is the first of many that you take. Let me know how you get on.

  • We took the approach of explaining the fundamental mechanisms of addiction, in particular the role of neuroadaptation and the reward pathway, rather than focus on mechanisms of action of particular drugs. If you have any questions about individual drugs do drop us a line

  • For too long behavioural addictions (eg to gambling, eating, even FL) have been a neglected discussion topic compared with drug & alcohol addiction. The neuroscience you will discover in this course tells us a lot about all forms of addiction; that is, the role of dopamine pathways and the frontal cortex.

  • Welcome Teresa - I'll be interested in your thoughts about our Personal Story and how it related to neuroscience. Enjoy the course.

  • This is a great suggestion. One of my research areas is on the effects of methadone - it amazes me how little information is given to clients about the effects of the drug. I'll keep your suggestion in mind going forward. Please take some time to complete the end of course survey as it will also help me to develop a new course

  • Thanks Norbetta - I'm so glad you've enjoyed this course

  • Thanks for the lovely feedback! I'm starting to think about a follow up course on addiction; one that would be useful for drug workers in the field. It would be great if you could take the time to complete the end of course survey so I can get some ideas. All the best for the future.

  • Thanks for the feedback! I'm starting to think about a follow up course on addiction; one that would be useful for drug workers in the field. Are there any particular topics that would interest you? It would be great if you could take the time to complete the end of course survey so I can get some ideas. All the best for the future.

  • Thanks Margarita - I'm so glad you found our course useful and that you feel so empowered. Best wishes for the future.

  • Thanks for the feedback Robert

  • Keep an eye out on our webpage http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/depts/addictions/index.aspx for publications on the IOT. Also you can follow us on twitter @kingsaddictions

  • I'm currently working with a student, Oliver, to look at NA and how it helps people in recovery. I'm particularly interested in seeing how well (or not) traditional drug services work with NA in helping promote recovery. Keep your eyes out for a report at the end of the year or follow us on twitter @mahld

  • Thanks for the feedback Brenda. I'm starting to think about a follow up course on addiction; one that would be useful for drug workers in the field. As someone who works in prisons, are there any particular topics that would interest you? To keep up to date with what's happening here either check out our webpage...

  • Good luck with your future studies Emma

  • Thanks for the feedback Karin. I'm starting to think about a follow up course on addiction; one that would be useful for drug workers in the field. Are there any particular topics that would interest you?

  • Thanks for the feedback Patricia - I really appreciate it

  • Thanks for the feedback Brenda. I'm starting to think about a follow up course on addiction; one that would be useful for drug workers in the field. As someone who works in prisons, are there any particular topics that would interest you?

  • Thanks for your feedback - we really appreciate it.

  • Thanks Helen. I'm currently working up some ideas to create another course that would be vocationally relevant; I'm particularly keen to develop something that would be useful for drug workers - your comments are really helpful.

  • I think you've picked up on a really key point - the best research in the world won't help unless we focus on translating the findings into clinical practice. Unfortunately, education and training doesn't get the financial support it deserves, and many people have trouble accessing quality programmes.

  • Darcy. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I do feel that your comment is insensitive and extreme. Throughout this course we have sought to create a learning environment where the science driving our understanding of addiction is considered and discussed in a safe and respectful arena. One of the enjoyable aspects of this course is that those...

  • Keep an eye on our webpage for our most recent publications http://www.kcl.ac.uk/experience-kcl/moocs/understanding-drugs-and-addiction.aspx or follow us on twitter @kingsioppn

  • Do feel free to contact us if you'd like to know more about our Distance Education (IPAS) or our MSc. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/experience-kcl/moocs/understanding-drugs-and-addiction.aspx

  • I'm really glad to hear that you've enjoyed the course.

  • We've heard from FutureLearn that Explorer does tend to produce these problems. Are you able to view the lectures using chrome or firefox?

  • It certainly is...I wonder sometimes whether those producing evidence and delivering treatment are as effective as lobbyists

  • absolutely agree with you!

  • We'll try to find a way of posting Ewen

  • This is a great conversation but how frustrating it is to hear how expensive treatment is becoming. I honestly believe that the more can educate the people (i.e voters) about the importance (and cost-effectiveness) of treatment, the more chances we have of ensuring accessible and quality treatment options.

  • Thanks for sharing Stephen. I think it's great that the combination of NA and Buprenorphine worked for you. For me it reinforces my thought that the more options we have available, the more likely it is that people can find the right combination for them. All the best Kyle

  • Glad you're enjoying the course Jenny

  • Thanks for the feedback Nancy

  • I'm really happy that you're enjoying the course

  • Hi there _ I suggest you contact FutureLearn directly (use the 'feedback' link on the left of your screen)
    best wishes
    Kyle

  • HI Sarah - We've heard that sometimes Explorer leads to these problems; are you able to try viewing the videos on firefox or chrome?

