Altruism and AlAnon: in helping we are helped

Posted · Add Comment

“Giving implies to make the other person a giver also.” So said Eric Fromm whose quote starts this research paper which travels to the heart of mutual aid. The clear message? In helping other, we help ourselves. The recovery saying “We only keep what we have by giving it away” hits the mark in this respect. What […]

Narcotics Anonymous for military veterans

Posted · 1 Comment

A few years back in a city far, far away, I asked a consultant addiction psychiatrist why he did not refer any of his patients to NA. “There’s not a shred of evidence that it works,” he said. Even then he was misinformed, but I’ve thought many times since then about how his patients were […]

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

Posted · 3 Comments

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 […]

Methadone and 12-step

Posted · 4 Comments

Given the dearth of research on NA populations this study from Bill White and colleagues is welcome. Knowing what we do already from the research on mutual aid groups, the researchers made the reasonable assumption that clients on ORT attending 12-step mutual aid were likely to achieve to higher levels of abstinence (no illicit drugs or alcohol) […]

Best mutual aid blogs

Posted · Add Comment

Networking with other recovering people is at the heart of many folks’ recovery. The evidence that it makes a difference to outcomes is substantial and growing and it’s a subject I find myself returning to again and again on Recovery Review. Here are a few of my favourite mutual aid blogs: Legal Highs and Cocaine […]

Recovery Speakers – new recovery resource

Posted · Add Comment

The ancient tradition of the narrative and storytelling permeates all cultures and has a value in teaching, supporting and binding people and communities together. In recovery communities, particularly 12-step groups, those narratives continue to encourage, instil hope, offer warnings and illuminate the path ahead. A new free recovery resource has been launched. Archivists spent five years […]

Al-Anon and Family Recovery

Posted · Add Comment

Addiction can cause great damage in families. For such families there are arguably too few family support groups around. Al-Anon has a solid presence in many Scottish cities (there are about 800 groups in the UK). There are a tiny number of Families Anonymous groups (two recently opened in Lothian) and although SMART Family groups […]