Targeted naltrexone administration ("the Sinclair Method," our focus here) is the bee's knees for people addicted primarily to the opioid reward. For people whose addiction functions more via GABA receptors, daily high-dose baclofen has some risk but also some good results. Baclofen is still in the "early results are promising" stage, but the Sinclair Method's efficacy is well-established.
What disturbs me is that this has been well-established for some time and yet we still think people should just abstain from alcohol and join a support group. That approach pretty much doesn't work. 95% of the people who try it will fail.
Why do we most strongly promote the method which is both most difficult and least successful? I think we believe that addicts deserve to suffer.
If someone has a broken leg, we fix the problem. We don't get into a pointless argument about whether he jumped off the roof, fell by accident, or was thrown by an assailant. We fix the leg first. But if someone develops an addiction, hoo boy does the blame start flying -- and the addict should be forced to do it the hardest possible way, as penance.
If the guy jumped, he was foolish to do it. Whether he jumped or was pushed, he still deserves reasonable medical care. The guy who jumped shouldn't be denied proper medical care on the grounds that he did something foolish.
If we denied real medical care to everyone who contributed to his/her own problem, there would be no cardiac care for anyone who ever ate fast food or drank coffee. Cancer treatments would be denied to anyone who ever went near carcinogens. The entire field of sports medicine would disappear. Since none of us are perfect, most of us would die young.
It's time to stop insisting that addicts need spirituality instead of proper care. It's time to treat addicts with no more but no less respect and concern than anyone else with a health problem. It's time to let addicts have proper medical treatment.