The Origins of Conflict in Dependent Drug Treatment: Lessons for Partnership Working

Published 12/03/2014
Type Article
Author(s) Dr Samantha Weston
Corresponding Authors Dr Samantha Weston, Lecturer in Criminology, Keele University

Although partnership working has been consistently recommended for the treatment of drug dependency, such working practices often remain both fractured and limited (Heath, 2010). Through the analyses of drug policy and guidance documents developed since the publication of the 1998 UK Drug Strategy and interviews with practitioners from the field, this paper seeks to identify the possible origins of such problems. The author illustrates how the reframing of drug policy, as documented by Duke (2013), has resulted in the articulation of inconsistent messages that not only provide opportunities for the development of varying interpretations but may have reinforced the polarised reatment ideologies observed in professionals working with dependent drug users, acting as a potential barrier to the achievement of ‘collaborative advantage’ (Huxham & Vangen, 2005).