Who’s “we”? by Jason Schwartz

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This article has been forwarded to me by several people. Its author has been writing a series of articles that seek to redefine addiction and recovery. As Eve Tushnet recently observed, “There’s another narrative, though, which is emerging at sites like The Fix and Substance.com.” This sentence is representative of this alternative narrative: “The addiction field has struggled with defining recovery […]

What do clinicians make of addiction recovery?

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Which teachers were the best when you were at school? Likely the ones who believed in you, connected with you, who had a vision for where you could go and who enthusiastically helped you get there. The same characteristics are likely to define the best clinicians too. In a study, published a few days ago, […]

A comprehensive look at stigma

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Bill White takes a comprehensive look at stigma and how it is best tackled in addicted and recovering people in a blog post. He touches on the argument that stigma can be a good thing (acting as a deterrent to others to try drugs) and finds it wanting. He looks at the evidence that stigma […]

Suboxone or Methadone – what do service users want?

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NHS North Lanarkshire asked 90 of their patients to give their viewpoints on what they thought of Suboxone vs. methadone for opioid replacement therapy (ORT). They found that ‘in comparison to methadone, patients receiving buprenorphine–naloxone were highly positive about their treatment experiences and its advantages over methadone, including the “clear-headed response”, improved well-being and concentration, possibility of […]

Do we disable people by calling addiction a disease?

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I spotted a tweet a few weeks back vigorously opposing calling addiction a disease. A few weeks before this, someone I follow on Twitter was advocating for the terms “addict” and “alcoholic” to be abandoned because they are stigmatising. I thought of the tens of thousands of recovering people meeting weekly in Britain’s six and a […]

Spice, Kryptonite, Black Mamba – legal high marketing

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That the market for ‘legal highs’, or more accurately, new psychoactive substances (NPS) has grown there is no doubt. What’s also growing, in terms of sophistication and technique, is the marketing of these products. With NPS, things are changing so fast that the research is well behind what’s happening in real time. Business is way […]

Accepting the unacceptable – Scotland and alcohol

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Yesterday I was trapped in a sealed container for fifteen minutes with six very drunk and out of control men. It was an alarming experience. The container was an underground train. It was a Glasgow Underground train. Oddly enough, the last time I travelled on the Subway in Glasgow (last month) I was in the […]

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 […]

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 […]