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Recovery Plus News: stories symbolising trends to watch Neuroscience of addiction & recovery Addiction changes brain biology in three stages, according to Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and co-authors Thomas McLellan and George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. They use neuroscience to break down addiction into: binge and intoxication, withdrawal and negative affect, and preoccupation and anticipation. The authors conclude that neuroscience supports the brain disease model of addiction. They clarify the link between addiction and brain function, including: desensitisation of reward circuits, addiction’s contribution to increasing strength of conditioned responses and the brain’s reaction to stress, and weakening of brain regions involved in executive functions. You can read more at www.drugabuse.gov/ news-events/news-releases/2016/01/review-article-reinforcessupport brain-disease-model-addiction. World Benzo Day The inaugural World Benzo Day will be 11 July 2016 – on the birthday of Professor C Heather Ashton, DM FRCP, who wrote the withdrawal ‘bible’ for people who want to quit benzodiazepines safely. For more details or to participate, go to www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/newsfeatures/ 8/news-headlines/96339/barry-takes-centre-stage-forworld benzo-day-launch. Over half of UK rehabs have disappeared... Addiction-treatment clinics start 2016 in perhaps their greatest test of survival. Over 24 closed in the 24 months leading up to the 2010 general election then, after a year’s respite, another 18 and more were forced to shut their doors. Another 200-250 ‘rehab beds’ were lost when TTP closed down, albeit not for the usual funding reasons. This is a cut in rehab capacity of over 50% since 2008, even taking into account a few new ones. Sadly, reduced capacity does not mean that the remaining rehabs are full: far from it. As Recovery Plus speaks to rehab CEOs around the country, they consistently report cuts of 30% in local authority funding. It has been clear for some years that treatment providers will need to diversify: more mixed funding and adding day programmes are options. ... So help addicts to access treatment Two developments could help more vulnerable people to access effective treatment for addictive behaviours. The first is the Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board case. Seven Supreme Court judges ruled last May that a doctor is under a duty to take “reasonable care to ensure that his patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment” and “the doctor’s role involves dialogue”, including that “the patient understands the seriousness of her condition, and the anticipated benefits and risks of the proposed treatment and any reasonable alternatives”. Patients can now require explanation from doctors of the harms which can accompany opioid substitution and offering of drug-free options. Read more at www.jordanpublishing.co.uk/practiceareas/ pi-and-civil-litigation/news_and_comment/the-rippling-effect-of-montgomery-v-lanarkshire-health-board. Second is Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare, an EU directive which came into force across the European Union in 2013. An EU or EEA citizen can now claim the cost of healthcare treatment in any other European state, if they can’t get it promptly in their own country, with reimbursement coming from their home state’s statutory health funder (NHS in the UK). Details of how it can help patients are at www.castlecraig.co.uk/ admissions/admissions-europe/cross-border-qa. your library’s essential reference Feb 2016 9


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