Someone relatively new to the substance use disorder area asked me recently why I thought there was so much division and hostility in the addiction and recovery field, compared to other parts of health and social care. Do we really have more conflict than in some other healthcare areas? There are strongly held positions which … Continue reading Polarisation, tension and hostility: just another day in the field of addictions.
1. Hope matters in recovery I’ve been musing a bit recently on the place of hope in addiction treatment and in recovery journeys. Researchers from the USA identified that hope, although recognised as essential for recovery, was not well researched in terms of how it helps recovery progress. They used validated tools (questionnaires) to assess hope … Continue reading Three things about recovery that are really worth knowing
Recovery journeys can be long and involve several attempts in order for people to resolve their problems. Treatment can be part of this for many, but there are multiple factors outside of treatment that also influence outcomes. One of these is housing. Homeless people with substance use disorders have higher risks, exacerbated further if there … Continue reading Sober living houses – life worth living
Therapeutic nihilism “None of them will ever get better”, the addiction doctor said to me of her patients, “As soon as you accept that, this job gets easier.” This caution was given to me in a packed MAT (medication assisted treatment) clinic during my visit to a different city from the one I work in … Continue reading “None of them will ever get better”
Switching from doctor to patient was not an easy transition for me. My first attempt at recovery was medically assisted, but only got me so far. What I needed was something more profound: hope, healing and connection to other recovering people. In this podcast for the National Wellbeing Hub, Dr Claire Fyvie interviews me about … Continue reading Top ten of 2021 #3 – The genesis of hope: a recovery story
There’s a narrative that’s been around for a while, but it’s been gaining ground in the last few months. This last couple of months alone, it’s been in the ether, permeating social media conversations and even appeared in an academic paper. The issue relates to recovery-oriented drug policies and the tone is negative. The thrust … Continue reading Did a recovery strategy cause drug deaths?
We can no more do without spirituality than we can do without food, shelter or clothing – Bruce Lipton Despite the fact that there are plenty of us about, we don’t have as much information as we would like on people in long term recovery. In one study, Mark Galanter and colleagues took the opportunity … Continue reading Spirituality – steer away or steer towards?
It seems to be human nature to go to extremes; especially when something shows promising results. Harm reduction has been shown to save lives and therefore should be celebrated and implemented. However, it seems that harm reduction has become the entire conversation about recovery; specifically, the support of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Alex Pentland, a professor studying human behaviour at … Continue reading What effect does harm reduction have on recovery culture? Guest blog by Dylan Lundgren
A while back, David Best and Dan Lubman published an article called ‘The Recovery Paradigm: A Model of Hope and Change for Alcohol and Drug Addiction’. I had reason to read it again this week and found much to encourage me in it. Here are some key messages from the piece with my comments in … Continue reading Hope and change for addiction
Last week a book I had ordered dropped through the letterbox. It’s Adam Hill’s ‘Long Walk Out of the Woods’. He’s a doctor who developed an alcohol use disorder and recovered from it. The book about his journey is next on my reading list. The arrival of Adam’s book triggered thoughts of my own story and then … Continue reading Doctors, Nurses and Recovery