Matrix Bite Drug Matrix Bites row 2. What is treatment for?
A look back at the lessons of the course’s second five instalments. If you work in/with treatment, these were your chance to lift your eyes from the workbench and reconsider what it’s all about, drawing on our selection of seminal and key research. Issues included: What is treatment for – to do what the patients want, or what local and national authorities want? And what do the patients want? What makes one counsellor or service better than another, and how can we tell; perhaps relapse after treatment is a sign it was working? Will payment-by-results help or hinder recovery?

Click on cells in row 2 of the Matrix and unfold bites by clicking the Matrix Bite link at the bottom or go to your chosen cell and bite in the list below.
Matrix row 2
The five cells

A2. Interventions: What is treatment for?
To ‘cure’ addiction, or promote meaningful and productive lives? Meet patients’ wishes, or aid the government’s welfare-to-work effort? And what do patients want? Is treatment pushing them in the opposite direction? Also explores the highly political genesis and results of the most important UK treatment study ever.

B2. Practitioners: ‘They treated me like I mattered’
Asked what they felt was important to their success, patients often spotlight that one practitioner who treated them like they mattered. Thought-provoking research on the impact of the counsellor or clinician and how they relate to the patient.

C2. Management: Try on the patient’s shoes
For senior staff, is there anything more instructive than being the patient? – experiencing for a few days what it’s like to contact your service, be admitted, and engage in treatment. Plus an uplifting story of how sensitive management and administration transformed poor aftercare attendance, helping embed treatment gains.

D2. Organisations: What makes one service better than another?
... and how can we tell? Does post-treatment relapse show treatment was working? Motto suggested by wide-ranging study of British services: ‘Ensure your staff experience what through them you want your patients to experience: respect, understanding, and support.’ In the era of carrot-and-stick incentives, does this really hold true?

E2. Whole systems: Will payment-by-results help or hinder recovery?
Payment-by-results schemes are intended to lead the way to recovery. Do they stretch services beyond acceptable-quality comfort zones, or counter-productively stifle patient-centred practice? Questionable origins of the mantra that treatment saves £3 for every £1 spent.

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.

The Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank analyses UK-relevant evaluations and reviews of drug/alcohol interventions. Managed by DrugScope, Alcohol Concern, the National Addiction Centre and Alcohol Research UK. Supported by Alcohol Research UK, Society for the Study of Addiction, and J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust.