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When cognitive dissonance goes bad...

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.

[Henry Youngman]

Drug and Alcohol Pages

  • Dual Diagnosis/Co-morbidity
  • PTSD and substance misuse [pdf]

    UK Statutory Sites

    Non-statutory Sites

    Downloadable Behavioural Aspects of Addiction
    Prezis - Online Presentations
  • Gaudi pharmacy mosaic

    Substance Misuse and Addictions - Drugs and Alcohol

    What you will find here...

    This section focuses on the psychological aspects of substance misuse and addictions, particularly looking at the cognitive and behavioural elements and their implications for treatment with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. There are links to helpful external resources and a host of peripheral items related to substance misuse and addictions. Some are serious in content and tone, others more humorous.

    Psychology Under Threat in Addictions

    See my personal account of tendering for drug and alcohol services in the NHS.

    "You can take the psychologist out of addictions, but you can't take addictions out of the psychologist!"

    Minimum Price for Alcohol

    Recent government proposals to enforce a minimum price for a unit of alcohol have provoked a fierce debate across the spectrum of interested parties, including retailers, the drinks industry and colleagues from the health sector. Leaving aside the observation that I can recall many friends from the past who would willingly pay a minimum price for alcohol when it was their turn to buy a round, my understanding of the literature is that total alcohol consumption varies in line with its price. Superficially it would therefore seem to make sense to make it less affordable.

    I fear it is not that simple. We need to understand the cultural milieu within which a lot of drinking occurs. Although it is easy to condemn the excesses of youthful drinking - perhaps more precisely, the harm it causes in terms of health and criminal activity - we have to understand this as being part of a rite of passage. We also need to look deeper into the kind of society we have which makes the need for abandonment and oblivion so compelling, from the young person who is unemployed and sees no future to the highly successful workers in the financial sector.

    My unease is to do with social division - the measures are really only going to affect people who can least afford to drink, such as the young and socially disadvanteged. This may have a marginal impact on binge drinking but it will leave untouched the harmful levels of drinking that go on behind closed doors in suburbia. If we are serious about tackling this, then broad increases across the whole spectrum are called for, coupled with more alcohol education.

    However sophisticated we may be, our central nervous systems do not discriminate between Bollinger Champagne and a cheap cider that has never come within touching distance of an apple.

    Alcohol-Free Days

    My blog thoughts on why government advice on alcohol-free days makes sense.

    How to make a Zombie

    Studies by the ethnobotanist Wade Davis found that the drug Tetrodotoxin induces a reversible death-like state in those it does not actually kill. This property has been exploited in voodoo, whereby victims are buried and then exhumed shortly afterwards. The toxin is found in the puffer fish, a Japanese delicacy that kills about 100 diners a year.

    Source: Fred Leavitt in Drugs and Behavior (Third edition), Sage Publications, 1995, citing from The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis, Warner Books, 1985.

    For reference purposes only, here is the Zombie cocktail recipe!

    When Motivational Interviewing goes too far...

    Are you motivated enough to check out Motivational interviewing as a new disorder?

    Notice for Members of Drug Support Groups...

    • Cocaine users please form a straight line
    • Cannabis users just roll up for the group when you are ready
    • Crack users please rock up on time
    • Please use the double doors for the alcohol group
    • Please don't trip on the doorstep if you come to the hallucinogenic group