“Effort Street & Recovery Road” – Recovery Month Reflections

Dr Steve Brinksman, SMMGP Clinical Director, reflects on International Recovery Month in a post inspired by walking down Effort Street and Recovery Street in London.

Effort StreetSeptember is International Recovery Month and so there are many events around the UK this month which celebrate the gains people have made in recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Recovery is everywhere and in primary care we have many “recovery events” as we celebrate each step in the right drection as a successful one on the road to better health.

Being fortunate to work with people who use drugs and alcohol as a GP, I see recovery in all its many guises on any given week.

I see it in an abscess that has healed, when I know someone has picked up clean needles, or another has started treatment and their family member – who also comes to see me – reports feeling less anxious about their drinking.

Recovery StreetAnd when a patient now stable on OST is able to keep his job, whilst someone else has experienced the amazing “C change” of testing free of the hepatitus virus, they are making their way along Effort Street on the way to Recovery Street.

My drug and alcohol patients are rarely discharged. Rather in the brave new world of self-efficacy where patients are no longer passive recipients of treatment, we continue to work together as we build a long-term relationship and achieve ongoing improvements in their health and wellbeing. Happy Recovery Month.

– Dr Steve Brinksman
Birmingham GP, SMMGP Clinical Director, RCGP Regional Lead in Substance Misuse for the West Midlands

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