More worrying, I am afraid of what it would do to the War On Drugs. Right now one of the rallying cries for the anti-Drug War movement is “treatment, not prison”. And although I haven’t looked seriously at the data for any drug besides alcohol. I think some data there are similar. There’s very good medication for drugs, for example methadone and suboxone for opiate abuse, but in terms of psychotherapy it’s mostly the same stuff you get for alcohol. Rehabs, whether they work or not, seem to serve an important sort of ritual function, where if you can send a drug abuser to a rehab you at least feel like something has been done. Deny people that ritual, and it might make prison the only politically acceptable option.


This is an excellent article. It's interesting to those in addiction research -- but more so, anyone reading health research studies should check this article just to see

-- the problems with published and republished studies.

-- the interpretations and misinterpretations of data

-- the way certain data is selected and other data ignored

-- the differences in subjects (for example, in an AA study are they voluntary attendees or court-ordered)

In addition, this piece is well-written and humorous. The author is impressive.

Regarding AA

As the author points out, if you want to quit drinking there are many ways to be successful. Anecdotally though, AA has been a life saver for a close friend of mine, but a lot was at stake and he really had to quit drinking.

posted by camarillobrillo: 1543 days ago