What is recovery?

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A stumbling block to moving forward with recovery in the UK and elsewhere is lack of agreement about what recovery actually is. Highly specific definitions (e.g. recovery = abstinence) can lead to exclusion and fierce disagreement while non-specific definitions are too woolly to measure in services which are being asked to deliver measurable outcomes. Professionals and recovering people […]

Methadone and 12-step

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This blog is a re-run but I’ve published it again because of recent comments it has attracted (at end of blog) Methadone and 12-step 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 […]

CA, AA, NA and SMART – differences and similarities

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In the next part of my interview with Tom, a doctor in recovery, he explores the relationships between different sorts of mutual aid. What’s the overlap between CA, AA, NA and SMART? My experience is that there can sometimes be some friction between the different fellowships. I’m not entirely sure why this happens but I […]

AA or NA for drug dependent clients?

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In addiction treatment, study after study has shown a link between attending mutual aid and better outcomes for substance user disorders. These better outcomes include abstinence and there is consistent evidence of health cost savings. In Scotland we are fortunate to have around 1000 mutual aid meetings running weekly in our cities, towns and villages. […]

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 […]

Methadone and 12-step

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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) […]