This week, leaders, volunteers and participants of SMART Recovery will gather in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their organization.  In recent years, I have had the pleasure of interviewing current and former leaders of SMART Recovery, including Dr. Joe Gerstein, Dr. Tom Horvath, Tom Litwicki, and Richard Philips.  I have also served(……)

One of the emerging trends of U.S. health care reform is the tri-directional integration of addiction treatment, mental health services, and primary health care.  This is evident in the growing integration of addiction and psychiatric treatment under the rubric of “behavioral health care,” efforts to integrate primary health care within addiction treatment settings, and increased(……)

I have spent more than four decades providing, studying, promoting, and defending addiction treatment, but remain acutely aware of its limitations.  As currently conceived and delivered, most addiction treatment programs facilitate detoxification, recovery initiation, and early recovery stabilization more effectively and more safely than ever achieved in history, but most fall woefully short in supporting(……)

This month marks the 25th year of what has evolved into National Recovery Month.  With an early focus on the slogan “Treatment Works,” the event took on its recovery focus in 1998 just as new and renewed grassroots recovery community organizations (RCOs) were rising across the U.S.   RCO representatives came together at the 2001 Recovery(……)

The worlds of addiction treatment and recovery recently experienced the loss of two giants–Dr. Ed Senay and Brother Mickey Evans.  Each represented major historical threads within the history of addiction recovery in the United States and each exerted a profound influence on the evolution of addiction treatment and recovery support services.  They also could not(……)

The concept of “wounded healer”–the idea that people who have survived illness or trauma may have special abilities to help others facing similar challenges–has deep roots within the history of addiction treatment and recovery.  During the 1980s and 1990s, the perceived value of the wounded healer was eclipsed by the growth and professionalization of the(……)

There’s something happening here But what it is ain’t exactly clear There’s battle lines being drawn Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong             –For What It’s Worth, Buffalo Springfield (1966)             Lyrics by Stephen Stills   Recovery in an age of cynicism requires seeking the less traveled path. We live in a strange era.  Pessimism seems(……)

On July 27, 2014, the New York Times Editorial Board endorsed the legalization of marijuana–the latest salvo in the cultural wars surrounding drug policy in the United States.  Debates over cannabis policy–at least the modern era of such debates–have raged for more than half a century, with arguments growing more nuanced from each side of(……)

On June 15, 2014, AAAgnostica marked its third anniversary.  As historians dedicated to documenting the growing varieties of addiction recovery experience, it is fitting that we take a moment to acknowledge this milestone within the history of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and the larger history of recovery.   A.A. and other Twelve Step organizations exist today within(……)