Complete list of Effectiveness Bank hot topics

Effectiveness bank home page. Opens new window Hot topics

Below is a list of all 44 hot topics – essays by Drug and Alcohol Findings explaining the background and evidence relating to topics which sometimes prompt heated debate. They are a popular way to get up to speed on the issues which matter in drug and alcohol policy and practice in Britain, and often too internationally. Starting with the most recently added or updated hot topics, the list shows in orange the type of entry, the year the collection was first made available (remember they are continually updated), and the type of file you will download when you click on the title. In blue is the collection’s title followed by a brief description.

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HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
‘My GP says I drink too much’: screening and brief intervention

In the absence of more or less inescapable impediments to heavy drinking like ramping up the price of cheap alcohol, widespread screening and brief advice have been the great hope for drink-related public health improvements. Patchy effectiveness and poor implementation have led that ambition to be questioned.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Substance use treatment as part of a ‘wrap-around’ package of care

Asks whether supplementing addiction treatment with ‘wrap-around’ services is a distraction, or part of the core business of sustainably overcoming addiction. What’s for sure is that mental health, social and material resources, and the wherewithal for social inclusion, are all often lacking in addiction treatment caseloads; but does addressing these promote recovery?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Hepatitis C ‘giant’ still growing

For a time it seemed impossible to reverse the epidemic of injecting-related hepatitis C infection. Now we know that aided by new treatments which clear the infection, it can be done – but will we?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Promoting recovery through employment

Employment is seen as the key to lasting recovery, but how realistic is it for people whose lifestyles have revolved around using and obtaining drugs?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Cannabis is worth bothering with

Despite heroin, crack and overdose deaths at record levels, we examine the proposition that cannabis use is worth bothering with, including reports that stronger products are aggravating harms, prospects of recovery from problem use, and the emerging response to synthetic forms of cannabis like ‘spice’.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
The ‘explosion’ that never happened; crack and cocaine use in Britain

In 1989 a whirlwind of concern was stirred up by a US drug enforcement officer who foresaw a US-style “explosion” of violence associated with the ‘almost instantly addictive’ crack version of cocaine in Britain. That did not happen – but what did, where do those claims stand today, and what of cocaine powder, for decades seen as the ‘champagne set’s’ favourite drug?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Controlling alcohol-related crime and disorder

Within UK substance use policy alcohol-related violence and disorder has for decades been a high profile concern. For governments mindful of a drinking electorate, the conundrum is how to curb the fallout from drinking without being branded as a nanny-state killjoy.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Protecting the children

How to protect the children of problem substance users can hardly be a more emotive and – since a US-inspired project came to Britain offering to pay drug users to be sterilised – contentious issue. Despite the issue’s profile, truly informative studies are few.

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Overdose deaths in the UK: crisis and response

Why did the fall in UK drug overdose deaths in 2009 to 2012 so decisively reverse in the following years? A life-threatening turn away from harm reduction, or simply an ageing population of heroin users?

HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
Overdose antidote naloxone takes harm-reduction centre stage

National programmes distributing the opiate overdose antidote naloxone have become the great hope for curbing the rise in overdose deaths, but England is lagging behind the rest of the UK – and planning for the likelihood not of recovery but relapse may for some services and patients be hard to accept.


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