August 4, 2013

Drug Addiction: What Is Intervention and How Can It Help?

People who are addicted to drugs do not believe they have a problem, and if there is a problem, it’s your problem. That is a key idea to remember when trying to help a friend or loved one who is in the clutch of addiction. Just telling that person you […]
July 5, 2013

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease in which a person craves alcohol and drinks despite repeated alcohol related problems (like losing a job or a relationship). Alcoholism involves a physical dependence on alcohol, but other factors include genetic, psychological, and cultural influences. Becoming addicted to alcohol is a gradual […]
June 7, 2013

Abstinence in the context of eating disorders

Dr Bob Smith, one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, made one particularly well-known statement ‘Let’s not louse the whole thing up. let’s keep it simple’. This is also true for people with eating disorders. People who have eating disorders are well known for over complicating matters. Many of them […]
June 1, 2013

Diagnosing an eating disorder

The statements Dr Lefevre uses to indicate a food starvation eating disorder are listed below.  Again patients are required to score each statement from 5 (like me) to 0 (not like me) with 1 – 4 indicating some presence of the situation. A total of 20 points would indicate that […]
May 31, 2013

Diagnosis of an eating disorder

It is important to be accurate when diagnosing an eating disorder. Missing a diagnosis that should have been made will allow the problem to continue and this could ultimately lead to death. Diagnosing an eating disorder when none exists will lead to confusion in the mind of the patient – […]
May 30, 2013

Food obsession

You cannot fix obsessions by being determined not to obsess about something. The problem is within the person and not with the food. It is the same as someone suffering with an obsession with alcohol, drugs or with some other form of compulsive behaviour. People with eating disorders discover the […]
May 29, 2013

I don't like how I look

Many people do not like something about the way they look. Indeed it would be a rare person who is totally happy with everything about their looks. It is only when this becomes an obsession that it is a problem. Body dysmorphia is the proper name for a belief that […]
May 28, 2013

Healthy eating and weight

As someone dealing with admissions to an addiction rehab clinic, I am increasingly talking to people who have problems with eating disorders. At the moment most the people I talk to have a dual diagnosis, that is, they are discussing help from the Haynes Clinic for a substance addiction (alcohol, […]
May 3, 2013

Vulnerability is a strength.

Before I got into recovery I wanted to be seen as the woman with the perfect life, as someone successful with everything under control – someone to be respected and admired and even envied. This image I wanted to portray even went so far as to my family and my […]
April 16, 2013

How do I know what addiction looks like?

Many people ask what are the true signs and symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction? When does one cross the line from being a social drinker or recreational drug user, or maybe even an occasional substance abuser, to becoming a fully certified addict or alcoholic whose life has become totally […]
April 11, 2013

Drug and alcohol treatment and the criminal justice sysyem

It is not surprising that there is a direct link between the criminal justice system and drug and alcohol abuse. An individual can be pressured in to a substance abuse programme through the legal system in order to avoid jail time. Although this pressure may not be what the user […]
April 7, 2013

The Twelve Step Programme at the Haynes Clinic

People have been benefiting from the 12 step program, by helping them to recover from alcohol and drugs, and other forms of compulsions and addictions since 1935, when a group of men worked together in an attempt to gain support from people who shared the same intentions. This method is […]
February 28, 2013

An A – Z of useful terms in Alcoholics Anonymous (part 1 – A)

Action The Twelve Step Programme founded for Alcoholics Anonymous is a programme of action – just thinking about it is not enough. If you start to do what is recommended, even if you do not want to, one day you will realise that it works. If you go to a […]
February 27, 2013

We drink more than we think!

For those of us working in the field of addiction, this morning’s news that the level of excess drinking in England is underestimated came as no surprise. The story focused on alcohol consumption on a macro level, in terms of comparing the amount of alcohol purchased and the amount claimed […]
February 25, 2013

We are only as sick as our secrets

My youngest daughter shared a riddle with me on Sunday: ‘Question: what is it that someone can have and they really want to share it but, if shared, they don’t have it any more? Answer: a secret’. Some secrets need to be kept on behalf of others – but perhaps […]
February 24, 2013

Getting in a rut

To start with, embarking on a journey of recovery, like many other new things in life, is exciting. It is even more so as we have been in the metaphorical darkness for so long that the light is dazzling. Gone is the physical sickness; even more positive is that a […]
February 23, 2013

Making amends

If we are to stay in a good and healthy recovery we need to make amends to people we have hurt, harmed, abused, disrespected or treated in any way badly in the past. This is because in order to be truly free, we need to put behind us the detritus […]
February 22, 2013

Identifying character defects

In steps 4 and 5 of the twelve step programme we make a personal inventory of ourselves and identify our character defects – these we share with another human being.  In order to do this, we write a list of all our resentments and fears, all people we have harmed […]
February 21, 2013


Resentment is like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die. This is a really good way of describing resentment. I know many people who have a resentment against someone and they are seething with anger and bitterness – while the person they feel wronged them […]
February 16, 2013

The Twelve Steps – A Design For Living

The Twelve Step Programme is a proven good way of living for addicts and non addicts alike. The programme promotes honesty and integrity, living a life free of resentment and fear and being an ethical and moral person. There is, however, a lot more to the Twelve Step Programme than […]
February 15, 2013

The Twelve Steps To Insanity

I do not know who devised the following parody of the twelve step programme but I think it is witty and funny (but also sadly true). So with apologies for not being able to attribute it, here it is: 1. We admitted we were powerless over nothing, that we could […]
February 13, 2013

More about sponsors

Sponsors are there to support and guide you and it is important that you realise that it is you who has to put in the leg work. They can do the journey with you and be there for you but they cannot do it for you. In the end, it […]
February 12, 2013

Choosing a sponsor

There are a number of important aspects to bear in mind about choosing a sponsor. First of all, if you are new to recovery, it is important that you get a sponsor as quickly as possible. You will need someone there to guide you and to look out for you […]
February 11, 2013

Alcoholism can affect anyone – the gifted and famous and the loving family member.

In the news at the moment is the ongoing story of Newcastle-born Paul Gascoigne, who is regarded as one of England’s most gifted players ever, and who has battled alcoholism and drug use since retiring in 2004. In a glittering career he won 57 caps and made 391 club appearances […]