Understanding Why Addicts Are Not All Alike: Recognizing the Types and How Their Differences Affect Intervention and Treatment

Understanding Why Addicts Are Not All Alike: Recognizing the Types and How Their Differences Affect Intervention and Treatment

Understanding Why Addicts Are Not All Alike: Recognizing the Types and How Their Differences Affect Intervention and Treatment

Understanding Why Addicts Are Not All Alike: Recognizing the Types and How Their Differences Affect Intervention and Treatment

Synopsis

Professionals in the treatment of substance abuse have long recognized the dismal success rate in addressing this pervasive problem. A fresh view of addiction may offer long-sought answers. Intervention and treatment strategies can be made more effective, maintains veteran addiction educator and psychologist Gary L. Fisher, through identification of addict subtypes. That is the goal of Understanding Why Addicts Are Not All Alike: Recognizing the Types and How Their Differences Affect Intervention and Treatment.

The book provides an in-depth, research-based analysis of three specific subtypes of substance abusers: addicts who fit the disease model, addicts with antisocial personality disorder, and functional addicts- those who lead otherwise successful lives. Particular attention is paid to the latter two groups, which have not been adequately studied previously. Characteristics of the three subtypes are illustrated through case studies that clearly demonstrate how subtype impacts prevention, intervention, and treatment. Most important, the book recommends practical intervention and treatment strategies that will enable concerned parties to identify- and help- each of these distinct groups.

Excerpt

As an academic discipline, the field of alcohol and other drug addiction treatment is relatively young. The first treatment program that had some resemblance to the treatment programs we see today was developed by the Hazeldon Foundation in the 1940s and 1950s. There was not much of a research base for the development of this program and it was designed for alcoholics only. During the Vietnam War, there was a concern among the military and government administration officials about the number of returning soldiers addicted to heroin. A physician from Chicago, Dr. Jerry Jaffee, became involved in treating these veterans, primarily through methadone maintenance. Dr. Jaffee attracted residents who were interested in treating drug addicts and a specialty in addiction medicine occurred. As with most medical specialties, this also spurred academic research, in this case, in addiction. Dr. Jaffee became the nation’s first drug czar during the Nixon Administration. In 1993, he was an administrator in the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (part of the Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). By then, Jaffee had realized that the addiction treatment field would never apply the research findings coming out of colleges and universities unless the education and training for treatment providers was upgraded. Up to that time, nearly all drug and alcohol counselors were recovering individuals, and states required very little, if any, education and training. Because of a federal grant initiative (still going on today) that Jaffee started, training programs for addiction-treatment providers were started in colleges and universities across the country, at both . . .

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