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HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Don’t treat, just test and sanction
One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. 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?
STUDY 2010 HTM file
South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety program evaluation findings report
Drink-driving offenders on South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety project test alcohol-free at over 99% of the twice-daily breath tests intended to enforce abstinence via the threat of immediate brief imprisonment, and subsequent recidivism is lower than among other drink-driving offenders in the state.
Intensive testing allied with swift and certain but not severe sanctions for non-compliance dramatically curbed drug use, prison time and re-arrest rates among a high risk group of drug using US offenders; most did not need treatment to help them comply with the court orders.
London pilot of enforced sobriety offers useful insights to inform expansion of the Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement scheme.
Long-acting injectable naltrexone blocks the effects of opiates for about a month and has also helped dependent drinkers cut back. Treatment records in the US state of Missouri showed that among the few problem substance using offenders allocated to or who chose this treatment, a much higher proportion became abstinent than those offered other kinds of addiction treatment.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
The family drug and alcohol court (FDAC) evaluation project: final report
The first family drug and alcohol court in Britain offers intensive specialist support to parents of children at risk due to parental substance misuse; the result in this small-scale pilot study was better parental and child outcomes at lower cost.
STUDY 2014 HTM file
Drugs: international comparators
After seeing how drug policy worked overseas, UK government ministers and officials returned saying, “there is no apparent correlation between the ‘toughness’ of a country’s approach and the prevalence of adult drug use”, and that “better health outcomes for drug users cannot be shown to be a direct result of the enforcement approach”.
REVIEW 1999 HTM file
Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs
Expertly describes and evaluates the difficulties of mounting drug treatment programmes in prisons, drawing on the pooled knowledge and experience of leading US researchers on why real-world programmes sometimes fail to live up to expectations based on more ideal-world trials. Though focused on prison, much is relevant also to community sentences.
This study of a cognitive-behavioural course for convicted drink-drivers in England and Wales found no evidence that it reduced the reconviction rate, another disappointing finding on this widely implemented family of crime- reduction approaches.
REVIEW 2010 HTM file
Testing for cannabis in the work-place: a review of the evidence
A review of 20 years of research on cannabis testing at work found that the patchy evidence permitted few strong conclusions about effectiveness. Given the lack of evidence, it seems wise for UK guidance to limit workplace testing to those who really warrant it because of their jobs, rather than advocating widespread testing as a deterrent.
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