Autistic people, substance use, and vulnerability to exploitation and county lines

This article was co-authored by David Gray-Hammond and Katie Munday Trigger warnings: This article discusses gaslighting, trauma, criminal exploitation (on various topics including sexual exploitation), substance use, mental health, cuckooing, county lines. Due to the extensive trauma that we experience as Autistics in our formative years, many of us find ourselves seeking connections with otherContinue reading “Autistic people, substance use, and vulnerability to exploitation and county lines”

On the harsh reality of addiction recovery

My years of active addiction account for a lot of the suffering that myself, my friends, and my family experienced. The very fact that I am alive right now is some sort of miracle, yet to be explained by science. I remember trying to picture what recovery would look like, it was difficult to imagine.Continue reading “On the harsh reality of addiction recovery”

Medication stigma and overcoming the shame of societies blame

I was happy to see that Autistic Inclusive Meets have restarted the #ShowUsYourMeds campaign. Campaigns like this are essential in normalising the life-saving medication that so many of us rely on day-to-day. Stigma surrounding the use of medication, in particular for the treatment of mental health issues, is still widely prevalent in society, with manyContinue reading “Medication stigma and overcoming the shame of societies blame”

Creating Autistic suffering: In the beginning there was trauma

This article was co-authored between David Gray-Hammond and Tanya Adkin Trigger Warning: Some of the research quoted in this article contains person-first language or references to aspergers. While the authors do not agree with the use of such language, we must access the research and statistics available to us. We are also aware that someContinue reading “Creating Autistic suffering: In the beginning there was trauma”

Autistic people and the social model of addiction

For the better part of a century now, addiction has been treated largely as a matter of criminal justice, with some focus on medical treatment. Unfortunately this approach leaves a considerable amount out of the discussion. Addiction is a complex matter, with a lot of it coming down to socio-economic issues. As an Autistic addict,Continue reading “Autistic people and the social model of addiction”

Recovery as an Autistic addict: Forging your own path

As an Autistic person, I prefer things to be black and white, yes or no, good or bad. This made life all-the-more complicated when I was embarking on my journey into addiction recovery. Recovery from addiction is a world of grey areas. This monochromatic world however, is dominated by people who insist that it ISContinue reading “Recovery as an Autistic addict: Forging your own path”

Unmet support needs and multiple systemic failures: A story of addiction and autism

As I have said before, I truly believe that addiction is the result of unmet support needs. This can be an incredibly complex field, but today I am going to take take brief dive into the experiences that led to my addiction. My first major trauma was age 7. My best friend, Carl, died ofContinue reading “Unmet support needs and multiple systemic failures: A story of addiction and autism”

Addiction, mental health, and my fear of relapse

I have spoken extensively about my struggles with addiction and psychosis. I have talked about what it was like to be in that headspace. I have talked about what it was like to enter recovery. What I haven’t spoken much about is my headspace 5 years on. Addiction and psychosis were terrifying experiences, but truthfullyContinue reading “Addiction, mental health, and my fear of relapse”

Autism, addiction, and my need for control

I have learned a great deal about myself through self-reflection over the last 5 years of sobriety, but one lesson was considerably difficult to learn. I like to think of myself as a friendly and generally happy and fun person to be around, but the truth is that I need control. I need control overContinue reading “Autism, addiction, and my need for control”

How can substance use services be more accessible to Autistic clients?

I have written before about the barriers to accessing substance use services when you are both autistic, and an addict; today I’m going to approach from a different angle. In this post, I will be talking about a few things that such services can do to increase accessibility, improving the quality of treatment that autisticContinue reading “How can substance use services be more accessible to Autistic clients?”