After I developed the ideas presented in this series, I began to talk about them with people in our field, and started to deliver this as a continuing education presentation. The general response would be validation accompanied with some version of, “But that could never happen.” The three efforts listed below are my reply to … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 11: “BUT THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN”
IMAGINE THE DAY It would be wonderful – imagine the day – when those clinicians working in addiction treatment or recovery support could clearly identify the patient’s normative position in progress related to measures in: neurological/brain structure and functionspecific aspects of initial cognitive clearing and later cognitive flexibility as they move alongemotional self-regulation and later … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 10: IMAGINE THE DAY; WHAT CAN WE DO RIGHT NOW?
We do have previous stage theories in the addiction literature. Substance use disorder-specific stage theories have been presented. Abraham Wikler13 and Shepard Siegel are two that have presented stage theories concerning addiction etiology and progression.Many of you might be familiar with the work of Terrence Gorski14 and of Alan Marlatt15. They are coming from separate … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 9: STAGE THEORIES RELATED TO ADDICTION
In the early 2000’s I was invited to a “Think Tank” concerning our field. A few weeks before the gathering, we were told, “Look forward in your career, out 20 or 30 years, and come ready to say what you would wish we would have in our field”. When we met, there were two ideas … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 8: INVITATION TO A THINK TANK
CURRENT PRACTICAL PROBLEMS Hopefully it is clear by now that there are current practical problems in our field (including the context within our field); I would like to discuss those a bit. One major problem is that the length of the disorder is long and most care is short. Various key problems are secondary to … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 7: CURRENT PRACTICAL PROBLEMS; PRACTICAL EXAMPLES
In speaking with Bob Lynn6 about this idea, he stated, “A wound might be treated effectively, but the bruise only clears on its own, with time.” What he was getting at is that clinical care might focus on only one aspect of the problem, with a method that can merely control one part of the … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 6: WHOLE PERSON HEALING: THE PERSON, THE SYSTEM & RESEARCH
We take automobiles in for the lifetime of the vehicle. We have structural systems set up for vehicle care with no appointment necessary, and expert technicians with the knowledge of what to look for at that point in time, at that number of miles, at that appointment. We know the appointment will not take long, … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 5: “CARE FOR THE LIFETIME OF THE VEHICLE”
Consider these indicators: Total lung capacity?Inspiratory and expiratory volume (breath)?Dopamine production and function?Cognition and neurocognitive impairments?Abscesses and skin?Return of taste and smell?Gait, balance, strength?Anxiety, sleep, pain, wellbeing?Hope and self-efficacy. Are patients served by addiction professionals getting better, or not? I have been speaking rather frequently and thoroughly with someone about this basic idea. This person … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 4: WHAT SHOULD IMPROVE, AND WHEN?
I have been asked to represent the idea of Stages of Healing in the form of a picture diagram. This is the image I am currently using. What I mean to represent here is a (large/representative) norm-reference group of 10,000 people or more. This group would be evaluated prospectively across biological, psychological, social, and spiritual … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 3: A CLEAR IMAGE
Both problematic substance use and substance use disorders vary overall, and they vary widely – in terms of whether they present or not, and in their severity. But something that is clearly understood is addiction illness. Even though the current DSM (DSM-5) describes addiction illness in the narrative text fairly succinctly and sufficiently, and even … Continue reading Addiction and the Stages of Healing, Part 2: GETTING WELL IS LONG; MEASURING IS SHORT