Addiction Blog

photo of bartender pouring alcohol into a row of shot glasses

Are Americans Drinking More Alcohol?

While much of the national discussion about substance abuse and addiction has been focused on the rising death tolls surrounding prescription opioids and heroin use, alcohol-induced deaths remain perched near the top. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the alcohol-induced death rate has increased by nearly 23 percent since 1999. It also revealed that more than 140,000 people die from excessive alcohol use in the U.S. each year. When accounting for deaths [...]

photo of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at recent republican debate talking about the problem of addiction in the U.S.

Jeb Bush Speaks On Daughter Noelle Bush’s Drug Addiction

Updated May 2021 With a lineage that consists of two U. S. presidents, a U.S. senator, two governors, the president of the major industrial manufacturer, and several successful businessmen, one would not expect to find a drug addict on any branch of the respected Bush family tree. However, Noelle Lucila Bush is an addict. Jeb Bush speaks on daughter Noelle Bush’s drug addiction to address the challenges that he and his family have encountered while coping with his daughter’s disease. [...]

young woman patient sitting on female therapist couch bonding during their session

Forming Therapeutic Alliances

Way back in 2000 it was my job to begin to develop internship relationships with local colleges and universities. Dr. Tammy Malloy has fully developed that program here at our South Florida behavioral healthcare center. It continues to be among the best examples of how treatment centers and universities can work together and how students can grow into professionals. The obvious way to begin relationships with schools offering Masters Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling, Social Work, [...]

photo of dice superimposed over a football to symbolize gambling

Don’t Gamble with Your Sobriety on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday brings the opportunity to combine two favorite pastimes: football and excessive drinking.The big game is rapidly approaching and plans are being made for which drinking game will be used. Will this be the year of, “Every time Peyton Manning says Omaha, take a shot?” Or, will it be “Take a swig every time Cam Newton poses for the camera?” No matter whether the Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers are running a play, many Super Bowl [...]

photo of people sitting and talking at AA-meeting group meeting

Let’s Stop Overselling 12-Step Recovery

A person recently asked me what I attribute long term recovery to. I immediately said. “Alcoholics Anonymous.” We, as professionals, or those of us who have earned admission to 12-step recovery, tend to spread the message that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is wonderful. We love it. You need to love it too. Are we setting people up by overselling 12-step recovery? I’ve heard patients say that we push it down people’s throats. Do we? Maybe we do. Is it really [...]

Pills and Marijuana

To Legalize or Not to Legalize: That Is the Question

There’s an argument, often made by libertarians, that all drugs should be legal. A person’s body is their own domain so what they do to it should be beyond government control. By and large, that sounds like a sound argument, I might agree. In this case, however, we have the opportunity to reflect on a time in our country’s past when all drugs were legal. Why Ignore History? Around the turn of the 19th century, all drugs in the United [...]

Old Baseball on Wood

Treating Seniors for Addictive Diseases: It’s a Whole New Ballgame

In 2013 the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) designated “seniors” to be a special population. Since that happened a number of quality treatment programs have attempted to enhance the services they provide to senior patients. In my professional experience, I have found that there is a lot to be considered when treating seniors for addictive diseases. To properly treat seniors for addiction, it takes a lot more than making a few adjustments to a rehab’s existing treatment program [...]

Calendar Pages and Dates

If Addiction is a Chronic Disease, We Need a Chronic Care Model to Treat It

I have a friend of mine who has a chronic disease: type 1 diabetes. He’s doing OK now, but he’s been hospitalized on two occasions in the twenty-five years that I’ve known him. After being hospitalized, he had a lot of outpatient appointments with his endocrinologist. He had frequent check-ups. While the frequency of the appointments seems to have slowed down, he still checks his blood sugar daily. My friend knows that he has to follow a daily plan [...]

Embarassed man with hands covering his face

Eliminating “Shame” From Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Introspection can lead a person to look at the pluses and minuses of life. It will cause a person to look at things that have been done well and things that could have been done better. It can bring about growth through change. That is the spirit with which this is being written. As addiction professionals, we have helped many people. Estimates are that we have helped up to 23.5 million people achieve long-term recovery. It’s hard to say exactly [...]


The Times They Are a-Changin’

The culture of recovery is changing. If you haven’t heard anybody say something like “My name is Michael and I’m in long-term recovery,” you will soon. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to see the documentary Anonymous People (Williams, 2012), see it soon. I first became aware of it when the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) gave it their 2014 Media Award. You can view it on Netflix or purchase it from Amazon. It’s only one of the [...]