Motivational interviewing does not prevent alcohol misuse in young people

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This new Cochrane systematic review finds that motivational interviewing has no effect on reducing alcohol-related problems or risky behaviours such as drunk driving in young people.

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Internet-based interventions for harmful drinking show small beneficial effects

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Andrew Jones summarises a recent meta-analysis on the effectiveness of guided and unguided low-intensity Internet interventions for adult alcohol misuse.

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Meta-review presents the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders

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This recent and well-conducted meta-review concludes that the impact on mortality and suicide of mental disorders is substantial, and probably poorly appreciated as a public health problem. Raphael Underwood’s blog summarises the data for all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders.

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New study estimates that UK smokers with mental illness cost the economy £2.34 billion

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This new study estimates that there are approximately 3 million smokers in the UK with mental illness, and the direct cost of treatment to the NHS in this population was £719 million in 2010. The total smoking-attributable costs for this group are estimated at £2.34 billion.

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Internet-based alcohol and cannabis prevention: Climate Schools and salami slicing

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Matt Field summarises the findings of a recent cluster RCT that uses internet-based prevention (an Australian programme called Climate Schools) to reduce alcohol and cannabis use, truancy, psychological distress and moral disengagement.

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Acamprosate and oral naltrexone may improve consumption related outcomes for people with alcohol use disorders

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A new systematic review suggests that, when used alongside psychosocial interventions, medication can result in better alcohol consumption outcomes for people with drinking problems.

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How does buprenorphine fair as an alternative to methadone for treating opioid dependence?

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Meg Fluharty summarises a recent Cochrane review, which tells us that high-dose buprenorphine is an effective maintenance treatment for heroin compared to placebo, but fixed flexible-dosing methadone is superior to buprenorphine at participant retention.

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Should we be prescribing medication to help people with alcohol use disorders?

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Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) are common, chronic conditions which cause substantial harm to the individual and society. They are associated with substantial morbidity (Schuckit, 2009) and responsible for approximately 4% of all deaths annually. The approximate cost of AUDs to the National Health Service is upwards of £3 billion per year. Less than one-third of [read the full story...]

NICE evidence update: Interventions to reduce substance misuse among vulnerable young people

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have recently searched for any new evidence that may be relevant to a public health guideline published in 2007; ‘Interventions to reduce substance misuse among vulnerable young people’. In this blog I summarise the new evidence that has emerged and highlight whether or not it is likely [read the full story...]