Recovery Stories Weekly, Issue 2

Welcome to the second of my Recovery Stories Weekly reviews. My blog posts during the past week covered a wide range of topics:

Factors Facilitating Recovery: Overcoming Stigma: Stigma can impact on a person with a substance use problem, or someone on a recovery journey, in various ways. It can create feelings of shame, blame, self-disgust, self-hatred and hopelessness, and impact badly on self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Voices of Loved Ones Indirectly Affected by Substance Use Problems: Family members face initial confusion about the nature of the substance use, imbalance as the problem takes over, a barrage of negative and contradictory emotions, the stigma associated with substance use, and problems associated with the treatment system.

Voices of Loved Ones Indirectly Affected by Substance Use Problems, Part 2: Parents who belong to a family support group find tremendous support from sharing experience with others in the same situation. Learning about various issues relating to substance use is a way of learning to cope, and the groups reduce isolation by bringing people together into an empathetic and hopeful social environment.

Factors Facilitating Recovery: Overcoming Withdrawal Symptoms: Many withdrawal signs, which can be psychological and physical in nature, are opposite to the effects the person experienced when the drug was being taken, e.g., abrupt withdrawal from long-term use of Valium (diazepam) and other benzodiazepines, can lead to pronounced anxiety, insomnia, intrusive thoughts and panic attacks.

Should Recreational Drugs Use Be Criminalised?: Douglas Husak, a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University in the US, combines hard fact and rigorous moral reasoning in his cogent analysis of the drug law debate in his excellent book Legalize This! The case for decriminalising drugs. (Links to Part 2)

Ruby’s Healing Story (Film): Marion Kickett relates how 10-year old Aboriginal girl Ruby was taken from her mother by the authorities after her father died in a work accident and placed in Moore River Native Settlement. She, like all the other girls at the mission, was trained in domestic work. What happened next is heart-breaking…

I’ve also posted three additional Background Briefings into the Articles section of Recovery Stories:

The Drug Experience: Cocaine, Part 1
Exploring the dynamic world of heavy cocaine use as revealed in a provocative, high-quality study by Dan Waldorf and colleagues. This research, conducted in the US in the 1980s, challenged many of the prevailing myths about cocaine.

The Drug Experience: Cocaine, Part 2
While cocaine is portrayed as having a very high addiction potential, the majority of people who use the drug do not have a problem. Research by Dan Waldorf and colleagues reveals a number of social and social psychological factors that influence how a person uses a drug.

The Drug Experience: Cocaine, Part 3
Dan Waldorf and colleagues were ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the relative ease with which so many cocaine users managed to quit. Their research emphasises the importance of one’s personal and social identity in influencing drug use.

I hope you enjoy.

The photograph used in this blog post is by Christopher Czermak and has come from Unsplash, a great resource of free high resolution photographs.