Detoxification from drugs – the nuts and the bolts

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I’ve been thinking a bit about detox this last week or two and thought I’d revisit some words from the past with some practical pointers on what might be said to a client thinking about detoxification from drugs. This is a personal view, not a guideline or the basis for direct advice as every client has […]

Tramadol Abuse – death toll rising

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Drug treatment used to seem so simple. Clients had a drug of choice, lets say alcohol, heroin or cocaine, and they came to treatment for help for that drug. Now they have a drug of choice AND whatever medication they are being prescribed. Treatment is suddenly so much more complicated. Those drugs are things like pregabalin, […]

Recovery Speakers – new recovery resource

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The ancient tradition of the narrative and storytelling permeates all cultures and has a value in teaching, supporting and binding people and communities together. In recovery communities, particularly 12-step groups, those narratives continue to encourage, instil hope, offer warnings and illuminate the path ahead. A new free recovery resource has been launched. Archivists spent five years […]

Legal Highs – the gathering storm

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  Legal highs, or novel psychoactive substances NPS, are attracting a lot of attention at the moment. This attention is not just from users and prospective users, they on the radar of the police, A&E departments, GPs, criminal justice workers, treatment providers, mental health units and of families. In the space of a year or two […]

Drug treatment is not delivering on recovery

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This hot-off-the-press paper starts with a financial bent. The costs to the UK taxpayer of illicit drug use are £15.4 billion ($26.1 billion) annually, most of it from crime. Quite a bill. How ought we reduce this? Medication assisted treatment (MAT) say Dale-Perera and colleagues, because strategies associated with rapid abstinence are associated with poor […]

Antidepressants – not always happy pills

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The Fix has an article on antidepressants which, amongst other things, tackles the problems a significant number of people have when trying to stop them. Officially called ‘discontinuation syndrome’ these are arguably withdrawals by any other name. When you consider that there is little evidence of effectiveness of antidepressants for mild to moderate depression and they are […]

Peer-led needle exchange – room for recovery?

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Needle exchange: reducing harm Needle exchanges are recognised within harm reduction services as conferring benefits to injecting drug users. They can help to reduce blood borne virus transmission, but also offer the opportunity to reduce other harms through delivering safer injecting advice, addressing health concerns and trying to engage clients with treatment options. Such services […]

Alcohol related brain damage – mostly hidden

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Alcohol’s not good for the brain. At least too much of it for too long is not good for the brain. Effects can range from mild memory impairment through trouble with judgement and decision making through to permanent dementia. The British Medical Journal covers a recent report on the subject and it makes for alarming reading: Between […]

Getting plugged in is key to recovery

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Isolation: the curse of addiction Loneliness and isolation are best mates of addiction. Of course, it’s not just those with addictions who suffer from loneliness. Professor John Cacioppo presented recently at a conference in Chicago, pointing out that that the impact of loneliness on premature death ‘is nearly as strong as the impact of disadvantaged socioeconomic status’ – and that […]