Re: Different Addictions Need Different Treatments, NYT, 12/27/00. This is just another in series of hundreds or thousands of articles claiming such and such about addictions by some addiction "expert" without factual basis. Reflect on this: Until the correct paradigm is understood for any medical disease, treatment for that disease is pure conjecture, usually wrong, and yields variable, random, and conflicting results (as is currently the case for addictions). Dr. Tam is wrong not only because he has no scientific basis for his treatment recommendations, but also because the addiction paradigm on which his treatments are based is wrong. Reflect on this correct statement: If all and various addictions are but symptoms of one underlying disease of one part of the brain, a brain mechanism, treatment of this underlying disease will alleviate all its symptoms. In other words, the issue isn't whether a treatment fits an addiction, but rather whether a treatment fits the underlying disease that causes the addiction, a symptom. Addictions are currently misrepresented as diseases when, in reality, they are instead symptoms of an underlying disease. That the latter statement isn't appreciated to be the case for addictions has resulted in hundreds of ineffective or randomly successful treatments of addictions. A medical fact: If one treats a symptom of a disease, the symptom may or may not improve, but the disease continues inexorably. For example, if one treats metastatic lesions of a cancer and ignores the primary cancer, the specific lesions may temporarily improve (mislabeled treatment success) while the underlying cancer continues to kill the patient at some later time. This is the problem in addictions today. Because specific addictions are misperceived by "experts" as diseases rather than as symptoms of an underlying disease, misperceived because they are unaware of and even ignore information on the actual underlying disease, the underlying disease of Hypoism, we get articles like the one discussed in this letter. The result? Massive confusion, misinformation, mistreatments and wrong and damaging public policies concerning addictions. Failures are blamed on the patient rather than on the paradigm. Isn't this the situation today? What is occurring in addictions today is exactly the same as that which occurred in infectious diseases before bacteria (the mechanism) were discovered as causal of infections. It would be instructive for you to read and study the story of Ignaz Semmelweis who predicted the discovery of bacteria long before their actual discovery. The experts at the time (1840s) believed in the "Miasma" theory of suppurations (infections were mislabeled as pus instead of named after the specific bacteria) and because of this misbelief they prescribed superstitious and ineffective (randomly effective) treatments for them based on nonsensical premises. Those "experts" had the same kind of degrees and credentials as current addiction experts and were believed by a trusting and naive public and press, just like today. When bacteria were finally discovered, the whole infectious disease paradigm was flipped on its head, but not before untold millions of people were killed and maimed by the wrong paradigm. We are currently in the same paradigmatic quandary as were the infectious disease experts back then. Despite his correct paradigm, Semmelweis was unable to change treatments or policies for his dying patients because the "experts" and their supporters (including the media) ignored and obstructed his theory and its practical applications. History repeats itself only when we don't learn from it. Hey, wake up NY Times!
Re: A Time for Human Rights on Native Ground, NYT 12/29/00. An excellent Op-Ed article demonstrating the application of the agonic system of institutionalized racism available to prosecutors and the cooperation of ordinary people with it. Also well depicted was the author's transformation from an acquiescent Uncle Tom to an aware activist. The parallels to the drug war, addicts, and recovering Uncle Toms hiding out as non-addicts are striking and real. Addict genocide needs the same coverage as all other genocides. Please let your readers know there is an organization doing something about this genocide. The drug war and the attendant addict stigmatization, ostracism, criminalization, and dehumanization must be recognized as a true genocide before it will be ended.
Re: Philadelphia Mass Killings Are Believed Drug-Related, NYT, 12/30/00. Depending on your perspective, one can say these were drug related murders or, more realistically, gun related murders facilitated by the current drug and addiction paradigm which, by its anti-drug criminalization policies, perpetuates street drug sales, drug cartels, and social damage related to their profitable and competitive nature. Thinking has been so warped by current anti-drug propaganda that the headline seems to make sense when in all truth it makes none. These and similar horrible social consequences of the drug war disappear under Hypoism. At least, let's call a spade a spade and so people can make informed and unbiased decisions about drug policy.
Re: Who Is Fat? It Depends on Culture. Hey Natalie, look at peoples' brains not their culture. The headline should be, WHO IS FAT, DEPENDS ON THE BRAIN.
