ROAD TO RECOVERY: Addiction in our society – the case for reform
Experts in the field have long advocated the position that it is unhelpful to look at addiction as a criminal justice issue and they are right. Many have instead contested that this is a public health issue and that a patient-centric approach must be taken. This position reflects the necessary understanding and compassion needed but it fails to adequately recognise the yet wider scope of recovery and the challenges and stigma of the environment in which it takes place.
Recovery should involve a person being given a genuine opportunity to live as fully as their physical and mental state allows and be embedded in the wider community. This can mean fostering and supporting relationship development with family, entering work, or other purposeful engagement with society. Not all people in recovery will require the full spectrum of social support but our systems of work must be capable of delivering that whole person support where it is needed.