Effectiveness Bank bulletin 30 May 2014

First two latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank are respectively about helping vulnerable children avoid and exit problems with substance use. Next two are important guidelines which face the issue of how to ‘scale up’ interventions to match need – in one case, treatment for the large prison problem-drinking population, in the other, injecting equipment abundant enough to prevent injectors sharing.
HOT TOPICS: Important, controversial, dividing opinion over the facts or their interpretation.
Current hot topics Selection for the current two-month period
Hot topics archive Complete set of current and past hot topics

Vulnerable children benefit from promising prevention programme
An alcohol prevention intervention that combined adolescent and parent components delayed onset of regular drinking only among children with low self-control or whose parents were lenient about youth drinking, the very children most vulnerable to developing problems with drink.

Treat the family, not just the child
Review assesses the selling points of four largely ‘privatised’, brand-name family therapies for substance using teens, approaches recommended for Britain by NICE. Yes, they work better than usual or individualised approaches, but not much and not always – and most of the research has been done by people who stand to gain from positive findings.

WHO guidelines on identifying and treating problem drinkers in prison
They are there in abundance, but can problem drinkers effectively be treated in prison? Seemingly belying its optimism, the cover of these guidelines juxtaposes the subtitle (“An opportunity for intervention”) against forbidding, barbed wire-topped concrete wall, yet the walls create the ‘dry space’ in which intervention seems possible.

Aim is more than enough fresh equipment for every injection
Updated needle exchange guidance from the UK’s health advisory body prioritises coverage (ratio of sterile equipment available to number of injections) over attendance at exchanges, meaning that supplying exchange users with equipment for others was endorsed.

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.