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The drive in Britain to increase drug treatment exits will mean more patients detoxifying and in need of being linked to effective follow-on care to safeguard their lives and their recovery. Evidence from the USA that a simple counselling intervention can help make that vital link.
STUDY 2011 HTM file
What is the role of harm reduction when drug users say they want abstinence?
A team including one of the researchers responsible for the original finding have queried the interpretation of the highly influential report from a national Scottish study that most drug users starting treatment wanted to become abstinent. On the basis of in-depth interviews, they caution that it is just not that simple.
Seeking Safety is a prominent therapy for the common combination of substance dependence and post-traumatic stress disorder, yet in this study of imprisoned women in the USA it did not significantly augment outcomes from the prison's own substance use treatment. Asking 'Why not?' generates interesting explanations.
Methadone maintained heroin-dependent patients in Birmingham (UK) randomised to inpatient v. outpatient lofexidine-based detoxification rarely sustained long-term opioid abstinence; return to maintenance was the typical outcome.
Compared to methadone, buprenorphine is more often chosen in a make-or-break attempt to divorce oneself from illicit opiates found the first large-scale study to compare the drugs in real-life conditions at a British opiate addiction maintenance treatment programme.
Placing staff in the clients' shoes was the key tactic in this national US treatment improvement programme which more than halved waiting times and increased retention without limiting patient numbers.
STUDY 2009 HTM file
Evaluation of the mandatory drug testing of arrestees pilot
Scotland withdrew funding when it saw this evaluation of testing for heroin/cocaine use on arrest. It looked like a very expensive way to get a few users in to treatment; at two of the three sites, six to eight times more costly per treatment entry than voluntary referral.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 140Kb
Crack: making and sustaining the break
The first UK follow-up study of service use by crack users revealed that after residential crisis intervention practically none avoided relapse without the aid of follow-on treatment, especially residential rehabilitation and attending mutual aid groups.
STUDY 2002 PDF file 1321Kb
The grand design: lessons from DATOS
US drug treatment was under fire, over-stretched and facing the new challenge of crack cocaine when the huge DATOS study set out to test whether it was still delivering benefits, how it worked, and how it could be made better. Truly essential reading.
STUDY 2000 PDF file 117Kb
Sympathetic ear helps clients overcome dependence on amphetamine
A British study highlights the role of the counselling relationship in the treatment of amphetamine dependence, a drug whose use and transition to non-use seems intimately bound up with social relationships.
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