Over the past two centuries, addiction recovery has been understood as primarily an intrapersonal process, though recent decades have witnessed growing interest in the related concepts of family recovery and community recovery. Technologies to promote recovery have targeted the individual with only token interest in interventions in larger social networks.  Three provocative discoveries challenge this(……)

There is a boundary between addiction and recovery that marks the point of reciprocal passage between these two physical, psychological, and cultural worlds.  This edge of recovery can be friend or enemy—friend when approached close enough during active addiction to hear its welcoming call, and enemy, when during recovery, we drift close enough to this(……)

“There is nothing about a caterpillar which would suggest that it will become a butterfly” – Buckminster Fuller Much of the literature on addiction recovery is focused on the past.  Recovery is portrayed through the dominant images of a prolonged addiction downfall and an equally prolonged process of retrieving those lost assets.  In reading such literature,(……)

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(……)