Home > Low-barrier intervention for homeless people with (mostly severe) drinking problems.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2019) Low-barrier intervention for homeless people with (mostly severe) drinking problems. London: Drug and Alcohol Findings. Effectiveness Bank Additions (27 June 2019) 5 p.

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Heavy drinking is clearly problematic for homeless populations, but is the best way to tackle it to aim for abstinence, or to accept the reality of life on the streets and aim to reduce harm and improve lives in ways which make sense to the patient? This US study supports the latter, but without conclusively deciding the issue.

Key points from summary and commentary
• This US study tested the efficacy of a harm reduction-based intervention for homeless people with (mostly severe) drinking problems.
• Compared to usual services only, the harm reduction intervention was associated with significantly greater increases in confidence to engage in harm reduction, as well as significantly greater decreases in peak drinking, alcohol-related harm, symptoms of alcohol use disorder, and urine samples testing positive for recent drinking.
• The findings suggest that a low-barrier, low-intensity, patient-driven, harm reduction approach has at least short-term efficacy in improving drinking outcomes in this population.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction, Rehabilitation/Recovery
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:June 2019
Pages:5 p.
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Corporate Creators:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication:London
Number:27 June 2019
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use > Alcohol dependence
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Social condition > Homelessness > Homeless services
T Demographic characteristics > Homeless person
VA Geographic area > United States

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