New Generations and Cycles
Recently, celebrity overdoses once again made headlines. Heroin use is again on the rise, especially among younger adults. The marijuana debate begins anew with at least two states legalizing its use and others close behind. Didn’t we address these issues once before or maybe even twice before? If you have been in the addiction and behavioral science field as long as I have, you start to wonder if you are repeating old information. Are we? I don’t think so; it is never old for the audience that is hearing it for the first time. It is never old when we continue to update information and introduce new ideas and techniques for treatment and recovery.
At times we need to remember that addiction is often a family cycle. At other times we need to remember that each generation over the past one hundred years and more has been challenged to overcome substance abuse problems and often the unwanted accompanying behavioral health problems as well. The topics in this issue of Counselor reflect the need to provide current and cutting-edge information. At the same time, it is built on the knowledge, research, and life experiences of those who walked here before. It is an ever-growing community.
I am especially pleased to welcome a new contributor to Counselor and this ever-growing community. Dr. Dennis C. Daley, who is a professor of psychiatry and social work at the University of Pittsburgh, is a prolific author of more than ten books on substance abuse, countless workbooks for treatment centers, numerous journal articles, and extensive research experience with clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of psychosocial, mediation, and combined treatments for substance abuse disorders. Dr. Daley joins Counselor as the author of a new column titled “Topics in Behavioral Health Care.”
In this edition of the magazine we have the second parts of two previously published articles. The article “Relating Clinical Assessment Consideration to EHR Meaningful Use, Part II” is the last of LaVerne Hanes-Stevens’ series on electronic health records. In addition, an article by Jerrold Pollak on cannabis use disorders and mental health is the second part in our “Cannabis Concerns” series, which began in the April issue of Counselor.
This issue also features the second article this year from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, which focuses on the research and data of Twelve Step involvement. Also, the DSM-5 has certainly contributed to many discussions and debates. Gerald Shulman’s article on the DSM-5 helps to clarify many changes as they relate to substance abuse disorders.
Finally, we are introduced to two new subjects for the addiction field. One is substance abuse in the elderly population—a growing concern in many treatment centers—and the other is an insightful comparison of cancer treatment to addiction treatment, authored by William White.
All of these articles indicate the diversity of related behavioral health issues to addiction. At the same time, they remind us that we are still talking about addiction, not by looking back in history, but by focusing on understanding what is coming and what we still need to learn.