Does AA work for young people?

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Evidence has accumulated over the last couple of decades of the association between attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous and improved drinking outcomes, including abstinence. AA is sometimes seen as an organisation that is better suited to older drinkers seeking sobriety than to folk under thirty, though there are in fact young people’s meetings in various large […]

Gabapentin and pregabalin misuse

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  Gabapentin and pregabalin misuse are problems that are not going to go away. My post on gabapentin is one of the most-read on this site. While these are useful medicines, workers in drug treatment and support see patients regularly on gabapentin or pregabalin who have misused the drugs or who are misusing them. Guidance is […]

12 things about alcohol and other drugs

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Andrew Brown at DrugScope posted a great little presentation called 12 things about alcohol and other drugs you may have missed. It’s an eclectic collection of interesting and useful facts that just might have passed us by. He is absolutely right, I had missed many of them. The info on residential rehab in Europe and […]

Over the counter drug addiction

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In many countries around the world, codeine is available only on prescription. It’s a weak opioid, but can still cause addiction. Low dose codeine is also available in the UK, over-the-counter (OTC) in pharmacies. It’s sold in combination with paracetamol (co-codamol, e.g. Solpadol), in combination with ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen Plus), and in combination with dihydrocodeine (co-dydramol, e.g. […]

Stopping benzos – not as hard as you’d think?

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Nobody wants to come off benzos – right? Too hard, too unpleasant and no willingness. But hang on a minute… DB Recovery Resources links to a study that used a structured intervention (the gorgeously named BAMP) to help folk come off benzodiazepines and what do you know, 70% were tapered or discontinued. That said the researchers […]

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 […]

Gold standard addiction treatment

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  Gold standard addiction treatment Addiction to alcohol or other drugs is not easy to recover from. However there are many pathways to recovery, including through treatment. One group of patients does far better than most other groups. In fact their results are so impressive that many commentators have urged us to learn from what’s […]

Addicted Doctors

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Doctors get addicted to drugs. There’s not much contention about that. Whether they do so at a higher rate than the general population is a matter of debate. The authors of a new discussion paper suggest that they do, although no evidence is produced in this regard. I’m not so convinced on that point. There […]

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 […]

Evidence based medicine – holding things back?

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A drugs worker told me a few years back that he would never refer a patient to a recovery service on the basis that he would not be following the evidence base. I did ask him at the time ‘but what if that’s not what the client wants?’ It seemed the evidence base came first. […]