Recent research report that have caught our eye

node leader
3 January 2019

Recent Research Reports

The following reports are just some of the useful and persuasive reports that have caught our eye in the last couple of months

Women’s Mental Health

Agenda have released a report from The Women’s Mental Health Taskforce. Amongst a number of recommendations the report calls for

  • Further embedding trauma-informed care by raising expectations across services and awareness across the system and developing the evidence base to demonstrate this value of these approaches
  • Using the findings to inform service design and delivery so that there is better access for women and girls to gender-informed and gender-specific holistic services and after care. Including providing specialist treatment for women from diverse groups e.g. BAME, LBTQ+
  • Recognising that women’s identities, and often their roles as mothers and carers, are important in individual treatment.

The full report can be read here

Stigma of drug use and language – “Does it Matter How We Talk About People with Substance Use Disorder?”

This research looked at the reaction of a group of people to the description of someone who uses drugs as with a “substance abuser” or someone “having a substance use disorder”

Participants felt, overall, that someone described as a “substance abuser” was:  

  • less likely to benefit from treatment
  • more likely to benefit from punishment
  • more likely to be socially threatening
  • more likely to be blamed for their substance related difficulties and less likely that their problem was the result of an innate dysfunction over which they had no control
  • that they were more able to control their substance use without help.

What does this tell us?

Avoiding terms like “misuser” and “abuser” and using ‘people first’ language such as “person with substance use problem” may help reduce stigma and encourage access to treatment

The full report can be read here

The impact of loss in lives of people facing multiple disadvantage

This literature review looked as the evidence around the impact of loss and bereavement.

Some common effects of complicated and disenfranchised grief include:

a) Risk-taking behaviour - Those who experienced the death of a parent during childhood have a greater risk of violent criminal convictions

b) Mental health problems -  those who experience the suicide of a parent during their childhood or adolescence are 3 times more likely than non-bereaved peers to themselves die by suicide

c) Maladaptive self-medication  - Traumatic loss may prompt the bereaved to turn to substance abuse to ease feelings of debilitating depression and isolation

The full report can be read here

What are the risk factors that make people susceptible to substance misuse problems and harms?

This recent ACMD report looks at factors that make people susceptible to greater harm from substance misuse.

It highlights a number of factors

  • All people who use substances may experience harm, but those who live in more deprived areas, or who have fewer personal resources are more likely to suffer harm
  • Neither risk of substance use harm (vulnerability) nor resilience to harm, are integral characteristics of  people - many different external factors affect people’s ability to limit harm in their lives
  • Considering the full range of external factors that may lead to an individual experiencing substance use harm does not diminish the importance of individual choice, and capacity for personal change, but  it suggests that the range of behavioural choices and likely outcomes may be limited some, because of these factors.
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) describe events or conditions that produce chronic stress responses in the child’s immediate environment, leading to long-term harm in affected children

The full report can be read here

Doing time on a TC: how effective are drug-free therapeutic communities in prison?

This literature review looks at the Therapeutic Communities in prisons. TC’s are consciously designed, living-learning environments designed to evoke social, psychological and behavioural change.

The success of the residential TC model saw these community-led, self-help environments move into custodial settings and early evidence suggests this transition was effective.

Studies conducted over the last ten years (2007-2017) show the TC remains superior to other forms of drug treatment in reducing recidivism and drug relapse amongst people with addiction problems who offend.

The full report can be read here

Phoenix Futures is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 284880) and in Scotland (No SCO39008); Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1626869; Registered Provider of Social Housing with Homes England (H3795).