Addiction the Enigma of Stigma?

by Cesar A. Fabiani MD
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Publisher: Xlibris US

Publication Date: January 15, 2018

ISBN: 9781514403747

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Substance use disorder is a legitimate medical disorder with its locus in the pleasure centers of the brain. People who have addictions frequently also have medical and psychiatric comorbidities that complicate their addictions. With perseverance, all of these challenging disorders can be prevented and treated. Prevention can be classified as primary, secondary, and tertiary. The sine qua non of treatment and prevention is the biopsychosocial model. Classification is crucial in science. As an example, the DSM-5 publication has been an important scientific achievement. In it, Substance- Related and Addictive Disorders can be diagnosed using the four Cs: craving, control (loss of), compulsion, and use despite negative consequences. Thanks to pharmacogenetics and epigenetics in the future, the high risk for different addictions can be clarified. Tragic cases of celebrities can be changed, and their triumphs celebrated instead of their deaths mourned from substance use disorders. Examples of tragic cases in the past are Ernest Hemingway, whose family also suffered five suicides (including Hemingway himself), and Eugene ONeill with three suicides in his family. On the other hand, Bob and Bill W., Betty Ford, and Robert Downey Jr. and Drew Barrymore all succeeded in their fights against addiction. As far as I know, Hemingway and ONeil were never told they had an alcohol use disorder and were never referred to AA. Although it is speculation, if both authors and their families were treated with lithium (used for mania first in Australia in 1949 and approved for the treatment of mood disorders in the United States in 1972) or, in the future, ketamine, their suicides could have been prevented. Bob Smith and Bill Watson, who experienced a spiritual transformation experience, were able to abstain from alcohol for the rest of their lives. Evidence-based studies can be used along with FDA-approved addiction medication as part of the biopsychosocial model.