Aims - To investigate the existing level of user involvement at selected agencies, to examine views about user involvement from both service-user and provider perspectives and to compare desired service developments. \ud Design/Measurements - As part of a larger project, a series of semi-structured interviews was carried out between 2001 and 2003. \ud Setting - Community-based drug services in Northern England. \ud Participants - Service users (46) and service providers (51). \ud Findings - Overall, the level of service-user involvement was low, with 16% of services having no user involvement at all. Nevertheless, service users expressed a desire for a high level of user involvement, compared with the low aspirations expressed by service providers. Service users' first priority for desired service developments was reduced waiting times, whereas service providers wished for increased provision of complementary therapies. \ud Conclusions - The study highlighted important discrepancies regarding both desired level of user involvement and priorities for service developments between service users und providers. Given the current policies in this field and evidence that user involvement and closer partnerships between users and providers enhances treatment effectiveness, this lack of concurrence might be of major concern and working towards better understanding and balancing users' and providers' needs is highly recommended
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