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...
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 ...
Aug 23 2016

Addiction Treatment Should Be the Work of Liberation—But What Does Such a Model Look Like?

August 24th, 2016 All forms of psychopathology impair the freedom of the individual, but addiction* is a particularly intense form of slavery, argued psychoanalyst and addiction psychologist Dr. Jerome Levin. This in itself is not a particularly new insight; in fact, the word addiction is rooted in ...
May 19 2016

“Light That Fire”—How Drug User Unions Fight for Better Laws and Self-Defined Recovery

May 20th, 2016 In a small room at a health clinic in Greensboro, North Carolina, five people are gathered around a wide table beneath a whiteboard bearing inspirational slogans. An addiction recovery meeting, right? Well, kind of. “We’re a national drug user union,” a woman tells the newcomers aroun...
Mar 03 2016

Watch: Why This Mom Wants to Legalize Heroin Even Though It Killed Her Sons

The United States is not the only country struggling with overdose deaths—the UK has its fair share of prohibition-related problems as well. One mother is now speaking out against the country’s failed drug policies after she lost two of her sons to heroin overdoses, but her advocacy may not be...
Mar 03 2016

Five Important Ways LA County Will Keep Festival-Goers Safer This Summer

Los Angeles County officials have responded to festival-related drug deaths at Los Angeles’ HARD Summer Festival last year (and others across the country) by deciding on measures to prevent festival-related deaths in 2016. Notably, the LA County Board of Supervisors banned festivals from the county’...
Feb 25 2016

One Year on, Is Rural Indiana Really Tackling Its HIV Crisis?

February 25th, 2016 One year ago today, an HIV outbreak in Indiana prompted a frenzy of headlines in outlets across the country: More than 20 cases of HIV in southeastern Indiana had been identified, with the majority linked to injecting drug use. The opioid epidemic in the United States appeared to...