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Scratching that recovery itch

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You get an itch and you need to scratch it. Different itches need different scratches. Sometimes an itch is so itchy that it needs a blog to scratch it. This blog is my response to the itchiest of itches.

I read a lot of papers and articles on addiction and recovery. A lot of the time the research is sound, the articles stimulating or raising issues that deserve to be addressed. Some of the time the research is of poor or doubtful quality. A lot of the time, the findings of research are lost, doomed to obscurity in the only-to-be-accessed-for-a-king’s-ransom pages of an academic journal. I read things every week that could have a bearing on practice in addiction treatment or have potential implications for people in recovery. Most of it never makes its way into the field or into the lives of recovering people.

There’s another thing that’s harder to pin down and address and that’s to do with misinformation. Myths, manipulations and malice are out there to some extent, causing hurt, obscuring truth and blocking pathways to recovery. Look at the recent attacks on abstinence and mutual aid that followed the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman if you want an illustration. Such responses are generally superficial but can be damaging. They need to be countered. As Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Not that I have a monopoly on the truth – far from it – but I do think I have something useful to say, at least some of the time. If anyone else ever finds Recovery Review, then they can have their say too in the comments, though I’ll stick to the Guardian Community Standards to keep it all respectable and safe.

A few days ago a friend said he missed my writing on recovery. I’m grateful for that because it made me realise that I have an itch I need to scratch.

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