|Several models for understanding and
intervening in drug use have been developed. While all of these have their strengths and
weaknesses, clinicians should have some appreciation of the differences in these views.
table below briefly outlines broad differences between the general thrust of 'traditional'
approach with 'contemporary' approaches. All approaches have value in the drug field. The
aim of this comparison is to broaden options.
Click on to models and frameworks of drug use for a summary
table and dot point information.
See also Project MATCH (USA) for ordering details
of free Manuals on Twelve Step Facilitation Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy and
Cognitive-Behavioural Coping Skills Therapy as well as other material such as improving
|Traditional and Contemporary Approaches
|Drugs are bad
||Drugs are functional
with positive and negative consequences
|Assess if an individual
is an addict/alcoholic
||Assess for problems
Intoxication, Regular Use & Dependence;
Liver, Lover, Livelihood, Law
|Treatment = Abstinence
||Controlled use possible
Decrease problems & risks of problems
May also include abstinence
& must hit rock bottom for treatment to work
||Primarily a learned
behaviour (initially from drug using adults)
|Clients are in denial.
Confrontation required to break through denial.
||Clients at different
stage of change
Skills to enhance motivation
Generic counselling skills are most useful
||General area for
intervention including non-drug specialists
same for many other behavioural processes
||Drug, Individual & Environment
(environment = politics, laws, socio-economic issues, policies, agency, etc.)
|Focus on Illegal Drugs
||Focus on all
Alcohol and Tobacco often referred to
because high levels of harm associated with their use.
|One drink = one drunk,
One 'hit' = one addict
|Drug use can be
A 'lapse' can be prevented from becoming a full
Relapse is normal