Improving family functioning and child outcome in methadone maintained families: the Parents Under Pressure program
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t Societal responses to the existence of substance misuse fluctuate between harm minimisation and prohibition. Both approaches are predominantly downstream reactions to substance misuse that focus on the supply of harmful substances and the containment of misuse through treatment, rehabilitation or punishment. Until recently, little attention has been paid to the upstream individual, family, relationship, community or societal antecedents of substance misuse (which often overlap with those for other adverse life outcomes, such as unemployment, antisocial personality disorder and mental health problems) that have operated during earlier life. A growing body of evidence highlights the overlapping biological and experiential antecedents for substance abuse and other poor outcomes as well as the trajectory-changing protective factors that can prevent risks being translated into destiny. Risk minimisation and protection enhancement embedded in family and social systems are the essential building blocks of a set of early intervention strategies that begin antenatally and continue through the developing years of childhood, adolescence and young adult life, that have been shown to be effective in improving many outcomes in development, health and well-being. Much remains to be done to enable the promise of effective universal and targeted early intervention to be translated into policies, programs and practices that could be life-changing for citizens bogged in the mire of substance misuse and their children. Realistic, timely investment, influenced by the best scientific evidence indicating what works, for whom, under what circumstances, an increased degree of collaboration within and between governments and their agencies to enable "whole of government" responses in partnership with community-based initiatives are essential along with investments in multidisciplinary program evaluation research that will enable evidence-informed policy decisions to be tailored to the needs of individual countries. [Vimpani G. Getting the mix right: family, community and social policy interventions to improve outcomes for young people at risk of substance misuse.
Drug and Alcohol Review
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