The field of addiction treatment is facing a growing cultural backlash that threatens its future as a viable social institution. Cultural ownership of an intractable problem vacillates over time. Vague but passionate promises of a new approach always garner more hope than the known limitations of current efforts. And any industry that has attracted substantial(……)

Imagine seeking assistance from a health care facility and being told that you have a progressively debilitating and potentially fatal medical disorder (one widely recognized in the research community as a brain disease), but then discovering that no physician or other medical personnel will be involved in the assessment, diagnosis, acute treatment, or continued monitoring of your(……)

I am soliciting your assistance in announcing the publication of my latest book, Recovery Rising A Retrospective of Addiction Treatment and Recovery Advocacy. I have worked in the arenas of addiction treatment, recovery research, and recovery advocacy for nearly half a century and been blessed with opportunities to work with some of the leading policymakers, research(……)

The affluent alcoholic has always had institutions that catered to his or her needs for periodic detoxification and physical and emotional renewal. When inebriate homes, inebriate asylums and addiction cure institutes collapsed in the opening decades of the 20th century, a new social institution quietly emerged on the American landscape. This new institution was the(……)

The most famous and controversial treatment for addiction in the 19th century was Dr. Leslie Keeley’s Bichloride of Gold Cure.  Dr. Keeley franchised his cure procedures through more than 120 Keeley Institutes scattered across North America and Europe.  These Institutes became the preferred drying out institutions for the rich and famous in the 1890s.   But(……)

Efforts by professionals to “treat” alcoholism and other addictions have a long and colorful history. Alcoholics have been forced to drink their own urine and forced to drink wine in which an eel had been suffocated. They have been surreptitiously dosed with everything from mole blood to sparrow dung and subjected to the “Swedish treatment”(……)

Marvin Ventrell, Executive Director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), recently released the first quarter data from the NAATP Outcomes Pilot Program (OPP). It will be some time before the full results and implications of this study are complete, but there is one striking piece of data worthy of current reflection.  Of(……)

On April 21, 2015, I posted an Open Letter to the 2016 Presidential Candidates that outlined 12 suggested strategies for responding to the devastating consequences of surging opioid use and opioid addiction in the United States.  Unfortunately, that most unusual of presidential campaigns provided few forums for substantive discussions of drug policy among our potential(……)

The history of addiction treatment includes a pervasive and cautionary thread: the potential to do great harm in the name of help.  The technical term for such injury, iatrogenesis (physician-caused or treatment-caused illness), spans a broad range of professional actions that with the best of intentions resulted in harm to individuals and families seeking assistance.(……)

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” –Peter Drucker In 2003, Dr. Tom McGovern, the distinguished Editor of Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, and I published an article offering some predictions on the future of alcoholism treatment in the United States. In spite of our long tenure as students of addiction treatment history, we(……)