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Reanalysis of the huge US Project MATCH alcohol treatment trial confirms that patients with pro-drinking social circles gained greater remission in drink problems when 'matched' to a therapy focused on generating a social circle (in the form of AA) with the opposite characteristics.
English clinic challenged assumptions by patients and staff that excessive drinking was not a priority for patients dependent on opiates. A short programme of motivational interviewing, plus detox when needed, led many to curb their drinking.
London study suggests that individual brief motivational sessions from non-teaching staff could fulfill a college's responsibilities to prevent drug-related harm more effectively than media campaigns or health education lectures.
This British study found that young men injured after binge drinking respond well to a brief intervention mounted in a hospital clinic dealing with injuries of the kind often related to drinking.
This Australian study of a drug and alcohol counselling service extended work on brief alcohol interventions to a non-medical setting, confirming their potential as a first-line response to less severely affected treatment-seeking clients.
At a US outpatient alcohol service an initial motivational interview was more effective than 'role induction' (informing the patient about the treatment) at encouraging new clients to stay longer and to gain more from the treatment which followed.
Under two hours of risk assessment and motivational sessions cut heavy drinking and equipment sharing among exchange attenders, offering a way to further reduce the risks of overdose, viral infection and the aggravation of pre-existing hepatitis disease.
One of the few studies to have tried alcohol interventions in the emergency department rather than after admission was also the first to find a significant reduction in later injuries, but only if the initial approach had been reinforced with a booster.
US and Australian findings suggest that short motivational interventions can both reinforce stimulant-specific treatment and usefully address stimulant use in settings such as needle exchanges and methadone programmes.
The UK Alcohol Treatment Trial has confounded expectations that a motivational approach would be preferable for unmotivated or hostile patients, while supportive social networks would be particularly important for patients lacking these to begin with.
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