Ten Reasons the “New” Medical Model of Addiction Is Doomed

The Shipwreck That Is ABAM: Ten Reasons the “New” Medical Model of Addiction Is Doomed | TheInfluence | Stanton Peele

While some laud as a modern miracle the approval of a new medical specialty in addiction, officially crowned as ABAM (American Board of Addiction Medicine), I have been warning against this eventuality since when it was foreordained in The New York Times in 2011.

In 2011 I listed the top 10 problems—none of which has changed—that are apparent in this approach. I post it below with a few (bolded) updates:

http://theinfluence.org/the-shipwreck-that-is-abam-ten-reasons-the-new-medical-model-of-addiction-is-doomed/

 

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12 thoughts on “Ten Reasons the “New” Medical Model of Addiction Is Doomed

  1. Kathy C

    Sometimes I spend my mornings sipping coffee and reading the online ‘News.” The “news” seems to me to be getting more like a spreading Dystopia. This Article highlights the “New Approach” which is the dependence on the 12 Step Programs. Since I live in an area with the some of the highest Suicide rates,and “Addiction” rates in the Country, I have been following this stop gap approach here. The Local Media has been spreading the “Epidemic” narrative, while running one sided mostly Opinion Stories of one person “helped” in one Program. These The same groups of Non Profits, and “Faith Based” Behavioral Health and Addiction Programs have been active for the past 2 Decades with little or no effect on the problem. The same treatments are being proposed once again, with no changes. In both areas of the “treatment of addicts”, they claim they are concerned, yet they are gearing up to spend the windfall with these groups of 12 step programs, loosely organized Church basement, well meaning, and completely unscientific Programs. Not one Agency, group, “Advocate”, or Physician has spoken up. It would probably mean an end to their career. This is frightening, How is it that there is no relevant Science being used. This promotion of the 12 Step programs reeks of “Faith Based” proselytizing. Is this one more way that this “Faith Based” approach has infiltrated both Medicine and Public Health? They have used these approaches since the beginning with little or no improvement in the Numbers. Now there is a new generation of Addicts, since the Addicts that this System of Providers failed to help are having children. I must be missing something.

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    1. dave

      Thats the American way. As long as producers are producing something and consumers are consuming that something- everything is well.
      People have become passive spectators- sheeple- and think someone else has to fix social or economic problems- and so no real progress as long as Americans are content to be passive spectators and consume whatever producers are producing.

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      1. Kathy C

        True! No one is paying attention, they just believe the Corporate Media nonsense, while ignoring what is going on around them. They are assuming that this approach has some kind of reason behind it, they are mistaken. We are just going to get more of the same. This is frightening, there are so many implications here, that should be considered, but the “Sheeple” will just go along with it, while the Corporate Media sings the praises of a failed process. In my area there are 2 religious “Non Profits” one a National Religious “Non Profit Hospital Corporation, the Other is a Behavioral Health Provider, there has been no “Investigative Journalism” or any State or Federal Oversight of any aspect of their effectiveness. The Local Media gushes over them, while ignoring statistics, adverse events or any criticism. The CEO’s are so Politically connected it is sickening. The Media is beholden to the Advertising Dollars and their Narrative.

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    2. Zyp Czyk Post author

      It’s true what you point out: 12-step programs are “spiritual” programs with very low success rates (<10%), yet no one is complaining about it or even trying to improve on it.

      Instead of hassling pain patients it would make more sense to invest in effective addiction treatment that would work whatever the addictive substance is.

      America has a terrible and growing addiction problem that has tracked the rise in social inequality, but instead of solving either of those problems, they keep focusing on the rare pain patient who gets addicted (~1%).

