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Home > Drug treatment matrix cell B3: Practitioners - medical treatment.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2018) Drug treatment matrix cell B3: Practitioners - medical treatment. Drug and Alcohol Findings Drug Treatment Matrix .

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URL: http://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?file=Matrix/Drug...


The Drug treatment matrix is concerned with the treatment of problems related to the use of illegal drugs by adults (another deals with alcohol-related problems). It maps the treatment universe and for each sub-territory (a cell) lists the most important UK-relevant research and guidance. Across the top columns move from specific interventions through how their impacts are affected by staff, the management of the service, and the nature of the organisation, to the impact of local area treatment systems. Down the rows are the major intervention types implemented at these levels. 

What is cell B3 about?

About the treatment of dependence on illegal drugs in a medical context and/or involving medical care, typically by GPs or hospital drug treatment units. Clinical staff are responsible for medications, so the centrality of these to an intervention marks it most clearly as medical. Medications may be intended to help patients withdraw from drugs, sustain longer term abstinence, or to replace the drug the patient is dependent on with a prescribed drug of the same kind but which can be taken more safely, enabling social stabilisation and protecting health.

Medications are, however, never all there is to medical care. Even when they seem to be all there is, that in itself sends a message to the patient about how they are seen and valued by the service. Founded on a good relationship with the prescriber, effective prescribing requires the collaboration of the patient to stay in or complete treatment and help choose the medication and set an appropriate dose by disclosing their use or non-use of the medication, how they have reacted to it, and their non-prescribed drug use, while appropriate provision of ancillary support depends on a frank admission of needs. In particular, how long patients stay in treatment is related to the quality of their relationship with clinical staff, and retention is the main factor in the effectiveness of ‘maintenance’ treatments such as methadone maintenance.......

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