One problem with the current disease model of addiction is that it doesn’t actually result in treatments that approach addiction as a disease. It says, “Addiction is an incurable progressive disease over which you are powerless. Therefore you need a spiritual awakening… .” Nonsense. Since when does medical science believe we’re powerless over a disease?
JD brought us an article today about how B.C. is about to adopt an approach to addiction that seeks to actually bring medical protocols to the treatment of addiction, which is a step in the right direction. I don’t think the current disease model has been at all useful, but if you need to call it a real disease in order to quit with the faith healing, then I’m not going to stand in your way.
“If somebody is diagnosed with a chronic illness, then treat it in a preventive way, rather than in a crisis intervention way.”
Dr. Shao-Hua Lu, an addiction psychiatrist, who chaired the BCMA committee that produced the report, said the government’s move will help push acceptance and expansion of medical treatment for addiction.
“What B.C. has done is to become the first jurisdiction in Canada to formally recognize [addiction] under the chronic disease management program and formally recognize the role of medicine as an important component in the treatment of addiction,” he said.
Family care physicians are ideally placed to broach the subject of addiction and the need for treatment, said Gordon Harper of the Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health in Victoria.
“I really want to celebrate the role that primary care physicians have but they can’t take the person by the hand and walk them into their first AA meeting,” said Harper.
“Walking into your first AA meeting is the scariest thing you’ll ever do in your whole life.”