Addiction Quotes – What Experts Say About Addiction

Addiction Quotes – What Experts Say About Addiction

Table of Contents

Addiction Quotes about Research

Research is critical when it comes to helping those struggling with substance use disorder. Medical professionals must know what works and what doesn’t work.

Nora Volkow

Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She states, “Addiction is a complex disease of a complex brain; ignoring this fact will only hamper our efforts to find effective solutions through a comprehensive and systemic understanding of the underlying phenomena.”1

Due to our brain’s complexity, it can be harder to control impulses and emotions. The only way we can find effective treatments for addiction is through scientific research.

Jeanette M. Tetrault

Tetrault is an associate professor at Yale University. She is also the program director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship. Tetrault mainly focuses on taking care of patients struggling with addiction alongside all the different conditions that come with substance use. Tetrault states about their research program, “The designation of a program in addiction medicine under Dr. Fiellin’s leadership helps bring three areas of excellence in addiction medicine at Yale – research, education, and clinical care – under one entity.”2

Erik Jacobsen

Erik Jacobsen is a Danish pharmacologist well known for his work with the benefits of disulfiram on people who consume alcohol. His research helped lead to the discovery of the drug Antabuse, which became an amazing breakthrough in alcohol use disorder treatment. It was approved in the US in 1951, which is when it peaked at 180,000 prescriptions per year.3

Elvin Morton Jellinek

Jellinek is most famous for creating the Jellinek Curve, which is a U-shaped chart that gives a visual representation of the stages a person goes through while battling addiction. His research found that alcoholism was not due to a lack of willpower. Because of Jellinek’s studies, people can start to see how alcoholism is a progressive physiological disease. This research drastically changed the way alcoholism is treated.4

Vincent Dole

Vincent Dole was a pioneer in methadone maintenance in the treatment of heroin addiction. When he first began in the field of addiction, he stated that it was a “shame it was that there was none of the scientific thought in the field of addiction that I had encountered in my other researches. It didn’t have recognition as a scientific problem.”5

Marie Nyswander

Nyswander worked alongside Dr. Vincent Dole and Dr. May Jeanne Kreek to develop the use of methadone to treat heroin use disorder. Their work was one of the greatest milestones in the history of addiction research treatment. Methadone is now the most common medication used to treat addiction today.6

Addiction Quotes about Treatment

Many scientists and researchers have also spoken about substance use disorder treatment, regarding both the development and practice of it.

Bill Miller

Miller was one of the co-founders of the therapeutic process known as motivational interviewing. He developed it alongside Stephen Rollnick. This treatment helped change the way therapists thought about addiction, treatment, and how to go about change in patients.

Miller has stated, “People are the undisputed experts on themselves. No one has been with them longer or knows them better than they do themselves. In MI, the helper is a companion who typically does less than half of the talking.”7

Paul Molloy

Molloy is the owner of a recovery organization called Oxford House. They have over 2,000 recovery houses in the world. This nonprofit is ran by individuals that have struggled with substance use disorder and who live in the house.

When analyzing addiction treatment, Malloy states, “It has been suggested that relapse rates might decline precipitously if individuals who initiate recovery within the context of addiction treatment were afforded access to sustained monitoring, recovery support services and a post-treatment environment that is supportive of recovery maintenance.”8

Scott Teitelbaum

Teitelbaum has been working in the health care community for twenty years. He is the medical director of the Florida Recovery Center. By his guidance, he has become a leader in the evidence-based treatment of substance use disorder.

In his previous statements, Teitelbaum notes how he believes “Addiction is a lot like racism; progress is slow. The stigma is still there, but it’s becoming a wider-recognized problem. There’s this greater acceptance of mental health issues and addiction at a college and medical school level.”9

Sarah Wakeman

Wakeman is the medical director of the Substance Use Disorder Initiative. This group’s goal is to redesign care for people struggling with substance use disorder across the entire hospital system.

