The study of psychology and addiction behaviors has lost a true pioneer. The recent passing of Professor G. Alan Marlatt has reverberated across the addiction research and drug policy communities. As a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, Dr. Marlatt broke new ground in the areas of harm reduction, relapse prevention, and evidence based treatment techniques.
As one colleague noted, “he showed that people with substance abuse problems need to be met 'where they're at, without prescriptions for what recovery 'should' be.” This is an important lesson about the realities of substance abuse and recovery.
Let’s hope that policymakers take this advice to heart and pass policies which treat substance abuse as the public health issue it is, instead of a criminal one.
Here's more about Dr. Marlatt’s incredible life:
University of Washington: http://depts.washington.edu/abrc/marlatt.htm
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/us/22marlatt.html