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 […]

Detoxification from drugs – the nuts and the bolts

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I’ve been thinking a bit about detox this last week or two and thought I’d revisit some words from the past with some practical pointers on what might be said to a client thinking about detoxification from drugs. This is a personal view, not a guideline or the basis for direct advice as every client has […]

Drug treatment is not delivering on recovery

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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 […]

Antidepressants – not always happy pills

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The Fix has an article on antidepressants which, amongst other things, tackles the problems a significant number of people have when trying to stop them. Officially called ‘discontinuation syndrome’ these are arguably withdrawals by any other name. When you consider that there is little evidence of effectiveness of antidepressants for mild to moderate depression and they are […]

Alcohol related brain damage – mostly hidden

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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 […]

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 […]

Moderate drinking or abstinence for alcoholics?

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There is evidence that treatment seekers favour abstinence when they come for help, but what does abstinence offer in terms of quality of life (QOL), compared to continued heavy drinking or moderate drinking? My own experience is that many dependent drinkers will first seek to try out controlled drinking. However some have already realised that […]

Addicts Don’t Recover

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Addicts don’t recover That’s what I was told once, admittedly a long time ago, on a visit to a service in a different locality. The reasons were twofold according to the addiction worker I was talking to. Firstly this was her observed experience over years of working in the field and secondly, she said, if you don’t […]