Drug treatment is not delivering on recovery

Posted · 7 Comments

This hot-off-the-press paper starts with a financial bent. The costs to the UK taxpayer of illicit drug use are £15.4 billion ($26.1 billion) annually, most of it from crime. Quite a bill. How ought we reduce this? Medication assisted treatment (MAT) say Dale-Perera and colleagues, because strategies associated with rapid abstinence are associated with poor […]

Alcohol related brain damage – mostly hidden

Posted · 2 Comments

Alcohol’s not good for the brain. At least too much of it for too long is not good for the brain. Effects can range from mild memory impairment through trouble with judgement and decision making through to permanent dementia. The British Medical Journal covers a recent report on the subject and it makes for alarming reading: Between […]

The British red face – the UK and drugs

Posted · Add Comment

The publication of the European Drug Report last week, covered by Vice, highlighted that Europe likes drugs – but also that the UK is up there again and again near the top of the league for consumption. I guess it’s because we keep our own drug figures in Scotland, but the boffins at the snappily titled […]

Legal high problems – time to wake up

Posted · Add Comment

Legal high problems Legal highs, or novel psychoactive substances (NPS), have been causing unusual presentations at A&E (Emergency Room) departments in European cities. Because these are relatively new drugs, doctors and other healthcare professionals are not always familiar with them. They are not easy to test for either, requiring specialist forensic laboratories in the main. […]

Recovery aggro – will we ever agree?

Posted · 2 Comments

What is recovery and how do you measure it? It’s contentious; that’s for sure. Recovery aggro is a reality. We could take off our coats and go outside to settle it or we can try to get some sort of consensus. Abstinence or maintenance If you align recovery solely with abstinence, you risk losing out on […]

Doctors and Nurses with Addictions

Posted · Add Comment

As I’ve said before, doctors get addicted to alcohol and other drugs. They also get different treatment and outcomes from their patients. But what about nurses? If you are a nurse or a doctor with a substance problem and it comes to the attention of your employer, then what happens to you in the UK […]

Legal Highs in Scotland: cause for concern

Posted · 1 Comment

Scotland is seeing a change in the pattern of drug use. Actually that’s putting it mildly – Scotland is seeing a potentially profound change in the pattern of drug use. New heroin use seems to be declining and the new kid on the block, Novel Psychoactive Substances (known as ‘legal-highs’) is carving out turf. I […]

Methadone, Suboxone and Recovery: what really happened?

Posted · Add Comment

Recently I found a paper I wanted to read about the policy shift from harm reduction to recovery in the UK and the impact on attitudes to methadone. It’s a fascinating subject. As I say, I really wanted to read it, but I kept getting distracted by a persistent question: what’s the difference between recovery […]