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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.
REVIEW 2015 HTM file
Prevention of addictive behaviours
Based largely on existing reviews, this report for the German Federal Centre for Health Education comprehensively assesses substance use prevention approaches. Among its many conclusions are that approaches based solely on information provision are ineffective, in contrast to the more positive evidence for lifeskills and multi-component community programmes.
STUDY 2015 HTM file
Maintenance check-ups following treatment for cannabis dependence
Arranging aftercare check-ups to see how cannabis-dependent patients were doing and whether they needed to return to treatment helped sustain cannabis use reductions – but why did this advantage emerge even before the first check-up?
Does getting involved in sport divert adolescents from getting involved in drug or alcohol use? Perhaps with respect to the less normalised illicit drugs, but maybe not cannabis, and drinking actually seems to increase.
Multi-national European trial partially confirms US findings from research led by the programme’s developers that a family therapy which intervenes across a child’s social environment is more effective than alternatives for problem substance using teenagers.
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.
STUDY 2014 HTM file
Drug treatment in England 2013–14
Authority responsible for promoting addiction treatment in England cautions that the gains of recent years in reduced drug use, lower demand for treatment for heroin and crack problems, improved treatment performance, and curbing drug-related harm, have all stalled or gone in to reverse.
STUDY 2015 HTM file
Specialist substance misuse treatment for young people in England 2013–14
Judged by successful completion of treatment, official report documents improved specialist treatment of children with alcohol and drug problems in England. Patient numbers have fallen in line with trends in the general population, though cannabis bucked the general downturn and now dominates the treatment statistics.
STUDY 2014 HTM file
Drugs: international comparators
After seeing how drug policy worked overseas, UK government ministers and officials returned saying, “there is no apparent correlation between the ‘toughness’ of a country’s approach and the prevalence of adult drug use”, and that “better health outcomes for drug users cannot be shown to be a direct result of the enforcement approach”.
How can it be that incentives to therapists improve implementation of a therapy without further helping patients overcome substance use problems? In this US study of young substance users, disappointing results may reflect the inability of time-limited programmes to make an impression on the lives of youngsters subject to powerful influences, including criminal justice intervention.
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