Thwarting Recovery [Sober houses in Delray Beach, Florida]
When several inpatient treatment centers, drawn by low taxes and warm weather, opened their doors here to addicts more than 35 years ago, it seemed a godsend to substance abusers.
Soon, other centers, mostly legitimate, followed. Recovering addicts lived together after treatment in supervised apartments or single-family homes.
The residences were known as sober homes, where addicts could recover far from temptations and drug-abusing friends back home. Continue reading
Addict brokers profit as desperate patients are ‘treated like paychecks’ – By DAVID ARMSTRONG and EVAN ALLEN — BOSTON GLOBE – MAY 28, 2017
Days after he relapsed on heroin last summer, Patrick Graney received an offer that was too good to turn down.
How would he like to get treatment in a beach town with a hipster vibe in South Florida — with all expenses paid, including airfare from his Massachusetts home?
Graney didn’t have to think long. He was on a flight south the next day. Two months later he was dead. Continue reading
With detail, clarity, and rigorous sourcing, Mr. Siegel has written a thorough debunking of the myth that opioids prescribed for pain lead to heroin use and overdose. He shows how destructive this myth is and how contradictory data has been overlooked by policy makers.
To say, as the CDC did, that both pain patients and doctors are the culprits in rising mortality is misguided for several reasons.
As the death toll from opioids and heroin rises, people are looking for answers, and also, someone to blame.
This may be another aspect of current anti-opioid policy development: all parties want to make sure the blame for so many overdoses does not fall on them. Continue reading
Rehabbing Our Ideas About Addiction Wall Street Journal – By David M. Cordani – June 16, 2016
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released guidelines discouraging prescriptions that last longer than a week.
The focus on prevention is immensely important. We all know that prevention is more efficient than treatment, and without it, we would soon have more patients suffering from substance use than we could afford to treat.
Additionally, long-term intensive recovery facilities have become the norm, even though there is very little evidence of their comparative effectiveness. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Five myths about heroin – 2016 – by Maia Szalavitz
But because drug policy has long been a political and cultural football, myths about opioid addiction abound. Here are some of the most dangerous — and how they do harm.
- Most heroin addiction starts with a legitimate pain prescription
People who misuse prescription pain relievers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin than those who don’t, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In the media, this fact is usually corrupted by failing to state that these are abusers of opioids, not patients taking their prescribed opioids: Only NON-Medical Opioid Use Leads to Heroin Use. Continue reading
Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), an influential and politically connected advocacy group that seeks to reduce opioid prescribing, is no longer directly affiliated with Phoenix House, which runs a nationwide chain of addiction treatment centers.
The Steve Rummler Hope Foundation is now the “fiscal sponsor” of PROP, which will allow PROP to collect tax deductible donations under the foundation’s 501 (c) (3) non-profit status.
IRS regulations allow non-profits to form partnerships with like-minded organizations, allowing other groups to essentially piggyback off their non-profit status and collect donations. Continue reading
DSM-5 and Substance Use Disorders: Clinicolegal Implications – J Am Acad Psychiatry Law – December 2014
Presumed distinctions between substance dependence and substance abuse have been at the heart of the development and utilization of substance-based diversion from criminal prosecution to treatment for the past several decades, including its use in drug courts.
These distinctions have been promulgated by organized psychiatry since the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III) in 1980.
With the release of DSM-5 and the replacement of abuse and dependence categories with a single use disorder construct, the legal grounds for diversion in many states now stand at odds with organized psychiatry and its adoption of recent science. Continue reading
The Media’s Biased Reporting on Opioids — Pain News Network – June 14, 2016 – By Lynn Webster, MD
Stephen Martin, MD, EdM, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School…points out that media stories such as these greatly worry him:
- Denver Post: CU Boulder study: Narcotic painkillers cause chronic pain,
- FOX News: Opioids may prolong chronic pain, study suggests,
- Washington Post: Opioid paradox: Could morphine use hurt as much as it helps by prolonging chronic pain?
- Forbes: Prescription painkillers may worsen and lengthen chronic pain
In conjunction with the new CDC Guidelines, these reports may increase anxiety among some patients who are able to function with their medications. Continue reading
No one argues that the American addiction treatment system is anywhere near optimal—even its cheerleaders recognize that there’s miles to go before all people with addiction have access to respectful, ethical, effective and evidence-based care.
Worse, the past year has seen myriad media exposes and financial, sexual and maltreatment scandals.
Unsurprisingly, Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), an organization that has represented rehabs like Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center (now merged) since 1978, doesn’t see the need for such an extreme makeover. Continue reading