“To be a more successful country we need to see an overall improvement in our population health, and we need to close the gap between the health of our wealthiest communities and the health of our poorest.

Only through an effective partnership can we make the best use of our collective resources and work together to tackle our most difficult challenges – making a real difference to the prosperity and wellbeing of our communities.”
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
First Minister of Scotland

Universal Addiction Healthcare is a longterm recovery legacy programme, founded in January, 2019 by myself and Mike Delaney to create within UK & Europe public healthcare services: 24/7 Addiction A+E clinics. Holistic primary inpatient healthcare clinics, and continuing care-outpatient programmes.

An interdisciplinary holistic approach, facilitated by trained in the fundamentals of addiction medicine healthcare professional and like-minded volunteers from recovery communities.

The addiction medicine trainings ensures people in need of addiction healthcare have access to all levels of treatment. From crisis to calm: medically supervised detoxes, nutrition, stress-management somatic therapies: breath-work, yoga, tai-chi, Ayurveda & TCM medicines, homeopathic and allopathic complimentary supplements, and when it is needed prescribed medication to create a continuum of care (stabilising the stages of addiction recovery) mind, body and soul.

Universal Addiction Healthcare’s continuum of compassionate care safeguard a person’s vulnerability to stress-related relapse – with mindfulness stress management techniques to reduce anxiety and mood swings.

Compassion. Community. Connection.

The first clinics are scheduled to open in Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Autumn, 2019. For too long people in need of specific universal addiction and mental healthcare are continuously prescribed the wrong medication to help them in their recovery from active addiction.

Few doctors understand the addictive component to medication. And that medication needs to be monitored for side effects.

Compassion. Community. Connection.

Health Emergency

We are experiencing a global health crisis. The number of opioid overdoses is increasing on a daily basis. People in need of addiction healthcare are being denied treatment because they lack funding.

Recently in Edinburgh Railway Station, we came across a man who’s suffering was palpable, without a home, friends, visible means of support ground down by a life of abject poverty, partially collapsed against the railing, disenfranchised from society, in utter despair. His ravaged face remains etched in my memory of that moment in time…he is one of many homeless people, who on a daily basis fade into the background, ignored and isolated from basic human rights to healthcare, compassion and community.

We stopped to give him money and spent a few minutes in silence, compassionately praying for his safety. As we walked away with heavy hearts it was easier to remain silent than to talk about feeling powerless to help him beyond the offer of money…

I know what it is like to have nothing, addiction took everything from me…the priceless love and respect of my family and friends…my home, job, and by the grace of god I did not die despite wishing I could…I was once I committed to living sober, rebuild a life in recovery.

I am beyond grateful that the obsession to drink and drug was lifted 30 years ago. Freedom from the bondage of self obsession. My life today is one of hope, love and happiness. The past has no power over me..The present unfolds with grace and effort…

I have my recovery tribe to thank for helping me stay sober, and the hundreds of hours I have sat in the chair, at a 12step recovery meeting, sharing my experience, strength and hope…with people who loved me until I could love myself….people who tell me the truth, have my back and never let me forget to keep coming back…

From the early days of being sober, to today it is my responsibility to do service within my recovery community…whether it is simply reaching out to a newcomer at a meeting, speaking at a conference about healing trauma, stabilising addiction recovery is what I do with an un-tired spirit… to carry the message of help, hope and recovery.

Every day is a new beginning…And I feel blessed to have the support of colleague and friend, clinician Mike Delaney. We decided last year that enough was enough ….that it was time to commit to changing the way people in an addiction crisis access help…

So…we are partnering with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and a multinational pharmaceutical company to create “Addiction Emergency Clinics within the A&H- NHS hospitals.

The ASAM has devised a sustainable “Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine” training programme that supports doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and counsellors in the US and we want to bring this training into the public health sectors, within the UK and Europe.

Time takes time….and we are very patient…the task at hand is to convince Scottish Health Ministers to support universal addiction healthcare…and a significant change in how healthcare is accessed is near…soo it will be a green light and we, along with volunteers from the recovery community form alliances with doctors, nurses, healthcare workers to open 24/7 addiction emergency clinics starting in Glasgow and Edinburgh…to help people regain their lives free from the hell on earth that is active addiction.

