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. […]

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 […]

Narcotics Anonymous for military veterans

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A few years back in a city far, far away, I asked a consultant addiction psychiatrist why he did not refer any of his patients to NA. “There’s not a shred of evidence that it works,” he said. Even then he was misinformed, but I’ve thought many times since then about how his patients were […]

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) […]

Can recovering drug addicts drink safely?

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In Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous meetings up and down the country tonight, members will read out literature warning those attending that drinking alcohol is a risk to their recoveries. This is not based on scientific study, but on the experience across decades of those following the 12-step programme. When considered in the light of […]

Best mutual aid blogs

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Networking with other recovering people is at the heart of many folks’ recovery. The evidence that it makes a difference to outcomes is substantial and growing and it’s a subject I find myself returning to again and again on Recovery Review. Here are a few of my favourite mutual aid blogs: Legal Highs and Cocaine […]

New Psychoactive Substances in Scotland – Etizolam

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Benzodiazepines (benzos) and opioids seem to go together like fish and chips. Many drug users purchase prescription diazepam (valium, ‘vallies’). Some are on a prescription (despite lack of evidence for effectiveness of long term prescribing and some concerns about a link with increased mortality). Some purchase ‘street’ benzos which can contain other things including amitryptyline which is […]