Getting connected to others is good for us. Finding new social networks is an important part of many recovery journeys. Mutual aid recovery organisations are key to this process. In the UK, referring to mutual aid is embodied in our National Clinical Guidelines, National Drugs Policies and is endorsed by the National Institute for Health … Continue reading Young people and mutual aid – what’s not to like?
We should fight to ensure our patients and this field does not accept anything less than flourishing – that should be the goal we bring to our work in research and clinical practice.Eric Strain I grew up in Glasgow, a city whose motto, as every schoolchild was taught, is ‘Let Glasgow flourish’. I think primary … Continue reading Treatment: nothing less than flourishing!
We only keep what we have by giving it away. Altruism helps the giver. It's at the heart of mutual aid and lived experience recovery organisations. This study from a few years back explores some of the issues in family recovery groups. The researchers in this Finnish research looked at communication and support in Al-Anon … Continue reading Altruism: balm for stigma, boon for recovery
I would tell them straight, recovery does not happen in isolation Recovery group member We know mutual aid works to help people with substance use disorders achieve their goals. The recent Cochrane Review, which analysed the evidence for Alcoholics Anonymous reported pretty impressive results. John F Kelly, Keith Humphreys and Marica Ferri “determined that AA was … Continue reading What’s essential for recovery to happen?
The pandemic’s been tough. The repercussions have focussed the minds of researchers Louise Byrne and Til Wykes. Writing in the Journal of Mental Health (open access), they make the point that given the pandemic challenges, there has never been ‘a greater opportunity to stop pathologising the emotional experiences of human beings and start connecting over commonality, sharing … Continue reading Is the impact of lived experience ‘fake news’?
“Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”Albert Einstein These last few weeks I've seen several people writing on the subject of substance use disorder treatment calling for us 'to stick with the evidence' of what works. Research evidence should, quite rightly, inform policy and practice. There's an … Continue reading Recovery-focused interventions: too messy to study?
When discussing the goal of abstinence for opioid use disorder, it sometimes comes up that it's much safer to stay in medication assisted treatment (most often methadone or buprenorphine) than to detox. I agree, but I would never advise a patient just to detox. Detox is a procedure, not a treatment as such. If all … Continue reading Reducing the risks of opioid detox
In a compelling study from Dublin, Paula Mayock and Shane Butler (Trinity College) make the point that little is known about the stigma experienced by individuals attending drug treatment services over prolonged periods. They explored this through the lived-experience narratives of 25 people prescribed long-term methadone. Their findings ‘reveal the intersection of stigma with age … Continue reading Growing older and more stigmatised on methadone
Although the signs are good that journeys to residential rehabilitation in Scotland are about to get a lot easier, there are still some challenges to face. We could quadruple capacity, but if the pathways are not there or blocks exist, more places will make little difference. Not everyone is a fan of rehab and in … Continue reading Need rehab? How can we hinder you?
An oddly affecting video from Studio Filmbilder that captures some of the elements of substance dependence that will strike a chord with many. https://youtu.be/HUngLgGRJpo