Mike and I are working a living legacy programme that will provide healthcare to addicts in need…medically supervised detox, primary inpatient care from trained in addiction healthcare doctors, nurses and therapists…then when it is time to go to the next level of recovery ongoing sustainable support from the wider recovery community to ensure safety, help and hope continues between recovery meetings…

Compassionate universal addiction healthcare is percolating away in our minds and hearts. Soon we will let you know where to go to get help for yourself and or someone you know is suffering…..

Meanwhile have hope, and know you are not alone.


ANXIETY: can feel overwhelming, and it is something I have learned how to master at different stages in my life… that I was prescribed valium as a teenager to “calm me down” is another story…about what not to do…but this gateway drug became one of the drugs I used to numb the the pain of existence with…

Because until I came in to recovery from addiction in 1988 when I needed to learn new ways to eventually stop an internal “ringing bell” from causing mental and physical agitation/overthinking.

Panic. Reactivity. Impatience. Frustration. Procrastination. Perfectionism.

Behaviours plus trauma triggers worked to disconnect me from reality… and I needed in my early recovery to learn how to feel safe, boundaried and present….A lifetime of habitually abandoning myself…people pleasing, enmeshment, fusion…velcro relationships based upon trauma bonds were tricky to stay in and and hard to leave behind….in part because my hardwired childhood coping mechanisms fired off to quickly and caused conflict my only available coping mechanism was to run…

Based upon my personal experience in the various stages of recovery that began with a medically supervised inpatient detox and continues with an evolved in spiritual practices and humanistic psychotherapeutic disciplines my “who am I?” easily answered to day: I am a person in longterm recovery.

I recommend to people beginning a recovery process that they ask for help in finding therapist in addition to connecting with a sustainable recovery tribe to support the process between meetings etc… isolation is a trigger and the sense of being that get from my recovery tribe is just beautiful…a small group pf men and women who love me unconditionally but keep my honest. committed to recovery and authentic…

I could not have done this alone…my friends in recovery are still my friends today…without the flow of reciprocity I would not have learned how to grow up..because the first time around in my childhood one did not ‘grow or thrive” …

Enduring a childhood in which chaos was a normal, nurturing rare, and happiness fleeting meant I survived rather than thrived…it has taken many hours in therapy, unpacking my soul’s exquisite pain.. became the building blocks that signify the foundation of my personal recovery.

…this is due to staying current with my recovery tribe, morning and evening meditation, breath work and a mantra…that begins with I am…

I learned the value of breath work when the stress from being in early recovery was overwhelming…to help I began attending immersive retreats to learn how to be comfortable with uncertainty, reduce the free-floating fear of the unknown and be present…. practicing in silence was an advantage that I promptly forgot when I returned home to the frantic pace of 21st century urban living…

The universe, my family and friends have my back..so it is easier to be mindful of how I am showing up, constantly observing myself with the intention to be the best version of me helps silence negative thinking……I do this by continuously affirming and empowering ways to reduce the stress and anxiety that occurs comes from overthinking…

Throughout the day I make the time to pause, step away from the computer, and begin with bring attention to the breath…the first sign I am stressed is when my breathing becomes shallow…so it makes sense to do a few deep belly breaths…this helps reduce tightness in the neck and shoulders…opens up the diaphragm, and on the exhale reduces carbon dioxide levels within the body…

I find visualising being gently pulled up from the crown chakra, from a loving “higher-self-golden thread” straightens my spine, opens up my shoulders, which releases any mind/gut tension and increases oxygen into the body, gently…and soon calmness is restored…and I feel positively grounded in integrity…

Mindful awareness helps me be the best version of me… authentic, autonomous, boundaries and naturally at peace within myself… How important is meditation? For me..it it is essential…I have been practicing meditation for over 40 years, and I consider meditation a way of life…

In the 70’s I spent time training in Transcendental Meditation in the 70’s using a mantra and breathwork. This practice changed my life, but did not stop me from progressing someone with a problem with drugs and alcohol to an addictive personality whose daily dependency upon drugs and alcohol had devastating consequences in all areas of my life……I hurt people, family and friends. It states in the “BIG BOOK” of alcoholics anonymous that prisons, institutions and death await people who use to their detriment…

that I escaped from hell on earth is a miracle…I did not want to get sober for the first time I went to rehab…it was only after a five month relapse and a medical intervention that I surrendered…and stopped self medicating, sabotage and engaging in the slow-suicide that is active addiction..

