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(……)

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(……)

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(……)