Methadone’s bad press

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There’s something odd about methadone. Well, maybe not so much about methadone, but about the way it’s seen. It gets bad press. Think back to lurid headlines in the Scottish tabloids a couple of years ago – the ones partially responsible for the Chief Medical Officer’s Expert Review on ORT. This is a paradox, for […]

Stigma – a good thing?

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Stigma discredits individuals and groups, reducing social status and creating ‘spoiled identities’, says Goffman. It’s not a good thing. But hang on a minute – might it have a positive function? Could it actually help in terms of public health? Help by changing behaviour through societal pressure. If so, that would be a good thing, […]

Methadone and the Hall of Mirrors

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The International Journal of Drug Policy takes an editorial wander through the ‘hall of mirrors’ that is opioid replacement therapy pointing out that, depending on viewpoint, ORT can be seen as “a medical treatment; a method of harm reduction; an overdose prevention tactic; a crime reduction strategy; a public health measure; a social welfare intervention; an administrative […]

Help crush stigma – take the survey!

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Stigma is the theme this week on Recovery Review. At least it looks like it is turning out that way. Here’s a call to action and even though it looks slightly parochial (England only? Really? Have you jettisoned Scotland already?) I’m still going to be a good UK citizen (for the moment at least) and […]

Young people and 12-step – what’s not to like?

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Recent research suggests AA works as well for young people as it does for older adults, although maybe in different ways. Referring to 12-step mutual aid is embodied in our National Clinical Guidelines, National Drugs Policies and by NICE. Getting people to go is a different story as a leaflet and a recommendation has a […]

Raise taxes and build rehabs?

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A report by a centre-right ‘think tank’ will advocate taxing units of alcohol to pay for a vast expansion of rehabs in the UK. The press release from the Centre for Social Justice doesn’t pull its punches:  “Almost 50,000 heroin addicts have been ‘parked’ on state-supplied methadone for more than four years” “Addicts who continually refuse […]

Time to deal with ‘junkies, alkies and smackheads’

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A few years back, I complained to a newspaper over a headline referring to someone as a ‘junkie’. I said it was pejorative. The newspaper didn’t feel there was a case to answer. A friend wrote to the Press Complaints Commission who said the complainant had to be the person that the headline was about – effectively […]

Drug deaths down, but ‘legal highs’ up

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Drug-related deaths decrease by nine per cent. The number of drug-related deaths in Scotland decreased by nine per cent last year. Statistics published today from the National Records of Scotland also show that drug deaths among the under 25s are now the lowest since records began. The main findings include: 526 drug-related deaths were registered […]

Does recovery space equal recovery ghetto?

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At the moment, the world’s largest cultural festival is happening in Edinburgh, as it does every year. The place is awash with tourists and revellers. For recovering people there are cues and triggers to be navigated around. There are calls to drink at every corner. For those in early recovery, havens from the madness are […]

Does the GMC treat addicted doctors fairly?

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The General Medical Council, regulator of the UK’s doctors, has been getting a bit of a drubbing recently in terms of how it treats doctors who are not well. A hard-hitting Civitas report held the organisation to account over its own performance. The report was about regulation generally, but it touches on issues relevant to […]