Effectiveness Bank bulletin 15 August 2013

Something of interest in this bulletin for nearly everyone including treatment specialists (LSD for alcoholism), criminal justice staff (post-prison therapeutic community), prevention specialists (internet as good as teachers?), and officials concerned to mitigate the bad sides of an alcohol-centred night-time economy.

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

LSD 'as effective' as approved alcoholism medications
Could a single LSD trip provoke such a radical re-evaluation of their lives that it precipitates remission among dependent drinkers? According to this synthesis of the research, across six randomised trials it can and it has, and the results rival approved medications. Nevertheless, LSD seems unlikely to be welcomed in to the alcohol treatment pharmacopeia.

Therapeutic community for paroled dual diagnosis prisoners halves reimprisonment
From the USA the first randomised trial of a post-prison therapeutic community designed for mentally ill problem substance using offenders found it halved the numbers reimprisoned and did even better when preceded by similar in-prison treatment – confirmation that continuing care when people leave prison can be critical. Yet in Britain continuing care continues to be the weakest link in offender treatment.

Can the internet rival teachers for substance use prevention?
Possibly, it seems from this US study which found that a substance use prevention programme for adolescent girls accessed over the internet from home had effects comparable to school-based drug education, yet occupied no classroom or teacher time and could inexpensively be replicated across the internet-linked population.

Australia tries bar lockouts to curb alcohol-related disorder
For drinkers and businesses it sounds like a relatively painless solution to one form of alcohol-related disorder: simply ban late-night drinking venues admitting customers during final opening hours. The aim is to prevent disturbance-generating movement between bars without restricting business and drinking hours. The tactic has become popular in Australia and in one distinctive area it may have worked, but generally the evidence is weak. Perhaps there is no gain without some pain.

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.