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(……)

Until recently, recovery from addiction was shrouded in public secrecy in the United States and in most other countries. Addiction has long been viewed as a personally and culturally intractable problem, and pessimism has reigned about the prospects of long-term addiction recovery.  These perceptions have been fed by the unrelenting public visibility of addiction-related problems,(……)

On June 20, 2014, a twenty-year-old was arrested in West Hollywood, California on drug-related charges–not a particularly newsworthy event give the more than 1.5 million drug arrests in the U.S. each year.  What distinguished this arrest was that the young man arrested was Indio Falconer Downey, the son of Robert Downey, Jr., whose own similar(……)

I have written a good deal about the harmful effects of money on social movements–particularly about how recovery advocacy movements can be harmed by too much money, too little money, ill-timed money and agenda-tainted money.  That said, there are critical periods in the life of successful social movements that require financial resources, with the long-term(……)

A 1976 national survey of addiction treatment programs in the United States revealed a workforce of nearly 60,000 workers.  The treatment workforce at that time consisted of 31,000 full-time workers and 15,000 part-time paid workers.  The paid professional workforce included 20,000 counselors, 5,000 nurses, 3,000 social workers, 2,500 psychologists, and a small and slowly growing(……)

Through my early tenure in the addictions field, the question of readiness for treatment and recovery was thought to be a pain quotient.  We then believed that people didn’t enter recovery until they had “hit bottom.”  If a person did not show evidence of such pain-induced readiness, they were often refused admission to treatment.  Then(……)