I am in longterm recovery (over 30 years) my world stopped for a few moments 12th October, 1988, in the moment I heard a voice say…”addiction will not kill you, it will make you lose our mind” and I knew that there was another way and I had to return to 12steps fellowships to find my way out of this living hell on earth…

It is story for another place and time…suffice to say I am a work in progress…with a healthy measure of humility I remain teachable, willing to change, and be the best version of me…my personal recovery is a journey that has taken me to many places…one that proved to be profound was a year spent living in a rural Indian village in 1998.

During this timeout time I had the opportunity to travel to visit sacred sites, ashrams and meet with remarkably spiritual people. I am grateful for this time because of the abundant lessons that helped my in my quest for meaning… I added to my knowledge of meditation by studying Vipassana meditation: “The Art of Living” which means to see things as they really are, and is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation.

This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.
Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind.

It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

The scientific laws that operate one’s thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

1998, Life in rural India with the local villagers whose love, laughter and hard work imprinted within me the need to be present, aware, autonomous and happy!


A new study reports the rhythm of your breathing can influence neural activity that enhances memory recall and emotional judgement.

Source: Northwestern University.

Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behavior. 

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.

In the study, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered the face when breathing in compared to breathing out. Individuals also were more likely to remember an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than the exhaled one. The effect disappeared if breathing was through the mouth.

“One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation,” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala and hippocampus, all across the limbic system.”

The study was published Dec. 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The senior author is Jay Gottfried, professor of neurology at Feinberg.

Northwestern scientists first discovered these differences in brain activity while studying seven patients with epilepsy who were scheduled for brain surgery. A week prior to surgery, a surgeon implanted electrodes into the patients’ brains in order to identify the origin of their seizures.

This allowed scientists to acquire electro-physiological data directly from their brains. The recorded electrical signals showed brain activity fluctuated with breathing. The activity occurs in brain areas where emotions, memory and smells are processed.

This discovery led scientists to ask whether cognitive functions typically associated with these brain areas — in particular fear processing and memory — could also be affected by breathing.

Image shows the location of the amygdala in the brain.

The amygdala is strongly linked to emotional processing, in particular fear-related emotions. So scientists asked about 60 subjects to make rapid decisions on emotional expressions in the lab environment while recording their breathing. Presented with pictures of faces showing expressions of either fear or surprise, the subjects had to indicate, as quickly as they could, which emotion each face was expressing.

When faces were encountered during inhalation, subjects recognized them as fearful more quickly than when faces were encountered during exhalation. This was not true for faces expressing surprise. These effects diminished when subjects performed the same task while breathing through their mouths. Thus the effect was specific to fearful stimuli during nasal breathing only.

In an experiment aimed at assessing memory function.  m— tied to the hippocampus — the same subjects were shown pictures of objects on a computer screen and told to remember them. Later, they were asked to recall those objects. Researchers found that recall was better if the images were encountered during inhalation.

The findings imply that rapid breathing may confer an advantage when someone is in a dangerous situation, Zelano said:

“If you are in a panic state, your breathing rhythm becomes faster,” Zelano said. “As a result you’ll spend proportionally more time inhaling than when in a calm state. Thus, our body’s innate response to fear with faster breathing could have a positive impact on brain function and result in faster response times to dangerous stimuli in the environment.”

Another potential insight of the research is on the basic mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network,” Zelano noted.ABOUT THIS MEMORY RESEARCH ARTICLE

Other Northwestern authors include Heidi Jiang, Guangyu Zhou, Nikita Arora, Dr. Stephan Schuele and Dr. Joshua Rosenow.

