• 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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  • HBO’s Euphoria TV Show Misses Mark on Addiction

    Posted on August 9, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. HBO’s hit television series, Euphoria, pushed the envelope on many important topics, except one – addiction.  The show depicted a biracial romance between two women, one of whom was transgender. The show offered gritty, raw depictions of sexual assault, teenage substance use, physical and emotional abuse, and abortion.  When it comes to addiction, however, the show somehow missed the memo that there are no experimental studies that unequivocally demonstrate the effectiveness of traditional addiction treatment.  Euphoria pushed boundaries on a number of important social issues, but when it comes to addiction, the show succeeded only in being yet another example of mainstream media perpetuating the harmful messages that all addicts are the same and thus, all de...
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  • International Overdose Awareness Day

    Posted on August 4, 2019
    August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day—an internationally-recognized day dedicated to standing together and honoring those we’ve lost, their families, and their loved ones. Established in Melbourne, Australia, in 2001, this global event serves to raise awareness surrounding overdose-related deaths while spreading the message that overdose death is preventable. August 31st is all about taking a moment to remember and honor, while lending a hand in preventing more loss in the future.  Goals of International Overdose Awareness Day: Provide an opportunity to publicly mourn the loss of a loved one in a safe and accepting environment.  Establish overdose-related events across the globe—2018 had more than 500 events spanned across numerous countries.  Educate the co...
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  • National Report says MAT is Frontline Defense in Opioid Epidemic

    Posted on May 24, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Despite unfounded resistance, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is increasingly considered the treatment of choice to combat what is commonly referred to as an opioid epidemic.  A report issued this week from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) solidifies MAT as a frontline defense in the opioid crisis and makes important points about how to increase the accessibility and effectiveness of MAT in the United States. Unsupported Restrictions on MAT Services Many cumbersome, unsupported restrictions remain in place that hinder MAT services in the United States.  The AATOD report states that MAT regulations like waiver policies, patient limits, restrictions on settings where medications are available, and others “are not s...
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  • Why You Should Get a Substance Use Assessment in a DUI Case

    Posted on February 28, 2019
    In 2017 there were over 1 million arrests for driving under the influence in the United States, and a number of incidents involved repeat offenders, injury, and fatalities. DUIs are not only big business for the government, they are offenses that are not taken lightly by the courts. Even though behaviors like texting and driving and fatigued driving are more dangerous than DUI, you can expect the harshest punishments for DUI. For those who find themselves in this unfortunate situation, it’s important to remember that while what happened in the past can’t be changed, through rehabilitation and cooperation positive DUI stories are possible. When you appear in court for a DUI, the judge generally assesses your criminal history and the circumstances of the arrest to determine next steps....
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  • Drugs Do Not Hijack The Brain

    Posted on February 1, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin. Psy.D. Change happens slowly over time.  Gradually, habits develop and patterns of behavior establish routines.  Whether we are changing our eating habits, sleeping habits, work habits, love habits, or drinking habits, the change process is the same.  As behaviors develop into well-maintained patterns and habits, some self-regulatory control is compromised due to neurobiological adaptations – it’s harder to not add sugar to coffee for someone who always added sugar to coffee than it is for someone who only added sugar to coffee once.  Luckily, the brain of the coffee-sugar cross-fader has not been hijacked because drugs do not hijack the brain. Myth: Drugs Hijack the Brain Saying drugs hijack the brain is like filming a two year time lapse, then playing it back ...
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  • Staying Sober in a “Let’s Grab Drinks” Culture

    Posted on January 25, 2019
    By the team at Practical Recovery Separating libations from social situations in American culture is about as easy as separating hassle from air travel.  A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that alcohol consumption is on the rise in the United States, especially among women, older adults, ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.  Going out for drinks is such a staple of US culture that establishing a natural, rich, and fulfilling social life is a legitimate challenge for those who pass on the party scene.  For those who resist liquid luncheons, thirsty Thursdays, not-so-happy hours, and whiskey sours, it is important to have some ways of staying sober in a “let’s grab drinks” culture. People don’t drink for a variety o...
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  • 6 Exit Strategies for Uncomfortable Holiday Situations

    Posted on November 30, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. It’s the most wonderful time of year…  for some.  For others, the holidays present challenges.  Navigating difficult family members, work events, and beverage-laden holiday parties while successfully self-regulating or abstaining from alcohol can render celebratory festivities a skosh toilsome.  Here are some exit strategies to help navigate uncomfortable holiday situations. 1. Identify Your Reason to Leave Ahead of Time. You know Topher from marketing is going to hound you all night to have a drink (or 10) with him, and you know you don’t want to play Robin to Topher’s Batman in the tales of misadventure that the entire company laughs and cringes about on the Monday after the holiday party.  After the main events end you’re more likely to make a clean ge...
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  • The Best College Recovery Programs for Students in Every State

    Posted on November 28, 2018
    A collegiate recovery program can mean all the difference to a young person in recovery. Having a program like this available on campus means they do not have to choose between recovery and a higher education. It provides students with an avenue to stay committed to recovery, while focusing on school, and having a community of support in a setting where it’s stereotypically a place to overindulge in substances. We researched colleges across the country that understand this and have dedicated university resources to supporting students in recovery. This is far from all, but is a great showing of support for the recovery community in higher education. U.S. Universities with Recovery Programs for Students Alabama University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL - The Collegiate Recovery and...
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  • Recovery-a-la-Frank Sinatra: I Did It My Way 

    Posted on October 16, 2018
    Guest post by “Albert” For more years than I care to remember, I hit my head against the 12-step wall. I was that “chronic relapser,” and the guy who picked up a white chip every few weeks or months. I began to believe that I was one of those “unfortunates” who was “constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves” (perhaps the most grandiose, obnoxious and unhelpful words ever written in the English language). I even had a 12-step “fellow” once tell me, “You know Albert, I’m glad you come to these meetings. You’re such a good example of a bad example that you’re probably helping more newcomers than you realize.” OUCH! To say that I resented and even hated AA, NA and all the other “A’s” would be an understatement. I should probably say that the “God thing” was not my pro...
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