Homelessness has been a ‘hot topic’ in substance use over the past year, buoyed at the start of 2020 by the release of Knocked Back, a research report from St. Mungo’s, and Dignity First, our own resource which is part primer and part ‘call to action’.

In 2019, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs advised the government on factors that make homeless people vulnerable to drug and alcohol harms, and how those harms can be reduced. We discuss how substance use and housing policies can prioritise saving and improving lives.


Alcohol treatment course

We have published the second instalment of our fortnightly course on alcohol treatment. This examines key research on the influence of practitioners on screening and brief interventions – a strategy intended to reduce harms among heavy drinkers. This instalment explores the finding that “doing lots of the ‘right’ things in a brief motivational intervention matters little, while just one lapse to the ‘wrong’ sort of comment can be destructive”. Interpreting these findings takes us close to the heart of what makes for an effective brief advice session for heavy drinkers.


Recovered and nervously hanging on, research from 1962

Finally, we added a seminal study from 1962 to our research archive on patients who have become abstinent after treatment but who are still unhappy, unfulfilled and/or nervously hanging on. In the decades since the study originally went to print, some of the language may have aged, but questions about the meaning and implications of ‘recovery’ seem as relevant as ever.



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