Attacking Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and 12-step oriented addiction treatment has become a specialized industry with its own genre of literature, celebrity authors and speakers, single-focus websites, and promoted alternatives.  Collectively, these critics suggest that A.A. is an anachronism whose effectiveness has been exaggerated and whose time in the sun has passed.  A.A.’s institutional response to(……)

In 2004, I penned an essay that opened with the following sentences:  “Something is reawakening inside America. People whose stigmatized condition left them hiding alone or cloistered in subterranean subcultures are stepping into the light to tell the stories of their wounds and their redemption. They are offering their time, talents, and testimonies to address(……)

My 2009 monograph outlined in considerable detail the history, theory and status of peer recovery support services (PRSS) in the United States.  In the years since the monograph’s publication, voluntary and paid recovery support services have dramatically increased in the US and internationally.  Such growth has recently prompted me to reflect on the pre-professional days(……)

Parents who have lost children to addiction are speaking publicly in unprecedented numbers.  Their stories provide a biting critique of addiction treatment as a system of care–and suggestions that addiction treatment has yet to operate as a “system of care”.  They also provide painful accounts of how fiscal gatekeepers operate to restrict access to care(……)

In 2005, my colleagues Christy Scott, Michael Dennis, Michael Boyle and I co-authored an article entitled It’s Time to Stop Kicking People out of Addiction Treatment.  The latest (2002) data then available confirmed that 18% (288,000) of all persons admitted to specialized addiction treatment in the U.S. were administratively discharged (“kicked out”) prior to treatment(……)

The acute care (AC) model of intervention that, with few exceptions, has dominated the modern treatment of addiction involves a brief–and seemingly ever-briefer–period of professional intervention followed by cessation of the service relationship.  As addiction professionals working within this model, we are trained to screen, assess, admit, treat and discharge each person we serve.   And(……)

For years, the following quote has rested over my writing desk:  “The Phoenix does not mourn what lies in its ashes; the serpent does not mourn its old skin.”–Arthur Frank Addiction recovery involves a progressive unpeeling of the self and focused efforts of self-construction.  It is helpful in thinking of this to distinguish between remission(……)

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) recently released Standards of Care:  For the Addiction Specialist Physician.  The Standards outline the responsibilities of addiction medicine specialists in the areas of assessment and diagnosis, withdrawal management, treatment planning, treatment management, care transitions and care coordination, and continuing care management.  There is one sentence in the Standards(……)

Interventions into severe alcohol and other (AOD) problems have focused primarily upon altering the character, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals.  Far less attention has been given to influencing the environment in which such factors are birthed, sustained or changed.  But interest in the geography of recovery is increasing.  Researchers are beginning to suggest that(……)

The major media outlets have long been chastised for the content and style of their coverage of alcohol- and drug-related problems.  Such criticisms include the glamorization of drug use, the demonization of drug users, and charges that the media is complicit in ineffective drug policies.  Few have raised parallel concerns that popular media coverage of(……)