Committee first step in development of national public policy on addiction
One of Rogers Memorial Hospital’s medical directors was recently invited to speak to the National Academy of Sciences about addiction treatment and the way that providers like Rogers helps hundreds of people every year.
“It’s encouraging to see that our work in addiction treatment piqued the interest of thought leaders like those that make up the National Academy,” said Dr. Michael Miller, medical director of the Herrington Recovery Center, a residential center for treatment of substance use disorders at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. “People have begun to realize the benefits of working with addiction from the perspective of a debilitating illness, and not as a moral failing or personal weakness,” he said.
Miller traveled to Washington DC in October to meet with the National Academy’s committee on Science, Technology and Law, where he was asked to provide guidance on how to best frame the issue of addiction in today’s environment.
“Addiction is a fascinating condition,” Miller said; “it’s hard to understand what this condition is when you’ve never experienced an impairment of control or preoccupation with your next drink or your next drug.”
The number of people who are affected by addiction, including family members, friends, co-workers, supervisors, and the children of people with addiction is staggering, Miller said.
“That the National Academy is investigating addiction shows that some of the very brightest minds in American science, education and the law realize the importance of addiction treatment.”
The National Academy is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the public good.
With the committee’s recommendation, the National Academy may move forward with seeking funding to develop formal studies and statements on addiction.
“If the National Academy were to write a report on alcohol and drug addiction, it could really have a major impact on how our nation approaches this problem,” said Miller.
Earlier this year, The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) released a new definition of addiction that describes addiction as a chronic, and debilitating illness of the brain related to dysfunction in the brain’s reward, motivation and memory centers leading to the use of substances as a means of pursuing reward and relief.
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