The Los Angeles Times (9/23, Roan) reported that healthcare experts and scientists “are pushing for broad recognition of addiction as a disease and more medical approaches to therapy,” rather than a reliance on self-help programs and “medication-free” treatments. The government also “has announced the creation of new resources to help guide patients, families and doctors toward science-based addiction treatment.” Gil Kerlikowske, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and President Obama’s top advisor on drug policy, has sought to reframe addiction, noting it “is not a moral failing on the part of the individual. It’s a chronic disease of the brain that can be treated.” At the National Institute on Drug Abuse, chief Nora Volkow, MD, said there is more emphasis on vaccines for cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and nicotine, that will block the brain’s response to those drugs. The Times provides much more detail on developments in the field.
— “Treatment for addicts is starting to change, “Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2012.