I thank Gov. Johnson and all people and groups like him who speak up against the drug war. They are ineffective and actually prolong the drug war, however, because they make their arguments within the wrong context, that of the current scientifically invalid drug use and addiction paradigm in which the drug war makes sense. Only by changing paradigms to Hypoism will it become obvious that the drug war makes things worse in direct proportion to how much its policies are used, just backwards from the way most people see it. The only real effect people like Gov. Johnson have is to increase polarization and steadfastness, not wisdom.
Erica Goode states the book, Mean Genes, is the first practical book using evolutionary psychology (EP) concepts. I beg to differ with her. My book, Hypoic's Handbook, subtitled “THE EVOLUTIONARY ORIGIN, GENETIC BLUEPRINT, AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL FOUNDATION OF ADDICTION: HYPOISM” predates Mean Genes by years. Hypoism, the disease causing all addictions, stems from evolutionary psychology and genetic diversity. Please read: Addiction, An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective at: http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/thehypoismaddictionhypothesis/
My book discusses the same EP issues as Mean Genes but also includes genetic diversity within its paradigm to show why different people respond to instinctive "choices" differently and ultimately why certain people even get addicted to them! For a more complete discussion on the EP of all instincts and the implications of the brain mechanism that evolved to modulate the use of these instincts and its genetic diversity outcomes, read Hypoic's Handbook by Dan F. Umanoff, M.D.
Re: From Addiction to Helping to Save Lives, NYT 1/4/01. I think what this man is doing is wonderful, but I'd like to remind you of your story, 2 Killed by Violence Counselor on Midtown Street, Police Say, NYT 12/16/00, where a so-called recovering spouse abuser working as a counselor in the same place he "recovered" eventually killed his ex-wife, her boyfriend, then himself, just the opposite of today's story. Prior to this episode you could have written the same kind of article about him entitled, "Recovered Spousal Abuser Helps Others." For over one hundred years faith-based and other addiction recoveries have generally failed to deal with addictions (5% of addicts recover) despite occasional but indefinite successes. The random successes are reported while the more common failures aren't. Thus, the danger of anecdotal reports. What your reporter misses about the various forms of recovery from addictions today, including faith-based, is that none of them is based on the physiology of the disease that causes addictions, a physiology that is essentially unknown today even by addiction "experts." Recoveries based on these unfounded methods are rather pseudorecoveries and relapse is quite common, frequently with lethal consequences. Anecdotes about such wonderful recoveries maintain the superstitious nature of addictions and addiction recovery and actually perpetuate the problems of addictions instead of reducing them much like stories about paralyzed people walking after visiting a "holy" relic because they misrepresent the disease and what its actual recovery entails and requires. Superstitious recovery (including psychiatric and medication-based) abounds in addictionology today and overall is not changing the face of addictions whatsoever. Or haven't you noticed? Anecdotal successes perpetuate this failure as well as the damage addictions cause as was evidenced by the spousal abuse story. For real and pervasive addiction recovery to occur, the addiction paradigm needs to be changed to one based on its actual neurobiology, Hypoism. This general principle is the basis of modern medicine and is necessary for addictions, symptoms of a pathophysiologically-based disease called Hypoism, as well. Until this happens we will experience the reality many more damaging failures than successes despite the feel good but unrealistic nature of the misperceived and misrepresented successes.
Re: Malpractice Case Begins for Specialist in Addiction Who Used a Cold-Turkey Method, NYT 1/4/01. This story raises many issues about addictions and addictionology. Two are: What is addiction? What is an addiction "specialist?" That he would advertize ultrarapid detox as a "cure" for heroin addiction, with the support of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, shows they know nothing about addictions and are, additionally, liars. I've previously written you about this. See: http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/sixdeadheroinaddictsenough103199/ This is the sad fact about addictionology and addiction specialists today. They don't know what addictions are nor how to treat them. But they say they do and we blindly believe them. The problem this story describes is not just that this particular doctor's methods were inappropriate but rather that the entire field of addictionology is based on the wrong premises. Thus, so-called treatments and "cures" of addictions are fraudulent in general. If this kind of nonsense happened to a leukemic or diabetic there would have been massive outcries long ago and the doctor would be long gone, but because it happened to heroin addicts, and justified by, "desperate measures are required for desperate situations," the public, including the unorganized addict community, not only could care less, but probably agrees with the doctor! Addictionology and the public's attitudes about addictions are upside down from reality and will continue that way until we demand theoretical and practical accountability from the entire field.
