‘The user as expert’ by Peapod

IMG_2817Another blog on WITR from April 2009.

‘When I went to look for help for my addiction, I ended up in the care of an addiction specialist. He was good at his job. He knew all about addiction.

He was impressive in terms of assessment and he knew about methadone and antidepressants and other prescribing options. His team inspired confidence in terms of their knowlege of addiction.

Unfortunately, it turned out they didn’t know much about recovery. The specialist advised against mutual aid and dissuaded me from professional counselling.

When I eventually found my own way to residential treatment and on discharge went back to see him, I asked him why he didn’t advise sevice users to check out Narcotics Anonymous.

“There’s not a shred of evidence that it works,” he said with authority and certainty. Now, I didn’t know much about the evidence base back then, but I knew what I’d seen with my own eyes and had just experienced the revolution of recovery in my own life. I knew there must be evidence.

On the internet, it took me minutes to find that scientific evidence.

It’s my opinion that we need fewer addiction specialists and more recovery specialists. That probably means more of us recovering people being around treatment services. We’ve shown we know how to do it.

When I went for help I didn’t want help to manage my addiction. I wanted help for my recovery. If we can help comissioners and service providers see the difference between addiction focussed services and recovery focussed services it will be a promising start.’

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