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?
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’?
This is a version of a blog I published a few years ago, but thought it still relevant today. Doug Sellman is a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine in New Zealand. In 2010 in the journal Addiction, he attempted the difficult task of distilling the ten things you need to know about addiction from the … Continue reading 2020’s Top Ten Posts #10 – The ten most important things about addiction (part 1)
When the subject of residential treatment comes up in the addiction treatment field, there is a response I hear often (but not always). It's a frustrating refrain. It goes like this: ‘there’s no evidence that rehab works.’ This view can and should be challenged, but what is true is that complex interventions like residential rehabilitation … Continue reading Is rehab effective or a waste of time and money?
This is a version of a blog I published a few years ago, but thought it still relevant today. Doug Sellman is a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine in New Zealand. In 2010 in the journal Addiction, he attempted the difficult task of distilling the ten things you need to know about addiction from the … Continue reading The ten most important things about addiction (part 1)
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
Berlin, like many big cities has a heroin problem. People presenting for help are being prescribed opioid replacement therapy (ORT) - a form of medication assisted treatment (MAT) in greater numbers. That’s a good thing isn’t it? Yes, but it's not completely straightforward. A lot depends on what the professional and their patient think is … Continue reading Stuck on Methadone
I blogged before about the availability of opiates for pain management and the need to try to limit their diversion. While others have complained about draconian limitations on the prescribing of opiates and being too afraid to treat pain, I pointed out the explosion in opiate prescriptions and overdoses. It's a complex problem that demands a solution that balances the … Continue reading Balancing pain management and public health
The Obama administration just released their annual drug control strategy report and all the headlines say it emphasizes treatment over incarceration. Sounds great, but the stories are short on details. Others, from the Drug Policy Alliance are dismissing it as more of the same. More of the same? Really? I think Obama's safely within the … Continue reading Why we can’t agree
I just read David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College. It's a really, really great read. A lot of it spoke to me, but, in the context of my recent posts on research and the values of harm reduction, this lept out to me: ...in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is … Continue reading Everybody worships