Recent bulletins from the drug and alcohol bank:
In 1973 researchers showed that even physically dependent drinkers could learn to drink in moderation. But controversy was fierce, with abstinence returning to prominence as an essential component of contemporary visions of ‘recovery’.
Though close to the heart of the UK government’s abstinence-based ambitions for recovery, their own research has cast doubt on whether residential rehabilitation is a good deal for the public purse. We look at the evidence for residential rehabilitation, and whether despite the rhetoric, these services are under threat.
Every treatment involves human interaction, but this cell is about therapies in which interaction is intended to be the active ingredient – ‘psychosocial’ therapies, the mainstay of alcohol dependence treatment. Highlights the £1.5 million UK trial for which the researchers designed a therapy to better a standard motivational approach; why were their expectations confounded? Then asks whether therapists really can make things worse, argues that guidance has been misled into advocating research-packaged interventions, and invites you to question the American Psychological Association’s list of the most important things to do in addiction therapy.
Compared to ordinary care proceedings, a London court which adopted the problem-solving and collaborative approach of a family drug and alcohol court helped more mothers stop problem substance use and retain custody of their children, though still most children were placed in alternative care.