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’?
Reducing the stigma associated with addiction – the word itself now tagged with a degree of stigma – is a priority in drugs policy. Stigmatising attitudes contribute to drug harms and deaths through delaying access to treatment, leaving treatment early and increased risk-taking behaviour. Brea Perry and her colleagues at Indiana University took a look at … Continue reading Wiping out stigma
In many places peer support has been integrated into addiction treatment services, often with enthusiasm. What do we know about the effect of peer support though? In my own service, introduction of a structured peer support programme was associated with a sharp increase in retention (treatment completion) rates – but that’s not evidence in the … Continue reading Peer Support – does it make a difference?
I recently read a series of great posts that had no direct relationship to addiction or recovery but they got me thinking about the power of culture as a sustaining force in addiction. The series was sparked by a Forbes blogger who wrote a post entitled, If I Were A Poor Black Kid. It inspired … Continue reading The confines of culture
Jonah Lehrer reviews recent findings on "social contagion" and obesity: It turns out that the habits of others shape our own, that we unconsciously regress to the dietary norms around us. Because we’re not particularly good at noticing when we’re sated and full – the stomach is a crude sensory organ – we rely on … Continue reading Stick with the winners
From an interview with the author of a book on how peer pressure has the potential to transform the world in positive ways [emphasis mine]: Why is there so much fear around connectedness? Some of the people in that group were afraid that other people would become busybodies and that they'd almost get too close … Continue reading The go-to way
The University of Michigan is trying a new program to improve depression care by involving a friend or family member in their care. Patients who enroll in the CarePartner program enlist a trusted individual in their life to check-in on them and help manage depressive symptoms. The program entails the patient completing an automated telephone assessment … Continue reading CarePartners