Donald Trump and Addictive Behaviors

April 19, 2017

When the addiction cycle characterizes dysfunctional human behavior. The Wall Street Journal has likened the President of the United States to an alcoholic, claiming that Trump clings to his lies “like a drunk to an empty gin bottle.” We tend today to avoid disparaging references to addiction, but in what sense is the addiction reference true? […]


The New Recovery

April 5, 2017

Recovery is about purpose and meaning in life, not “sobriety” and meetings. We have been sold a bill of goods by Big Recovery—AA, 12-step rehab, Hollywood, even public health. This is the strange myth that people enter “recovery” when they become sober—that is, they cease using this or that substance, or perhaps all substances. Let’s […]


The Solution to the Opioid Crisis

The Solution to the Opioid Crisis Everyone has a solution for the Opioid Epidemic. Heres a real one. Here’s what we must do to improve our addictive situation In 2016, the American Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, announced in a new report on addiction, as though he had just discovered the structure of DNA, “Addressing the […]


Trump Won’t Reduce the Ravages of Drug Addiction

Trump Won’t Reduce the Ravages of Drug Addiction His proposed recovery programs mean nothing while people are in despair. A strange thing happened when MSNBC’s  “All In” host Chris Hayes interviewed New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan about the unending growth in opioid-related deaths at which New Hampshire is an epicenter. As Democrat Hassan recited all of […]


Normalizing Drug Use

January 17, 2017

We have entered an era in which drug use is widespread, almost ubiquitous, and yet at the same it is viewed as unmanageable and uncontrollable. We need instead to accept and to regulate drug use. Several recent key writings in the popular and academic press point to the following developments: We are in a pharmacological era […]


The Good and the Bad of Trauma Theory in Addiction

January 10, 2017

Why the Life Process Program doesn’t focus on trauma—it doesn’t work! Trauma theory has come to dominate addiction practice.  It is commonplace to hear assertions that all addiction is due to trauma, or the converse—no one can escape the trauma in their lives.  Both of these statements are not true, as I will illustrate with […]


What Leading Critics Get Wrong About the Film, Toni Erdmann

January 8, 2017

Toni Erdmann is a newly released German film, nearly three hours long, about a father who tries, and succeeds, at convincing his daughter that her corporate life is bullshit.  The film is seen as a call to authenticity, rejecting corporate yea-saying and conformity.  It has been lauded in this role by such distinguished critics as […]


Five Ways People Are Coerced Into Rehab and AA

December 21, 2016

The myth is that 12-step programs and their associated treatment industry thrive simply because Americans love them. In fact, both are substantially built on and maintained by force. This contradiction necessitated the invention of the idea of denial. In my recent column on the essential similarities between the neurobiological version of the disease theory of […]


Why Critics Are Afraid to Admit That NIDA’s Addiction Model and AA Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

December 14, 2016

As our predestined fates would have it, several prominent books (including by authors as distinguished as Marc Lewis, Sally Satel and Johann Hari) have recently confronted the supposedly scientific neurobiological chronic brain disease theory of addiction. The theory, which is associated worldwide with Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), was […]


The Surgeon General’s Addiction Report Repeats Old Bromides—Here’s What He Ought to Be Telling Us

November 28, 2016

Our policies and public proclamations around addiction resemble a slow-motion, inevitable car crash. On November 17 a summit was convened in Los Angeles at which US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy sounded the latest alarm on addiction: Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. “Addressing the addiction crisis in America […]