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Comprehensive and thoughtful review of the UK-relevant literature warns that services which impose rigid and unrealistic expectations of abstinence or independent living on homeless addicts would deny treatment and housing to vulnerable adults with complex needs.
Further analysis of findings from a US inpatient centre shows that systematically applying simple prompts and motivators especially and substantially improved aftercare attendance among patients with mental health problems, helping sustain progress made during initial treatment.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 104Kb
Phone reminders cut 'no shows' by nearly two-thirds
By introducing a phoned reminder, an alcohol treatment clinic in Liverpool cut by nearly two-thirds the number of patients who simply failed to turn up for assessment, avoiding wastage of staff time due to missed appointments.
Instead of telling addiction treatment providers what to do to qualify for funding, the US state of Delaware set recruitment and engagement targets and largely left the methods up to the services. Result: more and more engaging treatment without stifling innovation.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 170Kb
'Real-world' studies show that medications do suppress heavy drinking
Three trials found that drugs commonly used to treat alcohol dependence improve outcomes for an appreciable minority of patients, even under conditions close to normal practice. Together they offer clues to who benefits most from each medication.
IN PRACTICE 2005 PDF file 1242Kb
Wet day centres in Britain part 1: planning and setting up
Solid guidance based on a detailed analysis of UK centres offering street drinkers a place where they can start to reverse years of deterioration without having first to stop drinking. In this extraordinarily difficult task, good planning is key.
Sweeping, learned but practice-oriented tour-de-force from the US recovery advocate who sees the creation of a recovery-friendly environment as the best way to ensure a lasting resolution of substance use problems with or without abstinence.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Relating counselor attributes to client engagement in England
The most wide-ranging investigation of the organisational health of British treatment services found clients engaged best when services fostered communication, participation and trust among staff, had a clear mission, but were open to new ideas and practices.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 166Kb
Dual diagnosis add-on to mental health services improves outcomes
A unique British study has found that treatment-resistant schizophrenic patients benefit from additional integrated substance use/mental health therapy, which may also save costs by reducing the need for inpatient care.
Just a few minutes with specially hired screening and intervention staff can make a difference to emergency patients' drinking, but in the real world the hospital's own staff will usually do this work. A US study tested this real-world scenario and still found (modest) drinking reductions.
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