Best addiction and recovery blogs

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We’re just past the six month mark on Recovery Review with 40,000 visitors to the site. Here are the five most-read blogs on the site – the five best addiction and recovery blogs. Gold standard addiction treatment This article highlighted the fact that doctors with addictions get a very different standard of treatment from their patients […]

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 improves mental health; what’s next?

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Good to see some research from Aberdeen focusing on mental health in patients on methadone and other opiate replacement therapy. Academics in Primary Care conducted a systematic review looking at twenty-two studies where mental health had been assessed at baseline and again at follow up. What did they find? “Mental health significantly improved for all groups receiving […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stigma – a good thing?

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Stigma discredits individuals and groups, reducing social status and creating ‘spoiled identities’, says Goffman. It’s not a good thing. But hang on a minute – might it have a positive function? Could it actually help in terms of public health? Help by changing behaviour through societal pressure. If so, that would be a good thing, […]

Young people and 12-step – what’s not to like?

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Recent research suggests AA works as well for young people as it does for older adults, although maybe in different ways. Referring to 12-step mutual aid is embodied in our National Clinical Guidelines, National Drugs Policies and by NICE. Getting people to go is a different story as a leaflet and a recommendation has a […]