Skip to comments.Between Addiction and Abstinence
Posted on 05/09/2006 11:08:16 PM PDT by neverdem
A HUMILIATING accident. An apparent memory lapse. A sudden, emotional confession.
Representative Patrick Kennedy's car crash on Capitol Hill early Thursday and a news conference a day later had a familiar rhythm, especially for those who study addiction or know it firsthand.
Mr. Kennedy, a six-term Democrat from Rhode Island, said that his addiction was to prescription medication and that he planned to seek treatment at an addiction clinic, as he had done before.
"I struggle every day with this disease, as do millions of Americans," said Mr. Kennedy, who is 38.
But will a cure that apparently didn't take the first time be successful the second time around? Mr. Kennedy, for one, ruefully acknowledged how easy it was for him to backslide.
Mr. Kennedy is seeking treatment at a time when the entire field is undergoing a transformation. Once akin to exorcists, committed to casting out the demons altogether, those who work with addictive behavior of all kinds are now trying less dogmatic approaches ones that allow for moderate use as a bridge to abstinence.
A government-financed study of alcoholism released last week, the largest to date, suggests how deeply this "moderate use" idea has taken hold. The study found that the treatment produced "good clinical outcomes" in about three-quarters of the almost 1,400 heavy, chronic drinkers in the study. Some quit altogether; most, however, had moderated their drinking to 14 drinks a week or fewer for men, 11 or fewer for women.
"The fact is that these moderate measures are becoming more and more accepted in judging treatments," said Dr. Edward Nunes, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University.
Millions of recovering addicts and their families as well as counselors working in the trenches consider this approach to be foolhardy and immoral. Addicts are by...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
With the Ambien, I'll be surprised if Kennedy doesn't walk. IMHO, not only was he sleep-driving, he was probably sleep-drinking and can't remember nada just from the Ambien. But that's a side note.
As a practical matter, abstinence has worked more in theory than in practice since The Fatal Glass of Beer, but the powers that be can't admit that.
Klinton went to the coke dry-out clinic twice and Kennedy licks his tallywhacker every day. Could there be a connection? Enquiring mind.
Since when has any Kennedy had an addiction to abstinence?
"Some quit altogether; most, however, had moderated their drinking to 14 drinks a week or fewer for men, 11 or fewer for women."
Here's a persistent side effect: The lied a lot about how "few" drinks they had!!
Moderation may work for some, but for a true alcoholic or addict, the prescription should be NONE whatsoever.
But the recovery business is income generating. Many would gladly have their family or insurance pay for some bogus "moderation" treatment, because they want to KEEP ON DRINKING, until they change their mind for good.
One Thing They Aren't: Maternal Interesting, but it's most likely to be doomed to chat.
Estimated New Cancer Cases and Deaths by Sex for All Sites, US, 2006* A pdf file as an aside, this cancer table specifies location, not the different cell types, e.g. 4 different types of primary lung cancer and at least 6 different types of primary brain cancer, IIRC.
Don't forget the tax revenues. If smoking and drinking were banned the govt would lose billions.
In my own experience, I don't think that works. 14 a day perhaps.
Here we go again, ladies and gentlemen.
In the seventies, the Rand Corporation decided they could teach alcoholics how to drink in moderation. Which was the equivalent of saying they were going to teach sharks how to cuddle, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Tragically within 2 years time, the alcoholics involved in their study were either dead drunk or just plain dead.
I do not make light of this. During those same years -- courtesy of the world's most famous 12-step program -- my own sobriety was in it's infancy. I've had the great good fortune to remain continuously sober ever since. And I know countless other people who have discovered that there is life and happiness and success in sobriety.
Would I have been better off participating in the Rand study? I think we all know the answer to that.