Latest Alcohol Matrix Bite: the fundamentals of alcohol treatment

Time to absorb the course’s last five instalments on treatment in general. Prompted by the ‘failure’ of the US Project MATCH trial, a pivotal moment was the re-recognition that treatment is closer to “a culturally appropriate solution to a socially defined problem” than a technical fix to a medical dysfunction.

Primary care counselling of risky drinkers reduces drinking

Amalgamated findings from studies of risky drinkers identified and counselled in primary care settings indicate that compared to screening and assessment only, brief counselling lead to greater reductions in drinking, gains reflected less strongly in some indicators of health. However, it is unclear whether the generally small impacts would be sustained in routine practice.

Enforced sobriety schemes – review of the London pilot

London pilot of enforced sobriety offers useful insights to inform expansion of the Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement scheme.

Latest Alcohol Matrix Bite: management of alcohol services

The latest Matrix Bite Introduces the Manners Matter series on the importance of a climate of organised, personal and persistent caring, highlights staff recruitment, exposes the weaknesses of the cycle of change model, and details the fascinating history of the most controversial issue in alcohol treatment: whether services should insist dependent drinkers try for abstinence.

Latest Alcohol Matrix Bite: Alcohol treatment and the influence of the practitioner

Ask patients and clients what helped them and many highlight the practitioner, yet research commonly seeks to eliminate these influences in order to focus on the intervention. Take a step back and (in the words of one of the cell’s reviews) you will see that interventions are the trees, but the forest is the client-therapist […]

Nalmafene: marketing ploy or alcohol treatment breakthrough?

‘A pill for every ill’ is the gist of the attacks levelled at nalmefene in the form of Selincro, a drug expected to extend the benefits of pharmacotherapy to drinkers not physically dependent or in need of detoxification – or for critics, to medicalise psychosocial dependence on shaky scientific grounds.

Measurable effects of licensing policy in England

For the first time, a study in England has shown that the more strongly a local government area regulates the licensing of alcohol outlets, the greater the reduction in alcohol-related harm within the population, as reflected in the number of hospital admissions.

Alcohol Matrix Bite 5: Generating system-wide alcohol screening and brief intervention

Find out what happened when that was tried in Scotland. Develop evidence-informed understanding of three key issues: What is quality? Incentives stimulate activity, but can they backfire? Commission for alcohol, alcohol plus drugs, or lifestyle issues?

Alcohol Matrix Bite 4: Organisational functioning, screening and brief intervention

The fourth part of the fortnightly course on the evidence for alcohol treatment asks are there ‘good’ reasons for ‘bad’ implementation, and do the same characteristics facilitate both screening and brief advice?

Alcohol Matrix Bite 3: Management of screening and brief interventions

Third part of the fortnightly course on the evidence for alcohol treatment. Selects, explores and explains seminal and key research on the influence of how screening and brief interventions are managed.