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Positive message of this compendious synthesis of hundreds of studies is that "Recovery is not an aberration achieved by a small and morally enlightened minority of addicted people. If there is a natural developmental momentum within the course of [these] problems, it is toward remission and recovery."
STUDY 2010 HTM file
A brief alcohol intervention for hazardously drinking incarcerated women
Could just two motivational interviewing sessions moderate the drinking of very heavy drinking US women prisoners? The surprise was not that there were few benefits, but that there were some, especially after the reinforcing session usually conducted after the prisoners' release.
Could a single LSD trip precipitate such a radical re-evaluation of their lives that it proves a turning point for dependent drinkers? According to this synthesis of the research, across six randomised trials it can and it has, and the results rival approved medications. Nevertheless, LSD seems unlikely to be welcomed in to the alcohol treatment pharmacopeia.
Reanalysis of the largest US study of medication-based alcoholism treatment confirms that either naltrexone or psychological therapy improved outcomes more than medical care and placebos, while the two in combination or acamprosate added little. It also revealed previously invisible benefits when certain types of patients received certain treatments.
The first comprehensive analysis of whether acamprosate treatment works as well for alcohol-dependent women as for men definitively concludes that across 22 mainly European trials it has had a virtually identical impact. The analysis also reports the drug's overall impact, finding that it helps prevent heavy drinking as well as fostering abstinence.
Detailed examination of how differing welfare and treatment systems and understandings of dependence affect the alcohol caseloads of substance use treatment services in Sweden and the USA and how they fare in the year after starting treatment; reveals differences and similarities in what 'success' consists of and what seems to promote it.
For the first time this US study tried mobile phone text messaging as a way to moderate the hazardous drinking of young adults screened at emergency departments. Compared to merely monitoring, text-based advice did cut drinking – but why did the monitoring-only patients actually start to drink more?
DOCUMENT 2013 HTM file
Alcohol treatment in England 2011–12
More problem drinkers started specialist treatment in 2011/12 but more successfully completed it, slightly reducing the overall numbers; scope for more to benefit from treatment is indicated by the low levels of referrals from primary medical services.
Studies published in the mid-2000s confirm that counselling based on motivational interviewing helps heavy drinking US college students control their drinking and reduce related problems.
For US problem drinkers and drug users not at the severest end of the spectrum, four sessions of group were as effective as four of individual therapy but took much fewer therapist hours per patient. The little research we have suggests this a common finding, commending group approaches on cost-effectiveness grounds.
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