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Jan Edward Williams, MS, JD, LCADC
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Through this site, I offer free addictions information, a free blog open to anyone (only registration is required), and professional services based on my 37 years of experience as a licensed addictions counselor and 39 years of personal recovery. Payment for my Daily Addiction Recovery Tips is done through PayPal and is secure, and encrypted. Please contact me at 443-610-3569 or at with any questions or concerns about my services. As you can see by reading my blog posts, I favor a spiritually based approach to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, but recognize there are many paths to recovery and will support any rationally based approach to seeking abstinence. Out of respect for the Traditions of the 12 Step Programs, I strive to avoid any specific personal references to my membership in 12 Step Programs.

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Using Addictive Drugs to Treat Drug Addiction

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This topic was triggered by a recent study reviewing research literature from the sixties and seventies about use of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) to treat alcoholism (see

The pharmaceutical industry is constantly seeking to find a quick fix for addiction that involves taking a medication rather than doing the difficult work of addressing the physical, emotional/mental, and spiritual aspects of recovery. Thus, there is research in progress right now to find drugs (extended release stimulants) to use as maintenance treatments for cocaine and amphetamine addiction. In the past marijuana, ketamine (Special K), and LSD have been researched as treatments for alcoholism. And, of course, methadone and suboxone (buprenorphine and an opiate antagonist) are currently considered by some to be the treatment of choice  for prescription and street opiate addiction. I'll admit a bias up front regarding this topic. I have a problem with using drugs that themselves have addictive properties to treat addiction, such as use of methadone and suboxone that are taken by the addicted person instead of illicit or pharmaceutical opiates. I invite comments pro and con on this topic. Jan Williams, 03/11/2012.

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#1 Keith Burns 2012-03-16 06:10
I share your concern around addictive drugs as a form of treatment for addiction; it is not treatment. The terms used to describe these programmes: Harm Minimisation' 'Methadone Maintenance'clearly show that they are not treating addiction. Some will benefit from such regimes but the statistics do not indicate much success in providing a lasting longer-term recovery. Abstinence does not suit everyone but the success of 12-Step/CBT/EMDR/MIT etc. programmes speak for themselves. A recent Canadian study 'discovered' that prescribing Heroin to Heroin users was more 'cost effective' than Methadone but again they fell into the trap of calling this option 'treatment'. Since when did giving an addict more of his addictive drug constitute 'treatment'?
National policy makers appear to want to ignose the success of abstinence-based rehabs.

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