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Lessons Learned from Working With Addictions

William White's thoughts from Slaying The Dragon

Shalom Coodin

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of Lessons Learned from Working With Addictions

“Addicts make numerous attempts at aborting active addiction ...
What works?
Lessons on Working With
Persons with Addictions:
Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize
Overselling Treatment

On Ambivalence

"What we are professionally responsible for is creating a milieu of opportunity, choice and hope.
“So what does this history tell us about how to conduct
one’s life in this most unusual of professions?
…With two centuries of accumulated knowledge and the best available treatments,
there still exists no cure for addiction, and only a minority of addicted clients ever achieve sustained recovery following our interventions in their lives.
There is no universally successful cure for addiction”
Respect yourself and your limits.
Respect the addicts and family members who seek your help.
(with a hopeful but healthy skepticism)
the emerging addiction science.
And respect the power of forces you cannot fully understand to be present in the treatment process.
"Above all,
recognize that what addiction professionals
have done for more than a century and a half ...
“The history of addiction
"…one of the constant rediscoveries in this history is that
espoused motivation to be drug free at the time of admission to treatment ...
"Motivation is increasingly being viewed,
“There has always been a propensity to oversell what treatment could achieve, both personally and socially...
"…With two centuries of accumulated knowledge
"There is no universally successful cure for addiction"
“It is always the last attempt that is judged to be successful when, in fact, what may have proved the crucial factor was...
Respect the struggles of those who have delivered the field into your hands.
... What happens with the opportunity is up to the addict and his or her god...
... We can own neither the addiction nor the recovery, only the clarity of the presented choice, the best clinical technology we can muster, and our faith in the potential for human rebirth.”
Learn More
Visit Bill White's website
... IS NOT a predictor of positive treatment outcome"
... time, experience, maturity...
... the sudden opening of some developmental window-of-opportunity for change, or the cumulative effect of numerous interventions."
from William L. White's
Slaying The Dragon
by Shalom Coodin

While such promises can help generate funding, they also create unrealistically high expectations of what treatment should achieve on a broad scale"
I think the lessons from those who have gone before
us are very simple ones."
but as something that emerges
out of the INTERACTION
of the client’s intimate social network,
NOT as something INSIDE the client,
the therapist
the broader treatment milieu."
and success and failure
are all too often measured
by a single intervention ...
rather than
combined or cumulative
... is to create a setting and an opening
in which the addicted ...
... can transform their identity and redefine every relationship in their lives, including their relationship with alcohol and other drugs."
as experienced by
America’s addicts
is a history of ambivalence"
and the best available treatments,
there still exists no cure for addiction,
and only a minority of addicted clients ever achieve sustained recovery following our interventions in their lives".
Putting it into Practice
In how to best translate the concepts in this Prezi into skills in the field there is no better place to start than to understand and use Motivational Interviewing.
If you don't already have Miller and Rollnick's book get it but also find others with whom you can practice your MI skills.
Shalom Coodin
"Addicts simultaneously want
- more than anything –
BOTH to maintain an
uninterrupted relationship
with their drug of choice
to break free of the drug…"
Full transcript