Responsible Drinking: a Moderation Management Approach to Problem Drinking.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 12, 2009
Beverly Hills clinical psychologist and addiction expert Marc F. Kern, Ph.D. states, "A powerful, successful and extremely private man like Jackson would appear to most people that he was in denial, but rather might have been exercising his right as an adult to just say 'NO' to Total Abstinence."
In the weeks before his death, Michael Jackson's family attempted to "forcibly" admit him to a rehab clinic for his painkiller addiction - most likely a 12-step abstinence-oriented facility. But Jackson's resistance might have been circumvented, if he had been offered a "Harm Reduction Approach" according to Dr. Marc F. Kern, a Beverly Hills addictions specialist.
"Harm Reduction" is a new science-based paradigm in the field of addiction treatment, and is the approach of choice in many countries such as Canada, England and the Netherlands. Harm Reduction therapists consider substance abuse as a very complex behavior, not only a medical disease, and assist people to find safer ways of using drugs. Total abstinence is not the main emphasis but rather a secondary goal among several alternatives including moderation.
Many people have become familiar with the term "intervention" because of the A&E show "Intervention", but few people understand that these traditional intervention's mandate that the person stop using all drugs immediately and enter a rehab. What if Michael Jackson had been approached with the idea that he could continue to use his medications privately?
Dr. Kern adds, "Unfortunately, no one approached Jackson from the more progressive paradigm of harm reduction. Like Heath Ledger and others, no one in his life apparently had anything to offer, but the 'STOP card'. We are dealing with individuals who are going to do what they want to do, but that doesn't mean we should abandon them."
"This is not just a situation unique to celebrities like Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Kurt Cobain, or other high profile people. Most average individuals who use drugs or alcohol won't accept 'Abstinence as the Only Solution' for themselves so there is a great deal of shame and secrecy around their habit. In our contemporary society, it is time to offer harm reduction to help the millions of affected adults and teenagers who would benefit from the harm reduction approach."
A frequent guest expert on radio and TV shows, including 20/20, CNN Health and Larry King Live, Dr. Marc F. Kern is the author of "Take Control Now!" and the co-author of "Responsible Drinking: a Moderation Management Approach to Problem Drinking."
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