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 […]


In Addiction, We Must Constantly Reassert That Research Beats Experience

October 9, 2016

A piece on The Influence last week by Patrick Hilsman, a member of this publication’s editorial team, strikingly recounted his experiences—both pleasurable and harrowing—with heroin, to which he was once addicted. He contrasted these personal experiences with some received wisdoms about heroin—though in doing so, he inserted some important disclaimers about different people experiencing phenomena […]


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

October 2, 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 diagnostic manual, redefined addiction to include gambling—American psychiatry’s first official […]


Addiction Is Always There – How To Keep From Drowning In It

August 22, 2016

We are recognizing that addiction is a regular part of life, and it scares the hell out of us. When I published Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky in 1975, we received catcalls from my fellow faculty members at the Harvard Business School: “Right, love can be addictive—har! har! har!” That idea is now part […]


WEBINAR: Drs. Stanton Peele and Tom Horvath Talking about Addiction for Kids and Young Adults – SMART Approaches

March 2, 2016

This is a wide-ranging talk about addiction and today’s youth and teens. Dr. Horvath, SMART’s President, interviews Dr. Stanton Peele on what is needed in society, in public policy, for parents, and for those in the caring and justice professions, to better help our young people. For young adults, we want to show you the […]