Top ten of 2021 #2 – Wiping out stigma

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[1] at … Continue reading Top ten of 2021 #2 – Wiping out stigma

Is the impact of lived experience ‘fake news’?

The pandemic’s been tough. The repercussions have focussed the minds of researchers Louise Byrne and Til Wykes[1]. 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’?

Peer Support – does it make a difference?

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?


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