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Lyons, Suzi and Long, Jean and McGuire, Vivion and Bannon, Fiona and Connolly, Johnny (2011) Drugnet digest. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 39, Autumn 2011 , p. 7.

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This section contains short summaries of recent reports and other developments of interest. 

Coolmine Therapeutic Community (CTC) longitudinal study
In August 2010 CTC started a longitudinal research study in collaboration with Paula Mayock of Trinity College Dublin and the National Health Information Systems Unit of the Health Research Board.  
 
The aims of the study are to:
o   collect baseline data on drug use, health and behavioural status of participants as they enter and progress through primary treatment and aftercare in CTC;
o   follow up participants over time including after leaving the CTC programme; and
o   compare CTC client outcomes with outcomes recorded in other national studies, e.g. ROSIE.
 
The study will use both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and it is estimated that up to 30 people will participate. Participant’s progress will be followed up every six months during their treatment (i.e. three times) and then 18 months after discharge. The quantitative data will be obtained using the Treatment Outcomes Profile tool and routine data collected through the National Drug Treatment Reporting System. The qualitative data, collected through one-to-one interviews with participants, will help reveal their reasons for choosing treatment in a therapeutic community and their perceived progress over time. The experiences of those who drop out of the programme will also be recorded and analysed.  
 
Prevalence of adult ADHD in psychiatric clinic in north Dublin
Syed and colleagues1 estimated the prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults attending outpatient psychiatric services. A total of 265 adults (aged 18–65) attending six out-patient clinics in north Dublin were asked to complete the World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale VI.I questionnaire; 243 (92%) did so. Respondents rated themselves against six criteria (a symptom checklist) on a five-point scale. Demographic and clinical data were also recorded using a self-completed questionnaire and the medical record.
 
The average age of the respondents was 42.5 years and 56% were women. Using the WHO scale, 24% were diagnosed as having ADHD. Of the ADHD cases, 69% were men and the average age was 42.1 years. Almost 11% had a diagnosis of substance misuse (alcohol and other drugs). When compared to patients without ADHD, those diagnosed with ADHD were significantly more likely not to have completed second-level education, to have had an ADHD diagnosis or ADHD symptoms in childhood, to have a forensic history, a current personality disorder diagnosis and a higher rate of prescribed benzodiazepine use. They were no more likely to be dissatisfied with the service, nor to be heavier users of the service, nor to be diagnosed with substance misuse. The data indicate that ADHD is common among adults treated for mental illness. None of the patients had a recorded diagnosis of adult ADHD, indicating significant under-diagnosis of this manageable condition.  
 
DAA launches information guide and new website
On June 15, Irish AIDS Day, the Minister of State at the Department of Health, RóisínShortall TD, launched the Dublin Aids Alliance (DAA) information booklet, Living with HIV in Ireland: a self-help guide, and the new DAA website www.dublinaidsalliance.ie.  The guide was developed in response to needs identified in the course of many years of community support work and through focus groups involving HIV positive people and various stakeholders. The new website provides a lot of relevant information, including where to access services. DAA hopes that it will increase sexual health awareness among the general public. 
 
DAA Executive Director Anna Quigley acknowledged the positive impact the work of its partners in the statutory, community and voluntary sectors was having in reducing the number of newly reported infections. However, she cautioned that more needed to be done to raise awareness as HIV is a preventable disease. The DAA recommends that a national strategy on sexual health be developed to provide a co-ordinated approach to this problem.
 
Evaluation of self-harm awareness training programme
The National Suicide Research Foundation evaluated the self-harm awareness training programme currently delivered throughout HSE South and HSE West.2
 
The study aimed to identify whether the training changed participants’ knowledge, attitudes and confidence in relation to people who self-harm. The objective was then to identify the resources required and the indicators of, and barriers to, the successful implementation of the training. Of 532 participants who completed the programme, 120 returned a completed self-report questionnaire. The study revealed significant positive changes post training in terms of increased knowledge, enhanced positive attitudes towards and confidence in dealing with people who engage in self-harm.
 
Drug Treatment Court
In late July 2011 the Courts Service and the Health Service Executive agreed to extend the catchment area of the DTC to all areas of Dublin county north of the river Liffey, and to make the Court accessible to those receiving treatment in the Castle Street Drug Treatment Centre, which provides services to people in Dublin 2,4,6 and 8. The extension of the catchment area will be piloted for a period of six months, after which the capacity of the court to manage a further extension will be considered. Courts Service press release:  www.drugsandalcohol.ie/15689
 
White Paper on crime
The Department of Justice and Law Reform has published the fourth and final document as part of a consultation process to develop a White Paper on crime. The White Paper, due to be completed in 2011, will provide a high-level statement of government policy, its rationale and the strategies to give effect to that policy. The four thematic discussion documents are available at www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/White_Paper_on_Crime
 
(Contributors Suzi Lyons, Jean Long, Vivion McGuire, Fiona Bannon and Johnny Connolly)
 
1. Syed H, Masaud TM, Nkire N, Iro C and Garland MR (2010) Estimating the prevalence of adult ADHD in the psychiatric clinic: a cross-sectional study using the adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS).Irish Journal of Psychological  Medicine, 27(4): 195-197.
2. Arensman E and Coffey C (2010) The efficacy of a self-harm awareness training programme: report of an independent evaluation. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation. www.nosp.ie/html/reports.html
Item Type:Article
Issue Title:Issue 39, Autumn 2011
Date:2011
Page Range:p. 7
Publisher:Health Research Board
Volume:Issue 39, Autumn 2011
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:G Health and disease > State of health > Mental health
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education > Communicable disease control > HIV prevention
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Court system > Drug court
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
F Concepts in psychology > Specific attitude and behaviour > self-destructive behaviour
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > HIV

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