Managing Complex Alcohol and Drug Addictions and The Importance of Residential Treatment

Alcohol and drug addictions are complex issues that require specialised diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. Professor Jonathan Chick MA (Cantab), MPhil, MBChB, DSc, FRCPsych, FRCPE, Medical Director at Castle Craig Hospitals, explains how residential treatment can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and allow better management of complex cases so as to facilitate an easier and speedier recovery.

Extensive research (Koob and Volkow, 2016) on brain disturbances connected to withdrawal from alcohol and drug abuse, indicates two major findings:

Negative emotional stress (shown in decreased dopamine levels in the reward system) Increase of brain stress neurotransmitters (such as corticotrophin-releasing factor and dynorphin)

It has sometimes been found possible to detoxify some patients with alcohol or drug dependencies, using psychological support and monitored dosages of substitute medications. This is done in order to alleviate the immediate physical symptoms of withdrawal as well as the emotional and mental effects. Many patients experience a ‘negative’ phase of depression, anxiety and low energy that occurs during the first few weeks.

However, many people find it difficult to detoxify on an outpatient basis and require a more secure and focused environment. Rehabilitation in a treatment centre provides a safe place free from drugs and alcohol, where the craving for drugs and alcohol cannot cause relapse. Such places offer these advantages:

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New directions for the treatment of problem drinking: Targeting metacognitive change

Marcantonio Spada is a Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health in the School of Applied Sciences where he is also the Head of the Division of Psychology and Deputy Lead of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research. He will be speaking at iCAAD London 2019 on: New directions for the treatment of problem drinking: Targeting metacognitive change. He has also written a blog for us on the same topic which serves to prepare us for his talk next year. 

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iCAAD Director at a special screening of the documentary about Whitney Houston’s life

On Saturday, October 13, 2018 between 2pm and 5pm at the theatre in the Science Gallery London, one of our Directors, Matt Thomas, will be contributing at a special screening of the documentary about Whitney Houston’s life, tragically cut short by addiction.


Whitney: Can I Be Me portrays the extraordinary life and tragic death of one of the greatest singers of all time: Whitney Houston. Including never-seen-before footage, live recordings and insights from the people who were closest to her, the documentary explores the forces behind her addiction and untimely death at the age of just 48.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the acclaimed Director, Nick Broomfield, and people supporting musicians and families affected by addiction today, including Matt Thomas who will be there representing Music Support, the charity which he co-founded.

For more information and tickets, click here


Being Co-Dependent.

Sam Parker is the co-founder of the charity Music Support and a Specialist Mental Health & Wellbeing Consultant to the Music Industry. Sam has worked in and around the Music Industry since 1991, mostly in artist management. She also trained with Regent’s University and One Spirit Interfaith Foundation in 2017, and qualified as a Minister and Transpersonal Counsellor. Sam will be speaking at our Voices of Fashion on Mental Health Event.

Here is her blog:

My name is Samantha Parker and I am a co-dependent. This means that I am a great wife and was an even better artist manager. I take responsibility for others’ mistakes without having the power to do anything meaningful about it. I will anticipate your every need and whim and make sure there is a soft landing for you when you fuck up. Which you will, as I only hang around fuck-ups. Drug-taking fuck-ups, even better.  

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