Effectiveness bank home page. Opens new window Hot topic search results

You have found 49 entries after clicking the GO button or a search link in a hot topic. Starting with the most recently added or updated entries, the list shows in orange the type of entry, year the original document was published (or if one of our own documents, the year last updated), and the type of file you will download when you click on the title. In blue is the document’s title followed by a brief description.

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STUDY 2019 HTM file
Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an adjunctive personalised psychosocial intervention in treatment-resistant maintenance opioid agonist therapy: a pragmatic, open-label, randomised controlled trial

Instead of a set programme, a clinic in London tried offering methadone or buprenorphine patients still using heroin or cocaine a selection from a suite of well-supported psychological interventions tailored to the patient and then systematically re-tailored in the light of how they responded. It worked – but did it work well enough, and would the findings be replicated in more typical circumstances?

STUDY 1988 HTM file
Is the counselor an “active ingredient” in substance abuse rehabilitation? An examination of treatment success among four counselors

The unexpected resignations of two counsellors at a US methadone clinic in early 1985 triggered a unique study of the influence of counsellors on their patients’ recovery. Its insight remains relevant today, and the study has been added to the Effectiveness Bank as a piece of ‘old gold’.

STUDY 2008 HTM file
Does following research-derived practice guidelines improve opiate-dependent patients’ outcomes under everyday practice conditions? Results of the Multisite Opiate Substitution Treatment study

In everyday practice at methadone maintenance clinics and with the full range of patients, does implementing clinical guidelines lead to better outcomes for patients? Two sets of US clinics selected for high versus low adherence to guidelines provided evidence that the recommended high doses and intensive psychosocial services really do make the intended difference.

DOCUMENT 2017 HTM file
Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management

Last published in 2007, there is no more important document for UK clinicians involved in treating problem drug use than the so-called ‘Orange guidelines’. This major update offers detailed guidance on the range of problems, settings and patients clinicians encounter, substantially informing judgements of what constitutes good medical practice.

REVIEW 2012 HTM file
The effectiveness of incarceration-based drug treatment on criminal behavior: A systematic review

Strongest support for ‘therapeutic community’ approach to incarceration-based drug treatment according to robust review of evidence – with consistent reductions found in both drug relapse and recidivism.

STUDY 2015 HTM file
Impact of treatment for opioid dependence on fatal drug-related poisoning: a national cohort study in England

Implication of this English study is that to save the lives of people dependent on heroin or similar drugs, they should be engaged and retained in substitute prescribing programmes like methadone maintenance until there is little risk of their relapsing after leaving. Shortly after leaving residential/inpatient settings was the highest risk period.

STUDY 2012 HTM file
Randomized trial of standard methadone treatment compared to initiating methadone without counseling: 12-month findings

Up to a year after starting methadone treatment US patients offered virtually no counselling for the first four months were still doing as well as those offered regular counselling. But there is a hint that intensive and high quality counselling enabled more to safely leave treatment.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Are the drugs enough? Counselling and therapy in substitute prescribing programmes

One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Explore the somewhat heretical proposition that the counsellor can virtually be dispensed with in opiate substitute prescribing programmes with little loss of impact. The gain would be that methadone could be spread ‘thin and wide’, reaching more potential patients.

HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Prizes for not using drugs?

‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Contingency management programmes reward patients for complying with treatment or not engaging in undesired substance use. It works, but often only temporarily – and perhaps at the cost of eroding the patient’s confidence and motivation.

DOCUMENT 2015 HTM file
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) national practice guideline for the use of medications in the treatment of addiction involving opioid use

From the USA’s professional society for clinicians and allied professionals in the field of addiction medicine, comprehensive recommendations on how doctors can use medications to treat addiction to heroin and other opioids.


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