Our article last week that featured comments suggesting that treatment providers are missing an important opportunity to weigh in against next month's marijuana legalization initiatives received an initial response from a provider, but one with a different point of view from those quoted in the original article.
Here is what A. Tom Horvath, PhD, president of San Diego-based Practical Recovery and a leading voice for alternatives to 12-Step support, had to say in a communication to me at the end of the week:
“Legalizing substances will likely reduce problems overall, not increase them,” Horvath wrote. “Of course there will be individual exceptions. However, Europe and Portugal in particular have fewer substance problems than we do.”
Horvath continued, “As a treatment provider I wholeheartedly support decriminalization of all substances. Portugal leads the way, but several countries are not far behind. Their experiences have been convincing as far as I am concerned.”
Horvath sees internal conflict in treatment providers' thinking. “Much of American addiction treatment is caught in a contradiction: consider addiction as a disease, but support punishment of users as if they are criminals.”
We want to hear from other providers out there, especially in states considering marijuana ballot items this November. How prominent is this topic on your radar right now, and where do you stand on the issue? Send us your comments.