Effectiveness Bank bulletin 13 February 2014

First entry helpfully packages major UK alcohol prevention reviews. Next two offer insights in to the use of opiate-blocking drugs for rather different purposes – harm reduction among continuing users versus to sustain abstinence. Finally, is it limitations of the research, or real failure to help, which accounts for negative findings from the cognitive-behavioural anti-offending programmes so popular in the UK?

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Worth supplementing lessons with other alcohol prevention strands?
Reviewers amalgamate their authoritative Cochrane reviews of alcohol prevention programmes in schools, among families and parents, and combining these and/or other components. Is it really true that also addressing parenting and mounting media and community initiatives is generally no more effective than school lessons alone?

Why Wales mounted a national naloxone programme to curb overdose deaths
Based on results from demonstration schemes, in 2011 Wales began a national programme to supply drug users with kits containing the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and to train them in preventing overdose deaths. These were the results from those schemes – seen as enough to justify national rollout, despite being based on the few trainees who returned for a replacement kit.

Opiate-blocking implant curbs stimulant as well as heroin use
Will dually addicted heroin and stimulant users fitted with an opiate-blocking naltrexone implant simply escalate their stimulant use? An important issue, because multi-drug use is the norm. In this Russian trial use of both drugs fell – promising findings, but weakened by high drop-out from the study.

Drink-driving course unable to cut reoffending
Another negative finding for the widely implemented cognitive-behavioural family of anti-offending programmes, this time a course for drink-drivers in England and Wales. The Drink-Impaired Drivers programme involves 14 two-hour sessions as part of a community sentence, and is accredited by HM Prison Service, but even completing every session did not significantly reduce the chance of reconviction.

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.