• 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...
    full story
  • Infantilizing Addiction

    Posted on July 12, 2018
    “Go to your room and calm down…  Wake up, breakfast is ready…  Are you gonna’ sleep all day?...  You can’t have candy in your room…  It’s 10 o’clock, lights out, it’s bedtime…” The Practice of Infantilizing Addiction The statements above are just a few of the endless parade of childish remarks that are hurled at grown adults constantly at rehabs everywhere.  I’ve seen airline pilots, engineers, physicians, and CEOs talked down to like they’re a junior high trouble maker almost as many times as I’ve heard cliché’s masquerade as treatment.  Women and men with children, careers, and a long and established history of responsible, productive contribution to society are treated no differently than a 19-year-old who smokes heroin in treatment to defy his parents and get back at them for rest...
    full story
  • Ibogaine Treatment for Addiction: What To Expect

    Posted on July 6, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Dr. Horvath and I, along with a team of colleagues, recently published an article on ibogaine treatment for addiction.  In the context of the psychedelic treatment renaissance, it is worth summarizing our findings to provide an overview of what one can expect when taking ibogaine. While much variation between individual experiences exists with all psychedelics, some consistent themes emerged in our study. Here, the themes from our study are organized into the hypothetical presentation that follows (any particular individual’s experience may differ drastically). Ibogaine Treatment: What to Expect Your ibogaine experience may begin with a buzzing.  The sound of a swarm of bees over your head or a motorcycle outside might clue you in to the journey that awai...
    full story
  • Sober Senorita: Interview with a Recovery Blogger

    Posted on July 2, 2018
    [caption id="attachment_11004" align="alignright" width="358"] Image Credit: Jesi Cason Photography[/caption] Next up in our top-blogger interview series is Kelly Fitzgerald, of Sober Senorita. We've been following Kelly's blog for a while now, maybe 2-3 years. Her personal and professional growth, as well as that of her blog, have been nothing short of inspiring. What started out in 2014 as a blog about Kelly's personal recovery journey, has since become a cornerstone resource for the online recovery community. With her new e-book, podcast, upcoming memoir by Passageway Press (2019), and her signature Bloom Club, Kelly's work has provided a foundation for healing, community, and growth. We were thrilled when Kelly agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to interview wi...
    full story
  • Avoidance is Addiction’s Best Friend

    Posted on June 29, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Avoidance and Fear Nothing feeds fear like avoidance.  Substance use itself often becomes problematic because it is such an effective method of short-term avoidance.  Eventually, the repetition compulsion of avoidance builds up so much unaddressed residual byproduct that the costs of continued avoidance outweigh the potential costs of facing what we fear.  The fulcrum of change and fear is the birthplace of courage.  Ultimately, whether it relates to addiction, career, love, health, anything that matters, fear keeps us stuck and change comes from honest confrontation with ourselves. Growth and change result from identifying and breaking patterns.  In order to identify and break our own patterns we must continuously return to honest self-reflection.  Knee-...
    full story
  • Canada Legalizes Cannabis

    Posted on June 22, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The abating cannabis prohibition was dealt a stifling blow this week as Canada became to first G7 nation to legalize the plant. President Trump recently said that he would back a bipartisan bill for federal cannabis legislation reform in the United States. The U.S. bill stops short of federal legalization, but it does protect state’s rights to determine their own laws about the plant. While the headline now is 'Canada Legalizes Cannabis,' it seems that a similar headline for the United States is cooking. Given President Trump’s support of cannabis reform and the legal precedent set by our northern neighbors, it is time to revisit the topic of legal cannabis and its implications for addiction and recovery. Benefits and Risks of Cannabis One of the most...
    full story
  • Moderation: Recovery’s Best Kept Secret

    Posted on June 15, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The greatest trick the puritanical tyranny of abstinence ever pulled was convincing the world that moderate drug use doesn’t exist.  For over a century addiction recovery, despite the facts, successfully fought and relegated moderate substance use to the shadows of quackery.  As is often the case, we only fight what we fear, and clearly an industry built on abstinence would have just cause to fear the truth of moderation’s viability.  However, after decades of devoted work that didn’t come without significant costs to professional reputations and quarterly profit margins, the efforts of addiction pioneers (see below) are, at long last, finally paying off.  Alcohol.org recently posted an article discussing alcohol moderation in an unbiased and straightforwar...
    full story
  • 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...
    full story
  • Changing Addictive Behavior: The Perils and Promise of Perfectionism

    Posted on June 1, 2018
    By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. For many, perfectionism is a guilty pleasure – we know it isn’t good for us but we can’t seem to let it go.  Well, difficulty in letting something go is almost always a sign of that thing being beneficial in some ways, and perfectionism is no different.  When it comes to changing addictive behavior, perfectionism is not only common, but often demanded.  People are routinely kicked out of treatment for not being perfect, or at least coerced into stepping up to a higher (more expensive) level of care.  Because perfectionism is demanded of people attempting to change addictive behavior, it might be worth exploring the concept a bit further. Perfectionism As a Measure of Success in Changing Addictive Behavior There is arguably no arena in which perfection...
    full story
  • Recovering from Recovery: An Interview with a Recovery Blogger

    Posted on May 30, 2018
    The online recovery community has exploded in the last decade with several resources, from apps to forums to blogs. These resources have become integral to the recovery process for millions of people affected by addiction. Over the next few months, we will be interviewing some of the top-rated recovery bloggers of 2018. These bloggers play a special role in the online recovery community. Not only do they give voice to those affected by addiction, they also provide a way for individuals to connect during their own recovery process. Our hats are off to the brave men and women who, by writing publicly, break the stigma of addiction, encourage unity amongst those affected by addiction, and provide a place for people to connect, inspire, and heal. Our first featured top recovery blogger i...
    full story