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?
I have met several CA members who have primarily been dependent on NPS. One friend has recently celebrated 18 months substance free. His addiction story involved daily legal high use. He was still working but spending a large portion of his income in the Edinburgh Head shops. He describes numerous episodes when he would become incapacitated by these drugs, often in family situations. He lost his job and almost lost his family as a consequence of his addiction.
He has found recovery in CA, he has no experience of help from treatment services or rehabs. He walked into his first CA meeting 18 months ago and kept coming back.
Legal highs and mutual aid
So again my experience is that CA can help those with addiction to any mind or mood altering substance. This is good to know, especially when there are increasing quantities of NPS flooding the recreational drug scene.
Traditional drug treatment services don’t have substitution treatment available (i.e. methadone/buprenorphine) for cocaine or other psychostimulant users. CA is a free and accessible resource that drug workers can assertively link their patients to.
What does the future hold for CA in Scotland?
The thing is I no longer try to predict the future. My expectations never live up to the reality. I am sure there will be a mixture of amazement and disappointment over the coming years. My humility relies on my non attachment to this coming process. My ongoing recovery is dependent on my ability to soak up the highs and the lows of anything life throws at me.
However to answer the question! I suspect we will see more meetings spring up over Scotland. This is what has happened with AA. If CA continues to produce recovered addicts, then those addicts will set up more meetings. We may see CA meetings spread to other areas like Stirling, Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen etc. It only takes a couple of addicts for a meeting to work.
My thanks to Tom for agreeing to be interviewed. Read the other parts of this interview: