The Center’s mission is to help preserve multiple pathways to recovery. We do this in two ways: :
- Education: To publish original and curated content that illuminates our philosophy and purpose.
- Advocacy: To advocate for policies that preserve multiple pathways to recovery such as choice in treatment, fully informed consent and the maintenance of a diverse and comprehensive addiction treatment ecosystem.
Addiction is a complex condition. Its nature, cause and resolution are not universally agreed upon and the science remains unsettled. Opioid addiction presents a particular danger as it can so often be fatal. Science and long experience have conclusively demonstrated there are many pathways to recovery, including the use of treatment drugs when needed to reduce the risk of fatal overdose and followed up with counseling, behavioral therapies and life skills to help achieve long-term recovery.
However, some proponents of the treatment-drug model are advocating for the exclusive use of pharmaceutical drugs for treating addiction without any use of counseling and behavioral therapies. Some of these advocates are even calling for all non-drug approaches to treatment to be abandoned. This “single pathway” approach is not supported by the science, ignores the fact that millions have achieved recovery without treatment drugs, and invalidates the well-established principle that there are many pathways to recovery. Further, it denies impacted individuals and their families the right to choose a treatment approach based on fully informed consent. We believe in policies that support and encourage healthy addiction treatment ecosystems consisting of a diverse set of treatment providers in numbers adequate to address the need.
The Center’s purpose is to understand and inform the political, economic, and marketing forces shaping our response to the addiction crisis. We do this through the publication of original and curated content focusing on these issues and aligned to our philosophy of preserve multiple pathways to recovery regarding addiction and its treatment. We critically examine potential unintended consequences arising from policy changes that ignore the value of a consumers’ right to choice in treatment, that act to eliminate pathways to recovery, or that diminish the role of informed consent.
About the Editor-In-Chief
The Center for Drug Addiction Policy was started by David Aden, who serves as its editor-in-chief. By trade, Mr. Aden is a technologist and writer, primarily covering high tech. He has had a long term interest in drugs and drug abuse, initially kicked off by his own encounters with drugs and drug abuse among his friends as a teenager, reinforced later by his close friendship with several people who worked in drug education and rehabilitation.
Over the last several years he’s taken an active interest in drug abuse policy including the unintended consequences of marijuana law liberalization and the tragedy surrounding the opioid crisis. His areas of interest include both illegal and legal drug abuse, particularly the outsized explosion in prescription drug use that targets vulnerable and minority market groups such as children, the elderly, the military, economically challenged communities and those suffering loss or other real-life problems.
In the early part of 2017, he began to look into the political, financial and regulatory impact of a seemingly new breed of drug addiction solutions that were making their way into prominence with policy makers and governments grouped under the term Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Mr. Aden noticed that although it seemed likely that MAT would had a legitimate place in treatment and recovery options, it also was clear it came with dangers that had not been fully explored. Mr. Aden recognized that our history of drug abuse and drug policy has been marred by tragedies resulting from “unintended consequences” and he concluded we would be better served by more carefully examining the exclusive insistence that MAT is the full solution to drug addiction.
He founded the Center for the Study of Drug Addiction Policy as a means to bring together data on drug policy, to examine marketing claims that addiction is fully explained as a physical disease and to explore the growing policy emphasis on MAT. The Center’s mandate is to critically examine current trends so as to assist the public debate, to educate and to advocate for policies that help alleviate the ongoing drug crisis while minimizing unintended consequences.