  • Thanks for sharing Nancy and I'm glad that your son has responded well to methadone, and is now getting additional help. I'm not sure how easy it is for you to access these papers but if you can google them they might help:
    Dyer, K.R., White, J.M., Foster, D., Bochner, F., Menelaou, A. (2001) The relationship between mood state and plasma methadone...

  • there's been very little research on other drugs. My team has done some preliminary work (unpublished at the moment) with dexamphetamine and we've found some signs of acute tolerance on subjective intoxictaion

  • When I refer to baseline, Im referring to lab studies where we I take a measure of the effects from alcohol where there is acute tolerance (such as intoxication or body sway). In these studies we'll take our measurement (referred to as baseline) then administer alcohol, then take another recording when BAC reaches .07 as blood levels are increasing (time 1 -...

  • Hi all posting this again - I'm describing a phenomenon called 'acute tolerance' - and it means we feel less drunk when blood alcohol levels are falling ( the descending limb i.e. when BAC is falling) than we did when BAC was rising - despite being well over the legal limit to drive.
    So as our Blood alcohol levels increase, we may feel intoxicated when our...

  • actually with methadone then hplc can be used quite effectively to determine methadone concentrations in oral fluid. A PhD student working with me at the University of Western Australia is looking into this

  • Hi all - I'm describing a phenomenon called 'acute tolerance' - and it means we feel less drunk when blood alcohol levels are falling ( the descending limb i.e. when BAC is falling) than we did when BAC was rising - despite being well over the legal limit to drive.
    So as our Blood alcohol levels increase, we may feel intoxicated when our BAC is .07 when our...

  • Thanks Patricia

  • There are lots of interesting and thoughtful comments here. I hope you have had chance to watch Paul's talks about the links between cannabis and psychosis; and particularly how one form of cannabis (the so called 'skunk') is associated with a greater risk of mental health problems. We do need to have more balanced conversations about the potential harms of...

  • Thanks for sharing this Esther - I think there are a lot of parents who worry about these issues. I also think you've summed it up really well by saying 'you can always change the future'. I hope you've considered Michael's lecture and podcast - his point is that a risk of addiction doesn't mean that it is inevitable; or as I point out 'correlation isn't...

  • Thanks Susan - I really like your comment on education

  • Thanks Myke

  • Thanks for the feedback Linda

  • HI Georgina - I haven't heard of this link. Due to genetic differences, some people from South East Asia do respond different to alcohol (see Gursharan's lecture). I'd be interested to red evidence linking these genetic polymorphisms to cannabis.

  • A really thoughtful post Michelle. You're right that education is only part of the answer - but an important part nevertheless.

  • The literature in this area is so vast that very few people have tried to summarize research evidence across the wide range of risk factors that have been identified as potentially increasing risks for the development of drug use/ dependence. IN general, the more risks one face the more attractive drug use becomes. One influential and very comprehensive review...

  • Hi John the literature in this area is so vast that very few people have tried to summarize research evidence across the wide range of risk factors that have been identified as potentially increasing risks for the development of drug use/ dependence. Most reviews will, instead, focus on a single or small number of risk factors. One influential and very...

  • Hi Linda - if you visit our page at KCL http://www.kcl.ac.uk/experience-kcl/moocs/understanding-drugs-and-addiction.aspx you'll be able to get more information on the Romanian Orphanage project

  • I think we're on our way to a unified theory of addiction but sometimes it still feels like there's a while to go yet. Certainly the bio-psyco-social model has done a lot to make sure that biology,psychology and environmental factors are considered. I think the area that's growing now is that of neuroscience.

  • Glad to hear from you Lucy - I think you'll find next week's material useful too. Two students from Mexico are doing the MSc in Addiction Studies here at Kings; so it's always great to hear more about treatment services and the response to addiction in Mexico.

  • Welcome Jane. It looks like we have quite a few New Zealamders and Australians on the course. Michael Lynskey who will look at risks of addiction next week is from your neck of the woods.

  • Hi Nick Welcome. Next week Michael and Gursharan explore genetic and other risks for addiction which I hope you'll find useful

  • I hope it does help Simo and I also hope it helps on your path to the MA

  • Thanks Helen - Im glad you liked it

  • To get a certificate of participation you need to complete the majority of steps and the quizes. THe link to ordering a certificate is at the end of this course. Do let us know if you have any further questions.

  • HI Susan
    Have you contacted FutureLearn directly? You can use the feedback tab to the left of your screen. Information regarding statements of participation (when you complete most steps and quizes in a course) and exams (an exam you take after the course) are on the FutureLearn site. If you have any questions though feel free to post a question to one of my...

  • Welcome to the course Ewa