Adversity is a seductive invitation to self-pity. Cancer, like other unwelcomed challenges experienced in my life, provided such an invitation. But adversities provide opportunities as well as pitfalls. None of us escape adversities in our lives, but there really is something to the old saw, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Cancer was far(……)

Once upon a time there existed two organizations pledged to offer hope and help to individuals and families affected by alcohol and other drug problems. The first, which we shall call Hubris, used its massive communications and marketing machinery to assert its claim as the Alpha and Omega of addiction treatment and recovery support. Hubris(……)

A long and checkered history of school-based alcohol and drug “abuse” prevention exists in the United States, beginning with the 19th century temperance education movement. The rise of youthful drug experimentation in the 1960s triggered a frantic and poorly thought out flurry of prevention activities in the schools. School administrators tried to scare kids out(……)

A just-published review of the scientific literature on untreated remission from alcohol problems by Richard Mellor and colleagues offers insightful clues about the role of professional treatment and non-treatment resources in the resolution of alcohol problems. Here are some key findings and my take on their implications. Only a small subset of people with alcohol(……)

The most cursory review of the history of addiction treatment reveals a long tradition of inadvertent harm in the name of help (iatrogenic illness). Such treatment insults span bleeding, purging, and toxic, mercury-laden medicines in the 18th century. They include the fraudulent boxed and bottled home cures and the use of cocaine to treat morphine(……)

Oppression involves objectification and rendering the targeted person or group as the ‘other.” That distinctive “otherness” is then conveyed in caricatured images that feed stigma, social exclusion, and, in its most extreme form, genocide. The first task of the social reformer is to illuminate the humanity of those objectified and break down barriers between “they”(……)

The wide range of injuries inflicted on the human body by excessive and prolonged alcohol or other drug (AOD) use have been extensively documented for more than two centuries, but until recently little was known about the relative health of people recovering from addiction. The potential burden of continued health problems in recovery has been obscured(……)

We recently explored the idea of “recovery cascade”—a sudden surge in personal change that sparks recovery initiation in the heels of past efforts or a collective surge in recovery prevalence at a community or cultural level. While there are examples of the latter in U.S. history (e.g., the explosive growth of the Washingtonian Temperance Society(……)

Critics have claimed that recovery advocacy, recovery management, recovery-oriented systems of care, and related ideas and initiatives are a “flavor of the month” fad and that the so-called “recovery revolution” is nothing more than new words for what the addictions field has been doing for decades. Such shallow criticism ignores fundamental changes that are unfolding(……)