Video summaries from the key speakers at the 2015 SSA Symposium
National co-ordination and provision of take-home naloxone: Scotland first
About this interview: Andrew briefly talks about the origins of the national naloxone programme (NNP) and its key components before laterally considering its practical, political and scientific impacts.
Cannabis and mental health
About this interview: Paul talks about onging trials of cannabidiol (CBD) in psychiatric patients, leading to hope that CBD may translate for clinical use.
Integrating treatment for substance use disorders into mainstream medicine: Who benefits?
About this interview: Thomas discusses the Society lecture he gave at the 2015 Symposium. Part 1 reviews the clinical, scientific, and ethical bases for integrating the prevention, treatment and management of substance use disorders within general medical settings. Part 2 examines available evidence suggesting why such an integrated approach has the potential for improved effectiveness and reduced costs of care for individuals with primary substance use problems. Part 3 reviews the prevalence and effects of secondary substance use problems within the large populations of patients with various, primary chronic illnesses.
The barriers that prevented me from addressing my alcohol dependency for twenty years… and how Soberistas.com seeks to address these
About this interview: Lucy talks about Soberistas.com, a social network website she set up, aimed at women with alcohol dependency issues, eighteen months after she quit drinking because none of the help that was on offer at the time appealed to her. Core elements of Soberistas are its non-judgmental and non-prescriptive ethos, its non-religious stance and its positive approach towards being a non-drinker.
The Family Drug and Alcohol Court
About this interview: Judith describes the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) in England. Adapted from an American model, FDAC differs radically from ordinary care proceedings because it treats as well as adjudicates. Its main aims are to help parents stop misusing drugs and alcohol so that they can be reunited safely with their children. Early findings from the Brunel University London five year independent evaluation of the first FDAC are promising but also identify a number of challenges.
The e-cigarette: Opportunity or threat?
About this interview: Deborah explores the debate over the opportunities and threats offered by electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction tool, both in this country and internationally, since they became identified as a ‘disruptive technology’ which for the first time threatened the dominance of tobacco as a nicotine delivery device.
The drive to time-limit OST – Austerity or ideology? Good science and good practice?
About this interview: Annette disccuses how treatment for heroin users is often motivated by ideology, politics and the economic climate of the time. Between 2008 and 2015, a battle has occurred in England and Scotland about ‘recovery-orientated drug treatment’ and the purpose of opioid substitution treatment (OST) for heroin users. Some politicians called for a time-limiting of OST, citing poor outcomes and variation in the quality of OST. However, the confounding context of financial cuts framed under ‘austerity’ has taking this situation deeper into shark, or politician – infested waters.
New trial of naloxone nasal spray in Norway
About this interview: Norway has experienced high rates of opioid overdose deaths since the 1990s. Consequently the government introduced a national overdose prevention strategy in 2014. Thomas reports on a pilot project in the two largest cities; Oslo and Bergen with distribution of intranasal naloxone has been established. Intranasal naloxone (2mg/2ml prefilled syringes) is provided after attending a brief rescue/intervention/prevention course. Distribution was initially focused towards existing low threshold facilities, but is now mainstreamed into a range of available treatment settings as well as upon prison release. Experiences from implementation and preliminary results are to be presented.
Club Soda: Behaviour change and social action
About this interview: Club Soda is a behaviour change platform for anyone who wants to change their drinking, whether to cut down, stop for a bit, quit or stick. It offers online behaviour change tools such as goal setting and progress tracking, information, community support, links to experts and perks, as well as workshops and events both online and in the real world. Laura talks about how Club Soda works, what has been learned from Club Soda members, and shares some of the findings from their pubs and bars project.
Cannabis: Pleasure, medicine and mental health
About this interview: Val talks about what implications our increasing scientific understanding of cannabis has for current debates about medicalization and legalisation.
The opinions expressed in this commentary reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official positions of the Society for the Study of Addiction.