About the type of documents on this site

Copying/adapting our work

Illustrative samples or small sections of the material on this site which is exclusively © Drug and Alcohol Findings can be freely copied or republished subject to acknowledgement of origin. For more extensive reproduction and adaptation contact us using the contact information top right in the navigation bar or by sending a message using this e-mail template.


Most documents on this site are either extracted from back issues of the Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine which ceased publication in 2006 or are new web-only analyses keeping site users up to date with the latest research. Regardless of their origins, each document is separately indexed and included in subject-based and free text search results.

Findings back issues

358 of the documents on this site were first published between 1999 and 2006 in the past 15 issues of the Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine. No attempt was made to update the content except for the links in the PDF files. They all relate to evaluations of interventions intended to reduce the use of alcohol or other drugs or to reduce harm related to that use.

In addition to the 358 published versions available directly from this site, most documents have a background or extended text file. You can access these in PDF or Word format from a button on the opening page of the published version. These are uncut drafts of the published versions sometimes with substantial reviews of related literature, presented simply and in a format which may be easier for small displays. They may also be more suitable for printing and the Word versions are easier to cut and paste from. Often they offer considerable extra information and references which support the published version.

The published documents are generally presented in the following formats:

NUGGETS In highly condensed form each analyses new evaluation studies selected from the world literature for their relevance to the UK and their methodological rigour. Entries were drafted after consulting study authors, related research, and Findings’ advisers or other experts. As well as presenting the most practice-relevant findings, the entries set these in the context of related research and explore possible implications for practice in the UK.

NUGGETTES are mini-Nuggets serving a similar purpose.

Each of the above has typically been condensed to a few hundred words. In addition we feature longer articles of the following kinds:

KEY STUDY Extended analysis of an especially important study.

THEMATIC REVIEW Comprehensive reviews of research on a priority topic.

OLD GOLD Influential studies from the past with messages for today.

IN PRACTICE The practical challenges of evaluation research and improving performance.

NASTY SURPRISES Unexpected findings that jolt us into recognising something may be seriously wrong with our assumptions.

To be consistent with the latest web-based documents (see below), in search retrieval lists these documents are as far as possible categorised as studies, reviews or documents (ie, any report which is not an original research study or a review of such studies).

Web-based analyses of latest research

Content analogous to the magazine’s Nuggets and Nuggettes and produced using similar editorial procedures is now published on the web as entries focused normally on a single new study, several of which are gathered in the form of bulletins updating readers on the latest research. Readers can sign up here to receive alerts about new bulletins as well as information on other site updates.

The entries may analyse new evaluation studies, reviews of research, or guidance or other documents based on research which Drug and Alcohol Findings has collected because they are relevant to improving outcomes from drug or alcohol interventions in the United Kingdom. These are generally tagged in searches as a STUDY, REVIEW or DOCUMENT. The most important (from a UK perspective) and methodologically sound are usually comprehensively summarised in our own words and analysed in depth and the entry offers a critical commentary from Drug and Alcohol Findings.

In all cases, since the original documents were not published by Drug and Alcohol Findings, unless permission has been granted, we are unable to supply full text. However, copies are normally available from the publisher or other document suppliers. Where possible links are provided to these sources. Research authors are also commonly allowed to send their original manuscripts, or paper or PDF reprints from the journal, to enquirers for personal study. Where possible we provide a link which prepares a message in your e-mail program to be sent to the author asking for a reprint which you can adapt to suit your requirements.

Introductions to research on selected issues and on treatment

In addition we have prepared our own reviews in the form of ‘hot topic’ essays explaining the background and evidence relating to issues which sometimes prompt heated debate. You can see the entire list starting with the most recently updated or sorted by the main topic addressed, or search for hot topics on a particular topic using our subject search facility.

Another way to approach the treatment research literature is via the matrices – portals to the most important research and guidance for British treatment services and for practitioners, managers, and commissioners. Use them to train staff, for professional development, or just to re-experience the revelations made by the seminal and key studies of the past 50+ years. Read about the matrices or go direct to the Alcohol Treatment Matrix or Drug Treatment Matrix.

Mostly but not only journal articles

Research is selected for the web site on the basis of it being of potential interest to UK practitioners seeking to assess or improve the effectiveness of their drug and alcohol interventions, and that it is of sufficient rigour to be able to say something meaningful in this context. This normally means articles published in scientific journals, many of which have been subject to the process of peer review intended to ensure relevance and scientific quality. But the remit of Findings is to bring potentially informative evaluations to its readers whatever the source, including research reports and summaries, published conference presentations, agency reports, and other formats not subject to peer review and journal editorial processes. In all cases we aim to make clear any methodological concerns which might substantially affect whether the findings can be relied on as a guide to practice.

Read about the topics covered in these documents