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 […]

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 […]

Not 12-step or SMART – 12-step AND SMART

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What value could there possibly be in getting people with social and brain impairment together to help each other without any sort of professional involvement? John F Kelly and Bill White suggest this could be interpreted as ‘the blind leading the blind.’As it turns out, there’s quite a bit of merit in mutual aid with […]

Methadone’s bad press

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There’s something odd about methadone. Well, maybe not so much about methadone, but about the way it’s seen. It gets bad press. Think back to lurid headlines in the Scottish tabloids a couple of years ago – the ones partially responsible for the Chief Medical Officer’s Expert Review on ORT. This is a paradox, for […]

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 […]

Is abstinence a political or personal goal?

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Abstinence political? In a commentary, Drug and Alcohol Findings (DAF) tackles the contentious issue of what addiction treatment is trying to achieve – the ‘what should treatment be for?’ question. The ‘A’ word (abstinence) comes up of course – incredibly it’s still seen as contentious that a significant proportion of clients/patients might want abstinent recovery. […]

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 […]