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  • Drug Overdoses on the Rise Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

    Posted on July 10, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD We know that close connections and a breadth of quality relationships are often at the heart of overcoming addictive problems.  The coronavirus and subsequent safety measures mandating isolation make close connections with others more challenging than ever.  It is no surprise then, amidst a pandemic forcing social isolation, that people are turning to substances to cope with disconnection from others.  Sadly, recent data from first responders and hospitals suggests that during social isolation restrictions overdoses increased 18% in March, 29% in April, and 42% in May.  The harrowing overdose statistics further evidence the notion that, to a large extent, the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection. Spiking alcohol sales during coronavir...
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  • Oregon Sets Stage to Legalize Mushroom Therapy for Addiction Treatment

    Posted on July 3, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Good news for people interested in effective treatment innovations, Oregon recently set the stage to legalize mushroom therapy for addiction.  The measure will be on the ballot for voters in the fall of 2020, and if passed, Oregon could be the first state to legally offer psilocybin treatment.  Years later, our first piece on mushroom therapy for addiction remains one of our most heavily trafficked editorials.  Thanks to the intrepid spirit of Oregonian voters, the days of jetting off to mycology retreat centers in paradisian locations with legal grey areas on drug policies and paying tens of thousands of dollars for psilocybin treatment may be coming to a close sooner than expected. Research continues to mount in support of mushroom therapy for addict...
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  • Addiction Prevention is About the Same as Recovery

    Posted on June 26, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. We spend ample time opining on how addiction treatment can be improved.  We don't talk as often about what helps prevent addictive problems in the first place.  Interestingly, what helps people overcome addictive problems is essentially the same as what helps prevent addictive problems.  In this article we’ll take a look at what helps prevent addiction, and of course, toss in a few sarcasm-laden critiques of some of the traditional prevention methods.   If only addiction prevention was as easy as trying to terrify children about how bad drugs are so they just say no.  DARE programs, just say no, scared straight, and hateful propaganda campaigns encouraging and promoting harmful addiction stigma awaken kids to the possibilities of drug use more than they ...
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  • Fortune Favors Adaptation Over Control, in Life & Addiction

    Posted on June 19, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Humans are masters of control.  We push a button for the exact temperature we want, the exact food we want, the exact gift we want, the exact date match we want, the exact everything we want.  God forbid the one-click purchase sends the grey headphones instead of the black ones I ordered, and that darned grubhub driver better not forget my side of special garlic sauce again!  Human efforts to bend nature to our will undoubtedly resulted in numerous advancements that help our survival.  However, when it comes to trying to bend people with addictive problems to the will of counselors and pre-fabricated rehab programs the results often backfire.  In both life and addiction the hyper-focus on control comes at the expense of developing and refining the profound ...
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  • We Can’t Feel Safe All The Time

    Posted on June 5, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D.   Feeling safe is a monumental component of mental health and well-being.  However, a focus on feeling safe all the time is a setup for failure because it is impossible to feel safe all the time.  Furthermore, feeling safe all the time would be detrimental in some ways.  Feeling safe is closely related to feeling comfortable, and there are clearly established health benefits that come from pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone.  Not to mention, there’s that pesky little truth buried in almost all absolute thinking - most absolutes contain fatal fissures at their core.  Efforts to ensure that people feel safe to be themselves, and safe to simply exist, is inarguably an important aspect of a healthy society that encourages individual differences ...
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  • I Can’t Help It, I Was Triggered: How the Language of Powerlessness Can Inhibit Recovery from Addiction

    Posted on May 22, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. We know that self-efficacy is vital to successful recovery from addictive problems.  We know that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are cornerstones of depression.  We know that underlying issues like depression tend to fuel addictive problems.  Yet, mainstream addiction treatment continues to promote language that encourages and reinforces feelings of helplessness and an external locus of control, two things that are consistently associated with poor outcomes in the treatment of most mental health concerns.  Here, we will set our targets upon one of the most widely used and rarely questioned terms in addiction that reinforces feelings of helplessness, ‘triggers.’     Encouraging an individual working to overcome addictive problems to ide...
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  • Simple Truths Still Not Accepted About Addiction: People Who Use Drugs Are Not Bad People

    Posted on May 15, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Drugs are bad, therefore, people who use drugs are bad, or so the faulty groupthink of our epoch goes.  For people who seek decency and efficacy in addiction treatment, obtaining results in the realm of positive change often feels like beating one’s head against a wall of misstatements, misinformation, and misanthropy.  First of all, if drugs were bad why are there truckloads of drugs in every hospital, grocery store, and bathroom medicine cabinet around the world?  Drugs are not bad, they are medicine, and people who take drugs are not bad, they are people in search of healing, relief, and/or growth. Many of the most brilliant minds and important figures throughout human history loved drugs.  If people who use drugs are bad, then it’s time to cut ti...
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  • APA Encourages Harm-Reduction & Telehealth During Pandemic

    Posted on April 24, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published an article offering advice from leading professionals on effectively treating and preventing addictive problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our own Dr. Horvath is quoted multiple times in the APA article, speaking about the value of telehealth during pandemic and the importance of fostering resilience through adversity.  The APA article’s endorsement of harm-reduction practices is also a subtle but revealing sign of the shifting landscape of addiction treatment.   For nearly a century the tyranny of abstinence dominated the zeitgeist of American thinking on treating addiction.  A major, national organization like the APA weaving in a concrete endorsement of harm-reduction as a v...
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  • Harm Reduction Tips from the Experts

    Posted on April 10, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Leading harm-reduction experts, April Smith and Kenneth Anderson, recently released an article outlining harm-reduction tips for safer drinking amidst shelter-in-place restrictions.  Many are choosing to abstain entirely, others, not so much.  Many, many industries are hit hard by the societal shutdowns, however, the adult beverage industry is not one of them.  Alcohol sales are up, way up, during the COVID-19 crisis.  Nothing like heroic doses of uncertainty and boredom to drive one to drink!  For those who may be struggling to adhere to their drinking goals, Smith & Anderson offer tips to help maximize drinking safety. Lack of structure is one of the biggest challenges many people face in the era of shelter-in-place.  With external structure no longe...
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  • Is “Vitamin No” the Best Self-Care Supplement?

    Posted on March 13, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Self-care is frequently pushed as a key to wellbeing.  In the realm of addictive problems, family members are encouraged to put ‘self-care’ first as a way of curbing over-involvement in the lives of someone with addictive problems.  People with addictive problems are encouraged to find healthier ways to practice self-care.  Therapists are trained to implement self-care to manage the stresses and pressures of clinical practice.  Few argue against the merits of taking care of oneself, but simple and effective techniques for how to practice self-care often leave much to be desired.  This article will explore what is perhaps the most effective and simple tactic of practicing self-care – a healthy dose of 'Vitamin-N,' aka, saying no. The simplicity of sayin...
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