Riff raff not welcome – the poison of professional stigma

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Why do some health care professionals turn their noses up at the prospect of treating alcoholics or addicts? GPs can opt out of offering evidence-based opiate replacement therapy (ORT) to opiate dependent patients. They don’t opt out of treating hypertension or diabetes. And this is by no means a primary care issue. Generic mental health […]

Addiction – losing the power of choice

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‘Tom’, a doctor with a drug dependency, found his recovery through mutual aid in the fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous (CA). This is the second part of my interview with him. Here he describes how the 12-step programme began to make sense. What did you like about CA? I was attracted to CA because I felt […]

Will you still love me tomorrow? Guest blog by Kuladharini

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A postcard to UK from Scotland… Congratulations UKRW organizing group on the massive success of the UK recovery walk that took place in Manchester, England last Saturday. We are doffing our collective caps at the largest gathering of recovering people in Europe… 8000 people in recovery, friends and family. You so rock! Today Scotland takes to […]

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 […]

A doctor finds recovery in Cocaine Anonymous

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This is the first instalment of a several-part interview with a doctor who found his recovery through treatment and membership of Cocaine Anonymous. How did you get to CA? Numerous attempts at controlling my substance use weren’t working. I was unable to stop taking drugs. As a consequence I was caught stealing controlled drugs from my workplace. […]

Altruism and AlAnon: in helping we are helped

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“Giving implies to make the other person a giver also.” So said Eric Fromm whose quote starts this research paper which travels to the heart of mutual aid. The clear message? In helping other, we help ourselves. The recovery saying “We only keep what we have by giving it away” hits the mark in this respect. What […]

Why recovery needs to embrace harm reduction

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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. […]

Commissioning, harm reduction and recovery: a conversation

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The intent of the recovery-orientated drugs policies of the UK and Scottish Governments is to allow more people to find their way to lasting recovery. After years of a harm reduction focus, it’s understandable that it might take some time to build up an expertise and experience around recovery. While there can be little doubt […]

Enforced ‘recovery’ unethical

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Wales and Scotland and have national naloxone programmes, England does not. In light of the jump in drugs deaths related to opioids, concerns have been raised again about the situation. John Jolly, CEO of Blenheim, writes powerfully on his blog about the shame of this and points the finger at disinvestment in harm reduction and […]