Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is Addiction Incurable?


A piece in the N.Y. Times , June 9, 2013 discusses Dr. Drew Pinsky, a television personality and doctor who treats addicts and helps in rehab. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/fashion/dr-drew-pinsky-physician-and-media-star.html) Here is what he says: addiction is not a curable condition. It is one of those endearing syllogisms that say, since I cannot cure it, it must be incurable. Therefore I don’t have to try. I just control it as best I can. And of course he has had some suicides among his rehab group. He says he wishes he could blame himself but alas it is not true. He is not to blame. He did his best. Sadly, that best is not good enough and derives from the notion that it is all in our heads, and if we can change our attitudes we can conquer it. Not cure it, mind you, just conquer it.

Of course he had suicides. His therapy was incomplete and ignored the crucial few months of life where deep depression gets its start. And therefore, yes, addiction can be cured…if we take away its generating sources. If we go deep into the brain and the unconscious. That is what cure means, tying symptoms to origins. Otherwise, we can never speak of cure. So long as we ignore the deep-lying causes there is no cure, and that is the inadvertent crime of Dr. Pinsky. No origins,6 never a cure. What are we curing? The causes. No more, no less. Otherwise, no matter what the therapeutic approach they are never curing.

It is strange to see in print that something cannot be cured; that means that they have the last word in theory and technique and it cannot be improved upon. He does not say, maybe there is someone around who knows how to cure but I don’t. For that he needs to survey the literature. We don’t keep our therapy hidden. It is published in books and scientific papers. He has to take the time and interest to search for answers. He does not say, maybe one day we can cure it. No. It cannot be cured.

The problem is that he and others who mean well have a slight arrogance about them to indicate that they know it cannot be cured. What a disservice to addicts in the country who need help and need to know there is a cure. Can he put himself and his therapy in question? Can he have a bit of self-doubt? Can he imagine anyone in the world doing something better than him? Evidently not. Is that arrogance? I think so. It is an arrogance that leaves those who suffer no way out. This is what rehab centers do, as well. No science, just a potpourri of unproved approaches with a hope for the best. But isn’t that arrogance on our part to think we know better? I don’t think so since I did put myself and my therapy in question years ago and decided to change. Also we do get down to origins and we do cure and we never make statements about not curing anyone.

Clearly, we don’t cure everyone but I believe that our therapy provides the platform for cure, something we have been honing for many decades with thousands of patients. Dr. Pinsky says he hopes he could take responsibility for the suicide of his rehab patients. I can help you doctor. You are responsible. Your lack of searching, even by inadvertence makes you able to claim responsibility. And you should because that is the first step toward cure-----toward finding a cure for yourself and your patients.

12 comments:

  1. too bad talking head sound bites on radio and television , and celebrity feedback, carry more weight with the public, than scholarly books and papers

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  2. Have you had suicides? Do you think one day there will be primal oriented inpatient hospital sort of care available for people in lots of pain regardless of the diagnosis/label?

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  3. Penicillin... does it exist or not? One question to answer in the name of science!

    "He is not to blame. He did his best." No he did not do his best! I am confident that he knows who you are but refuses to listen so he is to blame and that in a lawsuit!

    If he do not want to argue his position against what primal therapy presents and produces he is to blame for the consequences of the suffering of his patients!

    What is the question... I do not understand the problem... he's doing something he absolutely sholud not do... he knows that primal therapy exists... you are there... but still he continues to practice quackery!

    The reason for a legal process is to put primal therapy on the map so that no one... absolutely no one can freka and say we didn't know! They all should know!

    Do you know how many we would do 'happy'? Wake up... Primal therapy exists!

    Frank,

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  4. It is so sad that this man can think of himself as so caring when not caring if his patients fail to recover.

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  5. Media Star. There is the rub. The adulation of the crowd. Who is addicted here?

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  6. Totally off topic other than one can be addicted to a career.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/comedy/news/you-dont-have-to-be-psychotic-to-work-this-crowd-study-finds-comedians-are-more-inclined-to-suffer-mental-health-issues-9062672.html
    Making people laugh helps the person feel loved. Entertain a parent and one has to keep entertaining to keep the addiction of love going.

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  7. Hi Art ,
    As You know M.r. Freud rather died of cancer than to "treat" his addiction...
    And nevre ever came it to his mind (and for others..the " scientic" community...than
    tha cocain was an addictive poison.

    So we are at the need to define what addiction is and what (in the broadest sense ) is
    content of this deplorable? state .
    In the case of obviously dangerous substances it seems to be clear ... but if one drinks
    "socially" ,smokes (like the native indians did -on rare occasions ) or eats voraciously
    sugar containning foods , beverages , etc..Hecatoms of people suffer !! under this" harmless" substance!

    And the so called workaholics : my niece and her husband are broker in Berlin , and are able
    to drive 2 cars (worth 180 000 Euros!) and Think ...they "have" the burn-outsyndrome resp they could be called work?alcoholics .
    Needd they to be "cured" and to lose all their wealth thereby .

    Qintessence(mine) only the really SUFFERING need HELP and not the spoilt pseudo addicts and the like !!

    Yours emanuel

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  8. An email comment: "Art thanks for writing this.... I was a drug addict cured by you.... Thanks.

    FYI, the hospital in which Mr. Pinskey practices Las Encinas Hospital, has been under investigation for several patients that accidentally while in Detox.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/24/local/la-me-las-encinas-20110124
    "

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  9. Art--

    I would be very interested to read any studies that you have done on how the therapy has worked with addicts. I am one myself, currently in AA (which does seem to prevent me from 1. killing myself, 2. using drugs). I am of the thought that AA is more of a bandage that has to be redressed every so often and doesn't touch much on the root of the disorder. I'm not sure how it works, but most of the program is styled like cognitive behavioral therapy--where changing one's behavior is the goal. Confessional, making amends, that sort of thing. It would probably fail miserably if one wasn't surrounded by people with the same disorder all the time.

    I'm familiar with Dr. Pinsky's work and the patients that he has lost and I'm unsure how to feel about all of it. I've been to rehab twice (same place), which was mostly focused on the 12 Steps of AA or NA. I suppose I'm desensitized to all of it and fundamentally unfeeling to begin with. It would be wonderful to read some information specifically geared toward addictions (real application of primal therapy to addicted patients, what can be done to prevent relapse, etc.).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous: You can read my recent post on Philip Seymour Hoffman: http://cigognenews.blogspot.com/2014/02/philip-seymour-hoffman-is-dead.html

      Delete

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Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

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Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

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In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
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An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System


A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
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His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
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“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.
Editor