Complete list of Effectiveness Bank hot topics

Effectiveness bank home page. Opens new window Hot topics

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. Starting with the most recently added or updated hot topics, 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 2020 HTM file
Time for safer injecting spaces in Britain?

Drug consumption rooms are a particularly contentious form of harm reduction, viewed on one hand as a practical, humane, life-saving approach to dangerous drug use, and on the other, as an endorsement of drugtaking and a dereliction of the duty to treat people dependent on drugs.

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 2020 HTM file
How many drinkers should be in treatment?

What proportion of England’s problem drinkers might be in treatment, how far does that fall short of the number who should be – and how do we judge ‘should’? The proportion varies to a surprising degree depending on assumptions about who needs treatment.

HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
What about evidence-based commissioning?

In the UK the landscape of drug and alcohol service commissioning to meet need in an area has radically altered – a leap in the dark illuminated only dimly by prior evidence and current evaluations.

HOT TOPIC 2020 HTM file
‘Dignity first’: improving the lives of homeless people who drink and take drugs

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.

HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Measuring alcohol-related harm; politics and science

At a national level, alcohol-related harm and especially the net cost of harm versus benefits are slippery concepts. Malleability and policy salience combine to make the estimates contested territory.

HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Opiate-blocking implants: magic bullet or dangerous experiment?

Opinion is sharply divided on the ethics and effectiveness of long-acting implanted or injected opiate-blocking medications, products not approved for medical practice in the UK, but which some see as a major breakthroughs in overcoming addiction to heroin and allied drugs.

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 2018 HTM file
A minimum price for drink?

Politics and evidence relating to the most important and controversial public health issue of recent times – eliminating the cheap drink heavy drinkers rely on by setting a high minimum per unit price for alcohol. Scotland has done it and other UK nations are following suit – but not yet England.

HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Cycle of Change: change promoter or benevolent fiction?

Its simplicity is beguiling, but does the ubiquitous cycle of change model simply describe the change process, or help predict and accelerate it?


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