Bill White’s Talk in London, 2009

Film from William L White’s talk at an addiction recovery conference on 18 March 2009 in London organised by Action on Addiction and Wired In. Six clips focus on recovery advocacy, recovery communities, recovery management and treatment. 

Bill White points out that he will be wearing a number of different hats during his talk: a person in long-term recovery; recovery advocate; ‘old-time’ clinician; historian, and researcher. The talk will consider recovery as an organising construct. Bill will ask why this change is happening now? In addition, he will focus on the fundamental reassessment of addiction treatment that is occurring now in the US.

Recovery Support Services
Bill points out that we are beginning to see community recovery centres in the US, organised by the recovery community for the recovery community.

Recovery Communities
Bill describes the wide variety of recovery groups and communities that have grown up in the US. He compares them with the civil rights and woman’s movements. He emphasises the importance of internet-based recovery support groups.

Addiction Recovery Advocacy Movement
Recovering people have been stepping forward and challenging social attitudes and the treatment system. Many more recovering and recovered people (and their families) need to step forward if we are to overcome the stigma that is associated with addiction.

Treatment and Recovery Disconnection
Bill describes how somewhere in the process of the professionalisation of addiction treatment in the US, treatment got disconnected from the larger more enduring process of long-term recovery. He points out that we are recycling large numbers of people through repeated episodes of treatment. Their problems are so severe and recovery capital so low, there is little hope that brief episodes of treatment will be successful. We end up blaming the person when they have no chance of recovering given what we have provided.

Recovery Management
Bill defines recovery management and describe various aspects. He talks about recovery check-ups and asks when in addiction treatment did we last make a reminder call about a forthcoming appointment?