Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Our new online recovery community

I've been very quiet recently on this blog because I have been working hard on the new web community we launched today. 

This blog will now close although we will keep all postings here. We have also moved all postings to my blog on the new site, but it has not been possible to move all the comments.
There will eventually be many blogs on our new online community. Please feel free to register, get your own profile page, and blog if you wish.
Please note that you will need to register to make comments on the new site's blogs. We ask that you read the Terms and Conditions of our online community. We will be trying to prevent and eradicate any offensive, abusive or troublesome behaviour on our community site.
Please take some time to look around the new site - it contains lots of interesting content. And help us empower people to tackle substance use problems.
Thanks for reading these google blogs - come over and enter our new world

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Untangling treatment

For those of you who missed my last two Background Briefings in Drink and Drugs News, I have included the links below. After writing over 70 Briefings, I thought it was time that I reflected on what treatment involves (or should involve) and how it can help people along their path to recovery from addiction. 

In the first of this series, I described a large scale piece of qualitative research that Lucie James and I conducted on the views and experiences of clients on a high quality prison treatment programme. 
As psychologists, we were particularly interested in the key elements that were derived from the analysis: 'belonging', 'socialisation', 'learning' and 'support'. These themes impacted on a fifth theme, personal change, which comprised two components, motivation to change and self-esteem. 
In the second Briefing, I started to look more generally at the nature of treatment and how it helps recovery. I emphasised one of the most simple and important facts - recovery comes from within the person.  
I described some of the views of Arthur Bohart and Karen Tallman, as expressed in their seminal book, 'How Clients Make Therapy Work: The Process of Active Self-Healing'.
I took a brief look at what the client brings through the door when he or she comes for help from a treatment agency.
I hope you find these latest Briefings interesting. Let me know what you think.

Friday, 7 November 2008

The Wired In online recovery community

My apologies for not blogging recently but I have been deep into writing content and testing the new online community which is close to being launched. Kevin and my blogs have been moved over onto the new site so there will be a nice archive there.

A small community has developed amongst the people testing the site and we've had some amusing experiences. Here is one of my recent postings which generated a number of comments:

'Chris G and his 200,000 followers
We have been very busy developing the website and doing related things, so it is good to have a dose of humour now and again.
Chris G emailed Lucie just now to say that some words in blue had appeared on his profile page underneath his Friends list. He now had 200,000 followers! As he said to Lucie, ‘Come with me child and I will show you the world.’
Now, we know that strange things happen from time to time, because Nathan is working on the functionality and tests things periodically.
The only problem is that Chris G is really excited about having such an impact on the world – and what is this going to do to his self-esteem when he loses his followers in one foul sweep of Nathan’s programming!
Please can you all check out that he gets back on his feet after such a loss!!
And don’t stop blogging Chris, for they may return.'

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!!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Anyone for a good hanging?

Saw this posted as a comment on one of the blogs:

'I should just let you and the prof keep posting and watch you hang yourselves.'
Guess, you cannot keep everyone happy! If there was no criticism, I'd be doing something wrong.
By the way, an excellent blog this week by Kathy Gyngell focusing on, 'Why the National Treatment Agency is prejudiced against rehab.'

Monday, 20 October 2008

Trying to support family support groups

As some of you know, I am very passionate about trying to support family members, families and family support groups. They just don't get a good deal from the system - in fact, they generally get a lousy deal.

There are so many family members who need help. There are so many family support groups who are trying to do something positive - but exist in isolation and need help to further their agenda.
I would like to contact as many family support groups as possible, to try to help bring them together into a coherent whole. Or at least communicate with each other.
It is time we worked together to push an agenda that helps those who are indirectly affected by substance use problems. 
If you are a family support group, or know of any such group, could you please contact me.  

Thank you

I'd just like to thank all those who have been involved in the last two 'debates' centered on my blog. I've not been involved in the last one as I've been tied up - other than putting up all comments onto blogs - but I will look and will join in as soon as I can. 

We're getting closer to the launch of the new website, at which time I will move my google blog to this new location. We're hoping that we can get a number of different people blogging who can stimulate good discussion. We hope that this discussion will lead to other 'virtual' activities.
Meanwhile, please continue putting forward your views.