Maybe you’ve seen the recent press on the psychedelic substance Psilocybin as the next line of addiction treatment.

Whilst these substances and new approaches will always have their place, perhaps what’s most troubling about these approaches, is not the substance itself but rather the mentality or beliefs they can cultivate.

Most modern rehab clinics, including us, are proud to say that we’re 12 steps, fully abstinence-based services. We stand for the long term emotional work on the self, and mutual aid supports the approach, to long term recovery.

Behind these meetings, and therapeutic work, and mutual support, lies the genuine ongoing desire to reconcile ourselves with our personal history, with our previous wrongs during addiction, and to guard against these recurring in future. We recognise these as part of the base cause of our addictive patterns and aim for sobriety on that basis.

Without sounding too controversial, dabbling with any chemical or substance approach that seems to offer a way out emotionally – a way to continue any level of denial whatsoever – a way to avoid or get around personal responsibility that we have trained ourselves to acknowledge and work through – surely can’t be strengthening our recovery beliefs or attitudes in the long term – no matter how beneficial at other levels.

Again, some will find that these approaches work well, and complement their own personal style in recovery – which we encourage.

Nevertheless, in our experience, long term sobriety involves more than this – is the ongoing mutual support, and self-work of traditional abstinence-based programs hard work? Maybe.

But does it deliver a greater sense of knowing the self, the reasons why, and long term satisfaction of resolving the issues at the core? Definitely.

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Pete has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for The Hygrove and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire.   To read more about Pete visit his LinkedIn profile.


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