Quality & Science

Editorial Comment 3/23/2021: Doctors As Communicators

by Editor-in-Chief: Dr. William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM | March 22, 2021

The Washington Monthly item at the end of this week’s issue deserves some contemplation. The notion that our stress on addiction as a “… brain disease” may actually be counterproductive, is itself counterintuitive.   And yet it is less so if you consider addiction to be the outcome of multiple forces and conditions.  It is surely the case that increasingly effective medication aids in recovery; and equally, that recovery is more than a replenishment of some neurotransmitters, and inhibition of others.  Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus, ch.3) would have us understand that cooperation is requisite to effect change in human behavior.  So also would most who belong to community recovery programs, lead psychotherapy seminars, and the like.

So, speaking of effecting change:  This week is the Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference (AMAC), or “Hill Day”, a project begun by ASAM and which now includes ACMT, ACAAM, and AOAAM in an effort to converse directly with national lawmakers in support of addiction treatment initiatives.

As you will see from the Advocacy page, this is a year-round endeavor.  Please see if there is a place for you with ASAM Advocacy  and apply for inclusion. 

I was about to say, “Ask your doctor if Advocacy for addiction treatment is right for you.”  But I won’t.

- Editor-in-Chief: Dr. William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM