Given that there was a 17% year on year increase in fatalities and that the number of alcohol-specific deaths is a significant underestimate of deaths in which alcohol plays a part, I wondered in a tweet why there was a more muted reaction to the alcohol deaths than to the drug deaths. This touched a nerve it seems. A lot of responses were generated and I wanted to share some of the themes here.
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?
There’s an urgent need to improve our response to Scotland’s drug problems. The focus has quite rightly been on harm reduction interventions, but some (including me) have also called for better access to residential rehab as part of the spectrum of approaches. While clearly not a panacea, could residential rehab make an impact on drug … Continue reading Rehab in Scotland: joining things up
Sean Fogler, a doctor in recovery writing on Stat, explains how his dual roles – that of a physician and that of a person with experience of addiction and recovery – gave him a unique insight into attitudes to patients with substance use disorders and mental health problems in health care systems. He gives evidence … Continue reading Weaponizing Stigma: ‘people don’t die from overdoses’
There’s a bit of attention being given to residential rehabilitation in Scotland at the moment - something that's good to see. A working group that I was part of has made recommendations to the Scottish Government which have been broadly welcomed. It’s good to hear that the Public Health Minister, Joe Fitzpatrick, has pledged £90,000 … Continue reading Residential treatment: making things better
This headline is for all the legalization activists who point to the legal status of tobacco and alcohol. A sobering thought: One billion smokers and 240 million people with alcohol use disorder worldwide (source)
This Foreign Policy article provides a concise snapshot of the failure of the "harsh enforcement" approach to drug policy: As a domestic policy, a harsh enforcement approach has done little to control drug use, but has done a lot to lock up a growing portion of the U.S. population. Cocaine and opiate prices are about half … Continue reading Harsh enforcement has failed