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For the first time the annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England combines both drug and alcohol use patient records, registering a continuing trend down in total numbers due mainly to falls in users of heroin and other opiate-type drugs.
First robust analysis estimates that between 2008 and 2011, 880 opioid-related ‘overdose’ deaths were prevented each year by addiction treatment in England, reducing total deaths by over 40%.
English treatment systems perform at least as well as other countries on a number of measures, but have a considerably higher rate of drug-related deaths than elsewhere in Europe. As well as pursuing harm reduction and recovery, this report stresses the importance of social integration as an objective.
For the second time the annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England combines records of drug and alcohol use treatment, registering a continuing fall in total numbers and decreasing success with opiate users, while the treatment of drinkers appears to be improving.
The annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England registers a continuing fall in total numbers and decreasing success with opiate users, while success with drinkers has increased and has for the last few years remained relatively high and stable. An ageing population of opiate users is the proposed explanation for the former trend – but why hasn’t a similarly ageing alcohol caseload also eroded success rates?
Part review, part ‘call to action’, the featured paper highlights the lack of awareness of evidence-based interventions for transgender people, and advocates for ‘culturally-sensitive’ approaches embedded in both general and specialised substance use programmes.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 190Kb
First randomised trial finds methadone helps prisoners control drug use and infection risk
In Australia the first trial to randomly allocate prisoners seeking this treatment to methadone maintenance found substantial reductions in heroin use, injecting and syringe sharing, promising to avert infections and preserve lives.
REVIEW 2008 HTM file
Opioid substitution therapy in prisons: reviewing the evidence
Brief but thoroughly researched review commends prison methadone programmes as causing no substantial problems while improving the climate in prison, reducing drug use and infection risk behaviours, and improving post-release treatment uptake and recidivism rates.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 166Kb
Continuity vital after prison treatment
Though the original treatments were diametrically opposed, two long-term follow-up studies have confirmed that post-release continuity is vital to sustain the benefits of treatment in prison.
DOCUMENT 2010 HTM file
The Patel report: Reducing drug-related crime and rehabilitating offenders
Investigation and recommendations from an expert group on drug treatment and interventions for people in prison in England calls for a clear focus on recovery and for the commissioning and coordination measures needed to improve outcomes without extra resources.
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