• Mushroom Therapy Sublingual Strips: A Trip on a Strip

    Posted on August 21, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Few things scare big pharma like effective medicines people don’t have to take every day.  Many are familiar with the sardonic notion that there is no money in the cure.  The psychedelic treatment renaissance is arguably the biggest existential threat to big pharma’s decades-long chokehold on America’s addiction to psychotropic medications.  Patents on naturally occurring alkaloids are not permitted in the U.S., so for those looking to capitalize on the resurgence of effective plant medicines creative strategies must be employed.  Enter psilocybin sublingual strips.  A Toronto based company recently announced its efforts to develop a patentable delivery mechanism for the psychoactive compounds in magic mushrooms, namely, psilocybin and psilocyn.  Administ...
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  • Ending Drug Prohibition Could Unite Left & Right

    Posted on July 31, 2020
    By Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD We know prohibition doesn’t stop drug use, actually makes the use of drugs more dangerous, and helps increase profit margins for those who control the black market.  We know that humans locked in cages for possessing psychoactive compounds deemed dangerous by the government are disproportionately people of color.  We know the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the retail value of the illegal drug trade in 2005 alone to be $321 billion, nearly 1% of total global trade.  We know that people are hurting right now, that calls for social change are strong, that the economy is hurting, and that an efficiently functioning government helps in times of societal distress.  Ending drug prohibition is a concrete, achievable action step that would advance ...
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  • The Keys to Self-Regulation

    Posted on January 31, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. We know now through research, experience, and common sense that all so-called "addicts" are not the same, and that addiction is not an intractable, lifelong condition that cannot be overcome.  At the heart of addictive problems a compromised capacity for self-regulation is often found. Self-regulation is not a genetic trait that some inherit and some do not - it is a skill developed and nurtured largely by the environment.  An expertise in horticulture is not required to understand that lacking conditions are the most likely explanation for an underwhelming harvest. The good news is that self-regulation can be developed and refined at any stage of life, and there are concrete factors that help us improve our capacity for it. Underdeveloped self-regulatio...
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  • Jails, Institutions, and Death, pt. II

    Posted on December 13, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Earlier this year I wrote a piece arguing that 12-step programs are wrong when they claim that drug use invariably leads to jails, institutions, or death.  The piece generated a decent amount of dissenting responses (even more than most of the stuff I write!). Impassioned retorts proclaimed that I built a “straw man” argument by referring to drug use leading to jails, institutions, and death, and insisted that the 12-step programs only make the ominous claim about people in “active addiction.”  Inherent in the dissenting opinions is an implied agreement that the original article was correct in claiming that most substance use does not lead to jails, institutions, and death, so at least we agree on something. Now, let us narrow the focus from the fact that m...
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  • 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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