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Blog Description

This is the Charity’s new blog providing insights into the addictions field. We hope you will find it interesting and thought provoking

Across the great divide

Providing treatment services is a complex business…….. of course it is.  It is attempting to deal with people whose problems are wide-reaching and which have a profound effect on individuals, families, communities and society.

Traditionally there are two functions which have remained resolutely separate in the organisation and delivery of treatment services, irrespective of whether they are residential or community-based.  These are; the delivery of “clinical” treatment programmes, which may include both medical and psycho-social interventions and the day-to-day “management” of staff and resources.

Why not?  This makes sense as they are different functions which require different knowledge and skills.

This is true to an extent but when considering the complex nature of dealing with addiction in the context of a “treatment community” which includes complex interactions between the clients, the staff and the environment this approach can be problematic.  It can lead to two groups of people taking up entrenched positions.  A crude caricature of these would be; “the managers don’t understand (or aren’t interested in) the difficult job we are trying to do as clinicians and have unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved with the resources available” and “the clinicians are out of touch with the real world, they don’t seem to understand that we have finite resources which are constantly under pressure.”

So how can this situation be avoided?

One way is by implementing a system of supervision and management that links the two “worlds”; that integrates both perspectives and engages each side in a collaborative endeavour that rises above the need to “fight a corner”.  This is relevant to addiction (which promises “magical” solutions to life’s problems) and recovery (which is intended to offer a realistic approach to managing life on life’s terms).

There is a description of an established an effective way of doing this….. but that’s another blog.

Kirby Gregory
Director of Client Services
Action on Addiction

Posted: 03/12/2012 11:57:44 by Cherry Corner | with 0 comments
Filed under: services, treatment


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Action on Addiction is a company limited by guarantee registered in England | Company Number 05947481 Registered Charity Number 1117988
Registered office: Action on Addiction, Head Office, East Knoyle, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6BE