Funding: The study was supported by grants R00DC012803, R21DC012014 and R01DC013243 from the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Marla Paul – Northwestern University
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Video Source: The video is credited to NorthwesternU.
Original Research: Abstract for “Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function” by Christina Zelano, Heidi Jiang, Guangyu Zhou, Nikita Arora, Stephan Schuele, Joshua Rosenow and Jay A. Gottfried in Journal of Neuroscience. Published online December 7 2016 doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2586-16.2016CITE THIS NEUROSCIENCENEWS.COM ARTICLE


“To be a more successful country we need to see an overall improvement in our population health, and we need to close the gap between the health of our wealthiest communities and the health of our poorest.

Only through an effective partnership, can we make the best use of our collective resources and work together to tackle our most difficult challenges – making a real difference to the prosperity and wellbeing of our communities.”
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
First Minister of Scotland

Education in the fundamentals of the ASAM specialist Fundamentals in Addition Trainings and Strategic Treatment/compassionate continuum care programmes must be implemented into A&E NHS services.

In order to positively impact the financial and emotional burden upon the NHS of people in an addiction-related health crisis, acute care clinics must be implanted into the public health sector.

Treating people in an addiction crisis in a safe, medically supervised addiction recovery clinic will require all medical and healthcare practitioners are trained in the fundamentals of addiction medicine.

People in active addiction arrive at A&E with a need to be treated, not dismissed, and discharged. They need to be able to choose a treatment plan: a medically supervised impatient detox, impatient primary treatment plan with aftercare upon discharge to support the varying stages of addiction recovery.

The NHS Health Scotland “Burden of Disease” study highlights that alcohol and drug dependence are major contributors to absolute inequalities and recommends that alongside other measures we must tackle conditions that are more prevalent within higher levels of deprivation.

Like many international cities, Glasgow has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic. Since 2000, annual overdose deaths involving opioids have increased tenfold, with a dramatic spike over the past few years driven by the spread of the highly lethal opioid fentanyl. In a recent survey, more than 1 in 4 Glaswegians reported knowing someone who had died from an opioid overdose.

The death toll is even more tragic in light of the many effective treatments for opioid use disorder that exist. Overdose-reversal drugs, naloxone and -approved medications for opioid use disorder — buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone — have all been shown to reduce overdose deaths, but they aren’t consistently getting into the hands of the individuals or the communities that need them most.

I attach a link to findings of the Global Commission chaired by Madam Dreifuss of the challenges that are a constant in policy, protocols and procedures progressing bearing mind cutbacks, a direct link to the escalating number of opioid overdoses and deaths.


I am a person in long-term recovery (30 years) who continues to raise addiction awareness, and strive for essential changes in the dismissive, negative, judgemental perceptions and language that defines the current treatment by healthcare professional of people in an addiction healthcare crisis.

It is by overcoming prejudice, and stigma, (which stopped me initially from getting help when I most needed it) and making accessible inpatient and outpatient primary care, inpatient and outpatient addiction medicine treatment programmes that will save lives, NOW that is needed.

No more more time and money on research into why people are dying from opioid overdoses…I know why…and I want to ensure people receive the help they need to recover from active addiction.

I am currently engaged in forming strategic partnerships with Scottish recovery organisations to strengthen the focus on a full spectrum of addiction care: prevention, treatment, remission, aftercare, and re-generation of relationship with family, workplace and recovery communities.

The plan includes: patients and their families and will highlight the personal experience of addiction in much closer view.

The plan outlines solutions aimed at leading scientific and medical progression in the field. It also exemplifies a firm recommitment to providing continued education for all treatment providers.

Renewed and redesigned goals amass to form a robust foundation and profound course of action in the spirit of the recovery from active addiction.

With a strategic plan in place, the opportunity to set standards, pioneer research, educate healthcare professionals and the public, challenge stigma, endeavours to enhance the goal of holistically treatments from medically supervised detoxes, to save lives, and reduce the financial burden upon the person in need of recovery, their family and community..
This strategic plan provides to guide and prioritize that way forward.

• Positive changes are seen as starting points for the recovery process: reduced harm, safer use, reduced use, moderation and potential abstinence.

• A comprehensive initial assessment will determine an initial personalized treatment plan based on substance use severity, the psychobiosocial factors, multiple meanings and functions of the behaviour, motivation to change, and insight.

• Effective treatment has a primary focus on engagement and therapeutic alliance throughout the assessment process that “starts where the person is” with empathy, respect and acceptance, because creating safety and support are seen as essential to the therapeutic outcomes.

