Leonard Campanello, former narcotics officer and now Chief of Police in Gloucester, Massachusetts, has recently proposed three provocative ideas:  1) stop arresting people solely for their status as addicts, 2) establish the police department as a safe haven where people with substance-related problems can get linked to effective treatment and recovery support, and 3) use(……)

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.  A.A.’s early decades have been well chronicled in both fellowship texts and in Not-God, the scholarly history of A.A. by Harvard-trained historian, Ernest Kurtz.  Ernie and I subsequently published articles on the history of A.A. (including those posted here and here), and we(……)

The Phoenix does not mourn what lies in its ashes; the serpent does not mourn its old skin. (Arthur Frank) If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.  (Gnostic(……)

On May 14, 2015, Altarum Institute hosted a policy roundtable on community-based solutions to addiction in the United States.  Discussions that day underscore the need for passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA). There are transformative moments within social movements when intense advocacy produces landmark legislation and legal decisions of enormous(……)

For the past 35 years, the United States has been involved in what many consider to be failed efforts to incarcerate its way out of its addiction problem.  The U.S. prison population has grown from 198,061 in 1971 to more than 1.5 million in 2013. More than 600,000 incarcerated men and women are released back(……)

“We can be convinced logically of the need for intervention and change. But it is the story of one individual that ultimately makes the difference—by offering living proof.”  ― John Capecci and Timothy Cage Eighty-year old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently commented on the changing American attitudes toward gay people: “The change in people’s(……)

In 1997, Michael Boyle, the CEO of Fayette Companies, the primary behavioral health provider in Peoria, Illinois had a visionary idea:  redesign addiction treatment based on models of chronic disease management that are emerging within primary health care.  In collaboration with Russ Hagen, the CEO of Chestnut Health Systems in Bloomington, Illinois, Mike procured funding(……)

“…in recovery, people lead full, productive and healthy lives.” Laudet, 2013, Life In Recovery Survey Scientific knowledge about addiction recovery has been based historically on short-term treatment follow-up studies, point-in-time membership surveys of recovery mutual aid fellowships, and small qualitative studies of the recovery experience.   The value of these early studies was limited by the(……)

The death of a person undergoing medical treatment is cause for serious reflection on the part of caregivers. Historically, procedures have been developed to help understand the circumstances of such deaths.  These procedures range from a focus on the person (e.g., such as a medical status review and/or psychological autopsy of the deceased patient) to(……)