Sunday, 26 October 2008

Shall we name and shame trashie newspaper reporters?

The prejudice and stigmatisation exhibited by members of the press sickens me at times. Look at this quote from the so-called intellectual newspaper, the Sunday Times.

'A pilot scheme is encouraging druggies to kick the habit by giving them money to donate to charity'
I suggest we have a name and shame campaign to tackle this sort of trash - I am of course referring to the term 'druggies'. In this case, the trashie reporter is called John Mooney.
I did send in a comment this morning criticising the newspaper, but have yet to see it up and it is evening now.
By the way, the article is worth looking at - an interesting pilot scheme taking place in drug services in Dublin.   

Maybe, we could unite on this one, rather than some people taking 'pops' at others. My blogs are there to try and induce informed debate, not to be a forum for insults. I know it's tough at times, but let's try to maintain some decorum.
And one last gripe - why do so many people in this field insist on operating on a black vs white agenda, with no middle ground? 
If someone says that there is too much of (A), we need some (B)... that does not mean they want to get rid of (A). For example, you can criticise the current system of dishing out methadone without providing additional support for people - and say we are not focused enough on helping people find recovery...
WITHOUT being against methadone!!


Steve Rolles said...

A disgrace. As many people as possible should write to moody and copy it to the editor.

Anonymous said...

Well, what a wierd start of the day to read such a ridicules article written by John Looney, oops? I mean John Mooney. That is the problem with reporters, they just do not understand addiction and report unrealistic pilot schemes which to say the least is just laughable and I feel who benifits are the charities and Bobby Lobby,oops! got that wrong again, Bobby Smyth, who looks like he is only qualified as a child consultant and adolescent Psychiatrist and not in any way experienced within addiction. The sad thing here is the young people who went on the scheme, they are the ones who will and probally are sufferying as a result of this, as i would be extremely surprised if after care and support had been thought through for the young addicts.Sad! Just an "EGO" trip for those who have little if any clue what impact addiction has to all age groups. We the addicts just do not need Looney lobby idiots in the field of addiction as it does more harm than good in the short and long term.

Anonymous said...

I worry that our arena of interest / work / life that is "drugs treatment" is such a small pin-prick on the horizon of the masses that all this wrangling about what is recovery and which form of treatment is best only allows shoddy journalism like this.
If we can't see the wood for the trees can we really expect anyone else to?! We make it easy for people to write things like this...

David Clark said...

Good point Steve.

However, with the treatment system not being as good as it should be and can be, there has to voice for change.

And people will of course challenge these calls for a variety of reasons, some good and some bad and some 'I just want to protect my job'.

But we have to speak out to make things better.

tim1leg said...

If someone says that there is too much of (A), we need some (B)... that does not mean they want to get rid of (A). For example, you can criticise the current system of dishing out methadone without providing additional support for people - and say we are not focused enough on helping people find recovery...
WITHOUT being against methadone!!
and i would add also without being an abstentionist.

It seems it is all to easy to revert to the black or white and that the field is entrenched in this thinking, i for one would like to see us move on and as you say unite in our similarities to acheive more choice of services for those who suffer,

as for naming and shameing, nah these idiots will always exist, but i would like to see some really positive reporting of those who are recovering, perhaps even a national campaign to highlight the fact that there is hope and to show how we move on and become productive members of society given the right support.

How this type of reporting would offer hope and reduce stigma remains to be seen, but such a shift could make a huge difference im sure.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree David, but I'm afraid the whole "drug war" regime depends on the support of these trashie reporters for they are upholding the basic principle prohibition is based on:

Druggies are wasters, evil people who deliberatly set out to undermine civilised society, they are scroungers, theives, muggers and vagrants.

That is why they are regarded by our laws as criminals. Yet there you - and the others like you who promote care and recovery - are regarding them as victims suffering some kind of illness.

That's the problem, your approach doesn't match the states approach of fighting a war against these people.

There isn't the middle ground you want, it is polarised. Either you are right in which case the drug war is wrong, or vice versa.

If you think it's right to complain about the type of attitude displayed in this article - and in case there's any doubt I repeat I think you are right to do so - then you have to attack the cause of it, the war on drugs.

That's something you seem unwilling to do for reasons I don't understand. I just don't think you can have it both ways, we have a war on drugs so your victims are really the enemy.

Anonymous said...

A couple of the comments here, by my fellow anomini and Derek, probably go to the heart of the matter. We can not change the program because there wont be money to change it due to pressure from "peddlars of Morality" (Hi yenwarp). If we anyway get a program going, that works on the sniff of an oily rag, all the good work gets undone by a common societal negative view which bites off any recovery before it starts.

And speaking of that, thats what I would like to do, bite off recovery before it starts by addressing the issues around illegality, regulation etc so as to nip in the bud the potential for many players to actually get a problematic dependence. Yes, all substance addiction is a major problem , but illicit drug addiction is a bit more of a major problem due to it's illicit and therefore costly habit. I want Coke lite, cannabis lite and heroin lite to be available. I am pretty sure the dependence profile of those who started necking 100 proof vodka to those who stole moms wine differs immeasurably. If done properly we wont have a major surge in overall number of dependent substance users.

LeePsycho said...

What can I say but WOW!

I want to leave a negative message for the author and editor to but looks like it is a waste of time!

Lets not waste the time here though. The black and white issue is real. I call it rock headed or concreteness personally.

How is it that we Addictions Counselors think we can help Addicts change their lives away from this kind of thinking if we cannot do it ourselves! If "A" does not work maybe "B" will work. OK, interesting point. Do you try to help client "C" with the same tactic you used with client "A"? Sure, if it works great, if not you can try "B", but most likely "C" is what you are looking for. Entrenchment in "A" or "B" prevents you from not only helping the other, but also "C".

We need to be fluid in our thought processes and techniques as counselors; we need to be creative. Otherwise what are we doing to the client but continuing their own concreteness and stagnation.

Anonymous said...

Although you normally talk drivel, in my opinion, I have to agree with your first point here about stigma and prejudice. Thankfully, your second point, pleading for peace and harmony, is back to the usual nonsense. Keep it up, prof!