Home > Drug treatment matrix cell D5: Organisational functioning - safeguarding the community.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2018) Drug treatment matrix cell D5: Organisational functioning - safeguarding the community. Drug and Alcohol Findings Drug Treatment Matrix, 4 p..

PDF (Drug matrix cell D5)

External website: https://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?file=Matrix/Dru...

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 this cell about? As well as concrete things like staff, management committees, resources, and an institutional structure, organisations have histories, values, priorities, an ethos, and links with other organisations. Together these features affect whether they offer an environment in which staff and patients/clients can maximise their potential. Among the mechanisms expected to link organisational features to performance is how keenly and effectively agencies seek and incorporate evidence-based practices. Lying at the intersection between column D on organisational-level influences and row 5 on safeguarding the community, this cell is specifically about the role organisational features play in treatment organised and/or funded by criminal justice and other authorities which offer or impose treatment – not because it has been sought by the patient – but because it could reduce crime or otherwise benefit the community.

Compared to research on interventions, organisational-level research is scarce and rarely of the gold-standard, randomised controlled trial format. Instead, researchers usually look for patterns in what naturally happens rather than changing what happens in order to test the consequences. Those patterns may be due the presumed cause and effect mechanisms, but may instead be due to other influences which the analysis cannot take into account and is unable to equalise between the focal intervention and the comparator against which it is benchmarked. Randomisation is intended to ensure any such influences are equalised, preventing both known and unknown influences obscuring the effect of the intervention. In the absence of randomisation or an equivalent procedure, these influences remain in play, making it difficult to draw conclusions from the findings of a study.

From the relatively few studies listed in this cell, you will see that organisational research is particularly lacking on treatment intended to safeguard the community. In the expectation that organisational influences in these settings may not differ too much from those elsewhere, we can also refer you back to cells dealing with these influences in harm reductiongenerically across treatment, in medical treatments, and in psychosocial therapies.

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