Do you remember the “connect the dots” pictures from your
about the “Which object does not belong in this series” choices?
there was the “How many animals are there in the picture”
imagine that you are combining all of those concepts into
one process of identifying “what do you see - what is
missing - what doesn’t fit - fill in the blank -
and how many things do you see in this process - and get
it perfectly correct".
I forgot to
For our example
some of the
dots are moving all the time, some stay in one place, some are extra
and aren’t a part of the picture at all.
Some of the shapes flash different colors and
change places .
background picture has blank spots that hide parts of the animals.
And, some of the animals have never been seen before - but they are
in the picture and have to be identified correctly.
Sound hard to do?
Actually that is easier than
figuring out what addictions are and how addictions work.
Understanding addictions is not
Every day we get some kind of information about
drug or alcohol addictions. The papers are always quoting some
scientific research that says this study helps us understand some
aspect of the problem. It might be about neurological pathways,
chemical interactions in the neuropeptides, brain physiology,
recessive genes related to developing addictions, pharmaceutical
breakthroughs in symptom relief or some other equally promising
information. And then, two years later there is a new study that
contradicts some of the major conclusions of the earlier
Equally confusing are breakthroughs that
seem significant but aren’t completely integrated into the treatment
processes we currently use. The vastness of the information is
spectacular. There are researchers working on cognitive changes,
social networking, treatment readiness, motivational interviewing,
best practice approaches, brief interventions, family systems
treatment, court monitored treatment, sentencing alternatives, incentive
and sanction accountability, and on and on. A lot of people are
working hard to improve treatment and prevention outcomes. But why
is it so confusing at times? Let’s take a simplified look at the
Don’t feel bad
if you don’t have a clear or consistent understanding of
the problem, or the way to resolve it. Keep an open mind - we are
learning more all the time. Don’t jump on the latest fad or trend
that makes the solution look easy - because as I have just showed
you, it isn’t that easy. Don’t sit back and wait for the final
answer - it may not come soon enough to help your situation. Work on
the problem using the information and tools that are in common use.
Look around for newer tools that are being introduced, but don’t
abandon all of the tried and true until the newer tools are showing
consistent results. Changes are happening and you can benefit. Don’t
be afraid to change.
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© Stephen Buchness 2006
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