Jun 20 2017

All cold turkey everything – Quitting smoking can increase chance of sobriety

Almost any addiction treatment provider will tell you that a strong support system is key to finding success in recovery. And for many users, support comes 20 to a box, 200 to a carton. Smoking cigarettes has long been associated with substance abuse as studies have shown that people with substance ...
Nov 28 2016

Prejudice Kills: People Who Need Lifesaving Methadone Continue to Be Degraded and Blocked

November 28th, 2016 “Methadone is a tool of harm reduction, the system that controls methadone is a system of harm production.” – Peter Vanderkloot, methadone patient-advocate “Methadone made me a prisoner,” said Francine, a former patient of mine, who was on and off methadone for 10 years. “That’s ...
Oct 21 2016

Anyone Can Escape Addiction—But Fatalistic Views of Biology or Trauma Persuade People Otherwise

October 21st, 2016 Earlier this year, Maia Szalavitz, my fellow Influence columnist and an old comrade-in-arms, released her masterful book, Unbroken Brain, one that displays skills I only wish I had, and that I try to emulate. In it, she’s kind enough to praise my own Love and Addiction (1975, with...
Oct 05 2016

The Dramatic Conversion of Norway’s Health Minister to Drug Policy Reform Is a Remarkable Moment for All of Us Who Use Drugs

October 5th, 2016 “Yes, we love this country.” So begin the lyrics of the Norwegian national anthem. As a someone who is addicted to drugs, though, I have not felt much of this love from my country for as long as I can remember. My government has harassed, punished and chased me and the ...
Sep 30 2016

“Hey Mama!”—A Letter From a Daughter, Lost Because She Couldn’t Get the Right Help for Her Drug Problems

October 3rd, 2016 Editor’s note: The letter below, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity, was written by Elizabeth Elliot* to her mother in late 2010. Elizabeth was then in a halfway house in New Jersey, following a spell in state prison for drug-law violations. The return address on ...
Sep 29 2016

Seven Things We Must Understand About Addiction to Undo the Mistakes of the Past 40 Years

September 29th, 2016 When Archie Brodsky and I were writing Love and Addiction in the early 1970s, a medical resident told us, “Oh, we’ve established what addiction was long ago.” It turns out, that wasn’t true. In 2013, DSM-5, the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagno...