Why recovery needs to embrace harm reduction

Posted · 2 Comments

Weave harm reduction in Despite my focus on recovery I have a strong harm reduction ethos at my core. Sure, I challenge services to be recovery-orientated, but I firmly believe that the reverse needs to be true. Rehabs and other services with a recovery goal ought to have harm reduction practices woven into their fabric. […]

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 […]

Addiction is like diabetes, so treat it the same way

Posted · Add Comment

Does addiction behave like diabetes? In some ways, yes. The two are common, acquired conditions influenced by genetics and environment. In the UK, diabetes is managed in primary care using the chronic care management model. Changes in legislation in the USA mean that there will be more focus on chronic disease management in the future. […]

Recovery too hard? Methadone for life!

Posted · Add Comment

  Berlin, like many big cities has a heroin problem. People presenting for help are being prescribed opioid replacement therapy (ORT) in greater numbers. That’s a good thing isn’t it? Well it depends on what you think is the end goal of treatment. At the start of this interesting recent German paper  “Why do patients stay […]

Methadone and the Hall of Mirrors

Posted · Add Comment

The International Journal of Drug Policy takes an editorial wander through the ‘hall of mirrors’ that is opioid replacement therapy pointing out that, depending on viewpoint, ORT can be seen as “a medical treatment; a method of harm reduction; an overdose prevention tactic; a crime reduction strategy; a public health measure; a social welfare intervention; an administrative […]

Addiction researchers’ early trumpeting can leave foul stench

Posted · 4 Comments

Keith Humphreys is given prominence in the journal Addiction to make powerful points about the harm that can be done when scientists are too eager to share new findings. Too eager means bypassing the peer review process that can highlight research shortcomings and often limits the potential for misunderstandings. He points to the recent headlines which […]

Legal highs and Cocaine Anonymous: both growing

Posted · 2 Comments

Legal Highs, now more accurately called Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPSs), or simply ‘new drugs’ are on the radar. They are on the radar not just of Rab and Kirsty down on the High Street who can find them next door to Tesco Metro, but also on the radar of their families, of treatment services, of […]

Tramadol Abuse

Posted · 2 Comments

Drug treatment used to seem so simple. Clients had a drug of choice, lets say alcohol, heroin or cocaine, and they came to treatment for help for that drug. Now they have a drug of choice AND whatever medication they are being prescribed. Treatment is suddenly so much more complicated. Those drugs are things like pregabalin, […]

Methadone and 12-step

Posted · 2 Comments

Given the dearth of research on NA populations this study from Bill White and colleagues is welcome. Knowing what we do already from the research on mutual aid groups, the researchers made the reasonable assumption that clients on ORT attending 12-step mutual aid were likely to achieve to higher levels of abstinence (no illicit drugs or alcohol) […]

Getting plugged in makes you well

Posted · 2 Comments

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 variable increases risk by 19%. […]