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NETWORK A national newsletter on substance misuse management in primary care
network
NETWORK 26 MAY 2009
Thoughts on recovery - a personal view
The topic of recovery has had a large amount of coverage
lately and SMMGP believe it is important to look at the
evidence on this subject, and also to allow people to
define their own path to recovery. The line between
supporting and forcing an individual’s recovery can be
a fine one. Here is Peter McDermott’s history and view of
recovery and what works for him. Ed.

Today then, Recovery with a capital
R is the flavour of the month and you
can’t attend a meeting without somebody
sharing their latest plans to encourage the
growth of recovery in their area


and the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous
During the early 80’s, cocaine use exploded in the USA –
(NA) and Cocaine Anonymous became the kind of place where
particularly among the white middle classes. Initially, it tended
a high flyer could pick up a hot Hollywood starlet or New York
to take the form of recreational use of powder cocaine, but as
fashion model.
time went on, there was a huge growth in freebasing and crack
cocaine use, which resulted in a much darker, much more Recovery was ‘in’.
problematic pattern of use.
Here in the UK, not so much. Firstly, the respectable middle
By the mid-to-late 80’s then, being ‘in recovery’ was almost like classes hadn’t yet embraced cocaine use in the way they did
a fashion statement in US media and entertainment circles. Just in the USA. And in the small circles that did, it tended to be the
like Captain Frank Furillo, the leading man in the dominant US much less problematic use of snorting powder cocaine. Aside
TV drama of the era Hill Street Blues, actors, writers, producers from a couple of meetings in London, 12 step groups tended
and directors would all attend a meeting before going to work, to be dominated by alcoholics and in the case of NA, by heroin
…continued overleaf
In this issue

Mike Webb and Gordon Morse describe how they weaved their way doctor. SMMGP feel that drug services will never be the same once he hangs
through the legislation to provide an innovative service which trains injecting up his stethoscope! Page 10.
drug users, the people most likely to witness a drugs overdose, to administer
naloxone. Those trained were also given naloxone to be used in the event
Martin Weatherhead guides us through the complex area of legislation
of their witnessing an overdose. This is an excellent example of how service
and good practice regarding safeguarding children. Page 12.
users have worked together with service providers and commissioners to
Martin Weatherhead is Dr Fixit to a GP seeking advice regarding
make important changes to drug treatment. Page 4.
safeguarding children. Page 13.
There is an increased emphasis on clinical governance in drug treatment
A clinical governance lead asks Dr Fixit, Susi Harris, for guidance regarding
services. Susi Harris takes us through what this means in practice for
implementing clinical governance in primary care drug treatment. Page 14.
primary care based services. Page 6.
See all the latest events on the bulletin board. Page 16.
With the heightened profile of the problems associated with alcohol misuse in
the UK, Ian Gilmore discusses the important role general practice can play We hope you enjoy this edition.
in improving health services for alcohol users. Page 8.
Editor
As he retires, Stefan Janikiewicz reflects upon his work with drug users
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