Does recovery space equal recovery ghetto?

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At the moment, the world’s largest cultural festival is happening in Edinburgh, as it does every year. The place is awash with tourists and revellers. For recovering people there are cues and triggers to be navigated around. There are calls to drink at every corner. For those in early recovery, havens from the madness are […]

Does the GMC treat addicted doctors fairly?

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The General Medical Council, regulator of the UK’s doctors, has been getting a bit of a drubbing recently in terms of how it treats doctors who are not well. A hard-hitting Civitas report held the organisation to account over its own performance. The report was about regulation generally, but it touches on issues relevant to […]

“You’re all going to hate the word ‘recovery'”

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One of the problems with an aspirational and non-prescriptive definition of recovery is that it is hard to measure. The definitions most commonly featured in the literature share some elements including wellbeing or health, abstinence and citizenship. Clearly if you can’t define it precisely, then it’s hard to commission services to deliver on it. In […]

From opioid pills to heroin injecting

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SMMGP reviews research relevant to primary care in its July bulletin. Dr Euan Lawson covers a paper called  “Every ‘Never’ I Ever Said Came True”: Transitions from opioid pills to heroin injecting.  The paper studies those moving from prescription pill opioids (e.g. oxycodone) to heroin: People who had progressed to heroin from prescription opioids typically reported […]

Clicking the recovery mouse – guest blog by Michaela Jones

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  In the early days of my recovery (and throughout my many years of active addiction) I found people terrifying. Coming in ones was bad enough but multiples – particularly when sitting on chairs in a circle – would have me gibbering. Add in situations where I might have to actually speak. Well let’s just […]

Drug legalisation and recovery

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Bill White reminds us of something that seems to have been forgotten in the debate around legalisation of cannabis – the impact this might have on recovering people. He focuses on the current changing picture in the USA around cannabis particularly. These debates, focused primarily on the psychopharmacology of cannabis and the personal and social costs […]

Your brain on porn

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A modern-day phenomenon is causing a stir on discussion and support sites – that of internet pornography ‘addiction’. Linked to mood disturbance, relationship difficulties and erectile dysfunction in some users, compulsive porn viewing does seem to share enough features with substance dependence to become a member of the addiction club, though this is still seen as […]

Does AA work for young people?

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Evidence has accumulated over the last couple of decades of the association between attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous and improved drinking outcomes, including abstinence. AA is sometimes seen as an organisation that is better suited to older drinkers seeking sobriety than to folk under thirty, though there are in fact young people’s meetings in various large […]

Recovery resistance

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When recovery became the bedrock of drugs policy in the UK there were objections. Some commentators were vociferous and condemnatory. Their words were reported prominently in the addictions press provoking a response from academics and clinicians working in the field. Titled Recovery and Straw Men: An Analysis of the Objections Raised to the Transition to […]

The marketing triumphs of legal highs

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There is evidence accumulating from all over that new psychoactive substances (NPS) or ‘legal highs’ are on the up. Reports from mental health services, addiction services, homeless support services and criminal justice settings can leave us in no doubt though hard research evidence is still playing a bit of catch up. One of the reasons that […]