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Effectiveness Bank bulletin 21 May 2015
Harm reduction is the theme: in education; in therapies aimed at young cannabis users, including the puzzle of why the Dutch arm of this five-nation European study seemed less favourable to family therapy; and in the treatment of opiate-dependent patients.

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

Should we teach teens safer substance use?
Substance use education targeting reducing harm rather than preventing use gains ground with the alcohol-related results from this large-scale trial in Australian secondary schools; the researchers call for the approach to replace ineffective usual lessons.
Also see UK trial of predecessor Australian alcohol harm reduction curriculum.

US family therapy also helps Europe’s young cannabis users
Would a US-bred family therapy transplant to Europe’s young cannabis users and their families? Especially for those most in need of its holistic approach, the answer was positive, though results in each of the five countries were patchy (see Dutch arm of the study below).

Advantage gained by family therapy depends on context
Dutch arm of the study above seems to show that an individual therapy focused on young cannabis users is no less effective than a more extensive and expensive family therapy, but omits the latter’s greater impact on remission of dependence.

Methadone maintenance prevents HIV infections
The first study to synthesise the relevant evidence adds weight to the conclusion that methadone maintenance programmes protect dependent opiate injectors against HIV infection, and that the evidence in their favour is more convincing than for alternative types of treatments.

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 the National Addiction Centre and Alcohol Research UK. Supported by Alcohol Research UK, the Society for the Study of Addiction, the Skills Consortium and the J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust.
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