Taboo topics in addiction treatment. An empirical review of clinical folklore. – PubMed – NCBI – J Subst Abuse Treat. 1993 May-Jun;
This article reviews 11 taboo topics, that is, research findings that question traditional assumptions and teachings of addiction treatment.
Though written over 20 years ago, this article makes it clear there has been virtually no progress in addiction thinking or treatment.
These same “taboos” are still open questions, while the addiction treatment industry refuses to acknowledge any doubt. Addiction treatment failure is almost guaranteed while the recovery industry keeps its head firmly planted in the sand.
These topics include:
- the lack of empirical support for the Minnesota Model;
- questions about:
- the necessity of Alcoholics Anonymous for maintaining abstinence;
- the existence of spontaneous remission;
- the detrimental aspects of labeling;
- the value of addicted individuals’ self-reports;
- the lack of empirical support for the addictive personality concept;
- cue exposure as an underutilized intervention;
- the interactional nature of motivation;
- the value of smoking cessation in early recovery;
- the overuse of the addiction concept; and
- the lack of empirical support for the disease concept of codependency.
Misconceptions arise due to the lack of communication between disciplines and the experiential bias of current addiction treatment modalities.
Emphasis is placed on the importance of empiricism in order to advance the addiction field beyond faith and supposition.
Still, the addiction field is ruled by the never-proven abstinence model, which irrationally refuses to consider any partial steps, like harm reduction