Druglink article 2014 – 1987: Time to build bridges – NA and the ‘Minnesota Method’ in Britain by Brian Wells

There was much that was unhelpful and counter-productive in the sector ‘abstinence v harm reduction’ furore that kicked off in 2008 after the government struggled to respond effectively to media claims of treatment ineffectiveness.

However from the ashes of that firestorm came a more productive debate about what recovery actually meant and an acknowledgement that those who were often seen at the margins of the mainstream treatment highway including residential rehabilitation and peer support groups of all stripes, all had something to offer to clients depending on individual need. However as far back as 1987, came a call from Dr Brian Wells, then a senior registrar at the Maudsley drug dependence unit in south London, that the treatment sector should not be so dismissive of the philosophy of the 12 steps approach, and accept that for some people, it is an approach they can successfully embrace.

1987: Time to build bridges – NA and the ‘Minnesota Method’ in Britain (PDF)