Nearly three years have passed since I last used this space to issue a general call for your opinions, your topic ideas and, yes, even your gripes. And in today's world of communication, three years can feel like three generations. In fact, the last time I wrote on this subject in 2008, yours truly was the only blogger on a newly designed Addiction Professional website, and the Letters section on these pages remained the primary mechanism for reader feedback on an article.
A lot has changed for the better around here.
While I still blog and you still often want your article comments printed on magazine stock, our website (www.addictionpro.com) has become a vibrant source of reader commentary and exclusive article content. I want to address briefly a few developments I consider important not only in the effort to respond to how we all seek information today, but also to the goal of enhancing the relevance of our print magazine, still the cornerstone of our work.
In early February, our Addiction Professional's group on LinkedIn reached the 1,000-member mark. That might not constitute a world record, but if you go to our website and join in (you can join our other social media outlets there as well), you'll see that the group has become an active meeting place for problem-solving and debate. This all connects to what you see on these printed pages, as the most active dialogues often fuel the next highlighted feature article topic.
Some of you who haven't regularly visited the website might not realize that the text of each print issue of Addiction Professional is also posted on the site, around the same time your issue arrives in the mail. This allows us to publish comments on individual articles in a more timely fashion than what our print magazine's production schedule permits. A simple registration process (found at the end of each posted article) allows you to submit comments, questions for authors, etc., on any article that interests or inspires you.
The high volume of response we received to Steven Scanlan, MD's November/December 2010 column critical of buprenorphine as maintenance medicine (and the rebuttal from physicians that was printed in the January/February 2011 issue) convinced us to dig deeper on the evolving role of medications in addiction treatment and how clinicians are positioning themselves. Look for more on this subject in the May/June issue, and be sure to read the letters from readers that we've printed in this edition.
Finally, a word to all aspiring writers. The outlets for your clinical expertise or your point of view are now limitless. We now consider all unsolicited manuscripts we receive for either the print magazine or the website. You'll find particular advantages to each medium. If you believe you have a strong preference for one over the other, contact me before you submit your manuscript at (401) 353-1316 or email@example.com and we can talk about how to tailor your article accordingly.
Like the treatment advocate who wants all possible pathways to recovery to be open to clients, we don't steer you to only one vehicle for expressing yourself. We just want you to be involved in the discussion.
Gary A. Enos, Editor Addiction Professional 2011 March-April;9(2):6