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      1. Kathy C

        Exactly! I started asking “what is going on here, and following the Media Narrative. I am also following the Political and Government Agency narrative. It is very disturbing, the effect of the Profit Driven Society we live in is profoundly disturbing. The so called Pain Advocacy groups have been taken over by by their dependence on Big Pharma money, so their agenda has not been to address the factual inaccuracies of any of this. They use these vague qualifiers like “Advocate” or “Empower,” once in a while they have a Petition, usually one that benefits big Pharma.
        Physicians can’t or won’t speak up. Clearly as evident by some of their blogs antagonistic towards “Drug Addicts,” Since most work for the big Medical Corporations, they are unable or unwilling to question any of this. Their narrative like most of the general public is to blame every Social Ill on drugs, The Addicts, ( uninsured) are costing their Hospital System money, they are the Train wrecks of humanity that they see,it is easy to be disgusted and antagonistic. They keep returning to their ER’s week after week. Some seeking drugs or beaten up and sick from being on the street. A waste of resources. Every night the Evening News shows a spectacular Police chase, area cordoned off or other fear inspiring sensationalistic coverage of an Incident, which they nearly always blame on “Drugs in our Community.”
        While the Politicians have essentially the same “Compassion” prepared statement, not one is capable of questioning the Healthcare Lobbyists. Even our State and federal Agencies have Spokespeople who have a canned response, with dazzling statistics ( Misleading), Emotional Stories of the families torn apart by this scourge, unable to look at real data. These “Faith Based” Agencies sound so nice, they are non Profits so they must be acting for the benefit of us all. They even have former “Addicts” who tell their Narrative, of how X “Faith Based Program” saved them, then gave them a job “helping Others.” It is all very persuasive, as long as they avoid looking at the History or the Data. Locally they are advertising the same “Non Profits’ that have been providers for 2 decades now with no improvement. Not one local Journalist or anyone has asked “How has this been working for us?”

        The Medical Industry has no clear test to distinguish between addicts or People with pain. That recent Pro Publica Study about nearly one third of health care Interactions being “Adverse” was not covered in the Corporate Media. There is lot of discussion in the Media about the cost of healthcare, usually blaming one group or another. They blame the uninsured, the Seniors, the Poor who “don’t take care of themselves”. The “Wellness” programs the Local “Non Profit” Clinics they are now instituting, sound like a good idea, but it might be just one more way to blame the sick.

        There is so much concern over this “epidemic” , the question should be why, there is no clear distinction between pain patients and addicts. Who does this benefit. The Medical Industry will most certainly cash in on this. Now they can turn people away if they have Pain. If there is an adverse event, which causes long term pain they can pretend it does not exist. Insurance Companies, have known that pain affects their Profit Margin. If they can deny even a small percentage of their claims, imagine the economic advantages. The blue collar workers who get injured, can now be denied with impunity, because the pain that they have to live with for the rest of their lives due to an injury can be ignored.
        This is a Win Win all around. Even the “Alternative Medicine” Industry, now given credibility in the New “treatment” Alternatives. They are advertising a Cure, and people who have not had to deal with this issue believe it. It is not Scientific, and there is little distinction between a good practitioner and a Quack.

        I don’t write so good anymore…

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          1. Kathy C

            I have been asking myself what can I do to stop this trainwreck. Public Officials are too brainwashed or compromised by Money to even understand the problem. I am afraid to speak up on any of this in the current climate.

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            1. dave

              I am one of the most vociferous critics of the status quo and have not suffered any repercussions from the powers that be. In fact, it is the front groups that support the powers that be that are most vocal about disliking my opinion. But frankly once i let them know they my track record of improving care is better then theirs they pipe down.
              We shouldnt let the evil that is stand- we have many ways to oppose it and you can find a way to oppose it that works best for you.

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            2. Kathy C

              Thanks for the encouragement. I am working on a new Tack. I am frightened by the current climate of Polarization, they attack or dismiss anything that isn’t in the current narrative, often with a snarky attitude. They may appear to be paying attention, but the Corporate Interests and golf buddies are more powerful.

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  2. dave

    Kathy dont let their games prevent you from doing what you think is best. None of the big shots in pain care have much of a game in the first place. They are all too mentally and morally lazy. If they attack- send them my way-and lets see how well methylated their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and basomedial amygdala are.

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