Revisiting Old Memories, Part 1: Drink and Drugs News (DDN)

I’ve just been reading through a chapter I have written for a book I am working on, tentatively called Those Who Came Before: A Personal Journey Into Understanding Drug Addiction and Addiction Recovery. In the chapter, I describe how I started writing for the magazine Drink and Drugs News in late 2004. I wrote a series called Background Briefings for nigh on four years. Here’s how it all started:

‘In the summer of 2004, Simon Shepherd of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) was approached by Claire Brown and Ian Ralph, who worked for a public health magazine. They asked him whether there was a case for a regular magazine focused on the treatment of substance use problems to be distributed bi-weekly for free to the field. The idea was for costs of the magazine to be covered by advertising. Together, they sketched out the bones of what the magazine might look like, and came up with the name Drink and Drugs News (DDN). 

Simon contacted me and asked if I would meet with Claire and Ian, as he thought that my community initiative WIRED (later known as Wired In) could play an important role in this venture. The four of us met and planned a strategy. Soon after, Claire and Ian left their jobs, rented a new office near the Thames River in London, and a special new venture began. 

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Background Briefings

For a period of four years from 15th November 2004, I wrote a series of Background Briefings—short educational pieces on a variety of issues and themes relating to drugs, alcohol, addiction, recovery and treatment—for Drink and Drugs News (DDN), the leading UK magazine focused on drug and alcohol treatment.

Drink and Drugs News was developed and run by Claire Brown and Ian Ralph, and was so urgently required at the time of its launch. Claire and Ian, and their team, have done a remarkable job with Drink and Drugs News over the years, and the magazine is highly appreciated by the field. Today, it still remains a magazine of the highest quality.

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