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This comprehensive US-focused review addresses the need to enrol more young problem substance users in treatment even if they at first refuse, validated methods for identifying such young people and engaging them in treatment with the help of family and others, and ethical and financial considerations involved in implementing these methods.
Can repeat drink-driving offenders be swayed by just 30 minutes with a therapist, and would those minutes best be spent in motivational interviewing or providing information on alcohol? This Canadian study hints that 'Yes' is the answer to both questions – but only hints.
REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Motivational interviewing for substance abuse
Across the most rigorous studies, this synthesis of the research finds therapies based on motivational interviewing better than doing nothing, but no more effective than usual/other treatments for problem drinkers and drugtakers – powerful further support for the 'Dodo bird' verdict that all bona fide therapies are equivalent.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Substance misuse among young people 2011–12
Documents trends towards more successful specialist treatment of children with alcohol and drug problems in England. Patient numbers have fallen in line with trends among young adult patients and the general population, a sign of fewer drug problems generally, though cannabis bucked the downward trend.
DOCUMENT 2011 HTM file
Substance misuse among young people: 2010–11
England's National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse documents trends in England towards quicker and more often successful treatment of children aged under 18 with alcohol or drug problems, while numbers have fallen in line with developments among the general population and among young adults in treatment.
Conducted in England, this first study to test positive psychology approaches focused on strengths and wellbeing in the treatment of substance use problems found that a small group of young drinkers and drug users responded well, with substantial remission in alcohol dependence despite the non-substance focus of the group therapy.
The contemporary recovery movement in addictions and the positive psychology movement in the broader field of psychological health have recently grown in prominence but almost entirely in parallel streams, yet the overlaps and possible synergies between them suggest that an integration could be a step forward in recovery from addiction.
In the US homeland of competition and private health care, it was cooperation and coordination which led to the introduction of new medications and innovations to promote continuing care – plus the exercise of regulatory and financial muscle and the salutary experience of senior staff who placed themselves in the patient's shoes.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Will intensive testing and sanctions displace treatment?
Enforce frequent drug or alcohol testing and levy swift, certain and meaningful sanctions for substance use, and many dependent users stop using without treatment. Is this increasingly how problem use will be dealt with, or just a niche option applicable to users over whom society can exert sufficient leverage?
In 2007–08 the US state of Maine introduced a new scheme directly linking funding for outpatient treatment services to performance in terms of waiting times and retention, but financial and service delivery impacts were negligible. Were the incentives too weak, or were services already doing as well as they could?
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