Home > Alcohol treatment matrix cell A5: Interventions - safeguarding the community.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2021) Alcohol treatment matrix cell A5: Interventions - safeguarding the community. Drug and Alcohol Findings Alcohol Treatment Matrix,

PDF (Alcohol A5: Interventions)

External website: https://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?f=Matrix/Alcoho...

The Alcohol Treatment Matrix is concerned with the treatment of alcohol-related problems among adults (another deals with drug-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 the widening contexts of practitioners, management, the organisation, and whole local area treatment systems. Down the rows are the major intervention types implemented at these levels. Inside each cell is our pick of the most important documents relevant to the impact of that intervention type at that contextual level. 


What is this cell about?

Rows 1–4 of the matrix focus on what treatment can do for the client or patient. Row 5 moves out to what treatment can do for the rest of us, starting with this cell on the impacts of the interventions themselves. Included are evaluations of treatment funded or ordered to safeguard the wider community, and studies of whether treatment in general has a safeguarding impact.

While ethically treatment must focus on the welfare of the individual patient, it may be funded and organised by authorities whose primary motivation is to safeguard the wider community. In these cases, treatment is offered or imposed not because the substance user has sought it, but because it is thought that treating their substance use could result in benefits to the community. Typically these take the form of reductions in crime including drink-driving and violence, but also improvements in parenting and child welfare and reductions in non-criminal behaviour which the community finds offensive and/or which degrades the local social or physical environment. Treatment not organised primarily for these purposes may nevertheless have these benefits; studies and reviews documenting these effects are also included in this cell.

Also here are interventions which focus on the welfare of the children and families of problem drinkers in their own rights, rather than primarily as a means to promote the welfare of the problem drinker. Among these are peer support initiatives (see this example from the national service supporting families affected by substance use) when families grappling with problem substance use in their midst come together to support each other, though evaluations of such initiatives are rare.

For conventional treatment studies, substance use and related harm are the prime yardsticks of effectiveness, but for this row in the matrix less conventional measures come to the fore including crime, need for child care proceedings, and how well families affected by problem substance use are coping.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Guideline, Review, Web Resource
Drug Type
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Drug therapy, Treatment method, Alternative medical treatment, Harm reduction, Crime prevention, Education and training, Psychosocial treatment method, Rehabilitation/Recovery
January 2021
4 p.
Corporate Creators
Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication

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