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Analysis of the only four randomised trials of brief alcohol interventions among 18–24-years-olds seen at emergency departments after getting drunk tentatively suggested that booster sessions or later advice are needed to reduce drinking.
DOCUMENT 2015 HTM file
Online flowcharts from the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guide planners and practitioners dealing with alcohol use disorders through choices of strategies and interventions on prevention, brief interventions, alcohol treatment, and treatment of associated medical conditions.
This UK study tested the idea that a multi-behaviour healthy living intervention would be more acceptable and more effective among problem drinking patients identified by a screening test than a specific alcohol intervention, but in both options found recruitment and retention challenging.
This intervention based on housing first led to significantly greater reductions in drinking problems after 14 months, but not in problems with other substances.
REVIEW 2015 HTM file
Risks and benefits of nalmefene in the treatment of adult alcohol dependence: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished double-blind randomized controlled trials
‘A pill for every ill’ is the gist of the attacks levelled at nalmefene in the form of Selincro, a drug expected to extend the benefits of pharmacotherapy to drinkers not physically dependent or in need of detoxification – or for critics, to medicalise psychosocial dependence on shaky scientific grounds.
Patient interviews provide insight into low levels of engagement and retention in alcohol treatment services, hindering the effective provision of treatment for dependent drinkers. Findings suggest that treatment pathways should better reflect the capacity and capabilities of people with alcohol dependence.
For the first time the annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England combines both drug and alcohol use patient records, registering a continuing trend down in total numbers due mainly to falls in users of heroin and other opiate-type drugs.
From Germany the first trial to rigorously test high doses of the muscle-relaxant baclofen for the treatment of dependent drinking found post-detoxification drinking reductions of a magnitude rarely seen. Other trials have been less positive, and serious safety concerns may limit the drug’s use.
DOCUMENT 2014 HTM file
How many drinkers should be in treatment?
Depending on the criteria, Britain’s performance in ensuring needy drinkers enter treatment can look anywhere from an abysmal 7% to an excellent 40%. Does where you draw the line depend on how you want to portray Britain’s performance?
DOCUMENT 2014 HTM file
Should dependent drinkers always try for abstinence?
For many alcohol treatment services in the past and now, the only acceptable and feasible drinking goal for alcoholics is abstinence. That mould was decisively cracked when in 1973 researchers showed that even physically dependent drinkers could learn to drink in moderation. Controversy was fierce, reaching to the US Congress, TV networks and the courts.
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