DrugScope, the leading independent centre of expertise on drugs and drug policy, has today welcomed the publication of a new report from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) outlining the potential benefits of a new ‘mapping’ tool to support individuals to overcome drug dependency.
Delivered as a key part of psychosocial drug treatment interventions, the ‘mapping’ approach allows drug workers to visually represent their clients’ thinking during the recovery process through a series of personal ‘maps’. The technique is designed to improve clients’ motivation and engagement in treatment services.
The report, entitled Routes to recovery: ITEP & BTEI: new approaches to psychosocial intervention’, also highlights the influence of organisational factors on the effectiveness of drug treatment, particularly ‘strong leadership, a learning culture and clarity of purpose - the three key elements of organisational health’.
Originally developed in the US, the mapping method has been piloted in the UK through two NTA-sponsored programmes - ITEP (the International Treatment Effectiveness Project) and BTEI (the Birmingham Treatment Effectiveness Initiative). From initial results, both pilot programmes reported service improvements and positive behavioural shifts in drug- dependent clients using the technique.
DrugScope Chief Executive Martin Barnes said:
“When it comes to overcoming drug dependency, different measures work for different people at different times. While discussions on drug treatment often focus on substitute prescribing and abstinence-based approaches, today’s report draws welcome attention to the important role that psychosocial interventions can play.
“In tackling addiction, the type of drug treatment on offer is only part of the story - how drug treatment is delivered is equally important. The chances of an individual’s recovery from addiction are strongly influenced by the motivation of, and the managerial support offered to drug workers as well as the overarching culture of a treatment service.
“Today’s report suggests that, in some cases, the introduction of map-based psychosocial interventions can enhance these organisational capabilities as well as bolstering the variety of drug treatment options on offer. It’s important that the potential of psychosocial approaches is explored further. We hope that DrugScope’s forthcoming conference on psychological therapies and drug treatment, It’s time to talk, can act as a catalyst for further progress in this area.”
DrugScope, in partnership with OLM-Pavillion, Mind and the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, are holding the It’s time to talk: Drug treatment and psychological therapies conference in London on Friday 20 March 2009. Speakers include Dr. Marcus Roberts (Director of Policy, DrugScope), Paul Farmer (CEO of Mind), Dr Shamil Wanigaratne (Head of Clinical Psychology, South London and Maudsley Trust) and Luke Mitcheson (Consultant Clinical Therapist, NTA).
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