Causes, Consequences, and Prevention of Burnout Among Substance Abuse Treatment Counselors: A Rural Versus Urban Comparison.

Causes, consequences, and prevention of burnout among substance abuse treatment counselors: a rural versus urban comparison.

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2013 Jan-Mar; 45(1): 17-27
Oser CB, Biebel EP, Pullen E, Harp KL

Substance abuse counselors are vulnerable to burnout, which has negative repercussions for the counselor, employing organization, and clients. However, little is known about differences in counselor burnout from the counselors’ perspective in rural versus urban treatment centers. In 2008, focus group data from 28 rural and urban counselors in a southern state were analyzed, revealing three burnout themes across all counselors: causes, consequences, and prevention. However, there were various differences between rural and urban counselors in subthemes, with only rural counselors citing office politics and low occupational prestige as causes of burnout. Only urban counselors reported responses endorsing the subthemes of role reversal, clients trying to choose their counselors, and changing jobs as consequences of burnout. All counselors cited coworker support, clinical supervision, and self-care as important strategies for managing burnout. In sum, context clearly matters as rural counselors cited more causes of burnout; yet, the implications of burnout are universal in that they often lead to poor quality clinical care. There is a continued need for greater understanding of addiction as a disease, which would reduce stigma, especially in rural areas, as well as increase the prestige and earning potential of the substance abuse counseling occupation. HubMed – drug


Twice stigmatized: provider’s perspectives on drug-using women in the Republic of Georgia.

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2013 Jan-Mar; 45(1): 1-9
Kirtadze I, Otiashvili D, O’Grady KE, Zule W, Krupitsky E, Wechsberg WM, Jones HE

This study examined attitudes and perspectives of 34 health service providers through in-depth interviews in the Republic of Georgia who encountered an injection drug-using woman at least once in the past two months. Most participants’ concept of drug dependence treatment was detoxification, as medication-assisted therapy was considered part of harm reduction, although it was thought to have relatively better treatment outcomes compared to detoxification. Respondents reported that drug dependence in women is much more severe than in men. They also expresSed less tolerance towards drug-using women, as most providers view such women as failuresas a good mother, wife, or child. Georgian women are twice stigmatized, once by a society that views them as fulfilling only a limited purposeful role and again by their male drug-using counterparts. Further, the vast majority of respondents were unaware of the availability of specific types of drug-treatment services in their city, and even more did not seek connections with other service providers, indicating a lack of linkages between drug-related and other services. The need for women-specific services and a comprehensive network of service linkages for all patients in drug treatment is critical. These public health issues require immediate consideration by policy makers, and swift action to address them. HubMed – drug


Drug policy: let’s maintain pressure on regulatory authorities.

Prescrire Int. 2013 Apr; 22(137): 107

HubMed – drug


Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Part 1. Initial treatment: usually a low-molecular-weight heparin.

Prescrire Int. 2013 Apr; 22(137): 99-101, 103-4

Patients with deep venous thrombosis are at a short-term risk of symptomatic or even life-threatening pulmonary embolism, and a long-term risk of post-thrombotic syndrome, characterised by lower-limb pain, varicose veins, oedema, and sometimes skin ulcers. What is the best choice of initial antithrombotic therapy following deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, in terms of mortality and short-term and long-term complications? How do the harm-benefit balances of the different options compare? To answer these questions, we reviewed the available literature using the standard Prescrire methodology. Unfractionated heparin has documented efficacy in reducing mortality and recurrent thromboembolic events in patients with pulmonary embolism or symptomatic proximal (above-knee) deep venous thrombosis. The authors of a systematic review selected 23 trials of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) versus adjusted-dose unfractionated heparin in a total of 9587 patients. Deaths, recurrences and major bleeds were less frequent with LMWH than with unfractionated heparin. The results of other meta-analyses are similar, but all are undermined by a probable publication bias and methodological flaws. Compared to unfractionated heparin, LMWHs have the advantage of fixed-dose administration, once or twice daily, by subcutaneous injection. All available LMWHs seem to have similar efficacy. Those with the longest experience of use are enoxaparin, dalteparin and nadroparin. The harm-benefit balances of fondaparinux and rivaroxaban do not appear more favourable than that of an LMWH followed by an adjusted-dose vitamin K antagonist. A meta-analysis included 12 trials comparing thrombolysis with anticoagulation alone in 700 patients with deep venous thrombosis. Adding a thrombolytic drug did not reduce mortality or the incidence of pulmonary embolism, whereas it increased the incidence of bleeding. A meta-analysis of 13 trials failed to show that adding a thrombolytic drug to initial anticoagulant therapy reduced mortality or recurrences after pulmonary embolism. In the 5 trials that included patients with massive pulmonary embolism, thrombolytic therapy appeared to reduce mortality by about one-half (6% versus 13%). This difference is noteworthy, even if it did not reach the usual threshold of statistical significance. The results of the 6 trials involving patients with deep venous thrombosis, and those of 2 trials and 8 cohort studies in patients with pulmonary embolism at low risk of complications, suggest that outpatient management is acceptable in some cases. Clinical practice guidelines largely agree on the use of LMWH or fondaparinux as initial therapy for most patients with deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Unfractionated heparin is generally recommended for patients with renal failure. Thrombolysis is recommended for massive pulmonary embolism and, in some guidelines, for iliofemoral venous thrombosis. In practice, initial treatment of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism should be based on LMWH in patients without renal failure. Thrombolytic agents may be useful in case of massive pulmonary embolism, but more evaluation is needed. Bleeding and heparin thrombocytopenia are the main adverse effects of these treatments. HubMed – drug