BU Alumni Web

NYT Spotlights BU’s Novel Take on Addiction

BUMC introduces residency program in addiction medicine

Christine Pace, a physician at Boston University Medical Center, helps Derek Anderson manage his heroin addiction. Photo courtesy of Bryce Vickmark for the New York Times

Last month, the New York Times visited campus to report on BU’s progressive approach to treating afflictions like alcoholism and heroin addiction as a physical ailment worthy of its own specialty.

The New York Times

“The rethinking of addiction as a medical disease rather than a strictly psychological one began about 15 years ago, when researchers discovered through high-resonance imaging that drug addiction resulted in actual physical changes to the brain.

Armed with that understanding, ‘the management of folks with addiction becomes very much like the management of other chronic diseases, such as asthma, hypertension or diabetes,’ said Dr. Daniel Alford, who oversees the program at Boston University Medical Center. ‘It’s hard necessarily to cure people, but you can certainly manage the problem to the point where they are able to function’ through a combination of pharmaceuticals and therapy.” Read more...

Print: Print this Article


Email: Email this Article

The content of this field is not retained.

Enter multiple email addresses separated with commas.


On 25 August 2011 at 12:22 PM, Arnold Robbins MD (MED/BUSM) wrote:

I have many years of experience in addictions—perhaps 55—continuing into the present. I feel your approach is seriously off the mark and will result in many, many patients being in treatment forever, without true recovery. Addiction in almost all cases is a perfect example of a Biopsychosocial illness. It is NOT by any means a strictly biological one. Many patients recover from addiction without ANY medical interventions and completely on their own. Most don't however and need sophisticated , knowledgeable, wise, and experienced in life issues medical help.

I am astonished that in this day and age you would think of addictions as a medical illness like any other. This is a totally ill advised and harmful approach in my view.

Post Your Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Which is lightest? elephant, cat, moon, tissue

Persons who post comments are solely responsible for the content of their messages. Bostonia reserves the right to delete or edit messages.