Effectiveness Bank bulletin 3 July 2013

Four latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank all focus on how to help problem drinkers and drugtakers. First two offer authoritative guidance on treating cannabis use problems and opiate addiction. Next two are on alcohol problems. First poses the puzzle of why the US treatment record seems better than Sweden's, the second why dependent drinkers who ought to have needed treatment but were not seeking it did so well after just brief advice.

Not yet seen the alcohol and drug treatment matrices? Take a look at the
ALCOHOL MATRIX for alcohol brief interventions and treatment
DRUG MATRIX for harm reduction and treatment in relation to illegal drugs

Clinical guidance on identifying and managing cannabis use problems
Guidance funded by the Australian government and systematically based on the evidence. Covers the range of cannabis use interventions from brief advice for users identified by screening through to managing withdrawal and treating dependence.

US authorities offer guidance on controversial long-acting opiate blocker
Few treatments arouse as much controversy as long-acting naltrexone implants or injections which promise to block the effects of heroin for up to several months. In the USA the injected form has been licensed for treating opioid dependence. Though unlicensed, in the UK too it has been tried. This document offers official US clinical guidance to doctors undertaking the treatment.

More integrated alcohol treatment system in Sweden fails to better US outcomes
The researchers expected Sweden's more integrated and rounded alcohol treatment system to produce better drinking outcomes, but the reverse was the case, more of the Swedish sample in parallel studies drinking heavily the year after starting treatment. The explanations take us in to the instructive territories of cultural and treatment system differences.

Brief intervention works with alcohol-dependent hospital patients
Commonly presumed unsuitable for dependent drinkers, the evidence is stacking up that brief advice after screening can lead even these drinkers to cut back. This study of heavy drinking Taiwanese hospital patients provides one of the most convincing demonstrations yet that brief intervention can work in this setting, and the drinking reductions were particularly steep among dependent patients.

Sent by the Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank to alert you to site updates and UK-relevant evaluations and reviews of drug/alcohol interventions. Managed by DrugScope, Alcohol Concern and the National Addiction Centre. Supported by Alcohol Research UK and the J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust.