‘The monkey on my back’ by Recovery Coach

2007_0105rottnest0074Here’s some powerful writing from one of our bloggers on Wired In To Recovery.

‘Most people have heard the words ‘monkey on my back’ used as a term for defining addiction. Personally, I find the word ‘addiction’ too soft a word to describe the monster every addict or alcoholic battles in daily life. It’s too clinical, too sterile, and just doesn’t pack the same punch as the monkey analogy.

As a hardcore alcoholic for more than half my life, I learned a few things about the monkey.

Read More ➔

Untangling the elements involved in treatment

P4061087Here’s a summary of a piece of research that Lucie James and I conducted some years ago. I am very proud of this piece of work and it certainly opened my eyes to the importance of gaining a sense of belonging in the recovery journey.   

‘To understand how treatment helps people overcome substance use problems, it is essential to understand the elements that operate in the treatment process, and how they might interact to facilitate behavioural change and a person’s path to recovery from addiction.

Lucie James and I set out to gain initial insights into these issues by using a qualitative analysis of the views and experiences of clients on the RAPt treatment programme in one male and one female prison in the UK.

Read More ➔

Hep C – The Facts

My good friend Michael Scott loves this film from David McCollom’s DMC Media and Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team.

The film informs and educates individuals who have Hepatitis C and are thinking of interferon treatment. Two people from Lancashire share their experiences of  treatment and how they got through it. The film is just over 24 minutes long. Enjoy!

The future of treatment

P4071117The following quote is taken from one of my favourite books, Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America by William L White.

‘During the past 150 years, “treatment” in the addictions field has been viewed as something that occurs within an institution – a medical, psychological, and spiritual sanctuary isolated from the community at large.

In the future, this locus will be moved from the institution to the community itself. Treatment will be viewed as something that happens in indigenous networks of recovering people that exist within the broader community.

Read More ➔

Natalie’s Recovery Story: ‘I didn’t plan to be an addict’

Treatment staff and her peers not only taught Natalie how to live a happy and rewarding life without using drugs and alcohol, but also how to be a responsible and caring mother to her son.

Read More ➔

‘Detoxification: The nuts and bolts’ by Peapod

P1011113_2Why not check out the second of Peapod’s articles in his Recovery Guide, an article which focuses on detox and beyond?

‘Okay, youʼve got to the point where you are looking to detox but youʼre not sure what the nuts and bolts of it are. How do you go about it and how do you know you are ready? What can you do to boost success?

Here are my suggestions, which are based on guidance and my own experience of working with hundreds of people going through detox.’

‘What is Recovery?’ according to Stephanie Brown (Part 1)

book-a-place-called-self“Recovery has held so many surprises for me. Some good. Some bad. I didn’t know I could hurt so much. But I also didn’t know I could love so much and be so loved.

I had no idea that recovery was also learning how to be in intimate relationships, learning how to have close, wonderful friends. Then there’s my marriage. My husband and I have developed a rich life together.

And get this – I really like myself now. Learning about who I am and accepting me, that’s been the hardest part of recovery – and the best. I wouldn’t trade this path for anything in the world.” Anne, Recoveree

Read More ➔

What is a Recovery Carrier?

P4071151I was recently reading an interesting Bill White paper on Recovery Carriers. Thought you might like to hear what Bill has to say:

‘Recovery carriers are people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion for and service to people still suffering from alcohol and other drug problems.

The recovery carrier is in many ways the opposing face of the addiction carrier – the person who defends his or her own drug use by spreading excessive patterns of use to all those he or she encounters. The pathology of addiction is often spread from one infected person to another; some individuals are particularly contagious.

Read More ➔

How do I know a treatment service is recovery-oriented?

Some treatment services today say they are doing recovery – using recovery-based care – when they are not in fact doing so. So how do you know that you are going to receive genuine recovery-based care when you sign up to a treatment service claiming to be recovery-oriented?

Here is some help from Mark Ragins, a leading figure in the mental health recovery field, about what to look for in a service offering recovering-based care. Mark may be talking about mental health recovery, but what he says is of relevance to addiction recovery.

