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REVIEW 2005 PDF file 826Kb
Self help: don't leave it to the patients
Keith Humphreys and colleagues report on a workgroup of US experts on substance abuse self-help organisations. Main conclusion: self-help groups are too valuable to leave to chance. They should be actively promoted and facilitated by treatment services and policymakers.
Treatment services do not have to adopt, or ask patients to adopt, the belief system on which 12-step groups are founded in order to effectively encourage patients to tap in to the social support offered by these groups and improve their chances of sustained abstinence.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
The Alcohol Concern Smart Recovery Pilot Project final evaluation report
Austerity plus recovery plus curtailed treat equals more mutual aid is the formula for ways out of dependence in the post-credit crunch 2010s. But with only 12-step groups, the offer is limited. What will it take for a cognitive-behavioural alternative to flourish in England was the question for this pilot project.
In the context of current UK policy, this is a key study, testing the ambition to extend recovery beyond formal treatment by systematically linking patients to mutual aid groups, the main way it is being suggested commissioners can square the circle of doing more (recovery is seen as a whole-life transformation) with less.
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.
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.
12-step fellowships offer a way to reconcile shrunken resources with the desire to get more patients safely out of treatment. Accounting for the self-selection bias which has obscured AA’s impacts, this synthesis of US trials finds that attending more meetings after treatment boosts abstinence. Why then is research equivocal on whether promoting attendance improves drink-related outcomes?
STUDY 2000 PDF file 104Kb
'Wet shelter' becomes home for street drinkers
After an uncertain start, an experimental project based in London's East End safely housed long-term rough sleepers unwilling to stop drinking, connecting them to medical and other services whilst allowing drinking on the premises.
STUDY 2001 PDF file 209Kb
Simple induction procedures help alcohol and drug users engage with residential rehabilitation
In the USA relatively simple extensions to induction procedures for residential rehabilitation made a radical difference to how deeply coerced and other less motivated clients engaged with the programmes.
STUDY 2003 PDF file 177Kb
Systematic but simple way to determine who needs residential care
In this US study the criteria and the methods used to develop them offer a way to reserve expensive residential rehabilitation for those who need it and to improve treatment completion rates in both residential and non-residential settings.
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