Welcome to our ‘online newspaper’, created to promote, support and enhance long-term, sustainable recovery from addictions/ dependencies of all kinds. We are delighted to receive and disseminate constructive comments, blogs, articles and research. Keep them rolling in! Deirdre Boyd, CEO and Editor
The UK’s last public debate on whether to reclassify cannabis to a Class B drug took place on the
Guidance on clinical governance in drug treatment is due to be published this summer. As part of this, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse has published a draft – and is inviting treatment providers, commissioners/ purchasers and others to comment. The aim is to identify best practice. The consultation document is Clinical Governance in Drug Treatment: A Draft Good Practice Guide for Providers and Commissioners. This is an opportunity for people providing and commissioning treatment to influence the shape of the final guidance. Read today/Comment.
ALCOHOL USE DISORDER IN ADULTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE – COMMUNITY MEMBER RECRUITMENT
Deadline 16 May 2008
Community members will play a key role in ensuring that the views and experiences of adults and young people inform theNICE guidance’s development and its recommendations tot heNHS, local authorities and the wider public,private, voluntary and community sectors. Read today/Comment.
CENTRE FOR ADDICTION TREATMENT STUDIES opens its doors. Read today/Comment.
STAR RATINGS FOR TREATMENT CENTRES by inspector David Finney, published end-February. Read today/Comment.
CREATIVE WRITING as an inspiration for recovery, by Fiona Friend – learn how to use it with this article printed in Addiction Today journal a year ago. Read today/Comment.
DoH ADDS TO GUIDANCE FOR REHABS
Nick Lawrence, deputy director and head of alcohol, drugs and tobacco policy at the Department of Health has sent out addendum guidance for addiction treatment services on the reallocation of capital funds. Read today/Comment.
COALITION FOR ADDICTION RECOVERY CHOICES
"People in recovery and those who have power over their lives have a right to be consulted about how recovery is perceived," urges Addiction Recovery Foundation CEO Deirdre Boyd, who is also editor of Addiction Today.
"It is not as simplistic as whether they are alcohol- and drug-free but also whether the underlying problems – some going back to childhood – have been addressed adequately so that they stay healthy, rebuild healthy family and other relationships. For instance, how can an employer or potential employer assess if they can be trusted with sensitive jobs? When is an impaired lawyer ‘recovered enough’ to get their licence back? What about gaining the right to fill in a mortgatge-applicatoin form truthfully without being penalised, to get health and life insurance cover without being penalised, to be accepted by their GP, to be reinstated at university? All the people involved have different ideas on what recovery is – and not all are accurate or helpful." Read today/Comment.
The right time for women to quit smoking.
More than two alcoholic drinks a day risks Alzheimer’s.
Read more here.
Two glasses of wine a day can double breast-cancer risk.
Read more here.
DRUNK, VIOLENT, PROMISCUOUS… A US VIEW OF UK YOUTH
The 7 April cover of renowned Time magazine identifies UK youth as "unhappy, unloved and out of control – an epidemic of violence, drime and drunknness has made Britain scared of its young". It criticises the education system and binge-drinking culture. Read today/Comment.
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Courtesy of JoinTogether.com
REWARDING TREATMENT PROVIDERS FOR RESULTS WORKS
A government which pays substance-abuse treatment providers for results, not services, could foster improved quality of care and accountability, according to a study by the Treatment Research Institute. Thomas McLellan PhD and colleagues, with consultant Jack Kemp, studied Delaware’s results-oriented contracting system and concluded that providers "improved their ability to attract patients and keep them engaged in treatment longer – both signs of improved addiction treatment quality and accountability for services." Read today/Comment.
INSURANCE IN U.S. MOVES TO COVER ADDICTION/ DEPENDENCY ON A PAR WITH OTHER ILLNESS
In a major victory for addiction treatment and recovery advocates, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to mandate that insurers cover addiction and mental illness on par with other illnesses. "We have waited 12 long years," said Jim Ramstad, cosponsor with Senator Patrick Kennedy of the bill. Read today/Comment
CATCH UP ON THE 10-YEAR DRUG STRATEGY TO 2018
Drugs: Protecting families and communities underscores what Addiction Today has been striving for across two decades: "The goal of all treatment is for drug users to achieve abstinence from their drug – or drugs – of dependency," states the drugs strategy for 2008-2018. "For some, this can be achieved immediately, but many others will first need a period of drug-assisted treatment with prescribed medication. Drug users receiving drug-assisted treatment should experience a rapid improvement in their overall health and their ability to work, participate in training or support their families. They will then be supported in trying to achieve abstinence as soon as they can." Read today/Comment.
NICE GUIDELINE ON ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE
"I was alarmed not to see the many treatment centres specialising in recovery from alcohol dependence NOT represented on the list of stakeholders informing/steering the Management of Alcohol Dependence guidelines from the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence," reports Addiction Today editor Deirdre Boyd. Read today/Comment.
SCOTLAND MOVES FROM METHADONE DEPENDENCE TO REHAB
A new Scottish anti-drugs strategy by this summer will see a move away from dependence on methadone to treat addicts, with more emphasis on drug-free and residential rehabilitation. But there is no sign of help for the estimated 50,000 children who live with drug-addicted parents. Officials will review drugs budgeting, and report by spring next year. Read today/Comment
ADDICTED CELEBRITIES NEED HELP NOT MOCKERY
Click on the screen below to watch the excellent CBS show featuring Craig Ferguson on recovery – almost 1 million people have.
Home Office figures show that drug offences leapt by over 60% since Labour relaxed the law on cannabis possession in 2004. Drug crime rocketed by 21% last year alone. And there were 55,700 drug offences in July-September last year – police counted 34,600 drug offences in July-September 2004, the time of the reclassification. Read today/Comment
TREATMENT-CENTRE LEAGUE TABLES
Action plan by ‘healthcare watchdog’ has started… “They are not league tables,” insists Peter Burkinshaw of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, when discussing joint reviews by the Healthcare Commission and the NTA of alcohol- and drug-treatment providers, to identify and promote improvements where needed. The results are not due until autumn – but already providers are describing them as league tables. “If I came top, I’d be boasting about it,” said the chief executive of one treatment centre, as others nodded in agreement. Read the March Addiction Today for more details. Read today/Comment
"Thirty-somethings most at risk," government experts warn – lower tolerance and long licensing hours identified as key factors. Read today.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN 2008? Three expert views
First columnist: PAUL HAYES, CEO of the National Treatment Agency
"The consensus that ‘treatment works’ is being overtly challenged in the media for the first time in many years. This is in part a reflection of a shift in thinking in some political and academic circles to support an increasingly abstinence-focused system. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse believes the evidence supports a treatment system which balances the immediate benefits to individuals and communities of maintenance and harm reduction, with the long- term benefits of recovery from dependency and treatment completion… Read today / Post comment
THE GUIDE TO REHAB – WHAT REALLY WORKS
20 research facts everyone should know about rehab treatment for alcohol and drugs dependency
In late 1999, Dr David Best (who was working with the National Addiction Centre), Addiction Today editor Deirdre Boyd and the then-CEO of EATA met to initiate an easy-to-use reference document about addiction treatment which could be used by professionals and general public, and which not only covered the key issues but were based on incontrovertible research addressing those issues. EATA requested Addiction Today to publish in full the key research findings – seven years later, we republish the facts. They have not dated. Read today/Comment