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(……)

The practice of administratively discharging people from addiction treatment, primarily for confirming their diagnosis (via continued alcohol or other drug use) or violating rules with little nexus to addiction recovery, has a long history within modern addiction treatment.  The authors’ calls to examine and alter this practice began a decade ago and have continued to(……)

“…a disease needs to be transformed politically before it can be transformed scientifically.” –Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies (A Biography of Cancer) Ladies and Gentlemen,        As you are quickly discovering, the effects of opioid addiction on individuals, families, and communities will be a recurring issue in the 2016 Presidential campaign.(……)