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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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What about cross-addiction? So they quit marijuana but are they still drinking or doing some non-prescribed medications etc? What constitutes remission? Total abstinence? 1 or 2 uses? ongoing use without consequences?

more questions than answers if you ask me. nothing useful here for my daily treatment of addicts.

This research is welcomed. The perspective that addictions are progressive and relapsing has been the invariant mantra of many in the 12 step dominated treatment field with little serious research for far too long. At the same time one of the stated limitations of the study:

"Remission may have been temporary in some cases. Participants might have had relapses outside the scope of the study. They would count as individuals in remission when they actually should not. This could mean that the real rates of remission may be lower than what the data show."

demonstrates why this may be unconvincing to many and may be nothing more than a first step examining this. This is particularly so because self-reports about substance use can be very unreliable and often "change" over time, especially when treatment is initiated for reasons other than substance use.

As a provider of treatment services, it has been apparent to me that many people are able to reliably stop and not relapse, some with treatment, other without. Others are not and do seem to fit the model of a relapsing disorder. I have wondered if these are not two populations who are similar because of SUD histories.

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