By Dr Inge Kersbergen (University of Sheffield)

Session 3.0 of the PhD Symposium revolved around interventions and treatments for addiction. It brought together a variety of viewpoints and methods to explore how interventions may support people with addiction.


Occupation-based interventions

First up was Andrew Mitchell from London South Bank University who discussed the theoretical underpinnings of his PhD. Andrew discussed that addictions should be viewed as an occupation (i.e., something that people do with their time, not a job per se). Through this lens, we may understand how occupation-based interventions (e.g., gardening, sport) aid recovery. It is a promising avenue and it will be interesting to see what Andrew will find out in his PhD.


Greenspace interventions

Our second speaker was Wendy Masterton from the University of Stirling. Wendy discussed how she developed and then tested a framework to explain how greenspace interventions influence mental health and substance use. (The whole framework is shown in the slides). Her next steps are to conduct interviews with staff on greenspace programmes from different countries to test the framework in different contexts. 


Parents who use drugs

Next up was Virginia Wright from the University of Sheffield. Virginia’s researched the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of specialist treatment and social care support for parents who use substances. Her preliminary results showed that parents who are not living with children appear to be a more vulnerable and complex group with worse treatment outcomes. Virginia concluded that drug and alcohol commissioners should consider parental status as a factor and her findings will contribute important evidence to do so.

(Slides not available)


Non-pharmacological interventions

Our final presentation was by Karen Megranahan from Goldsmiths College London. Karen presented a rapid review of Cochrane reviews on non-pharmacological interventions for substance use. She found a wide range of interventions to treat substance use, mainly information provision, (non-)specialised therapeutic interventions, but there was little evidence for their effectiveness. Karen concluded that there is a need to investigate why these interventions are offered and others are not.



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