The Most Controversial Issue in Alcohol Treatment. Highlight from Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell C2

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Drug and Alcohol Findings
Publication Date


Focus is on the section of last week’s matrix cell release which explored the fascinating history of the most controversial issue in alcohol treatment - whether dependent drinkers should always be advised to try for abstinence, even whether they should be denied treatment until they accept the need to stop drinking altogether and forever. The controversy was most vitriolic in 1970s USA, where it reached the headlines and TV networks, but dates back at least to a 1962 report on “Normal drinking in recovered alcoholics” from a British psychiatrist, later said to have been misled by his patients.

To go direct to the featured section of the matrix cell click the link below or paste it in to your web browser address box, being sure to enter the whole address:


Drawn from one of 25 cells in the Alcohol Treatment Matrix mapping seminal and key research and guidance on alcohol brief interventions and treatment.

“Succinct and erudite and written in relatively plain English for the non-cognoscenti. I am an extremely experienced commissioner and yet still find this resource [matrices] invaluable and insert it in service specifications.”
Andrew MacDonald, former drug and alcohol service commissioner and PhD Researcher at Liverpool John Moores University, England


Sent by Drug and Alcohol Findings to alert you to site updates and recent UK-relevant evaluations and reviews of drug/alcohol interventions. Course funded by Alcohol Change UK. Findings is also supported by the Society for the Study of Addiction and advised by the National Addiction Centre.