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Effectiveness Bank bulletin 10 April 2015
Selection starts with studies of a core brief intervention approach to help restrain student drinking, moving to a core concept in recovery from addiction, and finally, two controversial extensions of harm reduction – prescribing methadone in prisons, and for years prescribing heroin addicts the drug to which they have become addicted.

The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Matrices: core research selected and explored
Alcohol matrix for alcohol brief interventions and treatment
Drug matrix for harm reduction and treatment in relation to illegal drugs

Support for brief intervention for heavy-drinking students
Synthesis of randomised trials of one of the most widely implemented approaches to heavy-drinking among college students finds it does reduce drinking and related problems, but compared to what is unclear, and none of the individual trials was convincing.

UK study measures key ‘recovery capital’ concept
Measuring ‘recovery capital’ forces researchers to get to grips with what these critical resources are which help an individual attain and sustain recovery. A questionnaire tested in the UK has made a promising start, though some of the questions seem to assess recovery itself.

Prison methadone reduces HIV risk behaviours
Prescribing methadone to heroin-dependent prisoners seems to reduce injecting and the sharing of injecting equipment, but no study has yet tested whether this leads to the expected reduction in HIV infections, and some condemn such programmes as squandering a chance to break free of opiate-type drugs.
Also see this analysis for more on the wider impacts of opiate substitute prescribing in prisons and on UK policy.

Extended heroin prescribing can rescue methadone failures
Unless there are compelling contraindications, results of extended treatment in the Dutch heroin prescribing trials suggest treatment should be continued as long as possible for heroin-addicted patients who do not do well on methadone but improve on heroin.

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