• 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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  • Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in California

    Posted on April 4, 2019
    The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is hosting its 17th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 27th, 2019 from 10AM - 2PM. National Prescription Drug-Take Back Day is a nationwide event that aims to provide a safe, anonymous, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while simultaneously informing the general public about the potential for medication abuse. If it is time to clean out your medicine cabinet and you want to take part in reducing the risk of prescription abuse, consider visiting one of the San Diego Take-Back Day locations mentioned below. Some of the major risks associated with improper disposal of prescription drugs include, but are not limited to: Medications that are unused, expired, or lost...
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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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  • Scientists Say James Bond is a Drunk…  They’re Wrong.

    Posted on December 14, 2018
    By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. By now most are accustomed to so-called addiction experts purporting hair-brained ideas about substance use.  Examples of hair-brained ideas from addiction experts include but most certainly are not limited to: don’t give an alcoholic drugs, once an addict always an addict, addicts are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves, there’s only one way to recover…   and the list goes on ad nauseam.  This week addiction experts from down under pushed a click-bait claim, based on "scientific analysis" of all James Bond films, that the man with a golden gun’s alcohol intake is so severe that he might not die another day.  In the spirit of challenging the litany of misinformation about addiction, let us look closely at the claim from Aussie experts...
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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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  • Naloxone: Everything You Need to Know

    Posted on October 30, 2018
    by Cheri Harkleroad Naloxone: Everything You Need to Know This guide offers all the essential information about naloxone - the lifesaving antidote for opioid overdose. The information here is NOT a substitute for medical advice - it is intended to serve as a general guide to increase overall awareness of naloxone. ALWAYS seek information from your doctor or pharmacist. According to the CDC there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016, 42,249 of these deaths (66%) involved some type of opioid, including heroin." - Center for Disease Control Knowing how to use naloxone to reverse an overdose could mean the difference between life and death. By now most people have heard about naloxone, even if they're not quite sure what it is. Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) has be...
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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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  • SAMHSA Stance on Fentanyl Strips Merits Discussion

    Posted on October 11, 2018
    By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Fentanyl Strips: A False Sense of Accomplishment? Accidental overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl continue to rise.  Recently in San Diego, people overdosed on cocaine cut with fentanyl. Because fentanyl is cheap and potent, there is more money to be made if popular products like cocaine and xanax are cut with it. The temptation for the cartel and other black market kingpins to cut product with ultra cheap, ultra potent fentanyl is too much to resist. With popular drugs increasingly cut with fentanyl, and the inevitability that people will seek out substances like cocaine and xanax, it would make sense that fentanyl test strips are easily accessible for people to test products before ingestion to prevent overdose deaths.  However, the Substance Abuse and M...
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  • Person-First Language in Addiction Treatment is Long Overdue

    Posted on October 5, 2018
    By Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Mental health professions are big on person-first language, and rightly so.  Defining people by their problems is widely agreed upon to be below the standard of care.  People are much more than their diagnoses, and thus, mental health professions now routinely opt for descriptions like, ‘a person with schizophrenia’ rather than, ‘a schizophrenic,’ or ‘a person with borderline personality’ rather than ‘a borderline.’  As sensitivity to mental health issues grew in recent years and person-first language became the standard of care, one notable category of diagnoses was conspicuously left behind: substance use disorders. Addiction Treatment and Double Standards While the frequency of hearing a psychologist say something like "he’s a schizophrenic" continues ...
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  • This Naked Mind: Interview with Annie Grace

    Posted on September 14, 2018
    To continue our Top Recovery Bloggers of 2018 series, this week's featured blogger is Annie Grace, who also authored the book This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness and Change Your Life. In addition to her book and blog, she continues to reach those on the recovery journey through her programs, workshops, and podcast. We're honored Annie took the time out of her busy schedule to let us interview her, which we've posted below (with permission). PR: Tell us a little about yourself and This Naked Mind AG: My name is Annie Grace and I wrote the book This Naked Mind. The book is truly unique in that it addresses (and changes) our subconscious beliefs about alcohol and when we can subconsciously let go of the beliefs we have, we are more easily able ...
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