Best Practices

Best practices do exist for addressing the drug abuse problem. And they are not limited to a single approach or a single aspect of the crisis. Drug-free programs exist that help people achieve a life without drugs. Prevention programs are in use that lower the number of children who begin taking drugs. Community responses have been instituted that leverage the power of community connections to address problems associated with drug abuse. These stories highlight best practices.

Four Treatment Facilities Honored in Analysis of Post-Treatment Outcomes


This article concerns the first annual awards given to programs for post-care abstinence rates which ranged from 65%  for the Gold Winner to 42% for the Bronze winner.  The results were based on a study done on more than 3,000 patients nationwide and indicated a strong percentage of patients who were able to remain abstinent ...Read more

Brain Change in Addiction as Learning, Not Disease

An article by one of the leaders in addiction theory and practice, Marc Lewis, summarizing and comparing the learning model of addiction to the brain disease model of addiction. Lewis has been at the forefront of debate concerning addiction and presents compelling arguments for a broader understanding of addiction.   ...Read more

How America’s opioid epidemic could get even worse


This article is based on a large Rand Corporation report, The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids, which concludes the following:  "... (1) fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are becoming dominant in some parts of the United States and Canada, but remain less common in other parts of these countries; (2) a confluence of ...Read more

Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse


This potentially game-changing study quantifies the economic value that faith-based programs bring to drug prevention and treatment. We plan to do a more complete analysis of the report's findings but wanted to make it available sooner rather than later as it was recently widely announced. Minimally, the report highlights the importance of supporting public policies ...Read more

Addiction is a Complex Condition


History has made it clear there is no simplistic, single-model solution to addiction. We can’t arrest our way out of the problem, nor can we eliminate drug abuse by trying to scare everyone out of starting. Similarly, it’s long been known there are many pathways to recovery. In our attempts to understand and address drug …Read more

Medication Assisted Treatment: Solution or Set-Up for Opiate Addicts?


This article, written by a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, articulates the problems associated with a single pathway approach to recovery. It focuses on drug treatment approaches that exclude alternatives in favor of long-term reliance on drugs such as methadone or Suboxone. This includes a caution against the likely unintended consequences of wholesale  adoption of ...Read more

Natural recoverers kick addiction without help


A Harvard Medical Publishing article about how to end addiction without having to use any drug or going to a treatment center. It stresses that "natural recoveries," often can end addictions.  This two step process involves doing something new to fill that void in your life that the addiction took. Take up a new hobby, ...Read more

Recovery houses pushed to accept MAT


The story covers the change-of-heart of an operator of recovery houses who was originally opposed to serving those in recovery who were on Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) drugs. The operator now runs houses that accept people on MAT drugs and the story describes the general trend towards accommodating the population of patients using MAT. Although the ...Read more

Woman lost 2 sons in one night to opioids

This article describes the mission of a mother, Becky Savage, who lost two sons on a single day to accidental overdoses of prescription opioids combined with alcohol. Her story highlights the need for a broad response to the opioid crisis including education and prevention.  After just three community pill drop-off events organized by Ms. Savage, ...Read more

What does this small town know that drug addiction authorities don’t?


This story highlights the importance of a multi-prong, community-based approach for addressing the opioid crisis. In contrast to reductionists who seem to be saying that medication is the lynchpin for all successful treatment, the Massachusetts town of Greenfield has put individuals, community and coordinated action at the center.  The results so far are promising and ...Read more