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Keep Those Election-Year Hopes in Perspective

June 26, 2008
by Gary Enos
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This week I attended the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) conference in Orlando, and I congratulate the group and its conference partner the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) for building an informative meeting around the theme of organizational excellence. Word is that the two groups intend to collaborate on next year's SAAS conference as well, at a location to be determined. These "meeting marriages" are never easy, but probably more than a few road-weary travelers out there appreciated an occasion to leverage their learning opportunities. I'll use my next few postings to comment on various aspects of the conference. In trying to evaluate attendees' collective psyche, I consistently heard a sense of optimism that the addiction field stands at the edge of major change. In both session and hallway comments, that talk was intertwined with hopes pinned to a new presidential administration. And, truth be told, at most gatherings in this field those hopes have a decidedly blue tint. Yet that does give some reason for pause, regardless of one's political bent. After all, at a conference focusing on the low-cost, common-sense improvements that treatment agencies can adopt regardless of the prevailing political landscape, any discussion suggesting that some sort of rescue from the outside might be approaching can detract from the theme.



Despite the magnitude of addiction in this country, and around the world, it will only be a blip on the radar of Obama or McCain. The country is facing so many problems right now, but addiction is an epidemic that should be receiving more attention. Unfortunately, "stigma" keeps politicans from seeking true solutions, involving treatment.

Gary Enos


Gary Enos

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He also...

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