THE TIME IS NOW FOR A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION OF ADDICTION TREATMENT BY WILLIAM WHITE, GARY MENDELL, AND SAMANTHA ARSENAULT

Countless people have had their lives positively transformed by addiction treatment. But tragically, this is not the norm. Despite decades of advancements in science, pharmacology, and technology, the continuum of evidence-based addiction treatment services remains largely unavailable to those in need. The addiction treatment system is hindered by fragmentation, outdated treatment philosophies, and a payment system that perpetuates antiquated care models and discourages the adoption of best practices in the field. The historical rise and development of the current addiction treatment system explains the evolution of a broken system, and sheds light on new solutions. Today, drug policy leaders, frontline addiction professionals, and affected individuals and families are calling for radical changes in the design and delivery of addiction treatment. It’s time for change. It’s time to protect our families. THE EARLY DAYS OF AMERICAN ADDICTION TREATMENT Treatment and recovery support for addiction began in the mid-1800s, with the nation’s first… Continue reading

Recovery Rising Excerpt: Treatment Works? Taking on A Sacred Slogan – William L. White.

Sloganeering has a long history in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems arena as a means of promoting or stigmatizing drug use, advocating particular cultural policies toward drug use, and conveying particular definitions of the nature of AOD problems. The ideological and financial backlash against addiction treatment through the late 1980s and 1990s left treatment advocates on the defensive. It was in this climate that the slogan, Treatment Works, became the central organizing slogan of the addiction treatment industry. There was much to commend the slogan. It was short and catchy, celebrated those whose lives had been transformed by professional treatment, and honored treatment practitioners and their organizations. Something bothered me about the slogan, and it took some time to sort out the source of that discomfort. In 2004 and early 2005, I posted and published a paper challenging the use of this slogan. I argued that the slogan 1) erroneously conveyed the… Continue reading

The Karma of Recovery – By William L. White

  The concept of karma holds that one’s fate in this life or future lives is not a random roll of the dice, but a direct product of one’s thoughts and actions. Rooted in many of the great religions and a central motif within Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, karma is mistakenly confused in popular culture with the idea of good or bad luck. In contrast, karma suggests the presence of a universal principle of justice–that the decisions one makes or the actions one takes or fails to take have inevitable consequences. This principle can be found in many popular aphorisms: You reap what you sow. Violence begets violence. They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind. What goes around comes around.     Chickens come home to roost.  You get what you give.  Those who live by the sword die by the sword. The principle of karma poses an interesting dilemma for people… Continue reading

I Woke Up – By Emily

  I woke up. Breathing tube in my nose, nurses and my mom and dad standing around me, my skin on fire. “Where am I?” I screamed. “Calm down, you overdosed,” said the nurses. “We gave you Narcan and we need you to calm down. Your pulse is too high.” I looked over at the monitor. My pulse was 152. The nurse gave me a shot of Ativan in my IV. I started to calm down even though it still felt like my skin was melting off my bones. “Breathe in and out,” the nurse said. If I hadn’t been taken to the hospital I would’ve died. My breathing had slowed down so much I need a breathing tube. I soon became very sleepy and passed out. I can’t remember much except walking into my dad’s backyard to my neighbors screaming, “Get the fuck out of here, Grace!” “We’re calling… Continue reading

Have You Really Worked Step 1? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  In today’s world, recovery from addiction typically starts in rehab, followed by addiction focused outpatient therapy, 12 step meetings, and step work. Most of the time, as recovering addicts grow comfortable with their sobriety, they rely less on professional help and more on 12 step support groups and continual working of the steps. This, of course, begins with step 1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable. On the surface, step 1 seems relatively straightforward. And for many addicts it is. For these lucky individuals, simply walking into a treatment center, a therapist’s office, or a 12 step meeting and asking for help is a full and complete admission of powerlessness and unmanageability. However, other recovering addicts must continually battle with denial about their disease. These addicts must consciously and purposefully work step 1 if they hope to establish and maintain lasting sobriety.… Continue reading