I appreciate the reflections in Dr. Jana Burson's most recent blog post. In particular, the following caught my attention: "I hear abstinence-only proponents criticize medications for opioid use disorder, and I think to myself, 'If you only knew how much some people benefit from methadone/buprenorphine, you would change your mind.' When I hear people who … Continue reading Janaburson’s Blog
Science evolves through collaboration, debates, support, and refutations between scientists. This fact is no less true in the science of recovery. Recent discussions regarding new boundaries in the definition of "recovery" illuminate the mechanics of what scientists, clinicians, and people in recovery feel are essential characteristics of recovery. As one of the authors regarding the … Continue reading Reflections on Current Debates Regarding Recovery Definitions
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
In their 2020 Commentary published in The Journal of Addiction Medicine (a journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine aka ASAM), Kelly and Bergman state that: “Individuals with regular and increasing very heavy alcohol consumption cannot be considered as maintaining ‘recovery’ due to toxicity and intoxication-related risks”. Why did they publish a commentary about … Continue reading Continuing “Very Heavy Drinking” and Also Meeting An Improved Definition of Recovery?
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana The other day I was on a zoom call and I could see a poster of local recovery history behind one of the persons I was talking to. I asked about it, and he told me he had stumbled on the … Continue reading A System that Fails to Retain its History or Prepare for the Future
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’?
America has been using more substance during the COVID-19 pandemic, a result of increased stress and isolation. We are starting to glimpse the repercussions of these dynamics. There is early evidence of the consequences of heavier use across our society. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that hospitals affiliated with the University of Michigan, Northwestern … Continue reading The Piper Must be Paid, Sooner or Later
“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?
It seems that during recent years, within the substance use disorder arena, there has been a trend toward changing views about: substance use, sobriety, abstinence, the harms of use, harm reduction, recovery, pathways of personal improvement, problematic use, and addiction illness itself. While advancements, improvements, and innovations are welcome, what should be preserved? And how … Continue reading The Four Pests: recovery, sobriety/abstinence, addiction illness, and treatment