|The British Doctors and Dentists Group
The British Doctors and Dentists Group (BDDG) is a mutual support group of doctors and dentists who are in recovery from the illness of chemical dependency/addiction, primarily alcohol and/or drugs or who wish for help in recovering.
There are around 1000 members in the UK who meet in 17 centres throughout the UK and Ireland – most have monthly meetings.
To maintain our own sobriety.
To meet regularly.
To keep in touch as needed for mutual support.
To share and discuss alcohol or drug related problems affecting us personally.
To extend help to the still suffering doctor or dentist by encouraging them to gain the ongoing help they need through 12-step recovery programmes in their locality.
To support the family members of our doctors and dentists in their own recovery programme.
Importantly, we are not a therapeutic treatment group for doctors or dentists with drug or alcohol problems and we emphasise this to anyone attending.
However our members are able to offer advice from their own experience of their illness on issues relating to and consequent involvement with regulatory bodies (hearings, suspensions, supervision etc) and a variety of related matters which for one reason or another may not be considered pertinent to share in 12-step meetings outside the BDDG
A BDDG Convention is held annually in the autumn at different location throughout the UK and contains an academic day to discuss current research or developments in the field of chemical dependency.
The Convention provides a venue to meet with other medical and dental professionals in recovery: we extend invitations to doctors and dentist from Europe and the USA and are delighted that so many make the effort to come and join with us.
One day of each convention is our Academic Day generously sponsored by the Sick Doctors Trust.
We have developed close links with the Sick Doctors Trust and doctors and dentists in the USA and worldwide though International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous (IDAA – www. idaa.org).
The group was formed in 1975 by a small number of doctors who held a monthly meeting in London to share their experiences of chemical dependency and of their recovery.
The British Doctors Group - as it was then known - grew by word of mouth and other meetings venues were formed around the country.
The family members of these doctors came together and formed the Family Members Group. This group also met in London initially and has also grown with meeting centres which are roughly parallel to the British Doctors and Dentist Group meetings.
Dentists were invited to join in 1977 and this saw the group form as we see it today.
Our code of medical ethics and confidentiality operates within meetings which allows us to share freely and openly and to grow in our own recoveries.
Local group secretaries maintain a list of names and contact details for members of their group to facilitate communication between members, Theirs is the only list of members and is limited to their local area. There is no nationwide list of members. A monthly newsletter from the local secretary is usual in most groups.
A record of attendance may be kept by the local Group secretary to confirm attendance by members to their regulatory bodies if they are under supervision or as part of their voluntary undertakings but only if those members have consented to permit this.
Individual contact details will never be passed on without the expressed consent of all parties involved.
The BDDG is a recommended point of contact for doctors and dentists new to treatment for their addictive illness, either whilst as in-patients in treatment centres or post-discharge when contact can be made to a local BDDG group: attendance at BDDG is always voluntary.
Liaison continues to grow between the BDDG and The Sick Doctors Trust (SDT) and between the BDDG and The Dentists’ Health Support Programme (DHSP) – often the first points of contact for doctors and dentists seeking help or making enquiries regarding addictive illness. Telephone responders have access to the contact details of the secretaries of the BDDG groups to facilitate local links.
The Medical Council on Alcohol continues to liaise with the BDDG.
BDDG members are sincerely welcomed to the annual IDAA Conventions held in the USA and close links continue to be formed with our colleagues overseas (www.idaa.org).
There are links with Local Medical Committees and Local Dental Committees and with a number of Occupational Health Consultants.
We are in the process extending our links with medical and dental schools, Medical Directors, Post Graduate Deans, Occupational Health Physicians & Departments, PCT Human Resource Personnel, PCT Chief Executives, Directors of Rehabilitation Centres, Local Medical & Dental Committees.