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?
The conclusion of the two-parter. Part one is here. Professor Selman’s last five essentials: 6. Different therapies appear to produce similar treatment outcomes. Project MATCH, a huge psychotherapy trial showed similar outcomes for the techniques of motivational enhancement therapy, twelve step facilitation and cognitive behavioural therapy. Other trials including British ones have shown the same results. … Continue reading The ten most important things about addiction (part 2)
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
Bankole Johnson, who was featured in HBO's Addiction documentary touting the use of Topiramate and wrote an anti-treatment screed years ago (my response here), has left his post after losing a whistleblower lawsuit. A University of Virginia department chairman nationally known for his addiction research has resigned less than 10 months after a subordinate won an $820,000 whistleblower lawsuit filed … Continue reading a “selfish” and “untrusted” professional attitude*
The following article was shared with me by a reader. Not surprisingly, the emphasized portion below caught my eye. [emphasis mine] Abstract Addictions to illicit drugs are among the nation’s most critical public health and societal problems. The current opioid prescription epidemic and the need for buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®; SUBX) as an opioid maintenance substance, and its … Continue reading Buprenorphine and emotional reactivity
I was asked by a friend to comment on this article. Here's the response I sent him: Well, he's got a point. But he's also gotten a lot wrong, including the name of the NIAAA. It's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol-ism. What he's right about is that not everyone who has an alcohol … Continue reading “No” to rehab?