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 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...