I regularly receive emails and phone calls that poignantly illuminate the stigma and discrimination people can face as they make the journey through addiction to recovery and a life of purpose and meaning. Drug warrior ideologues have employed manipulative rhetoric and caricatured images of people experiencing alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems for political, professional,(……)

Progressive transformations of personal character and relationships are central themes within narratives of addiction and addiction recovery. Entrapment within the self and its eroding effects on personal character are endemic features of addiction. Such entrapment goes by many names (narcissism, selfishness, self-centeredness), all reflecting a reordering of one’s needs and desires that morphs into near-total(……)

In 2012, I experimented with the creation of a recovery knowledge exam (See What is Your Recovery Quotient? Toward Recovery-focused Education of Addiction Professionals and Recovery Support Specialists). The 100-item test was intended to illustrate the training emphasis on drug trends, psychopharmacology, and addiction-related pathologies in marked contrast to the scant attention paid to the(……)

In their classic 1992 text, The Spirituality of Imperfection, Ernie Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham described six dimensions of spirituality at the core of the recovery experience: release, gratitude, humility, tolerance, forgiveness, and being-at-home. In my prolonged mentorship by and collaborations with Ernie, we often returned to those central themes. The essence of the addiction experience(……)

  I rarely post guest blogs on this website, but occasionally I run across a piece of writing that strikes me as important to share with my readers. The short essay below was written by Erik Haines and offers insight into the growth of the recovery advocacy movement in Canada. It is posted here as(……)

The stigma attached to addiction, addiction treatment, and even addiction recovery is extended professionally and socially to those who choose to work in the addictions arena. Erving Goffman, the premier stigma theorist, referred to this as courtesy stigma—discredit extended to families and others closely linked to people with addiction disorders. It is common for addiction(……)

International headlines abound of the harsh drug policies and killing of addicted people in the Philippines, but the prevailing mantra of the international recovery advocacy movement—recovery by any means necessary under any circumstances—is nowhere more evident than in the Philippines. There is, in fact, a rising recovery advocacy movement in the Philippines mobilizing people in recovery,(……)

In January 2000, Dr. Alex DeLuca, then the long-tenured Director of the Smithers Addiction Treatment and Research Center, provided permission for the local Moderation Management (MM) group to hold weekly MM meetings at the Smithers facility. Following the publication of newspaper articles in July that conveyed the impression that the Smithers Center had abandoned its(……)

In 2011, Ernie Kurtz and I began a sustained meditation on the role of self in recovery. This was an extension of our earlier work on the “varieties of recovery experience” and was stimulated by a recovery research project led by Dr. Mike Flaherty. The project involved using in-depth interviews to compare and contrast people(……)