• 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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  • There is No Such Thing as an Addictive Personality

    Posted on March 15, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. The concentration of misinformation in the world of addiction is as dense as osmium.  One of the most well-known misconceptions in addiction is the idea of an addictive personality.  I hear references to someone with an addictive personality all the time from professionals and lay folk alike.  The idea of an addictive personality is reminiscent of an availability cascade, in that people talked about it long enough that it became “true.”  The reality, however, is that scientific evidence does not support the concept of an addictive personality. A Closer Look at the "Addictive Personality" Anti-social and depressive behavior frequently accompany addictive problems, but the keyword is behavior.  Behavior is not personality.  According to research, no persona...
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  • Jails, Institutions, and Death: Did 12-Step Programs Get it Wrong?

    Posted on February 8, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Bromides abound in traditional recovery circles, arguably none more common than the folklore fantasy that substance use invariably leads to jails, institutions, and death.   If threats, shaming, and fear mongering worked then the United States would be justifiably priggish in its approach to treating addiction.  Instead, after nearly a century of tyrannical abstinence fervor and frenetic consciousness oppression the United States remains the undisputed world champion of drug use.  It is inarguable fact that most people try drugs (86% try alcohol), and most who try drugs do not end up incarcerated, institutionalized, or dead from drug use.  When it comes to drug use inevitably resulting in jails, institutions, and death, did the 12-step program get it wrong?...
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  • Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for Addiction

    Posted on January 11, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Evidence continues to mount in support of safe, effective treatment assisted with psychedelics. States like Oregon, Colorado, and Washington are preparing to vote on the legalization of psilocybin in the near future, a psychedelic with a wide array of healing potentials. MDMA earned 'breakthrough status' from the FDA and is set to be the leading treatment for PTSD by 2021. However, quietly, and before the forerunners of psilocybin and MDMA, ketamine already emerged and is currently being implemented in safe, legal treatment across the United States. Ketamine's Place in the Treatment of Addiction Ketamine reliably and quickly alleviates severe depressive symptoms.  Many ER hospitals currently treat people who are actively suicidal with ketamine, and often ...
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  • Introducing AiME to the Team!

    Posted on November 2, 2018
    Artificial Intelligence for Addiction Treatment is Here Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate.  Like anything, excessive use and over-reliance on technology can lead to problems.  However, few would argue that smart phones improved our ability to connect with each other.  At Practical Recovery we strive to stay on the cutting edge of technology and the advancements that improve quality of care.  In keeping with our efforts to improve quality of care, we are proud to be one of the first providers of behavioral health services to incorporate artificial intelligence into treatment. Artificial Intelligence: The Cutting Edge of Mental Health Services Artificial intelligence for Mental Evaluation (AiME) is now an option for all clients at Practical Recovery.  AiME was developed b...
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