Read More ➔

Paul’s Recovery Story: ‘Doctor Knows Best’

After years of taking opiates whilst working as a medical doctor, Paul has become a new person through residential treatment and the 12-step programme.

Read More ➔

‘Life in Recovery’ – Research by Alexandre Laudet and FAVOR

2007_0116walpole0025Alexandre Laudet is one of the world’s leading recovery researchers. During the past year, she has been conducting – in collaboration with Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) in America – the first nationwide survey of people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Here is what Alexandre and FAVOR set out to do, as described in their report:

‘“Recovery” from addiction to alcohol and other drugs is a human experience as old as the human race itself. However, it was not until the past decade that federal agencies, policy makers, service providers, and clinicians have begun considering recovery as a desirable outcome that is gradually supplanting mere reductions in drug and alcohol use as the goal of addiction treatment services.

Read More ➔

Setting up a Recovery Community

Phillip Valentine, Executive Director for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), emphasises that the essential first stages in building a recovery community are to:

  1. create a vanguard of recovering people who want to tell their story
  2. organise the community, so that there are many different people, with many different types of recovery, all working towards the same aim.

Read More ➔

Facilitating recovery with peer support

2007_0118walpole0167I emphasise three main elements to helping people recover from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Firstly, we must empower people, as recovery comes from the person (not the practitioner). They do the work in overcoming their substance use problems. We can empower people by providing hope, understanding and a sense of belonging.  

Secondly, people need internal resources (e.g. self-esteem, resilience) and external resources (e.g. family support, peer support) – recovery capital – to help them on their journey to recovery. They also need the basic essentials of living, i.e. roof over their head, money, someone who cares about them.

Read More ➔

‘What is Recovery?’: Julie Repper & Rachel Perkins

2007_0116walpole0097In my blogs, I will be exploring the nature of recovery and will sometimes focus on the ideas of someone else (or a group of people). I’ve previously looked at how David Best has talked about “What is Recovery?” David described key principles underlying addiction recovery.

In this blog, I am going to look at what Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins have to say about “What is Recovery?”, as described in their excellent book Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice. They include a number of quotes about recovery, some of which I will use here.

Read More ➔

Sapphire’s Recovery Story: ‘It should all be about the person’

Shows the importance of person-centered treatment. Things went well when Sapphire was intimately involved in decisions about her treatment, but poorly when professionals took sole control.

Read More ➔

Impact of substance use problems on the family

P1010665This piece of writing, which you can find in the Articles section, was based on a piece of research we conducted ten years ago. Hard to believe!

‘In November 2004, I wrote an article, entitled ‘Family Misfortune’, for the magazine Drink and Drugs News in the UK, that focused on the impact that substance use problems can have on the family. The article was based on a piece of research that Gemma Salter and I conducted with family members (primarily mothers) of people who were experiencing substance use problems.

Read More ➔

Simon’s Recovery Story: ‘Gratitude for the life I thought was over…’

Simon’s first NA meeting was pivotal, not just in helping him turn his life around, but also in setting him up to make future significant contributions to NA both in the UK and abroad.

Read More ➔

‘Detox and early abstinent recovery: make it easier’ by Peapod

P4091276Peapod was one of the most prolific and respected bloggers on Wired In To Recovery before going into ‘retirement’.

(S)he wrote a series of must-read blogs containing important hints to facilitate recovery which were very popular. Peapod’s empathy and understanding, as well as experience in the field, shone through in these blogs.

I’ve arranged these blogs into what I call Peapod’s Guide to Recovery. This is the first of seven articles.

Read More ➔

The nature of alcohol dependence

P1011087Here’s an article on alcohol dependence you can find in our Articles section:

There has been a considerable scientific effort over the past three decades in to identifying and understanding the core features of alcohol and drug dependence. This work really began in 1976 when the British psychiatrist Griffith Edwards and his American colleague Milton M. Gross collaborated to produce a formulation of what had previously been understood as ‘alcoholism’ – the alcohol dependence syndrome.

Read More ➔

Tim’s Story: ‘Doctor in Recovery’

As Tim found out, having a medical degree offers no protection against addiction, nor from the hard work that is required to change oneself as a key part of the recovery journey.

Read More ➔