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HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
The therapeutic potential of patients and clients
One of our hot topics offering background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. The recovery agenda emphasises the transformation of problem substance users into solutions to those problems through peer support and involvement in their own care – but perhaps at a deeper level, the patient or client has always been the author of their own recovery.
A study exploring the challenges of defining and measuring ‘outcomes’ and ‘success’ in substance use treatment environments, from the perspective of staff and participants in two different US harm-reduction counselling programmes.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
A randomized pilot study of the Engaging Moms Program for family drug court
US researchers may have found a better way to support mothers at risk of losing custody of their children so they engage in and benefit from substance use treatment and meet family court requirements, meaning more children can safely stay with their parents.
For such a widely implemented and widely supported adjunct to formal treatment, the revelation from this review is how little evidence there is for involving former problem substance users in promoting recovery from similar problems – a lack which may simply reflect the paucity of adequate research.
REVIEW 1999 HTM file
Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs
Expertly describes and evaluates the difficulties of mounting drug treatment programmes in prisons, drawing on the pooled knowledge and experience of leading US researchers on why real-world programmes sometimes fail to live up to expectations based on more ideal-world trials. Though focused on prison, much is relevant also to community sentences.
REVIEW 2013 HTM file
Meta-analysis of the effects of MI training on clinicians’ behavior
The first analysis to amalgamate findings on training clinicians in motivational interviewing finds training does develop competence, especially when reinforced by supervision or coaching based on feedback on trainees’ actual performance. For some trainees there may be no need for initial training to be face-to-face; books and videos may do as well.
An expert committee responds to the Scottish government’s concerns over the role of methadone prescribing in helping patients along the Road to Recovery signposted in the national strategy. On the ground, that road was often barely constructed but methadone was not the problem, rather the failure to optimise programmes for recovery.
Researchers have long suspected that pre-existing or drug/alcohol-induced cognitive deficits prevent patients making the most of treatments which rely on complex verbal communications and understandings. For the first time this US study has shown that psychological exercises to remedy these deficits do improve outcomes by helping patients get to grips with treatment.
Aged 16 and smoking cannabis or drinking coming up to one day in three, US youngsters identified as substance users by their schools substantially cut back in response to just two motivational counselling sessions, and even more when a third session addressed the parents at home.
From England, findings suggesting the intriguing but for the moment tentative possibility that non-conformist drug workers who value hedonism and stimulation help socially excluded clients improve most because their values match those of their clients.
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