• Teaching self-management skills to address urges and difficult emotions is often essential. An ongoing assessment throughout treatment deepens both client and therapist awareness of the addiction severity and its meaning and functions.

• Exploring the client’s resistance about change reveals the issues that need new solutions. As these issues are clarified, positive change goals around the substance use and these issues can be established.

• And, finally, a personalized plan for pursuing these positive changes can be developed collaboratively between client and therapist. The plan may include a variety of therapeutic modalities, lifestyle changes, health practices and medications depending on the client’s needs.

It is time for sustainable addiction healthcare programmes, that are accessible 24/7.


Fiona Gilbertson argues that the criminalisation of people who use drugs is inhumane, and ineffective.

By Fiona Gilbertson

Fiona Gilbertson believes the War on Drugs in Scotland is inhumane, ineffective and costly (Image: Daily Record)

Those with “lived experience” of drugs often feel cast aside by policy makers as one disastrous government response runs into another.

As Scotland seeks to dig itself out of a mire that sees us tagged as the worst nation in Europe for drug deaths, new approaches are being put forward. On Monday, eight people with experience of 
drug problems will give evidence to Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee in Edinburgh. 

One witness, Fiona Gilbertson, tells here how her Recovering Justice group has given voice to people who have lived through drug addiction. Fiona, like most of the other witnesses, believes that the criminalisation of people who use drugs is inhumane, ineffective and costly. She argues for new approaches…

I am a former problematic drug user. Most people I knew didn’t make it.

Before their deaths, they were arrested more times than they were offered help and spent more time in prison than rehab or recovery.They had their children removed, sometimes for nothing more than a failed drug test and being in the wrong postcode.

They were stigmatised and shamed and told there was no funding when they asked for help. They died from preventable diseases, preventable drug poisonings, violence and suicide.

Those who did survive are often scared to talk openly about their drug use. I now have a level of privilege 
that allows me to speak publicly – I have no children who could be removed and I am not homeless or living in a deprived area, so I am unlikely to be targeted for drug use. 

The drug war was at its height in the 80s. I was an intravenous heroin user back then. Drugs were public enemy No1 and the “Just Say No” campaign was in full swing.

Police in Edinburgh took a hardline approach. They threatened every chemist who was selling injecting 
equipment with closure and arrest. 

The law was interpreted in such a way that having a syringe could incur a three-month jail term. Policy was focused on eradicating drug users, rather than drugs. 

This drove people underground, creating environments where one needle would be shared with dozens 
of users. 

Edinburgh became known as the AIDS capital of Europe. Up to 60 per cent of the drug-injecting community contracted HIV. In Glasgow, which had adopted a harm-reduction approach, the figure was zero per cent. 

Ninety per cent of people who try drugs will not develop a problem. I am one of the 10 per cent. For me, drugs were always going to have consequences.

But HIV, a criminal record and trauma from police violence are consequences of policy, not drug use.

My friends who died in their 20s in Edinburgh died of AIDS. They died as a direct consequence of policy driven by fear and ignorance.


More than 25 years after Edinburgh was declared the AIDS capital of Europe, Scotland is now the drug death capital of Europe.

Two years ago, there was an HIV epidemic in Glasgow among people who have no homes.

If this war was going to be ended on evidence alone, it would have been over a long time ago.

Like every other social justice issue, the stories of people most affected will be key to changing public 
perception and we need to listen before we lose another generation. 

We are fighting a war on drugs that is a war on people who use drugs, their families and communities.

The most economically and socially vulnerable Scots are dying unnecessarily. If Scotland is to continue as a just and inclusive society, we need to dismantle policy that is unfair. 

We must declare a public health emergency, disregard the unfit-for-purpose Misuse of Drugs Act and draft new policy fit for our country and all its citizens. 

7 other witnesses who will give their accounts on how to stop drug deaths when Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee sits in Edinburgh

1. “War on Drugs grinds people to a paste.”

“I’m a 64 years old man and I have been routinely using illegal drugs since I was 13.

“I started out as a hippie, believing that young people and love would change the world. I was in an accident in which my fiancée was killed and died horribly in my arms.

