Duran Duran bassist John Taylor headlines conference on how to recover from addiction, and says abstinence-based rehab is the key to recovery:
“Everyone who needs it should have access to rehab,” John Taylor urges
“In a perfect world, I would like everyone to have access to the kind of rich, emotionally educative experience that I had in rehab," explained John Taylor as he prepared to speak at the 3-day 10th UK/European Symposium on Addictive Disorders on Thursday, May 9th, in London. "Given the challenges for many young people in our society, some of whom come from single-parent homes, or environments where there are often drug and alcohol problems already, the offer of an education about the self, and the whys and hows that can lead to bad behavioural choices seems to be a good idea. It's also more useful in the long run than a stint in prison or borstal to prepare that person for a productive and happy life.”
“John is right. Without provision of this type of abstinence-based treatment, the government’s so-called rehabilitation policy is doomed to fail,” says UKESAD cofounder and organiser Deirdre Boyd, who has been in recovery for over two decades.
Researcher Kathy Gyngell, chair of the Centre for Policy Studies’ Prisons and Addictions working group, adds: “Finding addicts housing and jobs without first getting them alcohol/drug-free, catalysed in rehab, will backfire and could waste even more money than that spent on the state’s sponsorship of methadone."
With more than 80 million records sold, Duran Duran have created some of the greatest songs of our time. From their debut single Planet Earth right up to their latest number one album All You Need is Now, Duran Duran have always had the power to sweep the world onto its feet. In his recent autobiography In The Pleasure Groove: Love Death & Duran Duran, John Taylor describes his journey with the band - which has been wild, thrilling… and, at times, particularly for John, very dangerous. Now a best-seller both sides of the Atlantic, John's critically acclaimed book tells his incredible story with its ravages of excess, lessons learned, demons conquered and relationships rebuilt.
“I had always thought my problems were down to either the bad choices I had made or because I was just a bad person," the recovering musician says. "The idea that this might not be the case was a revelation to me. Rehab was not judgmental. Essentially, I was told that I could not process alcohol properly, and that it most certainly wasn't anything I could control. One unexpected benefit that came from accepting that I had a disease, was the dissipation of blame towards everyone and everything – myself included. That in turn pointed me in the direction of acceptance and love, learning to love myself and those around me in a way I had not ever been able to do before."
“There were 50 or more of us in rehab at the time I was there, broken into groups of about 10. Everyone in my group took part in our family therapy, and we took part in theirs. I had never been encouraged to talk so openly about my own feelings. It was mind-expanding, and very moving. I wish everyone could have an experience like that, and I will be forever grateful for it."
Deirdre Boyd urges: “Like John, everyone should be able to access rehab, particularly in the UK where ‘freedom from dependence’ is enshrined as a goal of the 2010 Drug Policy. However, in shameful contrast, only about 2% of patients ‘in the system’ have been allowed rehab. This could worsen as treatment purchasing decisions were delegated in April to local authorities, some of which have not even appointed the people responsible, and some of which are appointing people without expertise or experience.
“John says he would like everyone to have access to the same kind of rich and life-changing experience he had in rehab. In theory, that should be possible. But we have a lot of work to do to make it a reality,” added Boyd *
Also at the UK/European Symposium organised by Boyd will be Dutch soap actor Jim Geduld, who has recovered from addiction and now works as an interventionist getting reluctant addicts into treatment on behalf of their families. He will be gathering information for his Addicted to you! TV series, due to be aired in October (www.vorstmedia.tv/factual-reality). John Southworth, arguably the most successful interventionist in the world, will join him. He is a board member of the Association of Intervention Specialists, whose president Rebecca Flood adds to the prestigious list of world-class trainers at UKESAD: 60 experts to share their learning in 40 presentations.
Adding to the list of specialists is Dr Garrett O’Connor who ran the Betty Ford Institute, which created the definition of addiction recovery, adopted and quoted in the latest US drug policy: England is yet to have an appropriate definition of recovery.
Professor Carlton Erickson of the University of Texas will reveal the neuroscience of addiction. The Earl of Sandwich and Baylissa Frederick will discuss addiction to benzodiazepines – much in the news nowadays – and Jamison Monroe will reveal how prescription drugs damage teenagers. All will share how to recover safely.
Not forgetting other addictions not related to alcohol and drugs, UKESAD has attracted, from the US, two world leaders in how to diagnose and recover from sex addiction. First is pioneer Patrick Carnes of Pine Grove which has treated Tiger Woods among many other celebrities. Second is Rob Weiss who will speak about internet sex addiction and gay sex addiction. Professor Steven Karp will present on eating disorders.
Note to editors:
Speakers can be contacted via the organiser on 07947-274202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.* The final (2012) Annual Report of the National Treatment Agency claimed that there were 29,855 “successful treatment completions” – but that does not mean someone has left rehab, clean and sober with a life turned round, but that patients have not returned to whatever place they were referred (only 2% get to rehab; NICE says it should be a last resort). They could be relapsed, in prison or dead – indeed, in the NTA Value For Money guidance, death is to be recorded as “in sustained recovery” on NDTMS data-gathering records. Breakdown the figures at: www.addictiontoday.org/addictiontoday/2012/11/nta-annual-report-dossier.html
Deirdre is CEO of the Addiction Recovery Foundation, editor/publisher of Addiction Today journal and cofounder/organiser of the UK/European Symposia on Addictive Disorders. She is author of Addictions and Recovery: self help for families, friends, addicts. She sits on the Centre for Policy Studies’ Prisons and Addictions workgroup and was a trustee of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (UK). She also serves on the Advisory Council of the ‘gold-standard’ International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium which accredits alcohol- and drug-recovery professionals and has over 40,000 members globally.