Re: N.Y. Surgeon Cleared of Treating Wrong Side of Brain, NYT 1/5/01. "A neurosurgeon accused by the New York State Department of Health of operating on the wrong side of a patient's brain and committing other serious medical errors has been cleared on nearly every count and has had his license restored. The committee did find the doctor grossly negligent — the highest level of misconduct — in his care of one of the 11 patients whose cases were reviewed. In that case, the doctor was found to have operated on the wrong discs of the patient's spine. In its findings, the committee concluded that this error was "no different in substance or egregiousness to operating on the wrong limb."
I was addicted 1986-1991, never injured a patient, was ever accused of injuring a patient, in fact had an exemplary practice admitted by everyone, yet had my license revoked in 1992 and not restored nine years later despite being in good documented recovery for nine years with the full advocacy of and promise to cooperate in the future with the NYS Committee on Physician Health (CPH). Reason: Too dangerous to practice.
New York State Health and Education departments need to protect the public from dangerous doctors, but the "discretion" given to them by the legislature and courts amounts to an absolute arbitrary power unrelated to reality. Moreover, they are for all practical purposes immune from both the NYS Human Rights Act and the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act because of how the NYS Legislature organized these agencies.
Clearly, their definition of the term "dangerous to the public" needs to be redefined and objectified to put an end to their obvious discrimination against recovering physicians. The NYS Medical Society and the CPH are too frightened and intimidated to object to this abuse of discretion and power. The public and the recovery community needs to be made aware of this despicable and bigoted behavior by the agencies they believe are helping them so that the discrimination can end.
Re: Kill All Bacteria, NYT, 1/7/01. Doesn't this phrase remind you of another current policy that is causing more problems than it is curing? Yes. The drug war is motivated by the same kind of "control at all costs" thinking derived from a similarly incorrect theoretical paradigm. In this case it concerns bacteria rather than drugs. In fact, I use the parallel between these two problems in my book, Hypoic's Handbook, to highlight the principle, "If you have the paradigm wrong, your policies will be wrong as well," to show that we need new paradigms for both issues and especially for drugs and addictions. Might may make right but be wrong anyway. Ignorance of nature, be it human or bacterial, will always have disastrous consequences. Reality will always win over ignorant belief. Why not get smart and avoid these consequences as soon as possible? Because invalid and superstitious beliefs, "bacteria are bad/drugs are bad," take precedence among humans over smarts. So be it. Have it your way.
Re: Pappy and Poppy, NYT 1/7/01. If only Ms. Dowd new of what she speaks and of the unrecognized reality behind why she picked these two families for her article today. The Kennedys and Bushs are not as different as she thinks. The "Kennedy Curse" is the genetic disease of Hypoism which causes all addictions. (See: http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/13thekennedycurseorkennedyhypoism/)
George W. is a "recovering" alcoholic, a hypoic as well. Hypoism has many faces because the personalities of the hypoics originate from a different and independent genetic neurobiological basis (temperaments) than does the Hypoism, the basis for all addictions. In fact, to complete the modern trilogy, Clinton, sex addiction, is hypoic too. These are three hypoic presidents from three hypoic families looking quite different from each other and from other more "typical" addict/hypoics (the bowery bum, the overdosing heroin addict, the bankrupt gambler, the pedophil, etc.) as portrayed by our ignorant and biased society. It is Ms. Dowd's ignorance of human behavior derived from our addiction scientist's similar ignorance that both misinforms the public about and misinterprets current events. Thus, we will have four more years of misunderstood behavior, decisions, and policy under a hypoic presidency, who may be dry but is clearly not in recovery, which will yet again make no sense within the context of the psychological/behavioral paradigm we blindly follow.
