There have been huge changes in the treatment of addictive behaviours in the past 30 years. The steady development of a scientific evidence base and fluctuating levels of political interest in the topic have led to an evolving and increasingly complex treatment system in the UK and other wealthy countries.
This book has been complied from articles written for the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, a key resource to support continuing professional development in psychiatry. The journal first appeared in September 1994, and has focused on topics such as physical methods of treatment, psychosocial treatments, sub-specialties of psychiatry (such as addiction psychiatry) and issues concerning the management of clinical services. The aim has always been to publish useful articles for trained consultant psychiatrists who may, however, have completed their training some years before. It has assumed that readers are familiar with conventional basic terminology and have considerable clinical experience, but may have no expert knowledge in the subject of a particular article.
This book is made up of 20 articles that have appeared in APT over the past 10 years, and two newly commissioned chapters. Several articles have been extensively updated by the original author to take into account new developments in the field. Each chapter therefore provides continuing medical education with an emphasis on the practical implications of the subject. They are factual, lucid and informative, with clear information and techniques that can be used in everyday practice. The book is written by practising clinicians for practising clinicians. It highlights and references upto- date evidence, but its main aim is to synthesise this into information that is useful in clinical practice. Thus, this book has much to offer the specialist, but also the general psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse or general practitioner who is interested in the area.
The book covers ‘mainstream’ areas within the substance misuse treatment field, but also broadens its scope to less commonly discussed, but no less important, topics. Chapters 1 and 6, by Jason Luty, provide an analysis of the evidence supporting the range of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to drug and alcohol misuse in enough detail to comfortably guide non-specialists managing individuals with such problems.