DDN June 2017 DDN July2017 - Page 10

LetteRs and comment DDN welcomes your letters Please email the editor, claire@cjwellings.com, or post them to DDN at the address on page 3. letters may be edited for space or clarity. ‘e-cigarettes are a game changer! clients do not have to increase their stress levels by trying to quit an often very entrenched habit, but simply switch to using something that is hugely less harmful.’ Smoke without fire Having worked in this sector for over ten years it never ceases to amaze me how little attention is paid to smoking cessation. Every drug and alcohol service is instantly recognisable by the small huddle of smokers near the door, and these are the professionals working there! Clients smoking is something that in my experience is hardly ever addressed, despite the huge health risks associated with it. The rationale is that our job is to work with clients to tackle their primary addiction to drugs and alcohol, and that trying to stop smoking could jeopardise tentative first steps to recovery. That is why e-cigarettes are a game changer! Clients do not have to increase their stress levels by trying to quit an often very entrenched habit, but simply switch to using something that is hugely less harmful. This is why I was interested to read Professor Neil McKeganey’s article in May’s DDN magazine on the relatively low uptake of e-cigarette use, and the misconceptions around how harmful they are compared to normal cigarettes. This is despite PHE stating that vaping was 95 less harmful than smoking. McKeganey states that alongside confusion and dislike of the paraphernalia, this has led to only around 15 per cent of smokers switching. 10 | drinkanddrugsnews | June 2017 I think it is our duty to encourage clients to try to switch to vaping, and ensure that they are aware of the facts and have access to the equipment. We could even be handing out free e- cigarettes and allowing clients to use them in services! By doing this we will be improving their health and wealth, which all goes towards a successful sustainable recovery. Lucy Phillips, via email. No StickiNg plaSter In response to ‘The emperor’s new clothes’, (DDN, May, p19): People do not ‘recover’ from childhood trauma, entrenched behaviour and mental illness just by sticking a methadone or subutex script in front of them. Without long-term investment in proven therapeutic interventions that work with clients where they are at in that long, long recovery journey we will continue to see an increase in drug related deaths and low successful outcomes. I have worked in substance misuse for 20 years and services have got less client focused and less accessible to tho