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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.
Comprehensive calculations from Australia offer clues to what in countries like the UK would make the biggest dent in alcohol-related harm at the lowest cost; top of the list were alcohol tax rises, advertising bans, licensing controls, and random breath testing.
DOCUMENT 2010 HTM file
Alcohol in our lives: curbing the harm
Extensive policy report from New Zealand accepts evidence that alcohol-related harm is best reduced by population level measures, including raising prices, licensing reform with harm reduction as its prime objective, and restricting the availability of alcohol through reduced opening hours, age limits and curbs on promotion.
First randomised follow-up study offers little support for randomly testing US school pupils for drug or alcohol use, adding to a slim evidence base which has so far found little benefit to justify the risks and the costs.
In Hawaii and then the less promising schools of Chicago, a primary school programme aiming to improving school climate and pupil character development had substantial and, in Chicago, lasting preventive impacts – another illustration that focusing on drugs is not always the best way to prevent drug problems.
REVIEW 2011 HTM file
The Good Behavior Game and the future of prevention and treatment
From the researchers involved in the trials, a practitioner-friendly account of research on the classroom management technique implemented in the first years of schooling which has led to remarkably strong and persistent impacts on substance use and other problems in later life.
In their first years at school, Baltimore pupils formed teams which could earn prizes and praise for good behaviour; 14 years later many fewer young lives were marred by substance-related problems, threatened by smoking, or on track to cause serious social problems.
National UK policy recommendations for pre-school initiatives to forestall later problems including those related to substance use, based partly on a review of the most promising programmes.
The review which led a national US task force to recommend limiting the concentration of retail alcohol outlets as an important public health measure to curb excessive alcohol use and related harms. In much of the UK though, licensing law severely limits the scope for action.
UK Home Office draws conclusions from recent government-commissioned reviews and research on the likely impact of a rise in the price of alcohol in Britain. Direct evidence is thin, but suggests "on balance" that policies designed to increase price may reduce harms caused by alcohol.
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