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Cognitive-behavioural therapies are among the most widespread and influential approaches to substance use, yet this analysis found they conferred just a small advantage over other therapies. Perhaps other features are more important than the therapeutic 'brand'.
STUDY 2006 PDF file 169Kb
Soup kitchen turned into therapeutic setting
A successful group therapy programme at a large New York soup kitchen shows that welfare services with high concentrations of problem substance users can be transformed from environments which impede recovery into ones which promote it.
Better than 'treatment as usual' but not than other specific therapies are the headlines from the most comprehensive synthesis of motivational interviewing studies to date. Along the way are insights in to the equivocal value of manuals and of feeding back assessment results to patients.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 107Kb
UK prison drug testing deters cannabis use more than heroin use
Interviews with prisoners in England and Wales and trends in positive prison drug tests appeared to confirm concerns that testing would lead prisoners to replace cannabis with heroin because heroin is detectable in urine for a far shorter time.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 150Kb
Brief interventions short-change some heavily dependent cannabis users
This large US study demonstrated that dependent cannabis users can benefit from individualised therapy which extends beyond the brief approaches previously found to produce outcomes equivalent to longer treatments.
New guidance on managing pregnant women dependent on heroin and allied drugs emphasises that maintenance prescribing is the core treatment but holistic, individualised care is essential; its warnings about the dangers of detoxification are not universally accepted.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Evaluation of the mandatory drug testing of arrestees pilot
Scotland withdrew funding when it saw this evaluation of testing for heroin/cocaine use on arrest. It looked like a very expensive way to get a few users in to treatment; at two of the three sites, six to eight times more costly per treatment entry than voluntary referral.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 149Kb
Addressing medical and welfare needs improves treatment retention and outcomes
In this US treatment study, receiving services matched to need was associated with greater reductions in illegal drug use, supporting calls for services to address not just dependence but also medical, psychological, social, housing, and vocational needs.
Rare glimpse 'under the hood' of contingency management suggests that unless the patient sees themselves as having actively mastered their dependence and has developed anti-relapse strategies, effects of rewarding abstinence will be short-lived.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 181Kb
Family check-up builds on teachers' abilities to identify problem pupils
Using teachers' ratings to target the families of high-risk pupils, a US study has shown that a few hours spent improving parental monitoring and response to childrens' behaviour can lead two years later to reductions in substance use.
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