Al-Anon and Family Recovery

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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 […]

Recovery research is in dire straits

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The Fix has a piece on the poor state of addiction funding, but focuses on research for pharmacological solutions. The conclusion is controversial: The gorilla in the room around this question turns out to be the ideology of the decision makers. “There are ideological constraints tied to what gets funded,” says Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive […]

Detox is not enough

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One of the problems with treatment outcome research is that it’s typically not really recovery research. Often treatment outcome studies for opiate addiction will focus on opioid replacement, measuring reduction of harms over time using baseline measurements against eventual outcomes. If they compare treatment types then ORT is often compared against detox, which is arguably […]

What can doctors in long term recovery teach us?

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We can no more do without spirituality than we can do without food, shelter or clothing – Bruce Lipton Despite the fact that there are plenty of them about, we don’t have a lot of information on people in long term recovery. The researchers behind this study took the opportunity to interview doctors in long […]

Spirituality and recovery

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Spirituality and recovery – do they go together? Hang on a second; what is spirituality and why are scientific articles on the place of spirituality in recovery falling into my inbox on a regular basis? Yes, I’m calling them scientific articles because they appear in peer-reviewed journals. I was at a graduate art show last […]

More benzodiazepines, more deaths

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Addiction & Recovery News highlights benzodiazepine related problems from two recent pieces of research. The first is about benzodiazepines and early death. The British Medical Journal reports on a UK General Practice study: We found evidence of an association between prescription of anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs and mortality over an average follow-up period of 7.6 […]

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 […]

Pain management in drug addiction & recovery

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“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” So starts a paper on managing chronic pain in patients with opioid dependence. It’s a dilemma, or is it really? It’s actually less of a dilemma because the evidence for opioids in chronic pain is pretty ropey in everybody, never mind in addicted populations. When you balance potential benefits up against the risks […]

The ten most important things known about addiction. Part 2

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The conclusion of this two-parter. Part one here. Professor Selman’s last five essentials: 6. Different therapies appear to produce similar treatment outcomes. Project MATCH, a huge psychotherapy trial showed similar outcomes for the techniques of motivational enhancement therapy, twelve step facilitation and cognitive behavioural therapy. Other trials including British ones have shown the same results. The […]

The ten most important things known about addiction. Part 1

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Doug Sellman is a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine in New Zealand. In 2010 in the journal Addiction, a world leader, he attempted the difficult task of distilling the ten things you need to know about addiction from the research of the last thirty years. No mean feat. Well, what are they? Ten things are way […]