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Robert J.Ackerman PhD
By any chance do you remember the New Year’s resolutions you made about a month go? I had to bring those up didn’t I? How are you doing with them? It seems each year we make promises to ourselves to change our behaviors. Supposedly over 88 percent of us make at least one resolution at the beginning of the year. Fear not, however, because only 20 percent of us can maintain their resolutions. Good, eighty percent of us can’t be wrong! Who started this resolutions stuff anyway? It seems that the tradition is about five thousand years old and can be traced to the ancient Babylonians. Even though different societies varied on their opinions of exactly what was the first day of the year, they agreed it was a good time to begin something new. This way if you messed up early, you could wait almost another year to try again. Sounds like addictive thinking to me. However, the idea was to forget the past and look only to the future by making resolutions. How about we forget that they made these things in the first place? For the one in five of you who made a New Year’s resolution and is still sticking with it, 80 percent of us are proud of you and we will wait until the next New Year to join you.


Before I go any further, I want to congratulate Mae Abraham who recently celebrated her fiftieth anniversary. Mae is a cofounder of Father Martin’s Ashley along with Father Martin. I have been blessed to call her a friend for the past thirty-five years. She truly has been one of the outstanding women in America over the past fifty years. Congratulations and thank you Mae. I also want to congratulate Dr. Claudia Black who recently was presented the 2014 Father Martin Award. Dr. Black’s contributions over the past thirty years to the alcohol and drug community are outstanding and the award is richly deserved.


As we begin another year I look forward to the continuing contributions of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (JSAT) for 2015. Also, I look forward to our regular contributing columnists and to the excellent contributions of others. Some of the special features for this year include a series on Impaired Professionals that will focus on physicians and attorneys, among other populations. In this particular issue we look forward to an article on spiritual recovery by Mary Faulkner. Also, we are starting the year with a special California Edition supported by the contributions from California authors and the support of many clinical professionals and organizations. 


Leading off this year is an article on smartphones used for recovery, which takes us as far into the future as Mark Sanders’s article titled “The Future of Addiction Treatment in America.” The first JSAT article of the year is by Andrew Quanbeck on scheduling processes in treatment centers. Finally, William L. White has an excellent interview with Dr. Joseph Westermeyer on his work in addiction psychiatry.


I look forward to another exciting year with Counselor and to making another New Year’s resolution—next year.
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Formerly Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort. Dr. Ackerman is a co-founder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and the Chair, Advisory Board of COUNSELOR: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals. He has published numerous articles and research findings and is best known for writing the first book in the United States on children of alcoholics. Twelve books later, many television appearances, and countless speaking engagements, he has become internationally known for his work with families and children of all ages. His books have been translated into thirteen languages.