Thinking a lot these days about alcohol, like all drugs it is neither good nor bad, but even among those who can moderate, there are always a cost. As behavioral neuroscientist Dr Judith Grisel notes, every time you use a drug there is a good feeling, but there is always a “payback” as the brain … Continue reading Alcohol Use Disorders– the Silent and Common Killer Amongst Us
In the midst of winter here in Scotland when days are short, snow is on the ground and we’re in lockdown, it’s easy to get low. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about residential rehabilitation and where it fits into treatment options. I think it's true to say that rehab has felt a bit stuck … Continue reading Is the winter over for rehab in Scotland?
Negative Space and Art In visual art, the area outside or around the main object is called “negative space”. For example, if one draws a deer and places the deer on an abstract background, the abstract background is termed “negative space”. In art, negative space is important. What should the negative space be made of? … Continue reading Negative space
https://open.spotify.com/episode/0UDj8r1qQD9MlbPLfZb3Md?si=GGrfbVF-RT-HtutJiDzn5A This podcast involves three of my favorite people. It's a conversation about recovery in the context of community. It's brief and well worth your time. Enjoy! Derek Wolfe created and hosts Vital Discussions. He's a medical student who will be starting a psychiatry residency soon. The podcast focuses on the medical community. We met … Continue reading Recovery and Community with Anna Byberg and Matt Statman
Which teachers were the best when you were at school? Likely the ones who believed in you, connected with you, who had a vision for where you could go and who enthusiastically helped you get there. I remember struggling with maths at school - I was always a writer, not an adder. Unfortunately I needed … Continue reading Clinicians’ attitudes to recovery
Our substance use care infrastructure and workforce has never been in particularly good shape. It is largely held together by passionate people who care about the work and who serve in the face of a myriad of barriers and challenges. It is a constant upstream swim even in the best of times. This is a … Continue reading An Epidemic Within a Pandemic – More Questions Than Answers
Drink does not drown care, but waters it, and makes it grow fasterBenjamin Franklin When we consider the things that make us vulnerable to addiction – trauma, poverty, lack of opportunity, stress, stigma, genetics and environment, it’s no surprise that relapse and the development of problems with other substances occur after treatment. These problems don't … Continue reading Drinking when in recovery from other substances
Recently, I have seen yet another wave of anti-12 step promotion via various digital formats and blogs. The various talking point involve, "AA is not evidence-based","AA has incredibly low success rates," and a variety of cultural criticisms and safety warnings. Time and time again I run across people who quite suddenly demand that I offer … Continue reading 2020’s Top Ten Posts #1: 12-Step Skepticism and The Evidence
I am a huge advocate for the five-year care paradigm. I have written about it extensively, including a STAT news article early this year and a piece with Dr Robert Dupont among others. Put simply, the five-year recovery paradigm is a call to reorganize our care system around the fact that people who reach five … Continue reading “We Can’t Help Everyone” – the Mentality of Structural Bias
What do patients want when they come to treatment? My own experience suggests simple things: relief of emotional pain; a healed life; to be a better mum, dad, partner, human being; to let go of shame; to have a job and to be free from the Groundhog Day experience of addiction. Modest goals. Some people … Continue reading Is treatment offering what patients and their families want?