Bill White explaining why inadequate treatment may be worse than no treatment: What we know from primary medicine is that ineffective treatments (via placebo effects) or an inadequate dose of a potentially effective treatment (e.g., as in antibiotic treatment of bacterial infections) may temporarily suppress symptoms. Such treatments create the illusion of resumed health, but … Continue reading Personal Failure or System Failure?
The Health Affairs blog questions the American Heart Association's maximalist approach with the use of statins. The issues sound familiar. The policy implications of these guidelines are staggering. Estimates show that if these recommendations are fully implemented, close to a third of all Americans will be placed on a statin. But these developments beg the … Continue reading The Unintended Consequences Of Medical “Maximalism”
Bill White responds to a recent article that has gotten a lot of attention by Gene Heyman, a disease model critic. Heyman (and a couple of other recent articles) question whether it's accurate to call addiction a chronic illness. If there is anything that the full scope of modern research on the resolution of AOD problems is … Continue reading A chronic illness?
From Kevin McCauley: The argument against calling addiction a disease centers on the nature of free will. This argument, which I will refer to as the Choice Argument, considers addiction to be a choice: the addict had the choice to start using drugs. Real diseases, on the other hand, are not choices: the diabetic did … Continue reading More on choice and addiction
Yesterday, I posted about The Anonymous People and Dawn Farm's co-sponsorship of an upcoming screening of the film. So...why is this message of recovery so important to stigma reduction? We've spent 20 years trying to convince the public that addiction is a brain disease without too much attention to the potential for this message to … Continue reading Brain disease does not equal stigma reduction
Authors Michael W. Clune and Tao Lin discussed their recent books for Believer magazine. Tao Lin points out a theme of seeking to get outside oneself as a response to "internal malfunctioning or uncontrollable-seeming, undesirable behavior." He points to this passage from book, White Out: The only way to recover from the memory disease is … Continue reading The memory disease
The NY Times recently had a personal piece on the impact of addiction on parents: Addiction is, as we have learned, a family disease. The number of stories we’ve heard of wives, daughters, fathers, sons, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters – not in counseling or therapy scenarios, but from people who recognize our … Continue reading Family, Secrecy and Addiction
In a thoughtful post, Marc Lewis questions the disease model of addiction. He doesn't dismiss it out of hand. He seems to look for ways in which it's right and useful. It’s accurate in some ways. It accounts for the neurobiology of addiction better than the “choice” model and other contenders. It explains the helplessness … Continue reading Response to Why Addiction is NOT a Brain Disease
A NY Times philosophy blogger challenges the hijacked brain metaphor for addiction: It might be tempting to claim that in an addiction scenario, the drugs or behaviors are the hijackers. However, those drugs and behaviors need to be done by the person herself (barring cases in which someone is given drugs and may be made … Continue reading Disease and choice
The Obama administration just released their annual drug control strategy report and all the headlines say it emphasizes treatment over incarceration. Sounds great, but the stories are short on details. Others, from the Drug Policy Alliance are dismissing it as more of the same. More of the same? Really? I think Obama's safely within the … Continue reading Why we can’t agree