Drink and Drugs News DDN Nov2017 - Page 15

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. ‘I used to go to NA often while scripted but couldn’t maintain it due to being honest about how methadone had saved my life and my complete refusal to accept the supernatural elements of the programme...’ Self-aggrandiSing nonSenSe I am a little shocked and disappointed about Mr Brand’s comments regarding people prescribed methadone/ buprenorphine (DDN, October, page 11). I am ‘on a script’, and certainly do not think I am ‘fucked’ as Mr Brand so eloquently puts it. My life is going excellently since I have been optimally prescribed methadone. I have a job/family/give back to my community and all in all am bobbing along rather well. The problem, as I see it, is that there are MANY people doing very well on OST but as they are just busy getting on with the business of living, we are not very visible. As a result, the only real visible OST patients are the slightly chaotic ones. Honestly, given what he said, I’m disappointed that DDN gave Mr Brand such a large platform to spew his self- aggrandising, anti OST nonsense. Sapphire Matthews, via DDN website, www.drinkanddrugsnews.com Scripted SenSe So, Russell thinks I’m fucked due to being on a maintenance script. I must admit that in the past I did use on top until I got on an optimal dose of methadone. I've been working for over five years and many years ago I got a www.drinkanddrugsnews.com first-class degree while maintaining myself on OTC meds. His views are indicative of the 12- step hardliners. Has he not read William White on medically assisted recovery? Or been in NA meetings where someone on anti-depressants has been advised to come off them as they’re psychoactive? I used to go to NA often while scripted but couldn’t maintain it due to being honest about how methadone had saved my life and my complete refusal to accept the supernatural elements of the programme as I’m a dyed-in-the wool atheist and member of Humanists UK. I’ve heard other 12 steppers state that they wished everyone could have the programme which, to me, sounded like drinking Jim Jones’ Kool Aid. Meanwhile I'll happily stay ‘fucked’ according to Brand and get on with my day job helping disadvantaged people in Camden. Peter Simonson, by email CLARIFICATION UKAN are here! In our last issue (DDN, October, page 22, ‘Help at hand’) UKAN introduced their new online community for people working in the field of addiction. We should have included the website address in the article – you can find the UKAN community at www.ukan.network Taking part in a recent political debate, Andrew Horne noticed a keen appetite for policy change Gaining ground AT A POLITICAL DEBATE IN INVERCLYDE, led by MP Ronnie Cowan, I shared my professional and personal views on drugs being a health and social care issue rather than a criminal one. It was heartening to hear the other panel members, all from very different backgrounds, share common ground – although for very different reasons. At Addaction, our 50 years of working with individuals, families and communities, tells us that treatment is the thing that works. Our position is simple: people with drug misuse problems should be diverted out of the criminal justice system and into treatment – a view shared by the Scottish government, who only last week, at the SNP party conference, agreed a motion to decriminalise drugs. During our debate, several of us discussed this topic with interested members of public. We also heard from Rod Thomson, the Royal College of Nursing’s deputy president. He spoke candidly about how his views of substance misuse changed dramatically as a student nurse, when his community placement showed him the people affected. On the flipside was panel member Anthony Gielty from The Haven, whose own drug and crime activity saw him spend 15 months of his teenage life in solitary confinement, labelled one of Scotland’s most violent prisoners. After years in prison, he now provides pastoral care to men at The Haven and he’s passionate about recovery an