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Positive message of this compendious synthesis of hundreds of studies is that "Recovery is not an aberration achieved by a small and morally enlightened minority of addicted people. If there is a natural developmental momentum within the course of [these] problems, it is toward remission and recovery."
STUDY 2011 HTM file
Recovery innovations in Yorkshire and Humberside
The enthusiastic shoots of a recovery orientation emerging in treatment systems and services in northern England faced considerable challenges in gaining sufficient coverage to transform the established landscape – literally in the case of a plan to communally build an Iron Age roundhouse village.
Detailed examination of how differing welfare and treatment systems and understandings of dependence affect the alcohol caseloads of substance use treatment services in Sweden and the USA and how they fare in the year after starting treatment; reveals differences and similarities in what 'success' consists of and what seems to promote it.
Chicago studies have shown that quarterly check-ups on former patients can identify need and pave the way for treatment re-entry. Though extra substance use/problem reductions were modest, these remained significant four years after the patients started treatment. Issue for the UK: how does this square with the stress on lasting treatment exit?
REVIEW 2012 HTM file
The meanings of recovery from addiction: evolution and promises
What is 'recovery' and what does it mean for the roles of treatment and of doctors? This analysis based on the last ten years' writings on the subject draws a parallel with mental health, where recovery in terms of a meaningful and self-directed life is reserved for persisting severe illness resistant to 'cure' via treatment.
From the comprehensive treatment process data collected by a major national US study emerges the important lesson that retention in itself is not an active ingredient in post-treatment outcomes but reflects influences such having one's needs met (especially important for women) and developing a good relationship with the service and your key worker.
Conducted in England, this first study to test positive psychology approaches focused on strengths and wellbeing in the treatment of substance use problems found that a small group of young drinkers and drug users responded well, with substantial remission in alcohol dependence despite the non-substance focus of the group therapy.
The contemporary recovery movement in addictions and the positive psychology movement in the broader field of psychological health have recently grown in prominence but almost entirely in parallel streams, yet the overlaps and possible synergies between them suggest that an integration could be a step forward in recovery from addiction.
In its first report an independent body established by the Scottish government to monitor its drug strategy has called for concrete evidence that recovery from addiction is being pursued and achieved at national and local levels.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Has methadone been rehabilitated?
Arousing visceral opposition and passionate defence, prescribing opiate-type drugs for as long as needed has for decades been the mainstay of heroin addiction treatment in Britain. With the weight of government behind them, that position was challenged by ‘recovery’ advocates; in 2012 an expert report sought to reconcile the competing perspectives.
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