Re: Public Lives: A Drug Warrior Who Would Rather Treat Than Fight, NYT, 1/8/01. Who is Christopher Wren kidding? McCaffrey has done more as an individual to hurt addicts than anyone I know of except Leshner, head of NIDA, the one responsible for the so-called science behind the drug war genocide. McCaffrey's war on drugs and anti-drug and anti-addict rhetoric has perpetuated the hateful attitudes among the populous and damaging policies so hurtful to all addicts. He still calls addiction, a recognized symptom of a medical disease, "drug abuse," "morally repulsive," "shameful," and "disgusting." How can addiction be equated to cancer or other morally and emotionally neutral diseases in this light? McCaffrey's continued refusal to support needle exchange and use of the criminal justice system as the hammer on the anvil of "coerced treatment" demonstrate his true hateful attitude against addicts. He has twisted statistics and the drug war reality over his term as drug czar is such a way as to call his testimonies to the public outright lies, not unlike the lies told to the public about the Vietnam War where he was so thoroughly decorated leading American boys to their deaths in droves. Using the 1997 drug use numbers to compare with today's numbers to show a reduction in drug use as a result of his efforts is a statistical lie comparable to the warped IQ statistics used in "The Bell Curve." Moreover, his ties to and support of the stigmatizing and hateful advertising campaign run by the Partnership for a Drug Free America are no less bigoted than the propaganda of the KKK or the Third Reich. McCaffrey has been excellent at one thing during his tenure, pandering to the ignorance and superstition of the country, and making the drug war as believable and acceptable as Joe MacCarthy's anti-communist war of the 50's. Even Mr. Wren and the Times have irresponsibly gotten sucked in by McCaffrey's manipulative rhetoric. Heil McCaffrey !!
Re: Treating Mental Illness, Letters NYT 1/11/01. I'm for treating untreated mental illness, if psychiatrists truly know how to do this, but to state addictions are caused by untreated mental illness as Dr. Gonzales does in the letter as a reason to increase funding for mental illness treatment is a lie and only adds to the stigma of addictions. There is no valid evidence whatsoever that "treating" mental illness prevents addictions or that mental illness of any kind causes addictions. Mental illness and addictions are separate issues with separate etiologies and require separate recoveries. With the correct biological understanding of both, neither mental illness nor addictions deserves stigma and both deserve realistic policies, but to scare and manipulate the public into treating the mentally ill under the fear of producing more addicts if they don't is unconscionable, deeply ignorant of the etiology of addictions, and serves no purpose but to misinform the public even further about both issues.
Re: Confidence to Reverse Life's Course, NYT, 1/13/01. This is another heartwarming story about an addict who finally got into recovery after essentially having his and many others' lives ruined by the wrong addiction paradigm that forces addicts to repeatedly and ineluctibly hit bottom before they have the opportunity to recover. Most don't end this way. The actual and true paradigm of addictions, Hypoism, leads to early, childhood, recovery from the disease itself, long before severe addictions even occur. As seemingly nice as they are, your heartwarming stories just perpetuate the damage caused by the incorrect paradigm and ensure more of the same, most of which don't end so nicely. Why keep doing this?
Re: Make Use of Science, letters, NYT 1/13/01. Of course science should be utilized by decision makers. The problem is that there is so much pseudoscience or voodoo science and pathological science mixed in with the valid science no one can discern the difference in order to use it. In my field, addictionology, the current "science based" drug use and addiction paradigm forced on us by NIDA is the basis of the drug war, criminalization of addictions and ineffective treatment, policies MacCaffrey and Leshner say are backed by valid science when in reality they are biased and invalid non-science. Who's going distinguish the two? Congress? NY Times? Time Magazine? The biased scientists who have been bought and paid for by the governmental grants? We need open hearings debating the "science" of addictions paneled by unbiased scientists unencumbered by governmental grants or other conflicts of interest to make these distinctions for us. Only then can we use SCIENCE to help us make the best policy decisions for our society.
Re: Pataki Presents Plan to Ease Laws on Drugs, NYT 1/18/01. I wish Pataki's suggested changes were going to help much. "It's a beginning," is a massive overstatement. The statement, "It's not being soft on crime. It's being smart on crime," shows the basis of the problem here. Drug addiction is seen as a willful misbehavior, and, thus, immoral, punishable, and criminal, just like heresy, witchcraft, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and alcoholism once were. A nonviolent and otherwise non-criminal drug addict like me is as much a felon as a diabetic whose sugar is too high or a leukemic in relapse. Do we put these disease victims in jail for treatment or force medications on them if they relapse? Instead of focusing on policy and treatment, both currently harmful and ineffective because they are based on the wrong premise of addiction theory and causation, we must focus on the real science behind addiction causation. Once we get that right, as presented in my timely but ignored book, effective and massive preemptive and early recovery will follow, the only true prevention possible for genetic diseases, exactly as it does for all real medical diseases when understood correctly, making criminalization of addictions not only completely unnecessary but UNTHINKABLE.
