Challenging the top ten service concerns about drug and alcohol recovery
Over the coming weeks, Delphi Medical will address some of the biggest concerns surrounding recovery in mental health and drug and alcohol misuse in a series of new blog posts. This first blog focuses on the apprehension that recovery is old news.
While it's true that within mental health the notion of 'recovery' has been around for years, and pioneers are to be acknowledged for work that has already been done, there is still a need to explore further ways in which we can improve the lives of people facing the challenges of addiction.
Here we outline the reasons why it's important to continue exploring alternative routes to recovery:
There is much more to learn and discover
Although the WHO has been working on the idea of recovery in mental health since the 1970s and recovery programmes, such as the twelve-step approach, have been adopted worldwide, support shouldn't stop there. While some may argue that service providers shouldn't waste resources trying to do things differently when we already have successful methods in place, our response must be that, while great inroads have been made, there is plenty of scope for improvement.
Many changes deemed important within the industry have yet to be implemented
Recommendations to improve recovery support services are frequently made yet inconsistently implemented. For instance, we know that stability in housing has a direct impact on success in recovery, yet people in treatment still struggle with accommodation needs. Further campaigning for access to housing is necessary to better facilitate recovery. Supported education and employment must also improve if we are to continue the achievements of a patient-oriented approach.
Legislation and resulting strategies for widespread implementation have only emerged in recent years
Legislation, like the national drug strategy, goes some way in addressing addiction and mental health. Shifting the model of care from acute care to a human rights model makes the patient responsible for learning how to manage their treatment, with a right to receive support from services like ours.
There is room for creativity in recovery
Just as people with physical disabilities can access a wide range of support to aid recovery, such as wheelchair access and Braille, so too should people facing the challenges of addiction and mental health illnesses. Only now are we starting to conceive how we might try and offer such support in new and innovative ways and this should be explored further. Services streamlined to respond swiftly and safely to patients and partner agencies are fundamental to this process, as is an open dialogue about the changing nature of recovery.
This series refers to 'A practical Guide to Recovery Orientated Practice' by Davidson et al, published by Oxford University Press 2009.