Legal highs and mutual aid

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So-called legal highs (new psychoactive substances) are in the news again. In the final part of my interview with Tom, a doctor in recovery, he explains how mutual aid group Cocaine Anonymous helps with legal highs and looks to the future of the organisation. Are legal highs a problem that CA helps members with? Yes! I […]

Legal highs may be soaring but recovery soars too

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This week the Chief Inspector of Prisons warned that the soaring use of misleadingly-called ‘legal highs’ has fuelled increasing levels of aggression and bullying inside prisons. It’s not the only indicator that things are changing, perhaps radically, in the UK. The National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) advises primary care and hospital medics on potential harms […]

Why many in recovery are dying of addiction

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How many recovering people smoke cigarettes? In Scotland, just under a fifth of the population smoke, but in treatment populations the rate is between 60-90%. Travellers looking for mutual aid meetings will often be guided by the group of smokers outside the church hall. Some of those people in long term recovery are dying of addiction. […]

Methadone improves mental health; what’s next?

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Good to see some research from Aberdeen focusing on mental health in patients on methadone and other opiate replacement therapy. Academics in Primary Care conducted a systematic review looking at twenty-two studies where mental health had been assessed at baseline and again at follow up. What did they find? “Mental health significantly improved for all groups receiving […]

Time-limited methadone – guest blog by Paul Molyneux

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The topic of time-limited opioid prescriptions has been discussed before on Recovery Review. More recently, the issue has garnered increased attention after Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker wrote to the ACMD on behalf of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Drugs. In the letter, Norman Baker requested that the ACMD review “whether the evidence supports the case […]

Addiction and recovery quotes

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Here are few addiction and recovery quotes that have caught my eye recently. Some wise words and poignant reflections that are worth savouring. I used to think a drug addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society. Wild-eyed, shaven-headed and living in a filthy squat. That was until I became one… ~Cathryn […]

CA, AA, NA and SMART – differences and similarities

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In the next part of my interview with Tom, a doctor in recovery, he explores the relationships between different sorts of mutual aid. What’s the overlap between CA, AA, NA and SMART? My experience is that there can sometimes be some friction between the different fellowships. I’m not entirely sure why this happens but I […]

AA or NA for drug dependent clients?

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In addiction treatment, study after study has shown a link between attending mutual aid and better outcomes for substance user disorders. These better outcomes include abstinence and there is consistent evidence of health cost savings. In Scotland we are fortunate to have around 1000 mutual aid meetings running weekly in our cities, towns and villages. […]

What do clinicians make of addiction recovery?

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Which teachers were the best when you were at school? Likely the ones who believed in you, connected with you, who had a vision for where you could go and who enthusiastically helped you get there. The same characteristics are likely to define the best clinicians too. In a study, published a few days ago, […]

Recovery in Scotland – mutual aid at the heart

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In the fifth part of my interview with Tom, a doctor in recovery, he discusses the growth of Cocaine Anonymous in Scotland, its impact on those seeking recovery and what the fellowship has to offer women. How has CA changed in Lothian since you first started going? CA has expanded locally from 3 to 12 […]