Thursday, 4 September 2008

The upcoming recovery community website

Today, I put up my big Mac screen in the living room so that I could show Lucie and Kevin how to work the content management system that will drive the recovery community site. It was fun! We're getting excited, although there is a lot of content still to prepare and upload. A period of testing will follow - some of you will be contacted and asked to help us track the bugs! 

Then, of course, I'm going to have to get out there and raise sponsorship to help us maintain the site. Wish me luck! Feel a bit like Kevin Costner in 'Field of Dreams'. You'll know what I mean if you have see that excellent film. Please do join up to the community and participate in activities when we launch. It will be worthwhile!     

3 comments:

Peter O'Loughlin said...

David,

Of course I wish you luck in your endeavours. However I do have considerable reservation about the proposals and considerations of changing the language of recovery.

Having read through William White’s essay, I could not help but feel that with the use of semantics and euphemisms, there is an intention to include those who are still ‘using’. If I have misunderstood I apologise. On the other hand if my interpretation is correct, I feel that such a goal would dilute and reduce the value of recovery as it has long been understood. I also feel it fails to pay the recognition due to those who despite, the circumstances they found themselves in have managed to break free from the slavery of addiction, as so movingly expressed in the stories of personal recovery which have been featured on your excellent blog.

For more than a decade now we have been informed that Harm Reduction, a term which lacks universal definition, is the way forward. The outcome has been increased blood born diseases and increased deaths.

Methadone prescribing, with or without concerns, for the welfare of the addicted, has increased, together with methadone associated deaths. In addition there is an abundance of evidence which clearly shows that it is being abused and diverted to street dealing. There is also ample evidence to show that the majority of those on methadone programmes are continuing to use other substances. Are we now being asked to consider that they are in recovery? Let’s keep it simple, users are either using or not; they are either addicted or they’re not. Apart from necessary medication to stabilise co-occurring mental or behavioural disorders, common with addiction, they are in recovery or not.

Changing the language will not change the facts. Nor will it reduce the stigma of the public towards addicts, which is more due to the behaviour arising from ongoing use, than the fact they are using. Nor will it change the fact that ongoing use increases the severity of addiction. It will however open the doors to misinterpretation of what’s ‘alright’ raising the probability that fewer will seek drug free recovery. That being the case, it will also assist those, who hiding behind various facades, appear to be determined to increase the use of psycho active substances as witnessed by their vacuous terminology, which seeks to avoid the realism of addiction, together with the horrors it inflicts on those who become addicted and all of those near and dear to them.

chrisd said...

On opening this link tonight my immediate feeling was something doesnt feel quite right.Everyones got the same goal surelly thats the treatment of the suffering person and given the choice they may abstain without being pushed.
Ive seen people blow hot and cold over harm reduction and abstinence with organisations changing wording policy to chase funding,well no one is right or wrong,for me anyway a clear definition to work is,Recovery from addiction and substance use with an option of abstinence.
Isnt methadone surelly the better option,some people find that subutex and suboxone isnt suitable for them and my heart goes out to those waiting for a methadone script.World drug use hasnt increased a significant amount and society will change itself.What we can do is facilate treatment for those who want it when they are ready.Thanks for a first class community website.

Tom Kirkwood said...

Its interesting to see how we focus on the taking or not taking of drugs. When I put down cocaine and alcohol is when my addiction kicked in. The core problem of the condition centres in the mind not the body. The challenge of the current drug treatment system is in changing the focus from a clinical acute intervention mostly of the brief and low quality nature to a long term support system of recovery. If we believe, addiction is a chronic illness akin to diabetes in its nature, then our view needs to broaden. Simply ceasing taking drugs or alcohol, or managing the condition with a substitute to minimise the harm is a very low level of achievement in the scale of what recovery offers.

For example if a diabetes patient doesn't change their diet and regulates their blood sugar level with insulin they acheieve a level of recovery, all be it minimal relief from symptoms. If the diabetes sufferer engages in a lifestyle change and full dietary overall in additon to their insulain dosage, recovery is enhanced further etc etc. The same principles apply to addiction but the fundamental difference is that it is readily possible for any addict or alcoholic to achieve freedom from prescribed substitute medication if they wish.

The arguments about definitions of recovery are mute. The people will decide, and they will be inspired by examples of other ordinary people who have changed their lives significantly. Recovery communities will spread throughout the UK as we change from a "doctor knows best" to the "patient knows best" recovery system. I do not need a well meaning person with a stethoscope to tell me he knows whats best for me. I need someone who has direct experience of not only the problem but the solution to inspire me to achieve my potential.

Receovery is nothing new its been around for years. We are just waking up of to the fact we are at the dawn of a new age. The emancipation of the addict from the state is underway and its progress is unstoppable.