Effectiveness Bank bulletin 26 June 2014

All four latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank concern treatment, starting with a test of the fundamental principles endorsed by the US government, through how in the UK to realise the promise of mutual aid groups, to whether group therapy works and what might be a ‘methadone’ for drinkers – the ‘club drug’ GHB.

The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Matrices: “Documents you should read if you read nothing else.”
Alcohol matrix for alcohol brief interventions and treatment
Drug matrix for harm reduction and treatment in relation to illegal drugs

Analysts test fundamental principles of effective treatment
What’s really and universally important in drug addiction treatment – not details, but general principles? On the basis of expert opinion, the US government’s drug abuse agency codified 13 principles, of which analysts could test seven involving the dissection of 232 treatment studies.

Brief intervention promotes mutual aid ‘aftercare’ in the UK
In the context of current UK policy, a key study testing how to extend recovery beyond treatment by systematically linking patients to the free resource of mutual aid groups, seen as the main way commissioners can square the circle of doing more with less.
Also see corresponding US study.

Group treatments for alcohol problems – effectiveness still unproven
Treating patients in groups rather than individually seems to promise cost savings and perhaps too more effective treatment, but this review concludes that research has yet to show treating problem drinkers together is clearly and consistently beneficial.

GHB yet to prove preferable to main anti-alcohol medications
Can one of the UK’s most notorious ‘club drugs’ help alcohol-dependent patients? This authoritative review concludes probably it can, but research is insufficient to warrant it displacing safer and less abuse-prone drugs. However, its distinctive impact on craving could prove important.

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.