When talking about addiction treatment, Wakeman said, “Even now as we talk about addiction as being a public health issue, or this being an epidemic, or a crisis, we still lock people in prison for drug use. So, there’s a bit of a tension between how, I think, we want to act, and how we’ve historically acted. And there’s also this mismatch where we make it really easy for people to stay sick. You can get heroin 24X7; you can order it on your cell phone. It’s immediately available. There’s no wait time to get heroin. And yet, if you want to get into treatment, many people have no idea where to turn.”10

Joshua Lynch

Lynch is a doctor in Erie County. He created a program that works with treatment centers to make schedules for people struggling with opioid use disorder. Lynch formed this program because “It was happening over and over again…We were seeing the same people either overdose or come back to the ER…We start them on this medicine and get them feeling better within 30 minutes, then what? Where do they go?”11 His methods have had amazing success when helping people during the heroin epidemic.

Jacob Fiszman

Fiszman is a famous Polish chemist that invented naloxone. This drug has saved thousands of lives. It is primarily used by first responders.12 He invented the drug forty years before it was primarily used. Sadly, he passed away before realizing how beneficial it could be, and his son tragically succumbed to heroin overdose.

Addiction Quotes about Support Groups ​

One of the most significant factors in successful recovery is support groups. These communities of people help recovering addicts find other people who are going through recovery.

William Griffith Wilson

Wilson is one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. He developed the 12-step program that has saved millions of lives worldwide and led to support groups for all types of substance use disorders. Wilson dedicated his life to helping others that wanted to be sober. When speaking about recovery, Wilson stated, “Whether the family goes on a spiritual basis or not, the alcoholic member has to if he would recover. The others must be convinced of his new status beyond the shadow of a doubt. Seeing is believing to most families who have lived with a drinker.”13

Robert Holbrook Smith

Holbrook Smith was one of the co-founders of the 12-step program, alongside Wilson. He was a surgeon, and his role was not known to the public until after his death.14

Jean Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick founded the Women for Sobriety, which is a group that specifically addresses the needs of women. The group now has active meetings throughout several cities in the US.15

Addiction Quotes about Public Policy

For treatments to be successful, public policy is extremely important. A few well-known people have spoken out about it.

Tom McLellan

McLellan founded the Treatment Research Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to science-driven reform regarding treatment and policy when it comes to substance use disorder. He is also a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

McLellan states that “Today almost every drug and alcohol program are based on Wilson’s model (AA), despite a success rate below 10 percent and research suggesting that at least a fifth of programs make people worse. They take patients, and they harm them. It’s not that the 12-steps themselves are a problem. The problem is that the steps often support an outdated theory of addiction.”16

Carol McDaid

McDaid is one of the leading experts in addiction advocacy and mental health policies. She helped pass a bill that requires insurance companies to treat addiction, mental health issues, and physical health issues equally. She also started a peer-to-peer recovery community organization in Virginia.

When it comes to addiction, McDaid believes “Not only is prevention, treatment, recovery, and research underfunded in Washington, but the entire advocacy effort on addiction is much smaller and has fewer resources than other advocacy groups such as the prison and health insurance industries. Moreover, both public and private payers often ignore the growing costs of untreated addiction and fail to see the benefits of investing in quality addiction care and recovery.”17

Phillip Valentine

Valentine is the executive director at the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), a nonprofit research institute. This institute focuses on advancing addiction treatment and recovery.

Valentine has stated, “Our mission is to put a positive face on recovery through advocacy, education, and service, in order to end discrimination surrounding addiction and recovery, open new doors and remove barriers to recovery, and ensure that all people in recovery and people seeking recovery are treated with dignity and respect.18

Keith Humphreys

Humphreys is a scientist and professor that works on the neuroscience of clinical management of addiction. He aids British members of the Parliament and lawmakers in the US. Humphreys believes that “The people for whom public policy is the most important are those who are most vulnerable. If you are healthy and wealthy, it doesn’t matter much what the policy says, but if you are ill or poor or you have a hard life, it matters.”19

Addiction Quotes from Controversial Experts

Addiction can be a controversial topic, and several experts have shared their beliefs when it comes to substance abuse and its treatment.



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