In the United Kingdom, treatment services for the alcoholic have grown up from a variety of voluntary and statutory bodies in an ad-hoc way. There has rarely been any planning in relation to need, although with the “primitive level of our services” and the tremendous need (less than 10% alcohol addicts and problem drinkers are in touch with treatment agencies), each facility has a clear contribution to make. Co-ordination of facilities implies a linking of services, co-operation of agencies, clarification of each different services role and aims, and an understanding of the type of client with whom they are dealing. Studies of alcoholics attending different agencies, (Zax et al 1967, Delahaye, S. 1976), suggest, most use more than one treatment agency, and it is rarely possible in quantitative terms to weight the contribution to success or failure by any agency. Results of treatment appear to depend on variables such as social stability, (Straus and Bacon 1951) and absence of psychopathic personality traits more than any paxticular method of treatment and range from circa 70% sustained sobriety (U.S. Industrial Company programmes) with highly socially stable clients to 10% (Skid Row Hostels). If co-operation and co-ordination is going to happen (and naturally the opposite is more likely to occur) it is important that different agencies are clear about the aims and methods of other agencies. The principal agencies in the order of their historical development in the United Kingdom should now be examined.
KeywordsTreatment Agency Social Stability Alcoholic Anonymous Principal Agency Statutory Body
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