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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Drug Misuse: Psychosocial Interventions - The NICE Guideline

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH)

Price: £35.00

College members' price: £31.50

Published: Mar 2008

Format: Paperback + free CD-ROM

Number of pages: 338

ISBN: 9781854334688

Drug Misuse: Psychosocial Interventions - The NICE Guideline

This evidence-based clinical guideline endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) presents guidance on physical, psychological and service-level interventions for healthcare staff on how to work with people who misuse drugs (specifically opioids, stimulants and cannabis) to significantly improve their treatment and care. Four million people in the UK use illicit drugs each year and drug misuse presents a considerable health risk and can lead to significant social problems. This NICE guideline is an important tool in helping people to overcome their drug problem.


It provides an overview of drug misuse and covers identification and recognition, brief interventions and reduction of injection and sexual risk behaviours, psychological interventions (including contingency management, behavioural couples therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy), and the settings where treatment takes place (residential, prison and inpatient care). The book contains a chapter on service-user experience and involvement in drug services and there is also advice for family members and carers of people with a drug problem.


This book has a ‘sister title’: Drug Misuse: Opioid Detoxification

NICE Mental Health Guidelines

These guidelines from NICE set out clear recommendations, based on the best available evidence, for health care professionals on how to work with and implement physical, psychological and service-level interventions for people with various mental health conditions.

The book contains the full guidelines that cannot be obtained in print anywhere else. It brings together all of the evidence that led to the recommendations made, detailed explanations of the methodology behind their preparation, plus an overview of the condition covering detection, diagnosis and assessment, and the full range of treatment and care approaches.

The accompanying free CD-ROM contains all the data used as evidence, including:
  • Included and excluded studies.
  • Profile tables that summarise both the quality of the evidence and the results of the evidence synthesis.
  • All meta-analytical data, presented as forest plots.
  • Detailed information about how to use and interpret forest plots.

Full Contents

Guideline Development Group members

1. Executive summary

  • General considerations
  • Identification and assessment of drug misuse
  • Brief interventions and self-help
  • Formal psychosocial interventions
  • Residential, prison and inpatient care
  • Research recommendations

2. Introduction

  • National guidelines
  • The national psychosocial interventions for drug misuse guideline

3. Introduction to drug misuse

  • Drug misuse
  • Epidemiology of drug misuse
  • Aetiology and maintenance of drug misuse
  • The course of drug misuse
  • The pharmacological effects of drug misuse
  • The public health impact of drug misuse
  • Identification and assessment of drug misuse
  • The aims of the treatment and management of drug misuse
  • Current care and treatment in the NHS
  • Service-user organisations
  • Drug misuse and the family
  • Economic impact of drug misuse
  • Clinical practice recommendations

4. Methods used to develop this guideline

  • Overview
  • The scope
  • The Guideline Development Group
  • Clinical questions
  • Systematic clinical literature review
  • Systematic economic literature review
  • Stakeholder contributions
  • Validation of this guideline

5. Service-user involvement and experience, and impact on carers

  • Introduction
  • Historical perspectives of service-user involvement
  • Service-user experience of services
  • Addressing the needs of families and carers

6. Identification and recognition

  • Introduction
  • Identification tools

7. Brief interventions and reduction of injection and sexual risk behaviours

  • Introduction
  • Brief interventions
  • Psychosocial interventions to improve concordance with physical healthcare
  • Psychosocial interventions to reduce injecting and sexual risk behaviours

8. Psychological interventions

  • Introduction
  • Outcomes
  • Psychological interventions alone for the management of drug misuse (cocaine, cannabis and opioids)
  • Psychological interventions in combination with opioid agonist maintenance treatment
  • Psychological interventions in combination with naltrexone maintenance treatment
  • Self-help groups
  • Coordination of care and case management
  • Multi-modal care programmes
  • Vocational interventions

9. Residential, prison and inpatient care

  • Introduction
  • Inpatient settings
  • Residential settings
  • Legally coerced treatment interventions
  • Prison

10. Appendices

11. Glossary

12. References

13. Abbreviations

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"The publication is an impressive work that covers many aspects of drug misuse." 
- Addiction


"This important volume...provides a comprehensive guide as to what 'works', and what is less effective, that will be invaluable to all those involved in the management of drug services and those at the sharp end of service provision. The appendices, particularly those contained on the CD-ROM, provide a wealth of data relating to research studies in the field of substance misuse and its treatment. A good argument could be made for the suggestion that this data alone is worth the purchase price of this book!"
- Internet Law Book Reviews