Topic: Service Providers

Practitioners are on the frontline of the drug crisis.

Giving practitioners the support they need is vital. Long experience confirms there are many pathways of recovery: there is no simple, one-shot solution for addiction. Financial, family, community, religious and other factors all add to or detract from recovery capital. Yet funding is too often given to just one or two aspects of the full picture. To make real progress, all phases of recovery must be supported.

Does ASAM oppose “drug-free” and “abstinence-based” paths to recovery?

June 29th, 2022|

The posts answered a message from a practitioner who said "I work as the Medical Director at an "abstinent based" facility. I am Board Certified in Psych and ASAM certified... I am struggling to accept the abstinence based treatment philosophy." In responding to this message, ASAM said (among other statements) that, "Patients appropriately taking a physician prescribed medication are abstinent from their substance of misuse."

White House 2022 drug strategy includes recovery support services

June 2nd, 2022|

President Joe Biden sent his Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy to Congress at a time when drug overdoses have reached a record high. The Strategy delivers on the call to action in President Biden’s Unity Agenda through a whole-of-government approach to beat the overdose epidemic. It proposes targeted actions to expand access to evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services while reducing the supply of drugs like fentanyl.

SAMHSA Treatment Website Contains Inaccurate Information, Experts Say

May 20th, 2022|

The national government website designed to help people find addiction treatment contains inaccurate and outdated information, addiction experts tell Kaiser Health News. The site,, has information about more than 13,000 state-licensed treatment facilities, including what types of services are provided, which insurance plans the facilities accept and what ages they serve.

Doctors, companies push to keep looser rules for prescribing opioid treatment drugs

May 13th, 2022|

WASHINGTON — It got a lot easier for patients with opioid addiction to get their medication remotely during the pandemic — and now addiction doctors and telehealth companies are pushing Congress to make those flexibilities permanent. Before Covid-19, patients had to see a doctor in person for prescriptions to help them with their addictions, like buprenorphine. Now, at least temporarily, they can get them via telehealth appointments. Experts say loosening the rules helped eliminate longstanding barriers to addiction care, like a lack of transportation or a shortage of clinicians who prescribe medically assisted treatment, especially in rural communities. But the changes are temporary, tied to the state of “emergency” associated with the pandemic — and proponents want them made permanent.

Former Federal Drug Agency Head Supports Multiple Pathways to Recovery

May 3rd, 2022|

Our treatments for this polydrug epidemic fall into 2 distinctive categories. One started at the Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota in the late 1950s, with a 28-day residential program followed by patients going to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other recovery support for years, often for their lifetimes. This approach is common in private, often insurance-funded, addiction treatment programs.

The other approach is medication-assisted treatment (MAT) which started with methadone in the late 1960s. MAT now includes buprenorphine and naltrexone. MAT is the major strategy for most public sector addiction treatment programs.

Those two approaches often battle one another in this war between treatment modalities. That war is destructive and unnecessary. It diminishes both approaches. The big losers are our patients and the public health.

Addiction Treatment and the Phenomenon of Self-Change

April 26th, 2022|

The authors of the article are Hal Arkowitz and Sscott O. Lilienfeld serve on the board of advisers for Scientific American Mind. Arkowitz is a psychology professor at the University of Arizona and Lilienfeld is a psychology professor at Emory University. The authors conclude that more and better research is needed on the potential for self-change to conquer problem drinking and other addictions. Studies suffer from differences in the definitions of important terms such as “addiction,” “treatment” and “recovery.” We also do not know of any studies on self-change with prescription drug addiction.

Vietnam Veterans Study Proved That Addiction Is a Product of Life Circumstances

April 9th, 2022|

The Vietnam addiction experience was catalogued by Lee Robins, a professor of social science in psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, and her colleagues, in their 1977 classic study “Vietnam Veterans Three Years After Vietnam: How our study changed our view of heroin.” This is the most careful and detailed study of a group of hundreds of heroin-addicted people ever conducted. Highlights from the article Richard Wilbur, a physician who was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health and Environment from 1971-1973, said of this phenomenon: “Everything I learned in medical school about addiction—that someone addicted to narcotics remained hooked forever—was proved wrong.” Most soldiers (85 percent) said they found opioids readily available to them at home—so we can discount the idea of lack of supply accounting for their mass recovery. Half did try the drugs again in the States. But even among the most vulnerable group—the previously addicted soldiers who used heroin again stateside—fewer than a third ever became re-addicted. View the Lee Robins study: "Vietnam Veterans Three Years after Vietnam: How Our Study Changed Our View of Heroin."

Should Buprenorphine Be Made Available Without a Doctor’s Prescription?

April 5th, 2022|

In a July 2019 interview, two faculty of Boston University proposed that buprenorphine start being distributed without a doctor's prescription, with only a pharmacist’s approval. Easier access means that anyone currently struggling with opioid addiction could obtain this drug whenever they chose. But it also means easing restrictions on a drug that is currently abused, sold on the illicit market and addictive. It's time to look at who might profit from their recommendations.

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