“I then became dependent on prescription painkillers and sedatives. When my doctor in the UK refused to consider maintaining my prescription from abroad I was in deep trouble.

“I started using heroin. I could tell brutal ‘war stories’ about the drug world – the saddest of those stories always involving people being ground down into paste – hurt and damaged and dying in their 20s and 30s.

“This War on Drugs costs too much. It is pure ideology. It isn’t rational. It doesn’t seek to reduce harm or use resources wisely.”

2. “Short term, reactive policies are doomed to failure.”

“I’m in my 50s and I’m a mother of two young men in their early 20s. My youngest suffers from bipolar disorder and my eldest is in recovery from alcohol and drug misuse.

“Both have had the misfortune of having to experience drug induced psychoses. The criminal justice and mental health systems have failed to offer any credible solutions but rather have added significantly to the sense of utter despair, isolation and shame we have felt as a family.

“Current services are reactive rather than proactive, this needs to change. It is a false economy and a result of the short termism too often seen in policy making. “

3. “Cannabis saved my life.”

“I consider myself fortunate, I didn’t become addicted to the terrifyingly strong opioids that are legally prescribed to people like myself suffering from chronic illnesses, I have chemical sensitivities that makes me allergic to them.

“I’ve witnessed friends become addicted to these legal drugs and lose everything because they had a sore back, others buying street heroin after being told there’s nothing else the NHS has to offer them when the opiates stop working.

“Cannabis saved my life and continues to do so, but because of the current drug laws I am now a daily practicing criminal who wakes up every morning wondering if its going to be the day I get arrested and imprisoned for trying to stay alive and pain free.”

4. “The war on drugs is a a war on the poor.”

An award winning director, in his 40s, who went through a traumatic childhood systematically let down by the care and social work systems and grew up in an HIV epidemic which decimated his community watching first hand public health disasters implemented by the NHS.

“The war on drugs is a war on people who use drugs and more accurately poor people who use drugs.”

5. “Imprisonment for drugs offences isolated me, stopped me form being part of society.”

“In my 60s I’m a man who has used drugs for nearly 45 years and have faced many problems because of the way our society has criminalised drug use. I have chronic, preventable health problems , been imprisoned and consequently felt alienated from the mainstream .

“Stigma and discrimination reduced my life chances as far as employment went.

“This was something that was endemic within my community and was widespread.”

6. Prison system gave me even more drugs, drove me to heroin.

“A man in my 40s, I have been in recovery going on nearly 6 years now, I was in active addiction for 20 years. I was imprisoned as a direct result of my drug use .

“While in prison I was not offered treatment or detox but given higher quantities of drugs, giving me more serious issues than I went in with.

“Upon release with no intervention/drug support of any kind, I was off and running with harder and more accessible drugs such as heroin.

“I felt judged and stigmatised as a problem of rather than as a young adult who was struggling with other issues. There was no interest in my story, my history or how I got to this point There was just judgement and shame, once the soul is touched by shame it lasts a lifetime.”

7. Prison blighted my life and didn’t help my addiction.

“I’m a woman in my late 50s and in long term recovery from both heroin and prescription drugs. My whole life has been blighted by this because of the criminal justice system.

“I was sent to prison (on remand) when many woman were being arrested with their partners due to both political and media pressure. “Addiction is NOT a criminal justice issue. In my humble opinion, it’s time to wake up and support drug policy reform I have faced medical discrimination,due to my past history, as recently as 12 months ago.”

● For more information, see recoveringjustice.org.uk

….end the stigma.

The longest journey is from the head to the heart. People will forget what you wore. …Your age…Where you live …They will always remember what you said …
Be the best version of you!
Love & happiness!


The Delamere Treatment Model: inspiring change and raising awareness.

Clinical Director, Mike Delaney outlines the approach in addiction treatment at Delamere.  Mike has some forty years’ experience of helping people grow beyond addiction and we hope you’ll enjoy reading about what makes our programme unique and innovative.

The Delamere Model is a new and Innovative treatment concept, developed by renowned recovery professionals who have decades of experience working in the UK Treatment and Rehabilitation Sector. 

