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Family interventions were at the heart of the UK government’s ambition to ‘turn round’ the lives of 120,000 troubled families in England. In respect of drink and drug problems, substantial remission was seen, but the featured study could not show whether this was due to the interventions, and a report on a successor programme found no significant impacts.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
Treatment of adolescents with a cannabis use disorder: Main findings of a randomized controlled trial comparing multidimensional family therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in The Netherlands
US research led by the programme’s developers has found that a family therapy which intervenes across a child’s social environment is more effective than alternatives for problem substance using teenagers, but this independent Dutch study found one-to-one cognitive-behavioural therapy just as effective, a finding at odds with the five-nation European study of which it formed a part.
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.
The first systematic review of this issue cautions that heightened drug enforcement which fails to curtail the illicit market in drugs can generate drug-related violence, raising the overall level of violence in societies where such markets are widespread and endemic.
REVIEW 2010 HTM file
Drugs, crime and public health: the political economy of drug policy
Book which includes a critique of the evidence that crime reduction measures featuring coerced treatment for offenders have reduced overall crime levels in Britain and more generally of the use of evidence in policymaking, based partly on observations made while the author was a government adviser.
Concludes that the low risk of getting caught and the embededness of drinking in the social life of France meant that, despite a big impact on speeding, traffic violation crackdowns did not reduce the prevalence of drink-driving.
Though real-world evidence was scarce, and especially so for the UK, this review commissioned by the UK Home Office concluded that higher alcohol taxes or prices are associated with decreased crime. The findings informed a later Home Office assessment of the likely impact of a rise in the price of alcohol in Britain.
Commissioned by the English health department, the first study to model the impacts of alcohol policies by integrating data on pricing, promotion, purchasing, consumption and harm found that price rises or bans on promotions can bring major benefits. Findings informed a Home Office assessment of the impacts of raising the price of alcohol.
South Dakota appears to have achieved impressive results not by treating repeat drink-driving offenders but by requiring abstinence and enforcing this via frequent testing and the threat of immediate brief imprisonment; perhaps intensive intervention can be reserved for the few who do not comply.
DOCUMENT 2010 HTM file
Drug misuse statistics Scotland 2010
Statistical picture of drug misuse in Scotland in 2009 and 2010 including treatment and criminal justice caseloads and health impacts, plus trends over recent years.
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