Interesting. A couple of thoughts crossed my mind after quickly reviewing this article.
One. I recall watching a television documentary several years back where one country was treating herion addicts with herion. (Understand that I'm recalling a show saw many, many moons ago, and that my memory usually leaves much to be desired.) (Forgot which country did this. Amsterdam, maybe?? :imbar) What impressed me, though, was that this particular method of "treating" the "herion problem" seemed to help. Basically, the addicts lived productive lives (they were able to work) and, for good or for bad, took their daily "prescribed" dose of herion. What also impressed me was the relatively lack of negative judgement, or negative stereo-typing (by this country's people) towards those involved with this program. If I recall correctly, this lack of "negative judgement" included no legal ramifications towards those who took the herion and the medical professionals who treated them. This country's philosphy in "treating" the people on herion seemed to be a win-win situation; it seemed to be working. The people involved with this herion program, besides leading productive lives, also seemed to have a rather normal self image (they were not homeless nor were they in jail doing time for their "habit"). I remember watching this program (several years ago) and thinking maybe we have something to learn from this philosphy towards addiction.
Two. This article describes a "mindset" or medical treatment philosophy that may not be too different than the practice we may experience within our own professional lives. Let's take in imaginary case involving Mr. John Doe. Mr. Doe is admitted to our med/surg unit for a broken ankle. He slipped on some ice while walking his dog, fell and couldn't get up. (Ouch!!) Mr. Doe happens to drink 6+ glasses of wine of day. His daughter speculates that he probably consumes at least a quart of wine per day. After a discussion with Mr. Doe, our favorite Dr. Know-It-All orders one glass of wine per meal as part of Mr. Doe's medical regime. Apparently, Mr. Doe has no plans to stop drinking soon. I've received many orders like this (for similar situation) throughout my modest career as a nurse. In all honesty, I used to be bother by them. I'm not so much anymore. Why? First, Mr. Doe is not admitted for ETOH addiction and withdrawal management, two, Mr. Doe doesn't want to stop drinking and, three, I don't want the guy to go through DT's!!!
(Not a very fun thing to manage!!).
With the above fictional scenerio, I am NOT saying that this is the BEST course of action to provide Mr. Doe in managing his ETOH addiction. He could very well have a liver disease associated with all of the years of his drinking. Most certainly ETOH counceling is in order to at least provide eduction focused on the serious problems associated with chronic alcoholism (live disease, etc.). I personally believe that people should be made very well aware of the potential harms surrounding a life-style decision to drink lots of ETOH, or smoke, or eat lots of McDonald hamburgers and french fries (guilty! :imbar), or take herion. But there may be a better time and place to suggest and provide meaningful, long-term "treatments" for such life-style "addictions".
I am impressed, after reading the above article, that someone decided to take a somewhat "different" approach in managing a complicated situation. Maybe, down the road, those involved with this program may decide to quite drinking all together. (I admit that I do hold a bia against drinking. But these "issues" are my "issues".) Maybe not! But this "different approach" in managing this problem, according to the article, seems to be working. It will be interesting to read future follow-up studies (if any are made).