Recent bulletins from the drug and alcohol bank:
Selecting key research and reviews for the drug and alcohol treatment matrices revealed that this review from 2005 remains a unique and valuable resource. It concludes that retaining psychosocial therapy skills after the popular workshop training format requires follow-up consultation, supervision or feedback. Rather than simply dispatching staff to one-off workshops, the implication is that services must invest much more to be confident the investment will pay off for clients.
The first review to amalgamate findings on training clinicians in motivational interviewing for substance use problems finds training does develop competence, especially when reinforced by supervision or coaching feeding back trainees’ actual performance. There may be no need for initial training to be face-to-face; books and videos can do as well.
Detailed, frank and compelling account of what it takes in the real world (when implementers have to grapple with counsellors and organisations over which they have no control) to introduce a new therapy programme for problem substance use. Key lesson is that each organisation is different: being there, learning about that unique context, and taking it in to account, is what’s needed to give implementation a chance
Promising signs – but from a single study at a single treatment agency – that integrating Buddhism-inspired mindfulness elements with CBT creates a more effective supplement to usual (in the US context) 12-step based aftercare than a purely cognitive behavioural approach, helping patients sustain gains from initial intensive treatment.
The probation arm of the largest such study yet conducted in Britain found that the proportion of offenders drinking at risky levels fell just as much after a terse warning as after a structured brief intervention – an example of the lack of impact of brief interventions in trials which approximate real-world practice?
Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence assesses new evidence relevant to its public health guidance on interventions to reduce substance misuse among vulnerable young people. Highlights include a study showing that intensive community nursing support for disadvantaged expectant and new mothers can have a long-term preventive impact on smoking, drinking and cannabis use by their children.