Drug legalisation and recovery

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Bill White reminds us of something that seems to have been forgotten in the debate around legalisation of cannabis – the impact this might have on recovering people. He focuses on the current changing picture in the USA around cannabis particularly. These debates, focused primarily on the psychopharmacology of cannabis and the personal and social costs […]

Can recovering drug addicts drink safely?

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In Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings up and down the country tonight, members will read out literature warning those attending that drinking alcohol is a risk to their recoveries. This is not based on scientific study, but on the experience across decades of those following the 12-step programme. When considered in the light of […]

Addiction and recovery research – time for change

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SMMGP has a great downloadable presentation on addiction treatment research. By Jim Orford, it’s a couple of years old now, but it has not lost any of its relevance. I’ve been writing on the problem of lack of addiction research generally and a definite near absence on recovery research. But we don’t want research for […]

Addiction research – letting us down?

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One of the clear recommendations to come out of the recent hard-hitting Expert Review on delivering Opioid Replacement Therapies in Scotland was to do with research. It seems there’s not much addiction research going on in Scotland. How well are our treatment services doing? We can’t really say. Anyone reading the review could reasonably conclude, […]

Legal highs – not for human consumption

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Legal highs in Lothian The UK has the largest market for new psychoactive substances (NSP or “legal highs”) in Europe. Scotland is no stranger to them and, as a seminar in Edinburgh heard last week, the Lothian area is seeing a surge in demand, some worrying trends in injecting and significant new presentations due to problems […]

Is abstinence a political or personal goal?

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Abstinence political? In a commentary, Drug and Alcohol Findings (DAF) tackles the contentious issue of what addiction treatment is trying to achieve – the ‘what should treatment be for?’ question. The ‘A’ word (abstinence) comes up of course – incredibly it’s still seen as contentious that a significant proportion of clients/patients might want abstinent recovery. […]

Population vs personalised care – two sides of a coin

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Writing on BMJ blogs, Muir Gray makes the case that any distinction between public health and clinical care is artificial – population vs personalised care are two sides of the same coin. He thinks of this in terms of value. For public health, benefits rise fast as investment increases, then there is a levelling out (the […]

What is recovery and how do we measure it?

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What is recovery and how do we measure it? It’s a contentious issue. One problem with asking services to deliver recovery outcomes is that we actually do need to measure something to see if taxpayers are getting value for money. In a recently published paper, John F Kelly and Bettina Hoeppner from Harvard, take a […]

What’s the point of harm reduction?

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What’s the point of harm reduction? To reduce harm; that much is obvious. Is that enough? Arguably it is, or it isn’t depending on where you stand. The Matrix Bites series in the carefully researched Drug & Alcohol Findings takes on this question and others in a reflective presentation on the evidence. The narrative here points […]

Legal Highs – the gathering storm

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  Legal highs, or novel psychoactive substances NPS, are attracting a lot of attention at the moment. This attention is not just from users and prospective users, they on the radar of the police, A&E departments, GPs, criminal justice workers, treatment providers, mental health units and of families. In the space of a year or two […]