‘Stigma and Service Integration’ by Bill White

Stigma and Service Integration ImageIn his latest blog, Bill White emphasises the importance of Recovery Stories and their value in tackling stigma.

‘One of the emerging trends of U.S. health care reform is the tri-directional integration of addiction treatment, mental health services, and primary health care.  This is evident in the growing integration of addiction and psychiatric treatment under the rubric of “behavioral health care,” efforts to integrate primary health care within addiction treatment settings, and increased delivery of addiction-related services within primary health care settings, e.g., physician offices, health clinics, and hospitals.

Considerable resources have been invested in creating policy frameworks for such integration (e.g., provisions for office-based treatment of opioid dependence) and developing technological innovations (e.g., screening, assessment, and treatment protocol) to facilitate such integration, but history would suggest a far greater obstacle to service integration:  social and professional stigma.

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I Am Not Anonymous: Jodi’s Story, ‘Granny is in Recovery’

JodiText-1024x681(pp_w1000_h665)‘My name is Jodi Savits and I am a grateful person in long-term recovery. For me what that means is I have not used a drug or had a drink since October 14th, 2000. The 23 years prior to that were a miserable combination of both alcohol and drugs in one form or another.

I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood on Long Island in New York. For all outward appearances it was a loving, supportive family. Early on I was a very intelligent girl who received good grades in school and was going to be a doctor or a lawyer.  I went home from school every day and did my homework. I had very few friends. I guess I was a nerd.

At the age of 13 I found marijuana in my father’s bedroom drawer when he asked me to grab a sweatshirt for him. I took some to school and all of a sudden other kids wanted to hang out with me. The best part was the feeling- the numb. I was smiling and laughing without having to try. And so it began. As the years passed by I found and needed more and more to maintain the numb.

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‘The Street to Recovery’ by Kevin Kennedy

51-JLmnATJL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_Remember this guy? Well, he has a Recovery Story to tell, which you can read about in his new book. Meanwhile, here is an article from Addiction Today.

‘Kevin Kennedy – Curly Watts from TV’s long-running Coronation Street, and so popular he drew in 22million viewers for his TV wedding – has now been sober for 15 years. He shares his experience of alcoholism and rehab, strength of recovery and hope for the future with Addiction Today readers. Pdf

PROLOGUE: A FRIDAY IN AUGUST 1998
Sometime in the morning, I came round. I’d blacked out from the drink, with no memory of the night before. As soon as I opened my eyes, before I’d even focused on the room around me, I knew I had done it again. After all the promises, even swearing on the Bible and all the pleas for second chances, I’d still gone ahead and lost it. The four hideous horsemen – shame, remorse, self-disgust, and, worst of them all, fear – had found me, again.

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Welcome to SMART Recovery Guide

imagesI just wanted to let you know that I have a set up a new page in our Resources section which focuses on SMART Recovery.

This ‘Guide’ contains three video clips of SMART President Tom Horvath talking about this self-empowering peer support group and its programme, along with a film of Curtis Boudreau introducing SMART Recovery principles. There are also two Recovery Stories from people who used SMART.

All of these film clips have appeared in my blogs. I hope you find the page of value. Have a great weekend.

SMART Recovery Guide

Learn more about the self-empowering addiction recovery support group SMART Recovery. And watch two Recovery Stories from people who used SMART. Finally, we have an interesting blog and a newspaper article.

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Simon’s Moment of Clarity

post1In reading Simon’s Recovery Story, it seems that he had two major Moments of Clarity. Mind you, I’m sure he had many others along his recovery journey!

‘One day, I received a letter from the head of faculty, asking me to come to see him in his office. I’d stopped attending lectures and tutorials, and I was only attending university to collect giro cheques from my mailbox.

I knew that my addiction had come out on top again, and that I’d need all my wits about me if everything was not all going to fall down around me – my brittle facade of lies and last chances and denial that I would retreat into every time I was challenged.

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‘Recovery Stories from the 19th Century’ by Bill White

IntemperateCover (3)Here is a fascinating addition to Bill White’s website, a series of Recovery Stories from the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

‘In the minds of the public and many helping professionals, the history of addiction recovery in the United States begins with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in the mid-1930s. 

