‘Learn what you can. Try to get vulnerable.’ We talk so readily about the science of addiction – dopamine receptors, the way our brains are wired. But do we think enough about matters of the heart – the direct connection between one human being and another? The need for belonging runs throughout this month’s articles. Russell Brand (interview, page 10) divides opinion and his latest book will be no exception. Will his rewrite of the 12 steps make the philosophy more accessible, translating it for a modern age where just about everything is framed as addiction? Can you get past his uncompromising semantics to tune into his argument for ‘looking at life a little less selfishly’? Beck Gee-Cohen (page 14) urges us to tackle the stigma of gender stereotyping with an open heart and there is plenty in his advice to make us scrutinise outdated systems. Avoiding the issue is not good enough – ‘learn what you can, try to get vulnerable – and be ok when you mess up. Learn to apologise,’ he said during the interview, adding ‘if this is too hard for you, maybe you shouldn’t be in this field.’ Mark Prest (page 6) has experienced the ‘level of invisibility’ in treatment. He left rehab feeling full of fear and with ‘a sense of homelessness’. Why is addiction framed as a criminality and not a health issue, he wants to know – a scenario that takes care even further away from the appropriate support systems and makes us even less inclined to overturn stereotypes. We have to create the safe space to make equality second nature. And in this issue we relaunch our residential treatment directory, which we hope will make the best treatment easier to find. Claire Brown, editor Read October's issue here as a pdf and here as a 'virtual' magazine. Keep in touch on Facebook and Twitter @DDNmagazine We welcome your letters and feedback – click here to send your email.