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From Canada the first study to show that among long-term, severely opiate dependent patients who have not responded well to prior treatment, women as well as men benefit more from being prescribed injectable heroin than oral methadone.
From the comprehensive treatment process data collected by a major national US study emerges the important lesson that retention in itself is not an active ingredient in post-treatment outcomes but reflects influences such having one's needs met (especially important for women) and developing a good relationship with the service and your key worker.
A review of psychosocial and medication-based treatments for people with co-occurring cannabis use and mental health issues reveals some positive results, but a need for more research.
This thorough review formed the evidential basis for recent guidance from England's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on how best to distribute sterile syringes. Maximising the proportion of injections done with sterile equipment is the key objective.
Ironically, the fact that opiate substitute prescribing has been opposed and limited in Sweden has meant that country has been able provide solid evidence of its lifesaving potential. This study concluded that easing the restrictions was associated with and may have led to fewer opiate-related deaths.
First evidence that combining sertraline for depression with naltrexone for drinking is more effective than either medication alone when dependent drinking is complicated by clinical depression.
When a patient has screened positive for risky drinking, up pops a computerised prompt to remind the clinician to consider counselling. In one service for US ex-military personnel, this resulted in nearly three quarters of patients being counselled and a hint of consequentially reduced drinking; at another, findings were negative. Why the difference?
Unequivocal backing from UN agencies for methadone and other forms of long term maintenance treatments as the prime modality for the treatment of dependence on heroin and allied drugs. In contrast say the experts, detoxification results in poor long term outcomes.
DOCUMENT 2009 HTM file
Management of cannabis use disorder and related issues: a clinician’s guide
Guidance funded by the Australian government and systematically based on the evidence. Covers the range of cannabis use interventions from brief advice for users identified by screening through to managing withdrawal and treating dependence.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
The Drug Treatment Outcomes Research Study (DTORS): final outcomes report
Over 10 years since the last attempt, in 2006 a national study assessed the progress of patients starting drug treatment in England. A year later drug use and crime were down and social costs saved, but wider life improvements were minor compared to treatment costs.
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