Power and powerlessness in addiction and recovery

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In the third part of my interview with Tom, a doctor in recovery, he explains how the 12-step programme is at the heart of his recovery. You’ve said a bit about the things that made sense for you when you started going to Cocaine Anonymous meetings, but were there any down sides? There wasn’t much […]

Riff raff not welcome – the poison of professional stigma

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Why do some health care professionals turn their noses up at the prospect of treating alcoholics or addicts? GPs can opt out of offering evidence-based opiate replacement therapy (ORT) to opiate dependent patients. They don’t opt out of treating hypertension or diabetes. And this is by no means a primary care issue. Generic mental health […]

The wise do recover from addiction

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Wisdom’s not a very scientific term is it? We sort of know what it means, but it’s vague and not really something to value or measure in scientific literature – right? It’s a bit like spirituality; you might get a dozen different definitions depending on whom you talk to. That hasn’t stopped researchers exploring what […]

A doctor finds recovery in Cocaine Anonymous

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This is the first instalment of a several-part interview with a doctor who found his recovery through treatment and membership of Cocaine Anonymous. How did you get to CA? Numerous attempts at controlling my substance use weren’t working. I was unable to stop taking drugs. As a consequence I was caught stealing controlled drugs from my workplace. […]

Drug deaths – what’s changing?

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One thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven people died from drug-related causes in England and Wales last year. That’s a 21% jump with a significant rise in deaths related to heroin and morphine. The data for Scotland, released last month, showed a 9% drop compared to 2012, though this was still the fifth highest on record. What’s […]

Quetiapine abuse

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Quetiapine (often branded as Seroquel) is an antipsychotic drug used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It’s also prescribed off-license in the UK for anxiety. That means that a fair few people with alcohol and other drug dependence end up on it. Recent experience makes me wonder if prescribers are as aware of the risks as they […]

More unmissable addiction and recovery resources

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I posted a few months back on some essential blogs and news sites around addiction and recovery. I’ve reposted my favourites and added a few more in an update. Feel free to add your own selections in the comments below. What websites will help folk recover from addiction? There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of blogs […]

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 […]

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 […]