Alcohol Treatment Matrix

2020/21 update funded by

Alcohol Change UK web site. Opens new Window

Alcohol Change UK

Development also funded by

Society for the Study of Addiction web site Society for the Study of Addiction

Developed with

Skills Consortium web site. Opens new window

Drug Treatment Matrix

Effectiveness Bank Drug Treatment Matrix

Includes harm reduction

About the matrices

Effectiveness Bank matrices

Articles, slides, and video


Effectiveness bank home page. Opens new window Alcohol Treatment Matrix

The Alcohol Treatment Matrix maps the domain of the treatment of problem-drinking adults (another deals with drug-related problems) onto two intersecting dimensions, and for each sub-domain (a cell) lists the most important UK-relevant research and guidance. Across the columns, the ‘Intervention level’ dimension moves from specific interventions through how their impacts are affected by the widening contexts of practitioners, management, the organisation, and whole area or national treatment systems. Down the rows, the ‘Intervention type’ dimension segments into the major types of interventions implemented at these levels. Visit the About the matrices page for more on their origins and construction.

Click individual cells in the table below to see the documents selected for that cell and (see below) the Matrix Bite commentary. Alternatively, see this résumé of the entire Matrix Bites course for a more conventional row-by-row presentation.

Matrix Bites Fortnightly cell-by-cell introduction to the matrices cumulating to a foundation course on the treatment evidence-base. Each bite was incorporated in its cell in the table and remains available for you access. Click row title for an introduction to that row’s bites, or click a cell and in the resulting page unfold the bite by clicking the Matrix Bite link at the bottom.


Staff working directly with clients and patients may find columns A and B most relevant;
Their managers columns C and D;
Commissioners and planning partnerships column E.

Staff in generic services such as primary care
may find row 1 most relevant;
Staff in specialist medical services rows 2 and 3;
Counsellors and therapists in specialist services rows 2 and 4;
Staff working for the criminal justice system rows 2 and 5.

Where available, each cell includes links (or links to corresponding Effectiveness Bank analyses) to a few:
S Seminal studies from the past of lasting relevance
K Key studies; usually more recent studies of particular importance
R Reviews of the research on this topic
G Guidelines on practice based on research
more Searches for other relevant documents on the Effectiveness Bank web site

More about this document

Alcohol Treatment Matrix Click cells to see the documents selected for that cell and Matrix Bite commentary

Intervention level 

Intervention type

A Interventions

Techniques, programmes, equipment, therapies or medications ... more

B Practitioners

Staff attributes, training, skills, qualifications, and competencies ... more

C Management/ supervision

Selecting, training and managing staff and managing interventions ... more

D Organisational functioning

What kinds of organisations foster effectiveness at levels A, B and C ... more

E Treatment

Fostering effective organisations and an appropriate mix and quality of services across an area ... more

1 Screening and brief intervention

Identifying and advising people not seeking help for their drinking but who might benefit from it ... more

2 Generic and cross-cutting issues

Affecting medical and psychosocial treatments and criminal justice work ... more

3 Medical treatment

Treatment in a medical context involving medical care, usually medications ... more

4 Psychosocial therapies

‘Talking therapies’ in which human interaction is the main active ingredient ... more

5 Safeguarding the community

Funded or ordered to safeguard the wider community, or studies of these impacts ... more

Developed by Drug and Alcohol Findings working with the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium. Supported by the Society for the Study of Addiction and Alcohol Change UK.
© Drug and Alcohol Findings. Illustrative samples or small sections of table and contents may be reproduced subject to an acknowledgment of the source and copyright holder as follows:
From Alcohol Treatment Matrix (, copyright Drug and Alcohol Findings.
For more extensive use contact Drug and Alcohol Findings.
Comments and queries to Findings editor.