• Research Chemicals May Accelerate Psychedelic Treatment

    Posted on May 29, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Research chemicals are commonly associated with things like ‘the dark web,’ ‘silk road,’ ‘the amazon of drugs,’ and other, slightly shady and un-salubrious sectors of society.  However, research chemicals earn their family name because there are some actual scientific researchers investigating true therapeutic and clinical potential.  Recently, one such scientific researcher, Dr. Alan Kozilowski, a trained organic chemist from the University of Berkeley and Harvard, outlined his efforts to manufacture a compound that mirrors the effects of psilocybin.     Psilocybin is a compound best know for being the ‘magic’ in the mushroom.  Kozilowski was inspired by the significant, positive research findings for psilocybin and the treatment of various ...
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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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  • Understanding the SMART Recovery USA Position on Goals

    Posted on November 8, 2019
    by A. Thomas Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP As part of my celebration of SMART Recovery’s 25th Anniversary, this blog is devoted to considering the recently released SMART Recovery USA Position on Goals: “SMART Recovery is abstinence oriented. Our meetings and tools are designed to help participants stop problematic addictive behavior.” I offer the following interpretation of this position.  Isn’t all addictive behavior problematic? Addictive behaviors are normal human behaviors, including eating, sexuality, and connecting with others. For some individuals these behaviors become problematic. Involvement with pleasurable psychoactive substances or activities is also common, including with alcohol, caffeine, gambling, video games, and many others. For some individuals these involvements becom...
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  • MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Reduces Alcohol Relapse, New Study Shows

    Posted on August 23, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. When it comes to addiction treatment, it is well-known that the United States is embarrassingly and shamefully behind the rest of the industrialized world.  It is no surprise then that evidence for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy reducing alcohol relapse is coming out of the UK. We know MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was designated breakthrough status as a treatment for PTSD, and we know that trauma is at the etiological heart of most addictive behaviors (see Atkins, 2014, p.195). So it would naturally follow that if MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy helps treat the etiology of addiction, it will probably help treat addiction. Yet, the misinformed notion that all addicts are the same and can never touch mind-altering substances again (except of course for boat-loads...
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  • HBO’s Euphoria TV Show Misses Mark on Addiction

    Posted on August 9, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. HBO’s hit television series, Euphoria, pushed the envelope on many important topics, except one – addiction.  The show depicted a biracial romance between two women, one of whom was transgender. The show offered gritty, raw depictions of sexual assault, teenage substance use, physical and emotional abuse, and abortion.  When it comes to addiction, however, the show somehow missed the memo that there are no experimental studies that unequivocally demonstrate the effectiveness of traditional addiction treatment.  Euphoria pushed boundaries on a number of important social issues, but when it comes to addiction, the show succeeded only in being yet another example of mainstream media perpetuating the harmful messages that all addicts are the same and thus, all de...
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  • National Report says MAT is Frontline Defense in Opioid Epidemic

    Posted on May 24, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Despite unfounded resistance, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is increasingly considered the treatment of choice to combat what is commonly referred to as an opioid epidemic.  A report issued this week from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) solidifies MAT as a frontline defense in the opioid crisis and makes important points about how to increase the accessibility and effectiveness of MAT in the United States. Unsupported Restrictions on MAT Services Many cumbersome, unsupported restrictions remain in place that hinder MAT services in the United States.  The AATOD report states that MAT regulations like waiver policies, patient limits, restrictions on settings where medications are available, and others “are not s...
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  • Why You Should Get a Substance Use Assessment in a DUI Case

    Posted on February 28, 2019
    In 2017 there were over 1 million arrests for driving under the influence in the United States, and a number of incidents involved repeat offenders, injury, and fatalities. DUIs are not only big business for the government, they are offenses that are not taken lightly by the courts. Even though behaviors like texting and driving and fatigued driving are more dangerous than DUI, you can expect the harshest punishments for DUI. For those who find themselves in this unfortunate situation, it’s important to remember that while what happened in the past can’t be changed, through rehabilitation and cooperation positive DUI stories are possible. When you appear in court for a DUI, the judge generally assesses your criminal history and the circumstances of the arrest to determine next steps....
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  • Drugs Do Not Hijack The Brain

    Posted on February 1, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin. Psy.D. Change happens slowly over time.  Gradually, habits develop and patterns of behavior establish routines.  Whether we are changing our eating habits, sleeping habits, work habits, love habits, or drinking habits, the change process is the same.  As behaviors develop into well-maintained patterns and habits, some self-regulatory control is compromised due to neurobiological adaptations – it’s harder to not add sugar to coffee for someone who always added sugar to coffee than it is for someone who only added sugar to coffee once.  Luckily, the brain of the coffee-sugar cross-fader has not been hijacked because drugs do not hijack the brain. Myth: Drugs Hijack the Brain Saying drugs hijack the brain is like filming a two year time lapse, then playing it back ...
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  • Staying Sober in a “Let’s Grab Drinks” Culture

    Posted on January 25, 2019
    By the team at Practical Recovery Separating libations from social situations in American culture is about as easy as separating hassle from air travel.  A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that alcohol consumption is on the rise in the United States, especially among women, older adults, ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.  Going out for drinks is such a staple of US culture that establishing a natural, rich, and fulfilling social life is a legitimate challenge for those who pass on the party scene.  For those who resist liquid luncheons, thirsty Thursdays, not-so-happy hours, and whiskey sours, it is important to have some ways of staying sober in a “let’s grab drinks” culture. People don’t drink for a variety o...
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  • 6 Exit Strategies for Uncomfortable Holiday Situations

    Posted on November 30, 2018
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. It’s the most wonderful time of year…  for some.  For others, the holidays present challenges.  Navigating difficult family members, work events, and beverage-laden holiday parties while successfully self-regulating or abstaining from alcohol can render celebratory festivities a skosh toilsome.  Here are some exit strategies to help navigate uncomfortable holiday situations. 1. Identify Your Reason to Leave Ahead of Time. You know Topher from marketing is going to hound you all night to have a drink (or 10) with him, and you know you don’t want to play Robin to Topher’s Batman in the tales of misadventure that the entire company laughs and cringes about on the Monday after the holiday party.  After the main events end you’re more likely to make a clean ge...
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