What service users want in treatment: how this is addressed in planning policy and treatment

First published: 09 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

If we are to develop evidence based practice in the field of drug misuse treatment one element of the evidence base we will need to be looking towards has to do with drug users views of treatment and expectations from treatment. But how receptive are we to listening to the voice of the drug user and how prepared are we to shape drug treatment in the light of those voices? These are questions which came to the foreground in the response to the article  “What are drug users looking for when they contact drug treatment services abstinence or harm reduction?” In this presentation I shall review the evidence on drug users aspirations from treatment and consider the response to those aspirations on the part of service providers and policy makers. I will make the case that if we are indeed to respond to the aspirations of drug users in terms of the outcome of treatment then we almost certainly require rather a different profile of treatment services than those that are currently available with a much greater focus on recovery rather than maintenance and stability.


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Neil McKeganey