• Johns Hopkins Opens Psychedelic Research Center

    Posted on September 6, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. They said acid fries your brain and makes you jump off buildings.  They said shrooms make your brain bleed and that’s why they cause hallucinations.  They said pot makes people murder their families.  I don’t know exactly who ‘they’ are, but boy were they wrong.  The prestigious Johns Hopkins University just announced the opening of a nearly $20 million dollar research center to study psychedelic medicines.  The announcement from Johns Hopkins is arguably the single biggest acknowledgment that Western Society has been embarrassingly wrong about psychedelics all along.  Research trials forthcoming from the new research center include the use of psychedelics to treat addiction, anorexia, Alzheimer’s related distress and cognitive impairment, depression, PTSD, ...
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  • AA: Who it Helps, Who it Harms, Who it Kills, & Why (Preface)

    Posted on August 30, 2019
    by Edward W. Wilson, PhD Kindle edition available on Amazon Print edition, 66 pages, available here. Preface by Tom Horvath, PhD (reprinted here by permission)   The psychological development of children is well studied. We know what children at different developmental levels can accomplish, and just as importantly, what they cannot accomplish.  The psychological development of adults has been studied much less, and the emerging knowledge that psychologists have on this subject has not become widely known. It doesn’t take a psychologist to know, for instance, that a situation that might lead to a temper tantrum in a two year old, should not lead to a tantrum in a teenager. However, because adults all look “grown up,” we may not realize how differently adults c...
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  • How to Provide Basic Addiction Treatment

    Posted on December 11, 2018
    by Tom Horvath, PhD., ABPP This blog is addressed to psychotherapists who do not view themselves as capable of providing addiction treatment. Many (if not most) therapists have this perspective. However, as I have suggested for many years, individual therapy (possibly supplemented by couple’s and family therapy) is the setting of choice for most individuals with addictive problems, and therapists should learn to address these problems. Unfortunately, many therapists lack the confidence even to learn about addiction treatment. Therapists already know most of what they need to know for basic addiction treatment. They also need some basic information about addiction and recovery. In an effort to boost the confidence of these therapists, below are the principles they would keep in min...
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  • Addiction is Learning, Not Disease

    Posted on November 16, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD New England Journal of Medicine Article Says: Addiction is Learning, Not Disease One of the world’s most prestigious journals just published an article saying that addiction is not disease.  Not surprisingly, an uproar is underway.  Devotees to the disease model of addiction are not happy, but sometimes the truth hurts.  The article in the New England Journal of Medicine is a major step towards improving the standard of care in addiction treatment and deepening our understanding of the true nature of addictive behaviors. Including and Transcending the Disease Model of Addiction The article in the New England Journal of Medicine, written by Marc Lewis, Ph.D., does a masterful job of presenting the current state of the evidence about the etiology and maintenan...
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  • How Should We Spend Any Opiate Settlement Funds?

    Posted on July 12, 2018
    The “tobacco settlement” was reached in 1998 after five years of litigation. Tobacco manufacturers agreed to change some business and marketing practices, and to pay over $200 billion spread over 25 years (with continued payments thereafter) to reimburse 46 states for their expenses in treating tobacco-related illnesses. Opiate Settlements There are now hundreds of opiate cases pending. The case against manufacturers is based on how opiates were marketed. Opiates can be more harmful than the marketing suggested. The case against drug distributors is based on the implausibly high numbers of pills that were made available to “patients” in specific localities, suggesting that massive amounts of medication were diverted from prescribed to other uses. Based on the tobacco settlement we cou...
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  • The National Recovery Study

    Posted on June 11, 2018
    by Tom Horvath, PhD, ABPP The US media often presents stories about substance problems. However, there are fewer stories about how individuals resolve these problems. The National Recovery Study (Kelly, Bergman, Hoeppner, Vilsaint, & White, 2017) was an effort to estimate how many in the US have resolved substance problems, and how they did so. This landmark study merits more attention. What We Already Knew 1) Many individuals who previously had substance problems resolved them on their own (“unassisted recovery”), without being involved in treatment, medication, mutual help or other recovery services (“assisted recovery”). Unassisted recovery is also termed natural recovery, or self-guided change (Bishop, 2018). 2) Many of the individuals in unassisted recovery do not consi...
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  • Addiction Treatment Can be Harmful

    Posted on May 22, 2018
    by Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP. Clients often attempt to choose addiction treatment carefully. Typically, they search for a “program” suitable to their problems, at least as they understand their problems. Unfortunately, most clients are uneducated about addiction. They are not professionals, and the addiction treatment industry and media often present inaccurate information. Consequently, clients can end up in facilities that harm them rather than help them, primarily because in these facilities substandard practices are common (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2016). Almost daily in our offices at Practical Recovery we hear about what goes wrong in addiction treatment. Here are some examples. Treatment sessions are not conducted by psychoth...
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  • AA, SMART, LifeRing and WFS Found Comparably Effective

    Posted on March 5, 2018
    by Tom Horvath, Ph.D. According to a new ground-breaking study, individuals attending SMART, LifeRing and WFS now have scientific support for their choice to attend these groups. As with all new scientific findings, we have a reached a new vantage point from which to consider both next research efforts, and the clinical implications of what we now perceive more clearly. Before considering the clinical implications, let’s remind ourselves that any single finding is subject to re-interpretation in the light of new findings. However, this finding has many precedents, and therefore is not especially “single” or divergent. Although not a controlled trial, Atkins and Hawdon (2007) found individuals in multiple mutual help groups to obtain similar outcomes. In psychotherapy resear...
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  • The Opiate Epidemic: Solving the Crisis

    Posted on August 25, 2017
    How to Solve the Opioid Crisis by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. In an age when Americans agree on few things, an issue that unites us toward a common goal could be deeply and profoundly healing. On the costs of the opioid crisis in America, there is little disagreement. People from both sides of the aisle, all walks of life, and every socio-economic stratum are affected by the opioid epidemic. Even President Trump and former President Obama agree on this issue, with the former recently calling (but not officially declaring) the opioid crisis a national emergency and the latter recognizing it as an epidemic. While many agree the opioid crisis is a major problem, there is a need for increasing clarity and agreement on how to solve it. Officially Declare a National Emergency The first step...
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  • The War on Drugs: History and Implications

    Posted on May 5, 2017
    The War on Drugs: History and Implications by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The Politics of Consciousness Few political issues today are sources of unity and shared vision.  Politics has become vehemently binary to the point that extremes on both sides see opposing views as subhuman.  In the current climate of ‘us and them,’ drugs may be one of the few remaining topics that many people from both sides of the aisle can agree upon.  Ending the drug war aligns with advocates for limited government, human rights, conservative economics, and liberal social policy.  However, as the war drums currently pound for a renewed call to arms in an impossible war, an in-depth analysis of the war on drugs is important for anyone who chooses to use  substances or knows someone who does. This article di...
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