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Teaching Doctors How to Treat Addiction

In his letter in today’s New York Times, Odyssey House President Dr. Peter Provet comments on a recent article that discusses efforts by medical schools to increase physician training in addiction treatment.


To the Editor:

While addiction has been recognized as a brain disease for many years, it is reassuring to see the medical establishment embrace addiction research and treatment in its training institutions.Comparing substance use disorders to other chronic illnesses like diabetes and asthma is apposite, but doesn’t tell the whole story. A vital distinction exists between treatment and recovery.Treatment, whether residential or outpatient, is a discrete, time-limited experience. Recovery must be a lifelong process whereby individuals establish themselves within a community of their peers and together live out the principles learned in treatment.Recognizing this difference is essential when developing an educational model. It’s not continuing medical treatment that addicts need most, but a supportive recovery network to ensure their continued success once treatment is completed.


President and Chief Executive
Odyssey House
New York, July 12, 2011

Click here to read the original article, “Rethinking Addiction’s Roots, and Its Treatment” (July 11, 2011), on The New York Times website.

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