Effectiveness Bank Bulletin 8 January 2013

Latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank start with another study showing that focusing on drugs is not always the way to reduce their use. After this, three US studies of some of the most disadvantaged treatment populations in the industrialised west. For the non-compliant heroin addicts of Baltimore, a tough-love mixture of sanctions and support ending in them losing their methadone prescriptions if they failed to comply. Suitable counterparts in the Bronx were instead trusted to manage their own induction on to substitute medication, while abused and traumatised female substance users in a Californian prison benefited from a programme which root-and-branch recognised their difficult histories and their differences from men. To view the whole bulletin click the button below or scroll down and click titles for individual analyses.

Enforcing youth smoking ban also reduced drinking and drug use

In Illinois in the USA, randomly allocating towns to enforce laws against youth smoking in public led not just to fewer young people smoking but also fewer drinking or using and being offered illegal drugs. Did anti-tobacco policing spill-over to create an environment unfriendly to youth drinking and illegal drug use?

Tough love for Baltimore's non-compliant methadone patients.

Heroin addicts in Baltimore who still used drugs heavily despite being on methadone were sent to a special clinic for intensified care reinforced by sanctions and incentives and eventual discharge if still they failed to comply. Tough love perhaps, but does it really make sense to intensify compliance requirements on patients already not complying?

Bronx heroin addicts manage their own buprenorphine induction

Can the heroin addicts of the Bronx in New York be trusted to themselves manage at home one of the most tricky phases of buprenorphine maintenance treatment - the induction? In this study they and their primary care doctors agreed most could, and they were right; they did as well as patients inducted at the clinic. The upshot was greater convenience and time-saving all round.

Rare randomised trial finds female prisoners benefit from gender-specific treatment

From the USA, a rare randomised controlled trial of prison-based substance use treatment for women finds substantial benefits from replacing a standard prison therapeutic community programme with one based on extensive trauma-informed and gender-responsive elements, delivered in an entirely woman-only environment.

Sent by the Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank to alert you to site updates and recent 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.