‘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

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‘I was confronted by a sight I will not forget for as long as I live’ by Wynford Ellis Owen

rsz_img_2082My good friend Wynford Ellis Owen toured recovery centres and initiatives in the north-east of America late in 2010. He used some of the information he gleaned from this trip to help him build The Living Room recovery centre in Cardiff. Wynford wrote a number of blogs on this trip and here is part of one from mid-November 2010.

“People in recovery have a real understanding of what it means to struggle to be OK as opposed to what it means to struggle to seem OK.”

One of the many insightful sayings that punctuated my conversation over dinner this evening (Tuesday 9th November) with Roland Lamb, Director of the Office of Addiction Services in the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioural Health and Mental Retardation Services (DBH/MRS).

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Most visited content: Nos 16 – 20

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought I’d do something different over the next four days. We’re going to look at the 20 most visited pieces of content on the website (other than from the About Us section). We’ll look at five per day.

20. ‘What is Recovery?”: David Best (blog from May 28th) We looked at some of the views of one of the leading researchers in the recovery field. I included quotes from his excellent book, Addiction Recovery: A Movement for Social Change and Personal Growth in the UK.

19.  Julie Repper and Rachel Perkins (blog from June 3rd) answered the same question, “What is Recovery?” I not only looked at how they characterised recovery, but also included quotes from people in recovery from their book Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice.

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Roland Lamb interview: “The Struggle Continues, The Victory is Certain”

P1010948Last year, I blogged about Bill White’s interview with Roland Lamb, one of the key players in helping transform the behavioural healhcare system in Philadelphia to a system based on recovery. This system is concerned with both mental health and addiction, and is a $1 billion system caring for over 100,000 people.

I’ve combined my four blogs into one, which highlights key parts of this very interesting interview. There is a lot we can learn from the Philadelphia in transforming our own behavioural health are systems.

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Arthur C. Evans Honored for Addiction Recovery Work

arthur-evansFound this excellent article in the Philadelphia Tribune. Well done Arthur and and his colleagues who have helped make his Award possible. What they have achieved in Philadelphia in terms of developing a recovery-based care system is an example to us all.

‘Arthur C. Evans, Ph.D. Philadelphia Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) has been recognized for his strides in promoting recovery from addiction.

Faces & Voices of Recovery honored Evans with the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award at the America Honors Recovery event held on June 26 in Washington, D.C. America Honors Recovery highlights the extraordinary contributions of the country’s most influential recovery community leaders and organizations and is sponsored with Caron Treatment Centers.

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Special Award for Philadelphia’s Dr. Arthur C. Evans

IMG_4834Here’s some wonderful news from Faces & Voice of America:

‘Philadelphia’s Behavioral Health Commissioner Dr. Arthur C. Evans to receive Lisa Mojer-Torres Award

Faces & Voices of Recovery and Caron Treatment Centers invite you to join us at an evening reception recognizing the outstanding contribution of Dr. Arthur C. Evans, Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility.

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