English Version

Foreword of the Book "Innovations in Addiction Treatment"

Foreword of the Book


Addiction is an enigma, with authorities in the fields of medicine, psychiatry, psychology, pharmacology, sociology, law, and religion each offering distinctive and often conflicting views on its nature and solution. Inter- and intra-professional debates flourish on whether addiction is a problem of body, mind, morals (character/values), spirit, or social environment. Institutions charged with the management of addiction often base their methods on one of these dimensions at the exclusion of others. We see, for example, a split between programs emphasizing the use of medications juxtaposed against programs emphasizing psychosocial approaches to treatment with further splits within these branches. As a result, what treatment one receives depends primarily upon the organizational door one enters rather than scientific consensus or personalized evaluation. 
Those with lived experience of addiction speak of addiction as a process of being possessed by a force over which they have no control—an all-consuming process that deforms all aspects of personal and interpersonal functioning. Regardless of how drug use may have begun, they disclose how all areas of their lives suffer wounds from addiction and that recovery entails healing the full spectrum of such effects. That understanding challenges narrow approaches to treatment and has spurred calls for more integrated models of addiction treatment that treat the whole person, the family, and one’s living environment.   
Internationally, pioneering programs have begun this integration process. The articles and interviews that follow provide an exemplary model of such integration drawn from the work of Mr. Hossein Dezhakam and the Congress 60 recovery community in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under Mr. Dezhakam’s leadership, Congress 60 has articulated a unique theoretical framework for understanding addiction (X Theory), pioneered a unique approach (DST method) of medication support during recovery initiation nested within a vibrant community of peer-based recovery support. Congress 60’s approach to addiction treatment addresses a broad spectrum of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of the tens of thousands of individuals and families that make up this recovery community. Within this model, one finds a unique approach to restoring normal physical functioning of the addicted individual at the same time he or she is involved in a dramatic reconstruction of personal identity and daily lifestyle. Also of note are quite remarkable achievements in the integration of smoking cessation, nutrition, exercise and athletic competition, the arts and music, and acts of community service into the very heart of addiction treatment. Readers seeking to build a recovery community organization will also be interested in Congress 60’s innovations in the screening, training, testing, certification, and supervision of peer recovery mentors.   
The articles and interviews included within this collection will acquaint readers with the history of Mr. Dezhakam and Congress 60 as well as an overview of its methods and evaluation efforts to date. Those interested in comprehensive models of addiction treatment and recovery support will find much to reflect upon in this collection. The following pages point to a future when addictions will be scientifically unraveled, effectively treated, and in which individuals and families receive sustained support across the long-term stages of addiction recovery. 
 William L. White, M.A.
Emeritus Senior Research Consultant, Chestnut Health Systems
Author, Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America


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