We have helped enhance substance misuse interventions through node-link mapping and alcohol brief intervention training. We have also delivered bespoke national support for prisons in the treatment of psychoactive substances for Public Health England.

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Node-Link Mapping

Therapeutic Solutions was commissioned with Ed Day by Public Health England to develop bespoke node-link mapping tools for prisons and the community. We worked in collaboration with Institute of Behavioural Research in Texas and Node-Link Mapping now forms a key cornerstone to all prisons and community-based interventions.

What is Node Line Mapping

Node-link mapping was first studied as a tool for helping students take better notes during lengthy college lectures. Students were taught to take notes by placing key ideas in boxes called “nodes” that were connected to other nodes with lines (“links”) representing different types of relationships. The end result often resembled a map or flow chart of the lecture. Other students took notes as they would usually take them, and when the two approaches were compared the students who used the “node-link mapping” system did better on tests and felt more confident about understanding the lecture than did students who took traditional notes. There seems to be something about visually displaying information that helps us better understand things and recall key ideas (hopefully when we need them). This is summarised in the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

We have published work examining how to implement node-link mapping in practice. Read more about this work here.

Node-Link Mapping with Young People’s Services

We have also worked with DECCA a young people’s services in Sandwell to produce maps for inclusion as part of their assessment and treatment process. We have also developed maps to form part of a drug and alcohol screening process for non-substance misuse professionals. Examples of the maps are provided below:

Dog, Duck and Cat Trust

The site uses visual cues and cartoons to provide educational, preventative, harm minimisation resources for young people, aged 0 to 9 years of age, with a focus on safeguarding, promoting safety and developing a child’s resilience. Visit the site here.

Alcohol Brief Interventions

Therapeutic Solutions undertook a qualitative exploration of prison staff and people in prison examining the practice application of brief interventions. Read more about this work here.

Therapeutic Solutions (Addictions) was commissioned by NHS England as part of the Through-the-Gate initiative to screen and then deploy alcohol brief interventions for people in prison with an alcohol use disorder. Our work for NHS England included provision of bespoke brief interventions training for peer mentors in the North Werst of England (incorporating node-link mapping techniques). We also undertook pathway mapping which led to an award at the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse in 2015.

As part of our work with NHS England and the Through-the-Gate initiative, we collaborated with Teeside and Newcastle Universities to provide a series of fact sheets exploring alcohol use in criminal justice settings. Download the factsheets here.

Psychoactive Substances in Prison Toolkit

Therapeutic Solutions (Addictions) in partnership with Public Health England and the Ministry of Justice developed a toolkit for custody and healthcare teams in the treatment and management of psychoactive substances misuse in prisons (2017). The toolkit is relevant for adult prisons, young offender institutions and immigration removal centres. Our clinical lead, Dr George Ryan also led a national training event to promote the toolkit in custodial settings. Read more about this work here.

To support this project, Therapeutic Solution (Addictions) collaborated with Public Health England to provide a Thematic analysis of training for prison staff on new psychoactive substances. This analysis provides insights and learning that came out of the national training programme and the document is seen as an adjunct to the toolkit.Read more about this work here

Latest Insights

Search here for links to reports, papers and toolkits. Our latest publications include:

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Using a retrospective case review, we deployed a hierarchical cluster analysis using Ward’s linkage method to examine segments in an inner-London treatment population.

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We analysed 1,313 online responses from around Europe to assess the association between relationship status and living with dependent children on recovery capital of people in recovery from drug addiction.

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