Effectiveness Bank web site Matrix
Supported by  Alcohol Research UK web site Society for the Study of Addiction web site Skills Consortium web site. Opens new window
Drug Treatment Matrix logo Drug Treatment Matrix 2018
Seminal and key research and reviews on harm reduction and the treatment of problem drugtaking organised into a 5x5 matrix with ‘bite’ commentaries on each of the 25 cells, forming a comprehensive course on the most significant research underpinning practice. Return to the whole matrix to view or choose a row from list below.
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ROW 1 First task: save lives, reduce harm
Prompted by HIV, from the start of modern-day harm reduction it was recognised that engaging active drug users meant accepting them on their own terms. Yet also from the start, generating health-promoting and addiction-ending change was on the agenda – a core tension which forms a common theme across the five cells.
Also see hot topics: Harm reduction: what’s it for? | Hepatitis C ‘giant’ still growing | Overdose deaths in the UK: crisis and response | Overdose antidote naloxone takes harm-reduction centre stage | Time for safer injecting spaces in Britain? | Prescribing opiate-type drugs to opiate addicts: good sense or nonsense?

ROW 2 Cross-modality fundamentals
The five cells in this row offer an opportunity to reconsider what treatment is all about and how to make it better. The journey takes in the meaning of ‘recovery’, worker-client relationships (“the heart of addiction treatment”), the ubiquitous stages of change model, what makes treatment services engaging, and payment-by-results funding mechanisms.
Also see hot topics: Treatment staff matter | What makes for an effective treatment service? | What about evidence-based commissioning?

ROW 3 Doctors and drugs
Among the issues explored: whether medications can make it too easy to recover; bridging the chasm between legal drug prescribers and their illegally using patients; “ethos, dose, and organisation” – the three pillars of medication-based treatment; and what a good service looks like.
Also see hot topics: Prescribing opiate-type drugs to opiate addicts: good sense or nonsense? | Opiate-blocking implants: magic bullet or dangerous experiment? | Are the drugs enough? Counselling and therapy in substitute prescribing programmes | The complexity and challenge of ‘dual diagnosis’.

ROW 4 Psychosocial therapies: Talking roads to recovery
Learn about Carl Rogers’ seminal work, the pros and cons of organisational change driven by money, why being genuine sometimes means breaking the ‘rules’ and effective therapy is not just a matter of being nice, and the importance of post-training ‘coaching’. Asks whether mutual aid is the only feasible way to do more (recovery) with less (money), and if residential rehabilitation should remain a ‘last resort’.
Also see hot topics: Prizes for not using drugs? | Residential rehabilitation: the high road to recovery? | Motivational interviewing: fast and flexible counselling style | Can 12-step mutual aid bridge recovery resources deficit? | Are the drugs enough? Counselling and therapy in substitute prescribing programmes.

ROW 5 Reducing crime, protecting families
A common theme is the contradictions involved in offering or imposing treatment within a system which sees the patient essentially as a threat. Asks: is it ever safe to leave children to live with problem drug users; whether to protect children, treatment services must become family services; do coercion and/or collaboration with enforcement undermine treatment’s community protection impacts; is it true that the trickier the situation, the more the practitioner matters.
Also see hot topics: Focus on the families | Don’t treat, just test and sanction | Opiate-blocking implants: magic bullet or dangerous experiment? | Protecting the children.

Drug Treatment Matrix for harm reduction and treatment in relation to illegal drugs
Alcohol Treatment Matrix for alcohol brief interventions and treatment
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The Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank offers a free mailing list service updating subscribers to UK-relevant evaluations of drug/Drugs interventions. Findings is supported by Alcohol Research UK and the Society for the Study of Addiction and advised by the National Addiction Centre.