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REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Behavioral couples therapy for substance abusers: where do we go from here?
Problem drinkers and drug users in a persisting if distressed relationship with a partner do better when the focus is at least partly shifted from the patient to working with the couple to foster sobriety-encouraging interactions. Benefits for patients and the broader society can be remarkable.
Can repeat drink-driving offenders be swayed by just 30 minutes with a therapist, and would those minutes best be spent in motivational interviewing or providing information on alcohol? This Canadian study hints that 'Yes' is the answer to both questions – but only hints.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
Cracking down on youth tobacco may influence drug use
In Illinois in the USA, randomly allocating towns to enforce laws against youth smoking in public led not just to fewer youth smoking but also fewer drinking or using and being offered illegal drugs - did anti-tobacco policing spill-over to create an environment unfriendly to drinking and illegal drug use?
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Protecting young people from alcohol related harm
Case studies from across the UK of innovation, good practice and productive cooperation in encouraging and enforcing compliance with laws banning sale of alcohol to under-18s and reducing related public nuisance, offering road-tested good ideas for other areas.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Will intensive testing and sanctions displace treatment?
Enforce frequent drug or alcohol testing and levy swift, certain and meaningful sanctions for substance use, and many dependent users stop using without treatment. Is this increasingly how problem use will be dealt with, or just a niche option applicable to users over whom society can exert sufficient leverage?
This first major multi-modality test of a treatment engagement indicator widely used as a quality control yardstick in the USA found it was only very weakly related to patient improvement seven months after starting treatment, confirmation that simple measures of what happens during treatment struggle to capture what really makes treatment effective.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
Achieving positive change in the drinking culture of Wales
This research report usefully reflects evidence from reviews and recent and seminal studies, offering guidance not just on each intervention type, but on what the most effective mix might be in Wales and by extension in the UK as a whole if the aim is to affect drink-related harm at the level of the whole population.
Though drinking problems were widespread, Scottish probation and community service staff were unconvinced of the appropriateness of screening their offender clients for risky drinking and (if indicated) offering brief advice. Not a priority, was the common feeling.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Screening for alcohol use in criminal justice settings: an exploratory study
At English prisons, police stations and probation offices, offenders and arrestees in this study usually scored as at least hazardous drinkers and over half as problematic on a drink problem survey; nearly all would have been identified by a much briefer screening method usually requiring just a single question.
Risky drinking was widespread among the disorder and assault suspects screened for alcohol problems and (as indicated) offered brief advice by civilian staff at a police station in north east England, but they constituted just a quarter of the arrestees intended to have been screened.
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