• SMART Recovery Celebrates 25th Anniversary

    Posted on September 20, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Often, a call to reflection upon past achievements might be interpreted as a prelude to a swan song.  When our favorite musicians release greatest hits albums we move from excitement to nostalgia. When filmmakers reboot and update original creations, we hear the silent reverberations of writer's block echoing through the gaping idea void left in the wake of a once bright creative spark.  However, there are exceptions. Sometimes the creative spark becomes a long-burning fire. After decades of hard work on the part of many dedicated pioneers and volunteers, SMART Recovery celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the feeling of excitement for the future far outweighing nostalgia for the past. SMART Recovery: A Note of Gratitude Thanks to SMART Recovery, people w...
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  • MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Reduces Alcohol Relapse, New Study Shows

    Posted on August 23, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. When it comes to addiction treatment, it is well-known that the United States is embarrassingly and shamefully behind the rest of the industrialized world.  It is no surprise then that evidence for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy reducing alcohol relapse is coming out of the UK. We know MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was designated breakthrough status as a treatment for PTSD, and we know that trauma is at the etiological heart of most addictive behaviors (see Atkins, 2014, p.195). So it would naturally follow that if MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy helps treat the etiology of addiction, it will probably help treat addiction. Yet, the misinformed notion that all addicts are the same and can never touch mind-altering substances again (except of course for boat-loads...
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  • Drug Rehab for Young Adults: High Time for a New Paradigm

    Posted on July 19, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Addictive problems are most common amongst young adults, especially men.  Committing to lifelong abstinence is a hard sell for people with most of their lives still ahead.  Even AA co-founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob suggested their methods were unlikely to work for people under 40 years old.  Yet, when young adults engage in addictive behaviors problematically we continue send them away for 30 days to rehabs that deliver Bill W. & Dr. Bob’s message that addiction is an intractable disease that requires lifelong abstinence in order to avoid jails, institutions, and death.  It’s high time for a new paradigm. Re-Thinking Drug Rehab for Young Adults Many of the standards of mental health care warrant reconsideration when it comes to treating addictive pr...
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  • Heroin Cravings: New Study Shows CBD Helps

    Posted on June 21, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Crises precipitate change.  The opioid crisis is catalyzing change in addiction treatment.  The tragedies of the opioid crisis may be the reveille that stirs addiction treatment from its walking slumber.  Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is finally being championed as the frontline defense in the opioid crisis.  Not only are advances being made in increasing accessibility to medication-assisted options like methadone and buprenorphine, researchers are looking into other options as well.  A new study investigated the potential for CBD to alleviate heroin cravings, and the results were encouraging. Heroin Cravings and CBD: The Study The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that CBD significantly reduced both cravings and anxiety ...
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  • New Review of SDG&C is Reminder of its Greatness

    Posted on June 7, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Great works are often underappreciated in their time.  Many people well-versed in self-empowering approaches to treating addictive problems are familiar with Dr. Horvath’s workbook for overcoming addictions entitled, Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate (SDG&C).  However, outside self-empowering circles, Dr. Horvath’s book remains underappreciated.  A recent review of the workbook, however, serves as a reminder of just how ahead of its time SDG&C truly was.  The review is literally titled, 'A New Way To Think About Addiction,' even though SDG&C was originally published over 20 years ago!  For those not familiar with SDG&C, the review is an invitation to explore a visionary work decades ahead of its time. Making its Way into the Mainstream ...
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  • Brain Surgery for Addiction

    Posted on May 17, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Addiction treatment needs improvement.  Exploring new methods is essential to advancing the field.  To imagine the latest radical approach to treating addiction one might envision an amalgamation of electro-shock therapy and trepanning.  Brain surgery for addiction is not a futuristic concept at the dawn of its conception.  On the contrary, brain surgery for addiction is happening now in China and a clinical trial is scheduled in West Virginia this year.  Like any emerging treatment, brain surgery to treat addiction is worth a closer look to consider potential costs, benefits, risks, rewards, and ethical delivery of services. The Technique The brain surgery technique used to treat addiction is deep brain stimulation (DBS).  DBS is already an established t...
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  • Denver Decriminalizes Magic Mushrooms

    Posted on May 10, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Possession of psychoactive fungus is no longer a crime in Denver, Colorado.  Denver's decriminalization of psilocybin (the magic in the mushroom) is a major step forward in efforts to end the disastrous drug war, failed prohibition efforts, and the injustice of mass incarceration. Decriminalizing psilocybin is also a major step forward in advancing the use of psychedelics to improve treatment for numerous issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, and addiction.  In light of Denver’s bold and courageous move, this week let us consider the idea that psychedelics in general, and psilocybin specifically, might advance the quality of medical and mental health care significantly. Mushrooms Have a Place in Medicine Mushroom therapy for addiction may b...
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  • SMART Recovery vs. AA

    Posted on April 22, 2019
    There are a number of recovery options available for those dealing with addiction, and it is truly up to the individual to determine the best fit for them. One of the most popular paths to recovery is Alcoholics Anonymous (while there are many 12-step programs, this article will, for brevity, reference AA and alcohol use)  which has been around for quite some time and has become nearly synonymous with addiction recovery. It is important that individuals be aware that there other recovery options outside of AA. If you have explored AA and feel that it is not the best fit for you, consider looking into SMART’s approach to recovery. SMART Recovery vs. 12-Step SMART Recovery is the largest alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and the disease model of addiction. SMART Recovery was co-fo...
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  • Avoiding Rock Bottom is Good

    Posted on April 19, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. It has been said that the problem with good advice is that it usually interferes with our plans.  In the spirit of a human tendency to give advice in buckets and take it in grains, SMART Recovery starts off its meetings by asking participants to refrain from advice and instead encourages people to offer others ideas to consider.  This week’s article is the first installment in a series that will offer ideas to consider rather than direct advice on how to improve the rather dismal track record of treatment for addictive problems.  This week the idea up for consideration is that avoiding rock bottom is good. Rock Bottom The concept of rock bottom implies that if I want to change a pattern of addictive behavior then I must lose everything and hit the lowest ...
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  • MAT for Meth: Overlooking Meth in the Opioid Epidemic

    Posted on March 29, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Bright lights cast deep shadows.  Currently, our society’s efforts to treat addiction shine the brightest light on opiates.  An average of 130 people die every day in the United States from an opioid overdose, so it is not like opiates don’t deserve focused attention.  However, as opioid epidemic stories dominate headlines, methamphetamines are falling into the shadows cast by the spotlight aimed at opiates.  Meth results in more arrests than any other substance and concurrent use of opioids and meth doubled from 2011 to 2017.  For many seeking chemical relief, opioids and stimulants are a perfect match – the opioids deliver smooth, calming relief while stimulants provide just the right amount of ‘up’ to stay focused, active, and awake.  Thus, it is now imp...
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