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You have found 59 entries after clicking the GO button or a search link in a hot topic. Sorted by the main topic addressed, the list shows in orange the type of entry, year the original document was published (or if one of our own documents, the year last updated), and the type of file you will download when you click on the title. In blue is the document’s title followed by a brief description.

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REVIEW 2012 HTM file
Recovery/remission from substance use disorders: an analysis of reported outcomes in 415 scientific reports, 1868–2011

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."

REVIEW 2013 HTM file
Quitting drugs: quantitative and qualitative features

Innovative re-analysis of US national surveys reveals that no matter how long ago someone became dependent on an illegal drug or alcohol, their chances of achieving remission remain the same. The findings challenge models which assume that progressive neural, lifestyle or psychological changes increasingly lock someone in to addiction.

STUDY 2011 HTM file
Probability and predictors of remission from life-time nicotine, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine dependence: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

The largest recent US national survey of drink and drug problems shows that outside the addiction treatment clinic, remission is the norm and recovery common. After 14 years half the people at some time dependent on alcohol were in remission, a milestone reached for cannabis after six years, and for cocaine after just five.

REVIEW 2008 HTM file
Effective services for substance misuse and homelessness in Scotland: evidence from an international review

Comprehensive and thoughtful review of the UK-relevant literature warns that services which impose rigid and unrealistic expectations of abstinence or independent living on homeless addicts would deny treatment and housing to vulnerable adults with complex needs.

STUDY 1962 HTM file
The abstinent alcoholic

Classic description of the patient who has sustained abstinence after treatment but is still unhappy, unfulfilled and/or nervously hanging on – in other words, not really ‘recovered’. They formed the majority of patients seen at Connecticut’s alcohol clinics in the 1950s who were not drinking at follow-up.

STUDY 2010 HTM file
Initial preference for drinking goal in the treatment of alcohol problems: II. Treatment outcomes

Data from Britain's largest alcohol treatment trial is used to address possibly the most contentious issue in the field – whether services should offer moderation as well as abstinence goals to dependent clients. 'Let the patient choose' seems the general conclusion.

DOCUMENT 2014 HTM file
Should dependent drinkers always try for abstinence?

For many alcohol treatment services in the past and now, the only acceptable and feasible drinking goal for alcoholics is abstinence. That mould was decisively cracked when in 1973 researchers showed that even physically dependent drinkers could learn to drink in moderation. Controversy was fierce, reaching to the US Congress, TV networks and the courts.

STUDY 2015 HTM file
Navigating the alcohol treatment pathway: A qualitative study from the service users’ perspective

Patient interviews provide insight into low levels of engagement and retention in alcohol treatment services, hindering the effective provision of treatment for dependent drinkers. Findings suggest that treatment pathways should better reflect the capacity and capabilities of people with alcohol dependence.

REVIEW 2020 HTM file
Controlled drinking – non-abstinent versus abstinent treatment goals in alcohol use disorder: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression

Comprehensive review and amalgamation of findings from studies enabling a comparison of controlled drinking versus abstinence as treatment goals concludes that even among diagnosably dependent drinkers, neither has the advantage in promoting low-risk (non-)drinking.

HOT TOPIC 2021 HTM file
‘Dangerous data’: drinking after dependence

First cracked in 1960s London, the orthodoxy that abstinence is the only feasible treatment goal for ‘alcoholics’ seemed shattered in 1973 by evidence that even physically dependent patients could learn to drink in moderation. Controversy was fierce, reaching the US Congress, TV networks and the courts. Explore the history and contested research behind an issue facing every dependent drinker starting treatment.


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