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Drug treatment programmes should focus on recovery, says review

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 14 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4459
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Drug treatment programmes should support patients to recover from their dependency rather than letting them drift into long term maintenance treatment with substitutes, recommends a review by an expert group, signalling the direction of new clinical guidance for services in England.

In an interim report published on 15 July, the group recommends greater emphasis on individual recovery care planning with a range of interventions, including greater use of psychosocial support as well as drug substitutes, aiming to achieve abstinence and reintegration.

The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse asked the group to review the evidence on the role of opioid substitution and provide guidance to clinicians about more effective provision of treatments, after concerns about the numbers of people on long term drug substitutes.

The interim report follows the shift seen in the government’s drug strategy for England, published last year, which moved the focus from harm reduction to recovery …

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