Effectiveness Bank web site Additions
Supported by  Alcohol Research UK web site   Society for the Study of Addiction web site
Effectiveness Bank additions 24 August 2017
Patterns of drug use in the UK have been changing, including in prisons where opiate use is on the decline, and diverted medication and synthetic cannabis use are on the rise. The government’s new drug strategy is responsive to this, but unswerving in its commitment to tackling harms by reducing demand, restricting supply, and encouraging “full recovery”. A recent history of how successful this approach has been is given by the timely publication of an evaluation of the 2010 drug strategy.

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British prisons struggle to keep up with changes in drug use
Inspection findings were supplemented by fieldwork in eight prisons in 2014 to generate an overall picture of drug use and responses to it in prisons in England and Wales. In the face of rapidly changing and varied drug use patterns, policy and operational responses were seen as insufficiently flexible and dynamic, though treatment had “dramatically” improved.

New strategy sets out ‘ambitions for full recovery’
Though no overt hostility to opioid maintenance treatment as in previous publications, this and other harm reduction strategies seem to be side-lined in the 2017 Drug Strategy. Committed to being “evidence-based”, but from the value-based perspective that people should live drug-free lives, the UK Government renews its aspiration for “full recovery” from illicit drug use and dependence.
Also see hot topics on recovery and harm reduction.

Evidence, experience, and orthodoxy – pillars of UK drug treatment guidance
There is no more important document for doctors treating problem drug use in the UK than the so-called ‘Orange guidelines’. This major update will substantially inform judgements of what constitutes acceptable medical practice; should orthodoxy be one of its pillars?

Did the UK Government’s 2010 drug strategy tick all the boxes?
Coinciding with the release of the new drug strategy is an evaluation of earlier efforts towards reducing demand, restricting supply, and building recovery in communities. Condensed here from 220 pages to key bullet points about activities undertaken, their effectiveness, and value for money, it sets the scene for understanding how far the evidence base informed the subsequent revision of the strategy.
Also see hot topic on what addiction treatment is for.
Also added to the Effectiveness Bank
REVISED Preserving the benefits of residential care
The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Matrices: key research selected and explored.
Alcohol matrix for alcohol brief interventions and treatment.
Drug matrix for harm reduction and treatment in relation to illegal drugs.

The Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank offers a free mailing list service updating subscribers to UK-relevant evaluations of drug/alcohol interventions. Findings is supported by Alcohol Research UK and the Society for the Study of Addiction and advised by the National Addiction Centre.