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HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
‘Everyone’s not doing it’ message offers hope for prevention

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. ‘Normative education’ comparing the recipient’s use levels to population norms retains some of its shine as the great hope for school- and college-based prevention, but accumulating data demands a reappraisal.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
The complexity and challenge of ‘dual diagnosis’

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Whether to focus on mental illness or problem substance use when the patient exhibits both is long-standing conundrum which still puzzles today’s treatment services. Arising with as many as three-quarters of the drug treatment caseload, deciding how to respond is a is a major issue.

HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Acupuncture: potential value of a ‘theatrical placebo’

One of our selection of hot topics – important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Asks whether acupuncture helps treat substance use problems and, if it does, whether this is ‘just’ a placebo effect. Is there something valuable here which has not yet been proven to work, or is trying to find proof a dead end?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Substance use treatment as part of a ‘wrap-around’ package of care

One of our hot topic essays on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Asks whether supplementing addiction treatment with ‘wrap-around’ services is a distraction, or part of the core business of sustainably overcoming addiction. What’s for sure is that mental health, social and material resources, and the wherewithal for social inclusion, are all often lacking in addiction treatment caseloads; but does addressing these promote recovery?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Residential rehabilitation: the high road to recovery?

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Asks whether residential rehabilitation is particularly suited to today’s abstinence-based recovery ambitions, and whether nevertheless these services are under threat, treated as a last resort rather than a front-line option.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Controlling alcohol-related crime and disorder

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Within UK substance use policy alcohol-related violence and disorder has for decades been a high profile concern. For governments mindful of a drinking electorate, the conundrum is how to curb the fallout from drinking without being branded as a nanny-state killjoy.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Overdose antidote naloxone takes harm-reduction centre stage

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. National programmes distributing the opiate overdose antidote naloxone have become the great hope for curbing the rise in overdose deaths, but England is lagging behind the rest of the UK – and planning for the likelihood not of recovery but relapse may for some services and patients be hard to accept.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Cannabis is worth bothering with

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Despite heroin, crack and overdose deaths at record levels, we examine the proposition that cannabis use is worth bothering with, including reports that stronger products are aggravating harms, prospects of recovery from problem use, and the emerging response to synthetic forms of cannabis like ‘spice’.

HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Computerised therapies: sacrificing effectiveness for wider access?

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Among culturally accepted vehicles for delivering substance use interventions, computers, mobile phones and tablets are joining face-to-face work. Are we sacrificing effectiveness for convenience and economy?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Does it matter if ‘addiction is a brain disease’

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Dismissed as a chimera leading down expensive blind alleys or hailed as a scientific breakthrough and vindication for ‘sufferers’, the brain-disease model of addiction has been attracting research dollars and high-level support. True or false or somewhere in between, it has important implications for treatment.


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