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Injectors at risk of infection due to sharing equipment responded best to brief risk-reduction counselling based on motivational rather than educational principles, offering a way to augment the benefits of harm reduction services.
DOCUMENT 2007 HTM file
Drug misuse in over 16s: psychosocial interventions
After examining the evidence for psychosocial therapies for problem drug use, the UK’s official health advisers recommend behavioural couples therapy and contingency management, argue against cognitive-behavioural therapies, and pose residential rehabilitation as a last resort – in some respects surprising and controversial recommendations.
MATRIX CELL 2017 HTM file
Drug Treatment Matrix cell B1: Practitioners; Reducing harm
Seminal and key studies on the impact of the practitioner on harm reduction. Trust emerges as a fundamental ingredient to harm reduction work with users of illegal drugs. Reconceptualise needle exchanges as safe havens in a largely rejecting world, and explore why a Philadelphia methadone counsellor stood out – for the wrong reasons.
Comprehensive and thoughtful review of the UK-relevant literature warns that services which impose rigid and unrealistic expectations of abstinence or independent living on homeless addicts would deny treatment and housing to vulnerable adults with complex needs.
A study exploring the challenges of defining and measuring ‘outcomes’ and ‘success’ in substance use treatment environments, from the perspective of staff and participants in two different US harm-reduction counselling programmes.
This intervention based on housing first led to significantly greater reductions in drinking problems after 14 months, but not in problems with other substances.
HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
‘Dignity first’: improving the lives of homeless people who drink and take drugs
One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Putting people with experiences of homelessness and substance use problems at the centre of social policy, this hot topic asks what solutions would look like if they prioritised saving lives and improving lives.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
What is the role of harm reduction when drug users say they want abstinence?
A team including one of the researchers responsible for the original finding have queried the interpretation of the highly influential report from a national Scottish study that most drug users starting treatment wanted to become abstinent. On the basis of in-depth interviews, they caution that it is just not that simple.
For the first time regular checkups to promote treatment re-entry have been tried with an all-female problem substance user caseload, and one leaving prison rather than community-based treatment. Over the first three months more returned to treatment more promptly. Previous studies suggest this will lead to reduced substance use, crime and HIV infections.
How does an intervention designed to enhance coordination and continuity of services, known as ‘case management’, compare to treatment as usual? Is there any evidence to suggest that it can directly or indirectly improve recovery outcomes?
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