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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pain needs painkillers – right?

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Overprescribing of opioid painkillers has caused harm to many people. Problems include addiction, loss of social functioning and increasingly, though still relatively uncommonly in the UK, to death. Concerns have been raised about deaths associated with tramadol in particular. I’ve written before about the lack of evidence of effectiveness for opiates in chronic pain, but it […]

More unmissable addiction and recovery resources

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I posted a few months back on some essential blogs and news sites around addiction and recovery. I’ve reposted my favourites and added a few more in an update. Feel free to add your own selections in the comments below. What websites will help folk recover from addiction? There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of blogs […]

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 […]

From opioid pills to heroin injecting

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SMMGP reviews research relevant to primary care in its July bulletin. Dr Euan Lawson covers a paper called  “Every ‘Never’ I Ever Said Came True”: Transitions from opioid pills to heroin injecting.  The paper studies those moving from prescription pill opioids (e.g. oxycodone) to heroin: People who had progressed to heroin from prescription opioids typically reported […]

Drug legalisation and recovery

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Bill White reminds us of something that seems to have been forgotten in the debate around legalisation of cannabis – the impact this might have on recovering people. He focuses on the current changing picture in the USA around cannabis particularly. These debates, focused primarily on the psychopharmacology of cannabis and the personal and social costs […]

Bill White’s 55 Recovery Reflections

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William White has been blogging over the last year in bite size chunks. He has just listed all his posts which are full of essential recovery gems. Take a look at his 55 recovery reflections; you will not be disappointed. Some recovery reflections favourites: Recovery Durability:  The 5-year Set Point If you reach the 5-year […]