Can recovering drug addicts drink safely?

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In Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings up and down the country tonight, members will read out literature warning those attending that drinking alcohol is a risk to their recoveries. This is not based on scientific study, but on the experience across decades of those following the 12-step programme. When considered in the light of […]

Recovery and the randomised controlled trial

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In terms of strength of evidence, the randomised controlled trial (RCT) stands tall. It’s the gold standard in methodology to reassure us that an intervention is causing an effect. Addiction treatment is founded on the rock of the RCT. Our clinical guidance (The Orange Book) is choc-a-block with RCT evidence and there’s now a search […]

Stopping benzos – not as hard as you’d think?

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Nobody wants to come off benzos – right? Too hard, too unpleasant and no willingness. But hang on a minute… DB Recovery Resources links to a study that used a structured intervention (the gorgeously named BAMP) to help folk come off benzodiazepines and what do you know, 70% were tapered or discontinued. That said the researchers […]

New psychoactive substances – mephedrone and violence

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Writing in Addiction Today, Prof Oscar D’Agnone cautions against buying in too much to how ‘legal highs’ are marketed. Even the more accepted term – new psychoactive substances (NPS) – is not really hitting the nail on the head, since the drugs are not all ‘new’ and many of the ‘new’ ones are very closely […]

Addiction and recovery research – time for change

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SMMGP has a great downloadable presentation on addiction treatment research. By Jim Orford, it’s a couple of years old now, but it has not lost any of its relevance. I’ve been writing on the problem of lack of addiction research generally and a definite near absence on recovery research. But we don’t want research for […]

Addiction research – letting us down?

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One of the clear recommendations to come out of the recent hard-hitting Expert Review on delivering Opioid Replacement Therapies in Scotland was to do with research. It seems there’s not much addiction research going on in Scotland. How well are our treatment services doing? We can’t really say. Anyone reading the review could reasonably conclude, […]

Legal highs – not for human consumption

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Legal highs in Lothian The UK has the largest market for new psychoactive substances (NSP or “legal highs”) in Europe. Scotland is no stranger to them and, as a seminar in Edinburgh heard last week, the Lothian area is seeing a surge in demand, some worrying trends in injecting and significant new presentations due to problems […]

Gold standard addiction treatment

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  Gold standard addiction treatment Addiction to alcohol or other drugs is not easy to recover from. However there are many pathways to recovery, including through treatment. One group of patients does far better than most other groups. In fact their results are so impressive that many commentators have urged us to learn from what’s […]

Tramadol Abuse

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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 communities – the good, the true and the beautiful

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Alastair Sinclair, Director of UKRF, writes in DDN about how chasing financial solutions to complex problems will not help society’s ills. He quotes Phil Hanlon  on the need for a development in public health “which will challenge the rampant individualistic consumerism that underpins a dominant economic model based on endless growth.” Somehow it always seems that […]