I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm invitation to you to join us at the 2017 BDDG Convention, a unique annual event, dedicated to the road to recovery.
The delegates, as in previous years, will range from those who have been around the block so many times they are dizzy, to those who have been in recovery just a few days. WHEREVER you place yourself on this spectrum, the Committee have planned carefully to ensure that all delegates will benefit from attending
A detailed programme will be posted in due course; the purpose of this piece is to give a general overview as to the content.
The Convention can be subdivided into the educational and the therapeutic.
The Convention starts with a joint meeting with the Families Group of BDDG on Wednesday evening followed by night-owl meetings of Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotic Anonymous, and Al-Anon.
Thursday is an Academic Day, given over to a range of speakers giving presentations on various aspect of addiction, treatment and recovery.
Dr Jane Marshall, Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and an old friend of BDDG, is one of the speakers booked for the Academic Day: her presentation is entitled ‘Clinicians as Patients’.
Dr Ide Delargy, MICGP, FRCGP, Dip. Obs., Director of the Substance Misuse Programme, Irish College of General Practitioners, National GP Co-ordinator for the HSE Addiction Service and Chairperson of the Sick Doctor Scheme, has also accepted our invitation to give a presentation at our Academic Day: her presentation is entitled ‘Shaping a Service for Colleagues in Difficulties’.
Dr Greg L. Jones, MD, Certified by the American Boards of Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Medical Director – Kentucky Physicians Health Foundation, Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and an old friend of BDDG will give the third presentation – ‘Buprenorphine- The Gold Standard or the Emperor’s New Clothes?’
Dr J Randle Adair, DO, now ‘semi-retired’ but continues to practice Internal medicine and be Co-Chair of the Provider Wellness Committee of the Presbyterian Healthcare System in New Mexico, another old friend from across the pond who will talk about ‘Sobriety and the Ageing Practitioner’.
On Thursday evening, we hope to have a Blue-Badge Guide to give a presentation on Oxford and the surrounding countryside.
The therapeutic sessions begin on Friday morning and continue until Sunday lunchtime: the main sessions will concentrate on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon fellowships.
BDDG, per se, does not have it’s own specific programme of recovery: our main aim is to inform and encourage members to join their relevant 12 Step programme.
The big advantage of BDDG is that it is restricted to doctors and dentists and a broader view can be taken which is not possible under the ethos of anonymity that is the underlying maxim of 12 Step programmes.
All sessions are entirely non-judgemental and totally confidential and gives newcomers the unique chance to draw on the vast amount of experience, support and encouragement of their peers who know exactly the desperate situations that addiction can cause both personal and professional. Whatever your current situation there will be answers.
As well as the Step meetings, we also have an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting each morning (at 7am!) and Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Al-Anon meetings each evening at 10pm.
There are two more joint meetings with the Families group … on Friday evening and the last meeting on Sunday.
The last session on Saturday afternoon concentrates on the professional aspects. dealing with GMC/GDC, Fitness to Practice Hearings, Conditions, and Employment Crises.
BDDG is known and respected by GMC/GDC; indeed, attendance at BDDG meetings and Convention is often included in the list of conditions; so, brownie points can be earned!
Individual sessions for singles or couples counselling will also be available during the Convention.
You will be fed on a regular basis and have a comfortable bed for the night!!
The informal conversations at meals and coffee breaks can be equally as productive as the organised sessions.
Registration forms will be posted on the BDDG website and attendance can be very flexible; you can attend as suits you best.
Please consider attending some or all of the Convention this year …… I have no doubt that all will benefit from attendance and you also have the comfort of knowing that ALL the delegates will be doctors or dentists or members of their family with experience of active addiction but also the route to recovery.
I look forward to meeting you!