DDN May 2019

‘There is no one-size-fits all in addiction treatment… every person needs to find what gives their life a direction, fulfilment and purpose, and the practitioner’s role is to support this journey of discovery, not endorse a particular model of living.’

Many of us would agree with Lana Durjava’s words in this month’s cover story (page 6); yet according to Mike Trace (page 8), ‘too many people in the sector still see the abstinence/harm reduction issue in binary terms’. We have failed to achieve a balance between healthcare provision and recovery pathways, he argues. Is this your experience?

One certainty is the need to find effective ways to tackle chronic pain without always resorting to opiate medications (page 9). For many people these should not be the default option, yet so often they are. Sharing experiences from a recent pilot scheme, Robert Ralph suggests that with the right system in place and a fully engaged partnership model, the results can be dramatic – not just in achieving the vital pain reduction, but also in improving quality of life.

Recently we’ve been exploring the links between childhood trauma and substance misuse and this month we take a look at the distressingly common – yet poorly understood – exposure to childhood sexual abuse among people in treatment services. One thing we do know is that staff must be trained to respond to disclosure and be able to support survivors in an appropriate way. We hope you find the article helpful, and if you can add to our understanding of this vital work, please get in touch.

Read the virtual magazine or download the PDF

Claire Brown, editor