Recovery: is this a new agenda or not? What has been the impact of changes in the government-imposed

First published: 10/05/2019 | Last updated: June 10th, 2019

Recovery: is this a new agenda or not? What has been the impact of changes in the government-imposed treatment agenda over the past 15 years?


This presentation will address the related questions:

1. Is there anything new about the latest version of recovery from addiction?

2. Is the research community contributing to a new understanding of recovery? and, 3. Is the English and Scottish governments’ new recovery rhetoric driving significant change?

Clearly to address these questions comprehensively would be beyond the scope of a single presentation, but some similarities and differences between today’s recovery movement and the temperance movement will be sketched out. A comparison will be made with the period more recently when abstinence and rehabilitation were promoted as central goals for drug users before the emphasis on harm reduction achieved dominance.

The research community’s renewed and marked interest in outcomes beyond the reduction of drug use and related harm will be considered in relation to the upsurge of recovery discourse and activity, and finally concrete examples of recent developments in services will be presented as possible ‘green shoots’ of change at least partly driven by the new political agenda.

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Mr Tim Leighton