Contact: Dennis Tartaglia/Rebecca Janoff, 212-481-7000
For Immediate Release
ADDICTION TREATMENT: WHAT WORKS? DO WE USE “WHAT WORKS?”
New Book Features Provocative Essays About Drug Addiction and its Treatment
Baltimore, Md, December 5, 2007 – Does addiction treatment work? Is addiction the latest excuse for bad behavior? Is drug addiction really a disease or just a personal choice reflecting lack of self control? Can art help us to better understand addiction and recovery? These are just a few of the controversies addressed in a new book, Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the 21st Century, from The Johns Hopkins University Press. The book features more than two dozen essays by innovators in addiction research, treatment and policy development.
“While drug addiction accounts for one in five deaths, its treatment is a topic of intense debate and confusion,” says Jack E. Henningfield, PhD, a leading addiction expert who is co-editor of the book as well as a contributor. “For example, when the public sees celebrities’ repeat visits to rehab they may become cynical about whether treatment works. Many people also seek effective addiction treatment and never receive it – while some health professionals use a “one-size-fits-all” treatment approach that often fails. Our book has brought together some of the top experts in the field to address these and other perceptions, prejudices and challenges.”
Dr. Henningfield is Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology and Director of the Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Co-editor Patricia B. Santora, PhD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Deputy Director of the Innovators program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Co-editor Warren K. Bickel, PhD is the Wilbur D. Mills Chair of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention and Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
The book begins with a thought-provoking introduction by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, which sets the stage for many of the essays that follow. Offering nine “guideposts” on which we might focus our thinking on addiction treatment, he states that, “The solution to drug addiction won’t come until it is as easy to find treatment for drug addiction as it is to find addictive drugs. Our national philosophy should be as finely tuned to getting treatment as is the system for interdicting drug runners.” Dr. Koop – and other contributors to the book – direct readers’ attention to discussion of not just illegal drugs, but to tobacco, alcohol and addictive prescription medications.
“We conceived this book to help revolutionize and energize debate and discussion about what the treatment of drug addiction should look like,” the editors state in the preface. The chapters that follow add new thinking in a range of areas, and address the multiple dimensions of addiction including biomedical, behavioral, social, cultural and economic. The book features more than two dozen thought-provoking essays, including: “Is Addiction a Problem of Self-Control?” “In Praise of Stigma;” “Addiction, Recovery and Art;” and “Addiction and Pregnancy.” Topics covered range from addiction treatment in the criminal justice system to substance abuse screening in emergency medicine, addiction and HIV/AIDS, and the role of the Food and Drug Administration in speeding access to new treatments.
Powerful work from award-winning visual artists who have personal experience with substance abuse and addiction is featured throughout the book, as well as in a special full-color section. The artists provide insights into the human side of addiction, complementing the scientific discussions that surround their work. The book also features an essay on art and addiction by the book’s editors, as well as a first-person account by noted “outsider” artist Ray Materson, whose work is featured on the cover and in the book’s “gallery.” Materson’s artwork – needlepoint illustrations the size of postage stamps, made from sock thread -- first came to public attention while he was incarcerated on a drug-related conviction. Many of his pieces portray his struggles with addiction and recovery.
Innovators Combating Substance Abuse is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program’s mission is two-fold: to recognize individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to what is known about controlling and preventing substance abuse with an award of $300,000 to continue their efforts in addiction control; and to drive innovations in addiction control by extending and facilitating the innovators’ efforts through its National Program Office, which is part of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For more information, please visit www.InnovatorsAwards.org.
Disclosures: Dr. Henningfield also serves as Vice President for Research and Health Policy at the Pinney Associates consulting firm, for whom he has consulted with pharmaceutical companies on drug dependence treatments. He currently consults with GlaxoSmithKline on smoking cessation treatments. He is co-holder on a patent for a potential treatment for tobacco dependence. Dr. Bickel is a principal of HealthSim LLC, and works with Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners, a company that commercializes addiction medications.