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LOOMING FAILURE TO CURB DRINK & DRUG ADDICTION

Tiggy max

At a conference held on Saturday at Arts House, Kenneth Eckersley (the C.E.O. of Addiction Recovery Training Services) opened by praising the Coalition government's new drugs strategy.

He applauded the government's statement that the result it expects from any addiction rehabilitation provision which seeks payment from tax-payer funds must be “lasting abstinence” - especially as this goal has the full approval of the populace at large and of a majority of addicts.

“Government have also indicated that remuneration for this result will be made only on a “Payment by Results” basis, and in these hard economic times, “deliver the goods and then we'll pay you” sounds about right”, said Ken.

However, this simple and straightforward demand for a recovery provision which delivers a lasting return to the natural state of relaxed abstinence into which 99% of us are born, is exposing the shocking scarcity of effective abstinence results achieved by the main providers of so-called “rehabilitation treatment” over the last 60 years.

Supporters of that out-of-date status quo psycho-pharmaceutical “treatment” scene falsely claim this reveals the optimistic nature of the government's whole concept which, the NHS's failed National Treatment Agency took the opportunity to assert, confirms the necessity for commissioning “a range of services . . . . to provide tailored packages of care and support”. i.e, exactly what the NHS / NTA have already been commissioning from providers for the six decades of our failing and deteriorating drink and drug usage scene.

In truth however, proof that the government's new policy is already working IS THIS EXPOSURE of the paucity of results from existing providers which, far from being an excuse for abandoning the main pillar of this worthwhile new policy, is the right reason for the government to demand that ALL rehabilitation suppliers adopt the methodology of those smaller providers who regularly DO deliver lasting abstinence.

The massive resistance this suggestion will likely provoke from the Department of Health will as usual be engineered by psycho-pharmaceutical vested interests intent on protecting the multi-billion income they make from the system of policies they have persuaded successive health authorities to install over the last half century.

This is because “treatment”, care and support are provenly not a route to lasting abstinence. That result is achieved by the sort of self-help “training” which is delivered in at least 169 centres (including prison units) across 43 countries and which has been expanding for 45 years.

Introducing effective do-it-for-yourself training would no longer require well paid psychiatric practitioners to run care-homes, day centres and clinics on pharmaceutical intervention principles, and would thus markedly slash their incomes.

As a result (Ken pointed out) the large and entrenched ineffective providers have quite naturally already covertly started to fight this new policy. First (via the NHS / NTA) by immediately securing a 34 month delay in the implementation of the new policy - that delay being based on a quickly trumped up requirement for “piloting” the activities and results it is already well known such current providers cannot deliver.

As a consequence, the second news (at the end of 2013) will obviously be that: “pilots run by major providers have shown that a restriction of results to “lasting abstinence” is only achievable in 25% of cases, thus making Payment only by Results economically non-viable” . . . .

The NHS will then no doubt repeat what the NTA said in February 2011: “If we're going to deliver recovery, we can't deliver recovery to 200,000 people”, PLUS what the NTA then further quoted: “whilst our ultimate goal is to enable individuals to become free from their dependence, we equally recommend a range of services providing treatment, care and support which match the requirements of individual service users”.

The so-called “pilots” will meanwhile have already ensured a continuation of the existing failed “treatment” provision for nearly three years, and the above expected recommendation for a return to square-one will continue that. The citizens and government of the U.K. will have lost out again, and the psycho-pharms will have reasserted their control of U.K. government “drugs policy” and continuing nearly monopolistic provision of their profitable brands of so-called “treatment”.

To avoid this, those “drugs Ministers” not in the Department of Health must recognise that the NHS does not and cannot cure drink and drug addiction in any significant measure, and in fact depends on external providers who are equally ineffective.

As a consequence, we must all recognise that whilst medical help is both valuable and appropriate where addicts have overdosed or wrecked their health, tackling the recovery of an addict is a personal matter which only the individual him or her self can handle – provided they are trained into what to do and then coached in how to apply it to themselves.

Once an individual student knows and has these tools AND has successfully applied them, he always has them (plus his self-recovery experience) as a protection against any further temptation and relapse.

After a tour of Arts House

House various discussions on similar lines were initiated by questions from the floor, and at the end of the afternoon, a proposition was put by a Northern delegate as follows:

“Whilst we value and fully appreciate the great work and dedication of the NHS and its personnel, we are dismayed at the way in which its policies and practices in respect of drug addiction are manipulated by psycho-pharmaceutical commercial interests and therefore, based on NTA results to date, have no faith whatsoever in the NHS's ability to bring lasting abstinent recovery to drink and drug dependent users.

Recovery from addiction is provenly not an NHS capability.”

THIS MOTION WAS ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY.


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By: Isaac Owusu-accra, G