Very few articles about addiction have the seriousness and integrity to look past easy answers and simple narratives.
Nieman Reports recently published an article by Susan Stellin that is the best I’ve read in as long as I can remember.
The article addresses issues of evidence-based practices, research, journalistic bias toward the drama of addiction over the ordinariness of recovery, pessimism about recovery, corruption among treatment providers (medical and non-medical), and Derek Wolfe’s Healing Forest Project.
She closes with this comment from a reporter that’s been writing about addiction with a focus on her region:
That is perhaps the most important advice Ungar has for anyone newer to the beat: “Whenever anyone says, ‘This way is the best way,’ I’m skeptical of that. Having spent years covering addiction, I’ve seen people on all sides of the issue, so when I encounter someone who’s an evangelist for one type of treatment over another, I think as a reporter you have to step back and say, ‘This is not black and white.’ It’s a complicated issue with a lot of factors at play.”
I have my strongly held belief that everyone should be offered the same kind of care physicians with addiction get, but I also believe that they ought to have access to the legitimate treatment of their choice.