Recent bulletins and hot topics from the drug and alcohol bank:
First evidence that combining sertraline for depression with naltrexone for drinking is more effective than either medication alone when dependent drinking is complicated by clinical depression.
In Britain the ambition to implement universal screening of adult primary care patients has been scaled back to targeted screening of new patients or those thought possibly at risk. Unchanged was the insistence that risky drinkers should then be offered brief but well structured and scientifically developed advice. Then came the government-funded SIPS project, which called both targeted screening and the need for advice in to question.
With as many as three quarters of their clients suffering from mental health problems, deciding how to respond is a major and long-standing concern for British drug and alcohol services. Should they or psychiatric services take the lead, and should dependence be treated first, or treatment run in parallel?
Paralleling the rise in abstinence-based recovery in UK national strategies has been a rise in the profile of the best-known programme for achieving this – the 12 steps of mutual aid fellowships and allied treatments. For the UK, these offer a way to reconcile diminished resources with the desire to get more patients safely out of treatment, but is the resurgence of interest matched by evidence of effectiveness?
Drug and Alcohol Findings is seeking a full-time Editorial assistant to work with the Editor collecting and analysing research evaluating treatment and prevention interventions. Read more about job requirements and application process here [pdf] - closing date 13th July.