[ExI] Aging out of addiction?

Henry Rivera hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu
Fri Oct 3 19:32:45 UTC 2014

As is noted in the comments in that page, I think the referenced study may be using "addiction" in a non-clinical way and may be referring to what used to be called "abuse" prior to DSM-5. My experience treating addiction and my review of the literature supports that addicts are vulnerable to relapse for the rest of their lives even after a period of abstinence. Many do recover and stop using. Despite the commentary on that page, providers are not hopeless about addiction. I think what is happening here is conflating use with abuse with dependence, especially with respect to illegal substances. Anyone with personal experience or with others who use substances knows that just because someone uses cocaine, for example, doesn't make them an addict. I have had way too many patients die from their addictions, and I have many patients who had had exceptional luck and are elderly addicts but are still alive. Addiction is progressive and is often fatal in my experience. Using "addiction" too loosely is a disservice to those who struggle with this issue. 

> On Oct 3, 2014, at 1:52 PM, Dan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/10/aging_out_of_ad.html
> So I wonder how many treatment programs are no better than homeopathy or doing nothing. (And, yah, a case can be made the last two are equivalent.;)
> Regards,
> Dan
>  My latest Kindle book, "Born With Teeth," can be previewed at:
> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N72FBA2
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