Below is a list of all 45 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. Sorted by the main topic addressed, the list shows in orange the type of entry, the year the hot topic was last updated, and the type of file you will download when you click on the title. In blue is the hot topic’s title followed by a brief description.
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HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Don’t treat, just test and sanction
Gaining influential support is the proposition that for problem substance users over whom leverage can be exerted, we can largely do away with treatment and just test for substance use and punish infringements. Is this really the way forward?
HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Ethics and evidence on naltrexone treatment of offenders
Opinion is sharply divided on the ethics and effectiveness of pressuring opioid-dependent offenders to take the opiate-blocker naltrexone. Especially sharp is the controversy over long-acting products not approved for medical practice in the UK. Do they constitute an unacceptable infringement of autonomy, or is forcing them on some offenders as caring as holding back someone about to (by choice or not) walk off a cliff?
HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
The complexity and challenge of ‘dual diagnosis’
Whether to focus on mental health problems or substance use problem when the patient exhibits both is long-standing conundrum which still puzzles today’s treatment services. Arising with as many as three-quarters of the drug treatment caseload, deciding how to respond is a is a major issue.
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
Does it matter if ‘addiction is a brain disease’
Dismissed as a chimera leading down expensive blind alleys or hailed as a scientific breakthrough and vindication for ‘sufferers’, the brain-disease model of addiction has been attracting research dollars and high-level support. True or false or somewhere in between, it has important implications for treatment.
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