All Effectiveness Bank analyses to date of documents related to use and problem use of illegal drugs starting with the analyses most recently added or updated, totalling today 815 documents.
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Ivsins A., Chow C., Macdonald S. et al.
International Journal of Drug Policy: 2012, 23(4), p. 338–340.
Until June 2008 Victoria in Canada had a comprehensive extended hours needle exchange at a fixed site in the city. Neighbourhood pressure led to closure, creating a natural experiment in the withdrawal of services. The result seemed to be more sharing of injecting equipment entailing a greater risk of infection.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Estimating the cost-effectiveness of needle-syringe programs in Australia
Kwon J.A., Anderson J., Kerr C.C. et al.
AIDS: 2012, 26, in press.
Latest mathematical model from Australia probably broadly applicable also to the UK suggests that needle and syringe programmes have cost-effectively saved/improved lives, and in the long run save the health service money due to averted HIV and hepatitis C infections. But in both countries adequately curbing hepatitis C requires much more.
Turner K.M.E., Hutchinson S., Vickerman P. et al.
Addiction: 2011, 106, p. 1978–1988.
Together studies recently conducted across the UK suggest that consistent participation in methadone maintenance treatment plus adequate access to fresh injecting equipment has prevented many hepatitis C infections, supporting calls for needle exchange to be expanded and methadone treatment sustained.
Akhtar M., Boniwell I.
Groupwork: 2010, 20(3), p. 6–31.
Conducted in England, this first study to test positive psychology approaches focused on strengths and wellbeing in the treatment of substance use problems found that a small group of young drinkers and drug users responded well, with substantial remission in alcohol dependence despite the non-substance focus of the group therapy.
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: 2012, in press.
The contemporary recovery movement in addictions and the positive psychology movement in the broader field of psychological health have recently grown in prominence but almost entirely in parallel streams, yet the overlaps and possible synergies between them suggest that an integration could be a step forward in recovery from addiction.
Crits-Christoph P., Ring-Kurtz S., McClure Bridget. et al.
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment: 2010, 38, p. 251–262.
It should have improved relationships between counsellors and clients and between counsellors and their clinics, but a sophisticated system for feeding back client progress made no positive difference on any of these measures. A later study helped establish why: counsellors were not told which patient the feedback related to and what they might do about it.
Schmidt L.A., Rieckmann T., Abraham A. et al.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs: 2012, 73(3), p. 413–422.
In the US homeland of competition and private health care, it was cooperation and coordination which led to the introduction of new medications and innovations to promote continuing care – plus the exercise of regulatory and financial muscle and the salutary experience of senior staff who placed themselves in the patient's shoes.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Will intensive testing and sanctions displace treatment?
Druglink: October/November 2012.
Enforce frequent drug or alcohol testing and levy swift, certain and meaningful sanctions for substance use, and many dependent users stop using without treatment. Is this increasingly how problem use will be dealt with, or just a niche option applicable to users over whom society can exert sufficient leverage?
Humphreys K., McLellan T.
Addiction: 2011, 106, p. 2058–2066.
Improving performance of substance use disorder treatment systems is no easy matter and one prone to unintended consequences. All the more welcome then is guidance from leading US experts with top-level experience in the UK and the USA; their favourite tactic, rewarding services for patient progress during treatment, is featured in UK payment-by-results schemes.
Harris A.H.S , Humphreys K., Bowe T. et al.
Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research: 2010, 37(1), p. 25–39.
This first major multi-modality test of a treatment engagement indicator widely used as a quality control yardstick in the USA found it was only very weakly related to patient improvement seven months after starting treatment, confirmation that simple measures of what happens during treatment struggle to capture what really makes treatment effective.
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