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The development and evaluation of stimulant treatment programmes

Ezard, Nadinea,b; Hodge, Sianneb; Dolan, Katec

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2015 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 280–285
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000173
ADDICTIVE DISORDERS: Edited by John B. Saunders and Linda B. Cottler

Purpose of review To summarize the recent literature (1st January 2014–1st February 2015) on stimulant treatment programme evaluations, and highlight key areas for future programme development.

Recent findings Advances have been made in addressing both sexual risks and stimulant use among gay and bisexual men in the United States, and in adapting evidence-based resource-intense interventions to real-world settings. Programme outcome measures increasingly include changes in substance use as well as health and wellbeing indicators and measures of risk.

Summary Future programme directions include: expansion of the psychosocial repertoire to include narrative and mindfulness-based therapies; web-based programme delivery; sex-sensitive programming to attract and retain women; comprehensive programming to address coexisting mental and physical illness and polysubstance use (including tobacco smoking); and improving accessibility to promote early intervention. Comparability of evaluation data can be improved by developing standardized tools particularly for measuring change in sexual-risk behavior. The use of new statistical techniques can address the lack of comparison populations.

aSt Vincent's Hospital Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW

bSt Vincent's Hospital, Sydney

cNational Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney, Australia

Correspondence to A/Prof Nadine Ezard, Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney, 390 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia. Tel: +61 283 821014; e-mail:

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