That view, of course, obscures the long history of pre-AA recovery mutual aid. That earlier history spans the eighteenth century rise of abstinence-based religious and cultural revitalization movements (recovery circles) within Native American tribes and nineteenth century groups such as the Washingtonians, recovery-focused fraternal temperance societies, the Ribbon Reform Clubs and recovery support groups associated with early addiction treatment programs (the Ollapod Club, Godwin Association, Keeley Leagues).

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Steve’s Recovery Minute

Here’s Steve’s truly inspiring Recovery Story. Steve is from Birmingham in the UK. Thanks for this, Steve. And thanks to CCAR and their A Recovery Minute series on YouTube.

“… I’m just living a dream. I wouldn’t have had the audacity to believe that I’d be living the life I’m living.

I’m sitting here… I’m in Connecticut… I didn’t move out of my house unless I really had to. I’ve just gone to Philadelphia, gone to Brooklyn. I’ve come to CCAR to look at the service that they deliver, and that’s been really inspiring. I’m going back to New York and then back to Philadelphia.

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Adam’s Moment of Clarity

Adams Story 2What’s it like when you reach that point when you say, “Enough is enough, I have to change.” And you do change! The moment of clarity that triggers the journey to recovery. Here’s what my close friend Adam had to say in his Recovery Story.

‘Eventually, I ended up living in a caravan in Palm Beach, near Rockingham. I had sold my car for $50, which bought me two dope sticks. I got around on an old pushbike from the dump, but ended up selling that. I was just drinking and smoking dope to get blottoed, and often would wake up to find myself covered in vomit. The caravan, like me, was a mess. Eventually the dope ran out, then the money.

I contacted the Salvation Army in Rockingham and they said they could temporarily house me in a house in Mandurah. As far as I remember, I walked to Mandurah, carrying two black garbage bags containing my few possessions, $10 and a cask of wine.

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Recovery Stories

Filmed stories of Noreen Oliver, Ed Mitchell, Tovah Cottle, David McCollum and more  [8 clips]

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Adam’s Recovery Story: ‘A moment of clarity’

After spending years locked into an addiction to amphetamine, cannabis and alcohol, Adam’s recovery took him to the other side of the world, where he lives happily with his new family.

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Anna’s Recovery Story: ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’

Through his heroin addiction and recovery, Anna’s brother has taught her so much about life, including the most valuable lesson she could ever learn – you can get through anything.

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Beth’s Recovery Story: ‘Becoming Beth’

A fullly-fledged dependent drinker by age nineteen, Beth has gone on to become a recovery coach and writer in order to help other people escape from addiction.

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Brad’s Recovery Story: “A life beyond my wildest dreams’

Following a life of crime, fighting and drinking, Brad started his recovery journey after  a spiritual awakening and being told that alcohol wasn’t his problem – it was him.

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Iain’s Recovery Story: ‘This is me’

A treatment agency helped Iain detox from the methadone that was prescribed for his heroin addiction. College, employment, recreational activities and romance facilitated Ian’s recovery.

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Ian and Irene’s Story, ‘Living through our son’s addiction and death: Our journey to recovery’

After losing their son Robin to a heroin overdose, Ian and Irene set up a support group to help family members avoid some of the problems they experienced.

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Kevan’s Recovery Story: ‘He’s a loser and will never be any good’

 After 25 years of problem drinking and eight years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, Kevan runs NERAF which has nearly 100 staff and volunteers and provides a support service across the north-east of England.

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Kevin and Kerry: ‘A Family Story’ (Part 1)

Mother and son describe Kevin’s heroin addiction and how it impacted on the family as a whole.

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Kevin and Kerry: ‘A Family Story’ (Part 2)

Kevin’s hospitalisation with septicaemia acts as a turning point and a process of recovery begins for the family as a whole.

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Matthew’s Recovery Story: ‘Making most of the opportunity’

Matthew set himself up a personal recovery plan to overcome his addiction to opiates, gambling and overeating – and his life has been transformed.

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