Substance Use Disorders as a category

(This post was originally published March, 2016) There's been a big change in the way professionals and advocates talk and think about drug and alcohol problems over the last several years. On one end, we have professionals changing the classifications and mental models for substance use problems. On the other end, we have recovery advocates … Continue reading Substance Use Disorders as a category

Addiction treatment’s uncertain future

Programs closing This story about the impact of COVID on the treatment industry grabbed my attention: At the beginning of 2020, addiction treatment was a solid, growing industry, with 15,000 providers, $42 billion yearly revenue, and a projected 5.2% annual growth. Then Covid-19 hit.By the summer, the industry had lost $4 billion in revenue, and about 1,000 … Continue reading Addiction treatment’s uncertain future

Can We Please Stop Saying Recovery is Possible?

Imagine this scenario. You get the terrible diagnoses of cancer, like addiction, it is terminal if left on its dreadful course unimpeded. You are in the depths of despair, facing everything this terrible diagnosis means for your life. The treating professional turns to you and says “recovery is possible. It is POSSIBLE you might survive … Continue reading Can We Please Stop Saying Recovery is Possible?

Measuring Recovery as an Outcome

This post was originally published on September 27, 2015. This post focuses on an article critically examining the use of recovery as an outcome measure by professionals. They distinguish between recovery as a process (an individual journey rather than a specific outcome – a deeply personal experience related to one’s life goals, needs, and striving) … Continue reading Measuring Recovery as an Outcome

Harm reduction AND recovery. We need both.

This post shares a few loosely connected tabs that have been open in my browser for a couple weeks. An advocate's sad end Over the years, I've expressed concern about peer supports being placed in high risk situations with inadequate training, supervision, and support. My concern has grown as the OD crisis has accelerated, along … Continue reading Harm reduction AND recovery. We need both.

Research Describes Everyone and Applies to No One

Two experiences I had that took place roughly 25 years into my clinical work combined to effectively dismantle my strict allegiance to the primacy of “empiricism” as it was taught to me, and rigorous use of “evidence-based practices” as I had been trained. I'll discuss those two experiences down below.  But a few years before … Continue reading Research Describes Everyone and Applies to No One

Reasons for not receiving substance use treatment

SAMHSA released the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Annual National Report this week. One of the sections that's gotten a lot of attention on Twitter is Substance Use Treatment in the Past Year. The item that seems to have received the most attention is Reasons for Not Receiving Substance Use Treatment. … Continue reading Reasons for not receiving substance use treatment