Today, I've been working on the business plan for Alltyr. I've also had to complete some documentation of patient visits this past week. It's been a good week for science-based treatment of addictions! Sacha Scoblick wrote a great interview with me on The Fix, which was picked up by Salon.com. Her posting generated a significant increase to this blog, as well as emails from suffering addicts who need help. I appreciate the interest. It is interesting that basing addiction treatment on scientific evidence is controversial. This occurs in other areas of medicine, for example: is it good to take statins for primary prevention of heart attacks? or should I get a mammogram? or should I get a PSA test for prostate cancer? Science is constantly evolving. The most disconcerting aspect to science is that it doesn't care about tradition, values, opinions, or perspectives. It says what it says. I admit that too often, scientists, the media, industry and/or advocacy groups exaggerate the impact of particular scientific findings. All of us have vested interests. But the health care consumer has to sort through the various claims and descriptions of effectiveness, treatment and comparative effectiveness. One of the missions of Alltyr is to provide unbiased information to the consumer, families, providers, payers and policy makers about what the science shows, what it negates, and what is unknown. It's not going to be easy to transform from a system based on a somewhat magical idea of transformative change to one based on the realities and limits of scientific understanding of addiction, to providing the best available care to everyone, everywhere, and to accepting the limitations of current treatment approaches. When was the last time you saw a walk/run for addiction RESEARCH? Too many people think we already have the answer to addiction, "if the addict will accept it," but the outcome studies tell us something else. We have to do better. The only to way to do better, to better serve addicts, their families, their employers, and society at large is to support more research in to the nature and treatment of addictions.
I want to thank all of you who have submitted comments and emails. We need to build a movement.