It is the first bespoke model which provides a fully tailored individual programme where no two guests have the same treatment experience, they each have a regularly reviewed Personal Development Plan, which is fluid and designed to accommodate the changing emotional and physical nature of early addiction recovery and self-discovery.

The Delamere model is provided in three phases

  1. STOP: This is the cleansing/detoxification phase where guests will be looked after in our dedicated detox facility within Delamere. Here guests are cared-for by skilled and experienced Nurses 24 hrs per day. Unlike other models, guests are not be forced to engage with the treatment model at this stage; they have already shown great courage and commitment by coming into treatment we provide a gentle and compassionate atmosphere for guests to detoxify and begin to find their feet. 

This phase is managed separately from other modules and helps to prepare those who will be moving into the next phase with us.  During STOP webegin to look at areas such as Anxiety, Stress, Mindfulness, Breathwork and education as well as beginning the timeline of addiction as well as fully assessing guests using the Schema Inventory System

Personal Development Programmes and weekly Clinical Reviews begin in this phase and themes for future work are beginning to emerge. The model is totally different from other models and the guest is at the centre of every decision the clinical team makes. Once a plan has been agreed by the team it is discussed with each guest and the PDP is signed by the guest to show agreement to the plan.

“Our programme is about inclusion, compassion, acceptance and change. We welcome our guests into these beautiful surroundings and offer them an opportunity to engage with us and to change their lives. This is a very frightening prospect for the majority of them so an open and non-judgemental attitude is a pre-requisite.  Carl Rogers said “We think we listen but very rarely do we listen with real understanding and true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know”

Call us confidentially at any time to speak to a member of our team.

Call us now: 0330 111 2015

  1. START: Our second phase is the introduction to our more intensive, structured treatment model where guests should be feeling stronger, healthier and more confident to engage with other peers and counsellors. Again, this is unlike other models as our model is not a 12-step format however it has influences from successful abstinence-based treatments/interventions.  As guests begin to “defrost” and emerge from the addictive fog, The Delamere programme is there to identify and explain the many emotional triggers which begin to make themselves evident. Group Therapy/Peer Support begins and guests begin to take back some responsibility and begin to accept some accountability back into the lives. A focal Addictions Therapist is allocated to each guest and becomes their mentor/advocate for all therapeutic aspects of their stay. They will receive bi-weekly one to one counselling sessions in addition to their group therapy programme and within this relationship, individualised personal development work will be “prescribed” directly from therapist or following weekly Clinical Review.

Topics during this phase may include:

  • Trauma/Abuse
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
  • Shame and Guilt
  • Life-Scripts
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Specific 12-step work if prescribed

These will be covered by a range of interventions, written work and creative assignments including mini-groups, worksheets and one to one counselling.  At Delamere we have also extensively researched a range of effective Somatic and Complimentary Treatments such as Evolutionary Breathwork, Yoga, Massage, Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) which are embedded as an integral part of our unique and cutting- edge treatment model.

  1. GROW: This phase of treatment is what we call “Future Proofing” and is the process of integrating the Delamere learning experience into life after treatment. By the time guests reach this stage we have identified a series of risks/triggers as well as risky behaviours/personality traits which need to be kept in check following treatment. Guests will be supported to create a detailed plan for returning home which may also include a series of overnight stays with family in order to identify previously unidentified situations/triggers. Delamere can offer staff to support these stays if the guest is anxious or worried about returning home without support.

Some of the components to our “Future Proofing” Model are

  • Effective boundaries
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Triggers and Strategies
  • Relationships and Communication
  • Intimacy/Sex and abstinence
  • Professional life/Business/Employment
  • Delamere Support
  • Renewal Retreats
  • Family Support

These modules are not rigid in nature and guests can return to specific modules if progress is slow and blocks are identified. Everyone is different so there is no expectation of where guests “should be” in their treatment experience. The modules are designed so that guests can have maximum benefit from them whether a four, six or eight week stay. 

The culmination of the treatment programme is the graduation ceremony where the guest will invite friends and family and will present their “Life-Masterpiece” to their peer group and therapists, giving an opportunity to really feel seen and heard by all concerned and giving a clear plan as to how they intend to grow in their future life

Call us confidentially at any time to speak to a member of our team.

Call us now: 0330 111 2015

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