Dogmatic Addiction Recovery

People drinkingRecently, I found the ‘Dithering Dogma‘ blog musings of my friend very interesting… and succinct.

Carl, a past colleague, was examining how increased alcohol consumption over recent months – with clear foundations in Covid-19 lockdown – has created some issues that will undoubtedly present long-term individual and societal impacts, and for some time to come no doubt (see below).

As UK pubs reopened to a mixed response, after the last three months of isolation Brits still seemingly still have a thirst on and aren’t too fussed about distancing. With news articles declaring consumption has risen during lock-down, and some early studies also looking at potential increases it may be a good time to reflect… [read more]

Like me, Carl has long been passionate about providing effective support to those impacted by their addictive behaviours. I also subscribe to his ‘disillusionment’ about the ‘postcode lottery’ that is clearly evident amongst addiction services provision across the UK.

Although there is a great deal of ‘good practice’ – with many effective outcomes – provided by ‘good’ organisations throughout the sector; the successful sustained recovery of too many service-users is still impacted by lackluster practice. That said, it’s widely known that the commissioning procedures in recent years, along with significantly reduced service funding, have lead to this “dramatic variance” for support service delivery. Additionally, despite past rafts of guidance and evidence, individuals in some areas are still impacted by poor support for their individual ‘choices’ around recovery pathways.

As Carl points out – “there is no one size fits all approach to recovery” – it’s an personal process. A journey along a variable and often difficult pathway; traveled by the individual, hopefully with some sound and helpful navigational support, provided by others.,, with empathy.

Some services too easily loose sight of their ‘purpose’ and sadly, with monotonous regularity. This is often the direct result of that constant pursuit of ‘achievements’ based purely upon KPI measures, rather than people. They [services/staff] have a tendency to forget; most long-term sustained recovery success results from self-directed and self-defined process, chosen by the individual. Try as they do (sometimes), they still can’t force people into recovery!