Effectiveness Bank bulletin 15 April 2014

Research and expert guidance on the main medical treatment for opiate dependence, possibly the main psychosocial approach to substance use problems, and the major harm reduction strategy for injecting drug use, plus important information on what it is about a school’s social and educational climate which helps protect pupils from problem substance use.

Get up to speed on the 'hot' topics which arouse controversy due to their importance and disputes over the facts or their interpretation:
Current hot topics Selection for the current two-month period
Hot topics archive Complete set of current and past hot topics

Methadone not an obstruction on road to recovery
Responding to official concerns over the role of methadone in helping patients along the national strategy’s Road to Recovery, a Scottish expert group finds that on the ground the road was often barely constructed, but methadone was not the problem, rather the failure to optimise programmes.
Also see corresponding report for England.

Unique study unpicks motivational interviewing’s change drivers
Uniquely this US study picked apart motivational interviewing’s active ingredients and tested their impact on the commitments to change theorised to lead (in this case) to less heavy drinking. It offers the most penetrating look to date under the bonnet of this fundamental counselling style. Our commentary (unfold supplementary text) explores the surprising results.

Needle exchanges mean fewer discarded needles on the streets
A major concern about needle exchanges is that after use the injecting equipment they supply will be left unsafely disfiguring public areas, but this US study based on a comparison between San Francisco (has legal exchanges) and Miami (exchanges illegal) strongly suggests the opposite.

What makes a school excel at substance use prevention?
Intriguing findings from Glasgow on what it is about a school which helps protect pupils from less socially accepted forms of substance use – in this case, engaging schools with good teacher-pupil relationships. As with wellness generally, connection seems the key.

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, the National Addiction Centre and Alcohol Research UK. Supported by Alcohol Research UK and the J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust.