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Home > Therapy ‘toolbox’ helps rescue poorly recovering patients at London maintenance clinic.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2019) Therapy ‘toolbox’ helps rescue poorly recovering patients at London maintenance clinic. London: Drug and Alcohol Findings. Effectiveness Bank Additions (31 May 2019) 7 p.

PDF (Therapy ‘toolbox’)


Instead of a set programme, a clinic in London tried offering methadone or buprenorphine patients still using heroin or cocaine a selection from a suite of well-supported psychological interventions tailored to the patient and then systematically re-tailored in the light of how they responded. It worked – but did it work well enough, and would the findings be replicated in more typical circumstances?


Key points from summary and commentary

  • A personalised psychosocial intervention was trialled for opioid-dependent patients being prescribed methadone or buprenorphine on a maintenance basis but who were still using heroin or cocaine.
  • Distinct from most other trials of additional psychosocial therapies, instead of a set programme, in this trial the interventions were selected from a ‘toolbox’ to match the patient’s needs and preferences and adapted in the light of how they responded.
  • Compared to usual treatment, among patients randomly allocated to this approach there were greater reductions in heroin and cocaine use and improvements in health-related quality of life, making the interventions cost-effective according to some accepted yardsticks. However, these findings which emerged in relatively ideal rather than typical circumstances.
Item Type
Evidence resource
Drug Type
Alcohol or other drugs in general
Intervention Type
AOD disorder, AOD disorder treatment method, Psychosocial treatment method, Rehabilitation/Recovery
31 May 2019
7 p.
Drug and Alcohol Findings
Corporate Creators
Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication
31 May 2019

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