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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?
STUDY 2001 PDF file 193Kb
Lasting benefits of drug treatment in England
The NTORS study shows that substantial improvements in crime and drug use seen by the end of the first year after starting drug dependence treatment persisted to five years, though a large minority of the sample were still regularly using illegal drugs.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
Women in drug treatment: what the latest figures reveal
National health authority responsible for promoting addiction treatment in says the data shows that women are proportionally well-represented in drug treatment programmes and that services reflect the specific needs of women and their changing patterns of drug use.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
The Drug Treatment Outcomes Research Study (DTORS): final outcomes report
Over 10 years since the last attempt, in 2006 a national study assessed the progress of patients starting drug treatment in England. A year later drug use and crime were down and social costs saved, but wider life improvements were minor compared to treatment costs.
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