Positive Social Networks & Recovering From Addiction: Mark Gilman

Huseyin Djemil introduces “the hardest working civil servant”. Mark Gilman’s presentation talks about ‘Positive social networks & recovering from addiction’ in his typically engaging and witty style – delegates wanted the presentation emailed over to them the following day. ‘No one can do it for you and you can’t do it alone’, get on the boat, any boat, and talk about the technique / route later and don’t do it on your own!’ Mark Gilman, Strategic Recovery Lead, Public Health England (at the time). Towards Recovery Conference, Helping to build a recovery community, Henley Recovery Cafe, 23 November 2013. [30’17”]

Visiting UK Recovery Friends: Part 2 (Mark Gilman)

Last month, I returned from a European trip of just under eight weeks, a trip during which I visited a number of friends who work in the addiction recovery field. In a previous blog, I described my meeting with Kevan Martin, Founder of NERAF (Northern Engagement into Recovery from Addiction).

Two days later, I spent the afternoon in Manchester with Mark Gilman, who many of you know. Mark was North West Regional Manager for the National Treatment Agency (NTA) for Substance Misuse, and more importantly one of the leading recovery advocates in the UK, when I first met him in 2008. He had established Recovery Oriented Integrated Systems (ROIS) in the North West, on the basis of the ideas of George de Leon. The latter’s proposition was that by coming together as part of a therapeutic community, people can learn how to live right.

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A Conversation with… Mark Gilman (Part 2 of 2)

The second of a two-part conversation that Toby Seddon had with Mark Gilman. ‘In this part, we pick up the story in 1999, when Mark moved from Lifeline to the Home Office. The conversation ranges widely, covering treatment, recovery, social justice and crime, reflecting the unique breadth of Mark’s contributions to the field.’

In this conversation, Mark talks about the time he was a regional manager for the National Treatment Agency (NTA).

‘There was actually some public opinion research done in the NTA which reiterated the idea that the primary beneficiary of many of the interventions was not individual people with drug problems themselves, with substance use disorder themselves, but the wider community.

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A Conversation with… Mark Gilman (part 1 of 2)

Please check out this wonderful conversation between Mark Gilman and Toby Seddon. I know Mark from my days working in the UK addiction recovery field. He’s one of my favourite people working in the field and we’ve got together a number of times during my visits back to the UK (and Manchester).  I knew that Mark had worked at Lifeline in Manchester and played a pivotal role in the emerging harm reduction approach. I did not know about his early research on heroin use.

This is an absolutely fascinating interview. Here is what Toby wrote about the conversation and comments from two of the field’s stalwarts.

‘The first of a two-part conversation with Mark Gilman. Mark has been a major figure in the field over four decades and directly involved in many of the most significant developments we have seen. In this part, we talk about Mark’s early life, his work with the late Geoff Pearson researching heroin use in the North of England, and his pioneering work with Lifeline in the 1980s and 1990s.’ Toby Seddon

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Mark Gilman: Positive social networks and recovering from addiction

‘No one can do it for you and you can’t do it alone’, get on the boat, any boat, and talk about the technique / route later and don’t do it on your own!’

Early In June, I blogged about what Bill White refers to as a recovery carrier. ‘Recovery carriers are people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion for and service to people still suffering from alcohol and other drug problems.’

Well, many people in the UK will know Mark Gilman as a recovery carrier par excellence. Mark has been advocating for recovery for  number of years now and has almost certainly visited more recovery communities and initiatives than anyone in the UK. He is one of the funniest people you will ever hear talk about recovery. Mark also shows that you don’t need to be in recovery to be a great advocate.

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