Some recent chatter about addiction's causes has moved the pendulum back to social and environmental dysfunction. While I'm happy we're starting to look at the whole picture, we might want to be careful swinging too hard.
Many of us don't give the proper weight to the use of mental health labels. As this talk shows, diagnostic labels can actually impact the way in which labeled individuals perform. If nothing else, this fact should make us more wary of using these labels as everyday placeholders to describe those around us. We may just be sentencing them to meeting our low expectations.
The fear that abstinent people in recovery will begin drinking if moderation programs are offered is simply absurd. For the one percent of substance users who both seek treatment and are successful, recovery is usually a pretty happy place. Let's let them keep their victories while offering the other 99 percent solutions they will embrace.
Residential treatment for substance use has been suffering with low success rates. We've been blaming the clients, but what if the treatment itself is more jail than therapy? Depression and failure could be the outcome.
I worked my butt off for the title "Doctor" and somehow it doesn't seem to measure up. I guess I can either get over it or go back to school (right!) but what does this say about the way we provide treatment?
"Denial" in the context of addiction treatment might mean that those who want help are simply not willing to except the only option offered to them. Maybe it's time that we listened instead of blaming them for our failures. Our many failures.
Lil Wayne was hospitalized last week and rumors are it has to do with his drug use. Well, we know hip-hop and drugs mix well, but what the heck is Syzzurp?! Your answer coming up once you press the button... Look left and cough!
Nearly all addiction treatment in the U.S. is abstinence-based even though abstinence is the least likely outcome for people suffering with substance-related problems. Is it any wonder that 90% of people who experience problems don't even seek treatment and that those who do perform so poorly? It's time we treated the actual problem in front of us.
Addiction treatment often focuses much of its attention on quitting the specific problem behavior. Unfortunately, health intervention research has shown us that getting someone to stop doing anything is damn near impossible. But there is a better way.
Psychologists are supposed to help others who are stigmatized feel better about themselves and function more effectively. Oddly, they might be doing a pretty bad job when it comes to their own ranks, especially when there have been past indiscretions.
Personalized medicine (pharmacogenomics) is likely the future of all medication prescription and it is going to make a big difference in addiction treatment as well. But when the argument of nature versus nurture comes up, it's important to keep in mind just how complex the interaction between the two really is.
You often hear people in "recovery" talk about freedom from all mind-altering substances. But what happens when chronic pain requires treatment using medication that can be both mind altering and addictive?
Long distance diagnosis is dangerous and inappropriate. When there's no information, it's also unprofessional, irresponsible, and stupid. So for now, let's leave conclusions about Whitney Houston's death to ourselves.