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Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the Twenty-first Century

Mark S. Gold, MD, Reviewer; John Bailey, MD, Reviewer
JAMA. 2008;299(21):2570-2571. doi:10.1001/jama.299.21.2570.
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Although research has fueled amazing progress in the understanding of addiction over the past 2 decades, its effect on perception, practice, and policy has been modest and the disease of addiction remains mired in stigma, shame, and lack of public funding.1 Furthermore, there is not even a consensus on the definition of recovery from addiction.2 Neuroscience-based research has produced new and effective treatment modalities, but their implementation has been slow. Most physicians have had little formal training in addiction medicine, and few programs offer medical students a clerkship experience despite the prevalence of this disease and its enormous societal impact. Even addiction professionals are often in disagreement over appropriate treatment. Contributing to this may be the fact that the 2 avenues to advanced certification—the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the field of addiction psychiatry—have differing philosophies as well as separate examinations.


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