Alcohol Matrix logo Alcohol Treatment Matrix Bites course
The Alcohol Treatment Matrix Bites course consists of 25 ‘bites’ – commentaries on each of the five cells in the five rows covering brief interventions, treatment in general, medical and psychosocial modalities, and treatment to safeguard the community. The ‘bites’ lead students through the seminal and key studies, reviews, and guidance selected for each cell, prompting them to use the research to reflect on issues reaching to the heart of treatment.

‘Bites’ were sent weekly to our mailing list and remain in the Matrix for you to dip in to. Click button for whole Matrix or choose row from list below.
View matrix
Click here for corresponding Drug Treatment Matrix.
The five rows

Row 1 Screening and brief intervention
These programmes are intended to help identify risky drinkers at GPs’ surgeries, emergency departments and elsewhere, and offer brief advice to reduce risk. Do they work well enough, and can they be implemented widely enough, to affect health across a population?

Row 2 Towards the heart of alcohol treatment
What is it for? Who needs it? What constitutes its essence? The research helps us appreciate that the encounter between helper and patient is the focal point for much broader influences from national policy down, that treatment is a relationship, one which can obstruct or smooth the way for the patient’s impetus to get better.

Row 3 Drink, doctors and drugs
The centrality of medications most clearly marks an intervention as medical. But medications are never all there is to medical care. The evidence places them in the context of practitioners, managements and organisations, and local systems through which patients access treatment and sustain their recovery.

Row 4 The talking road to recovery
Every treatment involves human interaction, but this row is about therapies in which interaction is intended to be the main active ingredient. The mainstay of alcohol dependence treatment, if these approachers are not up to scratch or misunderstood, we risk the bulk of patients doing less well than they could.

Row 5 Reducing crime, protecting families
About treatment intended to safeguard the community. A common theme is the potential contradictions involved in offering or imposing treatment centred on the patient’s welfare within a system which prioritises the wider community, and sees the patient essentially as a threat.


More ways to appreciate the matrices
Visit the matrices page of the Effectiveness Bank web site for articles, presentations, and a video explaining their genesis and construction.

Help make it better
Whether or not you followed the course, please give us your feedback as part of the Effectiveness Bank user survey.

Created by Drug and Alcohol Findings. The Alcohol Treatment Matrix was constructed in association with and part-funded by the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium. Further funding was received from Alcohol Research UK, which co-manages the project with DrugScope, Alcohol Concern and the National Addiction Centre.