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HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Measuring alcohol-related harm; politics and science

One of our selection of hot topics – important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. At a national level, alcohol-related harm and especially the net cost of harm versus benefits are slippery concepts. Malleability and policy salience combine to make the estimates contested territory.

STUDY 2017 HTM file
Preventing alcohol and tobacco exposed pregnancies: CHOICES Plus in primary care

Compared to brief advice, the CHOICES Plus intervention significantly lowered the risk of alcohol- and tobacco-exposed pregnancies among women in a low-income primary care population. This trial illustrates the efficacy of a bundle of ‘pre-conception’ services for risky drinking, smoking, and ineffective contraception.

Alcohol Matrix cell C4: Management/supervision; Psychosocial therapies

Seminal and key studies on management and supervision in psychosocial therapies. Focus is on evidence of the need for post-training ‘coaching’ and for letting therapists know how their clients are doing – especially when they are doing badly.

Drug Treatment Matrix cell C4: Management/supervision; Psychosocial therapies

Seminal and key studies on management and supervision in psychosocial therapies. Findings challenge managers to invest in the post-training ‘coaching’ needed to make a difference for patients, and to set up systems alerting therapists to how well their clients are doing – especially when they are doing badly.

STUDY 2014 HTM file
Primary care-based buprenorphine taper vs maintenance therapy for prescription opioid dependence: a randomized clinical trial

Among patients dependent on prescription opioids, ongoing maintenance therapy using a legal opiate substitute (buprenorphine–naloxone) produced better outcomes than tapered withdrawal, with patients less likely to have used illicit opioids and considerably more likely to have remained in their allocated treatment.

Drug Treatment Matrix cell B4: Practitioners; Psychosocial therapies

Seminal and key studies on the impact of the practitioner in psychosocial therapies. Takes Carl Rogers’s seminal theories as its starting point and guides you through the complexities which obscure the impact of client-worker relationships despite their patent important to the clients.

REVIEW 2016 HTM file
Review article: Effectiveness of ultra-brief interventions in the emergency department to reduce alcohol consumption: A systematic review

An ultra-brief alcohol intervention in the emergency department may have limited effectiveness in the short term, but with the large number of people attending hospitals at risk of alcohol-related harm, it could still have a measurable population effect if delivered routinely.

Drug Treatment Matrix cell A4: Interventions; Psychosocial therapies

Seminal and key studies shedding light on the general principles underpinning psychosocial therapies and the effectiveness specific approaches. ’Individualise,’ is the overarching theme … and the consequent dangers of inflexibly following guidelines and research findings.

STUDY 2016 HTM file
Extended-release naltrexone to prevent opioid relapse in criminal justice offenders

Added to basic counselling alone, monthly injections of the opioid-blocking drug naltrexone helped prevent relapse among US offenders with a history of opioid dependence recently released from prison or under criminal justice supervision in the community – findings most applicable to those who prefer opioid-free to opioid-maintenance treatments.

STUDY 2015 HTM file
A double blind, placebo controlled trial of modafinil for the treatment of cocaine dependence without co-morbid alcohol dependence

Modafinil is a mild stimulant which it is hoped might plug the gap in effective pharmacotherapies for dependence on cocaine. Though this trial found that it promoted abstinence from cocaine, others have not, and its inconsistent benefits have been seen as failing to outweigh the drug’s side effects.

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