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Substance Abuse Treatment Begins With Research

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An excerpt from the article, which is an interview with Dr. Mark Willenbring. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/science/mark-willenbring-addiction-substance-abuse-treatment.html?_r=0 

You can find further information about contacting Dr. Willenbring here: 


Dr. Willenbring says he believes this approach [AA and other 12-step programs] ignores the most recent research on the subject, a judgment he is well qualified to make. From 2004 to 2009, he was the director of treatment research at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and he oversaw dozens of studies proving the efficacy of medications and new behavioral therapies to treat drinking problems.

But he grew frustrated at the failure of most traditional rehabilitation facilities to take advantage of the findings.

“The taxpayers had paid for them,” he said of the studies, “but nobody was paying attention.”


Dr. Willenbring’s embrace of medications for those who struggle with addictions is anathema to many involved in traditional recovery programs. Only about 2 percent of Americans with alcohol-use disorder are ever prescribed anti-craving medications, according to John Bowersox, a National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism spokesman.


Dr. Willenbring is adamant that for many, such drugs are crucial for a safe recovery. 

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