Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal

ComingOffDrugsGuideCOVERBIGThe second edition of the excellent Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal is now available for free download or purchase.

‘The Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 52-page illustrated guide gathers the best information we’ve come across and the most valuable lessons we’ve learned about reducing and coming off psychiatric medication.

Based in more than 10 years work in the peer support movement, this Guide is used internationally by individuals, families, professionals, and organizations, and is available a growing number of translations.

Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, psychiatric drug withdrawal, information for people staying on their medications, detailed Resource section, and much more.

Read More ➔

‘Recovery resistance’ by djmac

Recovery resistance is futile because if we resist recovery we are resisting the clients or patients services are set up to help. As Professor Best makes clear in the quote above, the themes of recovery are connection, hope, meaningful lives and empowerment. Those resisting recovery are resisting these values and such resistance is futile. Better to go with it and deliver on recovery than stand against it.’

Boxing-glove-300x224Great blog from djmac about recovery in UK. Sadly, we are are a long way behind here in Australia. There is such a strong resistance to recovery and recovery-based care here. Why can’t people in need of help in Australia have ‘a meaningful and valued life’, which is what recovery is all about? Anyway, here is djmac’s blog.

‘When recovery became the bedrock of drugs policy in the UK there were objections. Some commentators were vociferous and condemnatory. Their words were reported prominently in the addictions press provoking a response from academics and clinicians working in the field.

Read More ➔

Stigma and Discrimination of Injecting Drug Users

“I think what we need to do is to just talk about fundamental rights. I think it is such a basic right that someone who is coming for healthcare should receive that healthcare without any judgement.”

An excellent video from the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL). ‘A short video of professionals and drug users discussing the impact of stigma and discrimination towards people who inject drugs.’

Life as a Heroin Addict: Introduction

I was going through our old Wired In YouTube channel and saw that one of our videos – made by Jon Kerr-Smith and Lucie James – now had 0ver 290,000 views. Quite proud of that.

This video is part of a series that Jon and Lucie made with our friends in South Wales: ‘In this series we will be looking at different aspects of heroin addiction, treatment and recovery, as told by the addicts themselves.”

You can find the other videos on our channel. Enjoy!

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal

Unknown-2I cannot recommend the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal enough. It is essential reading! The publication is written by Will Hall and published by The Icarus Project and Freedom Center. You can find out more on Will’s website.

Here is what Will has to say about Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal in his Author’s Note:

‘This is a guide I wish I had when I was taking psychiatric drugs. Prozac helped me for a while, then made me manic and suicidal. I was sick for days after coming off Zoloft, with counselors telling me I was faking it. Nurses who drew blood samples for my lithium levels never explained it was to check for drug toxicity, and I was told the Navane and other anti-psychotics I took to calm my wild mental states were necessary because of faulty brain chemistry.

Read More ➔

‘The Role of Harm Reduction in Recovery-oriented Systems of Care: The Philadelphia Experience’

images‘While harm reduction can be viewed as an end in itself with a focus on mitigating harm to individuals, families and the community as a whole, harm reduction strategies can also be viewed collectively as a platform or point of access for promoting long-term health, and, for those with severe alcohol and other drug problems, long-term personal and family recovery.

If our goal is to promote health and reclaim lives, then we must understand the direct and sometimes circuitous paths through which individuals and families achieve and sustain such health. We must meet each individual and family with fresh eyes in every encounter with a belief that each encounter is an opportunity for movement, no matter how small, towards health and wholeness.’ Arthur C. Evans, Jr., 2013

‘Bridging the harm reduction and traditional addiction treatment and recovery worlds “requires openness to the possibility that our worldview and the cherished concepts we use to describe it may need to become subtler, more fine-grained, amended or even discarded; and, that approaches which don’t work for one person can, equally, be life-saving for others, when all the time our own beliefs, experiences, perhaps even our entire biography, shouts out that this can’t be so.” Neil Hunt, 2012

Read More ➔

The Culture of Addiction, Part 2: Influence of Legal Status

UnknownThe second part of this series focuses on the impact of legal status on drug culture. Click here for Part 1.

‘Society makes judgements about different types of psychoactive drug. As Bill White points out in his book Pathways from the Culture of Addiction to the Culture of Recovery, the social status and value attached to a particular drug by society influence several things:

  • The risks associated with use of the drug
  • The organisation of ‘tribes’ within the culture of addiction
  • The characteristics of each tribe and the impairments that members experience from both the drug and the culture itself.

    Read More ➔

The culture of addiction: Part 2

IMG_2586The second part of this series focuses on the impact of legal status on drug culture. Click here for part one.

Society makes judgements about different types of psychoactive drug. As Bill White points out in his book Pathways from the Culture of Addiction to the Culture of Recovery, the social status and value attached to a particular drug by society influence several things:

  • The risks associated with use of the drug
  • The organisation of ‘tribes’ within the culture of addiction
  • The characteristics of each tribe and the impairments that members experience from both the drug and the culture itself.

 Clearly, there are likely to be differences in a variety of factors for drugs that are legal (e.g. alcohol) and those that are prohibited by law (e.g. heroin).

Read More ➔