Effectiveness Bank bulletin 19 December 2014

Hepatitis C is a formidable public health enemy which demands multi-pronged, pincer-action strategies. Can it really be true that Scotland’s alcohol treatment system has so much more capacity than the English? Perhaps one reason why the Home Office found ‘tough’ policies unrelated to drug use prevalence or harm is that prison poses major obstacles to effective rehabilitation.

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Multi-pronged strategies can beat hepatitis C
Despite the challenges, this synthesis of research findings concludes that hepatitis C infection can be prevented among injectors, but it takes multi-component strategies including substitute prescribing to reduce injecting, and needle/syringe supply and behaviour-change counselling to make remaining injections less risky.
See this hot topic entry for more on controlling hepatitis C.

Scottish alcohol treatment system has three times the capacity of the English
Evidence that in 2012 Scotland’s treatment caseload equated to 1 in 4 of the country’s alcohol-dependent adults, over three times the 1 in 14 ratio in England, partly reflecting extra funding accompanying the 2009 national alcohol strategy.
Also see corresponding calculations for England.

Home Office finds ‘tough’ policies unrelated to drug use or harm
After seeing how drug policy worked overseas, UK government ministers and officials returned saying, “there is no apparent correlation between the ‘toughness’ of a country‚Äôs approach and the prevalence of adult drug use”, and that “better health outcomes for drug users cannot be shown to be a direct result of the enforcement approach”.

Prison-based treatment: problems and promising solutions
Uncovered by work for the Drug Treatment Matrix, a uniquely authoritative account from 1999 both of the biggest obstacles to mounting treatment programmes in prisons, and the most promising solutions. Much is relevant also to community sentences.
Also see this discussion of the review in the on-line Drug Treatment Matrix Bites course.

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