Re: Change Drug Laws, and See Crime Drop. letters, NYT 1/19/01. There's an major inconsistency in the letter from EDWARD H. JURITH, Acting Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy. His office not only supports criminalization of drug users but also supports the fraudulent and psuedoscience based addiction paradigm ideologically promoted by NIDA and Alan Leshner, its director, that results in the mistaken belief that society and the criminal justice system can in any way whatsoever control addictions. Make up your mind Mr. Jurith. The problem this country is having with drugs and addictions is due to willful ignorance and lies about their cause, not with finding the right policy for them! The correct addiction paradigm exists today, but is being ignored for ideological and moralistic reasons. When it is finally acknowledged, learned, and put into effect it will automatically lead to the correct policies without needing an office an national drug control policy. See any conflict of interest there?
Re: Exiting Job, Clinton Accepts Immunity Deal, NYT, 1/20/01. There's a serious and damaging hypocrisy occurring in this individualized immunity deal designed for the president. It will have long term damaging consequences to all addicts and the country as a whole. It concerns the differential treatment of different people for similar offenses. Clinton's sexcapades were a manifestation of his long standing sex addiction. He lied under oath to cover them up - a felony. He gets off with a slap on the wrist, losing his law license for five years, a license he was never going to use anyway. Other addicts, particularly drug addicts, end up in jail, have their lives and families ruined for nothing more than being addicts, no other "laws" broken, no lies under oath, and no damage to any other person. Clinton missed a great opportunity, the greatest thing he could have been remembered for, to change the face of addictions in this country by admitting his addiction, going into recovery, and helping to turn addictions into the symptoms of a neurobiological disease they are instead of maintaining the moralistic and psychological paradigm on which they stand today. Instead, he selfishly chose the redemption route and coped a plea that helps him and hurts all other addicts. Shame on Clinton for doing this and the country for accepting it. Of course, Bush, an addict as well, has the same opportunity. Will he make something of it or continue to hide behind his religious conversion as his way out of not admitting his addiction and identification with the millions of other addicts his administration will no doubt treat differentially as well?
Re: Looking Past the Reform of Drug Laws, NYT, 1/25/01. Unlike mental illness, criminals who happened to use drugs, and the drugs alcohol and pcp which cause their users to commit crimes, users of most illegal drugs aren't caused to commit crimes by the drug (or by the disease that causes addiction) itself. Instead, drug addicts commit crimes to obtain the money to obtain the drugs to which they're addicted. Thus, a distinction needs to be made between these two crime related behaviors. The former is caused by a mental disease, and the latter is caused by the expense of the drug caused by its PROHIBITION. The PROVE program in Switzerland showed that the latter disappears with decriminalization of heroin and cocaine. Yet, your biased and stigmatizing article fails to make this distinction, thus, perpetuating the public's fear that releasing addicts from jail will cause an epidemic of crime. This epidemic will only happen as long as PROHIBITION and criminalization of drug addiction is maintained. This mistaken policy is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Once the correct paradigm of drug addiction, Hypoism, is put into effect followed by the policies it will automatically engender, like the PROVE program, the latter variety of social consequences will no longer occur and the irrational public fear will disappear much as it has in Switzerland and other countries who use the disease concept of addiction and decriminalization to design public policy.
Re: Reforming Drug Laws, NYT letters, 1/25/01. Mitchell Rosenthal, M.D. says, "no one should be punished for using drugs," but drug users should be punished if they don't stop when we tell them to. Rosenthal's thinking disorder is typical of the addictionology community who don't understand addictions. This thinking problem results in treatment and policy problems for society. His suggestion is like saying a leukemic shouldn't be punished for getting leukemia but should be punished if he doesn't respond to the first attempts at inducing remission. In both cases we don't know what causes the disease and the recommended treatment is shooting in the dark, yet we feel free to blame and punish the victim. The Hypoism paradigm of addictions straightens out not just the cause but the recovery and policies, and despite its purely scientific basis is ignored while the admittedly wrong paradigms held by addictionologists and laymen determine treatment and policies. Does this make sense? Why else would addiction policies be such a mess?