Getting plugged in is key to recovery

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Isolation: the curse of addiction Loneliness and isolation are best mates of addiction. Of course, it’s not just those with addictions who suffer from loneliness. Professor John Cacioppo presented recently at a conference in Chicago, pointing out that that the impact of loneliness on premature death ‘is nearly as strong as the impact of disadvantaged socioeconomic status’ – and that […]

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 […]

The British red face – the UK and drugs

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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 […]

Smoking in recovery – the Blue Whale in the room 

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Blue Whale Alert Smoking and other addictions go hand in hand. In treatment populations, it’s usual to find that about 80-90% of clients are current smokers, compared to 20% of, say, the Scottish population. Nobody has done a survey on smoking prevalence in recovering populations in Scotland, but I would guess that for smoking in recovery […]

Anabolic steroids – ignorance is not bliss

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Anabolic steroids are used to enhance body image. I took a look at this recently. Their use is fairly common in gyms. A study of almost 800 gay men attending gyms in London found that one in seven had used steroids in the last year and almost 12% had injected. All reported side effects including […]

Anabolic steroids – bulking up for what?

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Anabolic steroids are popular and their use is on the up in the UK. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) reckons that 60,000 adults in England & Wales have used them. We could probably add another 6,000 from Scotland to that and even then that is beginning to look conservative if we go by […]

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 […]

e-cigarettes not aimed at young people? Not much.

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A tobacco dependence expert reassures us that e-cigarettes won’t lead to smoking tobacco: Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, claimed that “virtually nobody” who is a non-smoker experimenting with e-cigarettes would move on to daily smoking Maybe not, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping […]

Stamp out stigma

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Stamp out stigma. That’s the aim of a new campaign in the United States which recognises the challenges addicted people and those with mental illness face in their attempts to recover. It’s not that long ago since a report on stigma in Scotland, (part of a larger report on stigma in the UK) was published. […]