Form or content: The application of user perspectives in treatment research

Torsten Kolind
2007 Drugs: education prevention and policy  
As part of a general trend in modern society, the voice of the 'consumers' of the services of the welfare state has gained increased legitimacy. However, this is not the case when it comes to drug-treatment users. The continuing neglect of this group's experiences is also reflected in methadone maintenance treatment research. This article seeks to counter this imbalance by exploring users' experiences with enhanced psychosocial methadone maintenance treatment. The findings rest on an evaluation
more » ... st on an evaluation of the Danish Methadone Project. As part of the evaluation 37 semi-structured qualitative interviews with users were made, and two months of participant observation were conducted in the clinics. An important finding is that the users highlighted the form of the treatment as much as the actual content. It was not primarily the content of the services, but how the services were carried out that mattered. Most crucially, the users highlighted the attitude of the counsellor, the accessibility of spontaneous counselling, and spaces that facilitated nonstigmatizing social encounters. While drug users do not provide the definitive statement about the value of drug service provision, listening to their voices is a necessary step in building an ethically sound approach to drug treatment, with a high degree of client support where the treatment provided meets the consumers needs. Drugs Edu Prev Pol Downloaded from informahealthcare.com by Statsbiblioteket Tidsskriftafdeling on 11/15/10 For personal use only. Drugs Edu Prev Pol Downloaded from informahealthcare.com by Statsbiblioteket Tidsskriftafdeling on 11/15/10 For personal use only. User perspectives in treatment research 271 Drugs Edu Prev Pol Downloaded from informahealthcare.com by Statsbiblioteket Tidsskriftafdeling on 11/15/10 For personal use only.
doi:10.1080/09687630601073807 fatcat:sgde7ozrdfdlzcbbo6z6gpq3e4