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For people motivated to reduce or quit their use of cannabis – the most widely used illicit drug in Europe – could a smartphone app provide a promising alternative to face-to-face treatments or public health interventions?
For the UK armed forces, with their unique organisational, social and drinking cultures, what can be learned from US studies about reducing harm among military personnel adjusting to civilian life?
REVIEW 2019 HTM file
Family-based prevention programmes for alcohol use in young people
Findings of this comprehensive review seem to almost entirely deflate what in the mid-2000s was a bubble of enthusiasm for parental programmes as a way to prevent or reduce drinking among teenagers – but despite this overall verdict, some interventions have had remarkable results.
REVIEW 2018 HTM file
The alliance in adult psychotherapy: a meta-analytic synthesis
Comprehensive review for the American Psychological Association concludes that the working relationship between clients and their counsellors or therapists is one of the largest and most consistent determinants of outcomes. Practice recommendations aim to help practitioners foster strong relationships.
With the large number of people vulnerable to the harms of risky drinking attending emergency departments, an effective ultra-brief intervention would have the potential to make a measurable population impact. However, as this review suggests, no such ultra-brief intervention has yet been found.
HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Computerised therapies: sacrificing effectiveness for wider access?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Among culturally accepted vehicles for delivering substance use interventions, computers, mobile phones and tablets are joining face-to-face work. Are we sacrificing effectiveness for convenience and economy?
Modern preventive interventions to reduce young people’s drinking rely heavily on correcting misperceptions that their peers drink more, but among 2611 students recruited from 122 UK universities, no reliable impacts were found, results in line with disappointing results from other studies.
A US study of young people in rural primary care settings finds that alcohol use disorders can be identified with a single question about frequency of drinking.
In the Netherlands an intensive cognitive-behavioural treatment programme for problem drinkers based on messages sent via a web site between therapist and patient achieved substantial remission in drinking and improvements in health – promising results undermined somewhat by how few patients were followed up.
REVIEW 2015 HTM file
Prevention of addictive behaviours
Based largely on existing reviews, this report for the German Federal Centre for Health Education comprehensively assesses substance use prevention approaches. Among its many conclusions are that approaches based solely on information provision are ineffective, in contrast to the more positive evidence for lifeskills and multi-component community programmes.
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