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Video: Addiction Can Be Cured, Claims Controversial Film

The provocative new documentary Curing Addiction assembles an array of treatment professionals who oppose the widely-held belief that addiction is an incurable disease.

By Anthony Daconti

09/13/11

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Addiction is “a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain that is incurable but treatable with counseling and pharmaceuticals,” according to the National Institutes of Health and many other authorities in the field. But are they right? Timed to coincide with National Recovery Month, Curing Addiction—a documentary film that offers an unprecedented look at solutions for "permanent recovery"—tells the story of a growing number of people speaking out against the widely-held disease model. The idea of "permanent" recovery is particularly contentious—Twelve Step adherents, for example, describe themselves as "recovering," rather than "recovered," however long they've been clean. The film features interviews with former substance abusers, as well as doctors, program founders, counselors and recovery advocates—representing “a mixture of treatment philosophies that share the same common viewpoint that addiction is not an incurable disease.” Long-time harm reduction advocate and Fix contributor Stanton Peele is among them. Lucas Catton, writer, director and producer of the documentary film is a former substance abuser who has worked in the rehabilitation and prevention field for over a decade. He summarized the message of his documentary: “Every day there are people permanently putting substance abuse and the label of being an addict behind them forever in order to move on with life.” Curing Addiction also claims it will provide advice and solutions for effective therapies and help fix the treatment system in America to save more lives and tax dollars. The documentary will be submitted to festivals and the producers hope that cable networks will also deliver its provocative message to the widest possible audience.

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