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Applied Ethics in Mental Health CareAn Interdisciplinary Reader$
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Dominic A. Sisti, Arthur L. Caplan, and Hila Rimon-Greenspan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019682

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019682.001.0001

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Myths about the Treatment of Addiction

Myths about the Treatment of Addiction

Chapter:
(p.211) 14 Myths about the Treatment of Addiction
Source:
Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care
Author(s):

Charles P. O’Brien

A. Thomas McLellan

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262019682.003.0014

The authors argue that addictions are similar to other chronic disorders such as arthritis, hypertension, asthma, and diabetes. Addicting drugs produce changes in brain pathways that endure long after the person stops taking them. Further, the associated medical, social, and occupational difficulties that usually develop during the course of addiction do not disappear when the patient is detoxified. These protracted brain changes and the associated personal and social difficulties put the former addict at great risk of relapse. Treatments for addiction, therefore, should be regarded as being long term, and a “cure” is unlikely from a single course of treatment.

Keywords:   Addiction, Naltrexone, Chronic Disease

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