Although the signs are good that journeys to residential rehabilitation in Scotland are about to get a lot easier, there are still some challenges to face. We could quadruple capacity, but if the pathways are not there or blocks exist, more places will make little difference. Not everyone is a fan of rehab and in … Continue reading Need rehab? How can we hinder you?
Loneliness and isolation are bedfellows of addiction. Anything that intensifies loneliness will come with increased risks in tow. Of course, it’s not just those with substance use disorders who suffer from loneliness. In 2014, Professor John Cacioppo presented at a conference in Chicago, pointing out that that the impact of loneliness on premature death ‘is nearly as strong … Continue reading Loneliness in the pandemic: risky times
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?
Which teachers were the best when you were at school? Likely the ones who believed in you, connected with you, who had a vision for where you could go and who enthusiastically helped you get there. I remember struggling with maths at school - I was always a writer, not an adder. Unfortunately I needed … Continue reading Clinicians’ attitudes to recovery
Drink does not drown care, but waters it, and makes it grow fasterBenjamin Franklin When we consider the things that make us vulnerable to addiction – trauma, poverty, lack of opportunity, stress, stigma, genetics and environment, it’s no surprise that relapse and the development of problems with other substances occur after treatment. These problems don't … Continue reading Drinking when in recovery from other substances
What do patients want when they come to treatment? My own experience suggests simple things: relief of emotional pain; a healed life; to be a better mum, dad, partner, human being; to let go of shame; to have a job and to be free from the Groundhog Day experience of addiction. Modest goals. Some people … Continue reading Is treatment offering what patients and their families want?
Addiction is normally framed as a chronically relapsing disorder, but a recent research paper from John Kelly and colleagues challenges us to think again. We actually don’t know as much as we might about recovery trajectories and, in terms of the number of attempts needed, there may be grounds for greater hope. Previous research Kelly and his … Continue reading Recovery attempts – how many times?
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
The majority of treatment for drug and alcohol problems is outpatient. Trying to achieve abstinence can be tough and some evidence suggests it is more likely to be the goal of clients than the aspiration of professionals for their clients. How well do clients do? This study by Gerald Cochrane and colleagues from New York looked at … Continue reading Add in mutual aid for better outcomes
Addiction is an equal opportunity condition. Families get to suffer alongside the person with the problem. But as Alex Copello and Jim Orford noted in a past Addiction editorial, there’s a paradox here that needs attention. Firstly, evidence suggests that when families are involved by treatment services, retention in treatment is better. Retention in treatment is … Continue reading Families: forgotten in addiction treatment?