Monday, March 29, 2010

8th National Harm Reduction Conference: Harm Reduction Beyond Borders!

November 18th--21st
Austin, TX

The 8th National Harm Reduction Conference will bring together approximately 2,000 drug users, ex-drug users, researchers, sex workers, social workers, doctors, politicians and community organizers from around the country and abroad to share perspectives on Harm Reduction.

The National Harm Reduction Conference is the only multidisciplinary gathering in the United States focusing on the health of individuals and communities impacted by drug use. The purpose of the conference is to inspire and explore new perspectives on incorporating Harm Reduction into direct services, public policy and individual lives.

This year's lifting of the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange promises for a renewed and dynamic collaboration between public health officials and grassroots organizations. This is an opportunity to uphold the right to health and dignity of this marginalized community. We hope you will join us in Austin, Texas in our efforts to combat these public health emergencies and implement real and lasting change.

For more information on registration, scholarships, submitting abstracts, exhibitor/vendor applications, please visit:

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Women's Therapy Center Presents The Laurie Phillips Memorial Lecture

Dr. Danielle Knafo
By Herself: Women, Solitude and Creativity

An examination of the lives and works of ten pioneering female artists over the last century whose self-representational art challenged the cultural presuppositions and gender stereotypes of their time, while opening up a vista on the feminine experience. Additionally, each of the artists - K├Ąthe Kollwitz, Claude Cahun, Charlotte Salomon, Frida Kahlo, Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke, Ana Mendieta, Adrian Piper, Cindy Sherman, and Orlan - used her art to overcome personal tragedy and trauma, so her work is in simultaneous and dramatic dialogue with both her social world and her personal history.

Dr. Knafo, a psychoanalyst and art critic, analyzes the work and life of these artists and shows how their art illuminates and advances the way women relate to their bodies - to beauty, sexuality, motherhood, relationships, race, aging, sickness, loss and death. Their art reflects profound changes in woman's evolving self-awareness while it explores the transcendent possibilities of the female psyche and its creative potential for healing.

Danielle Knafo, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus. She is Associate Clinical Professor and supervisor at New York University's Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. Dr. Knafo's books include: Egon Schiele: A Self in Creation, Unconscious Fantasies and the Relational World, Living with Terror, Working with Trauma: A Clinician's Handbook, and In Her Own Image: Women's Self-Representation in Twentieth-Century Art. Dr. Knafo is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst and she maintains a private practice in Great Neck, NY and NYC.

Friday, April 9th, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Hatch Auditorium
1468 Madison Avenue @ 100th Street, NYC

Suggested Donation: $10 - $35

The Laurie Phillips Memorial Lecture is supported by the Phillips Family. It honors the memory of our colleague and friend and brings to the community leading contributors to the psychoanalytic field.

Tickets available at the door or at Doors open 6:30pm

Saturday, March 13, 2010

US drug policy at the UN. Is the glass becoming more than half full?

By Allan Clear
Posted: March 12, 2010 11:33 AM
Huffington post

Here's the good news: From what I'm seeing here on the ground here at the 53rd annual
UN global drug policy meeting in Vienna, the public face of US drug policy has changed overall under the new administration -- and for the better. There's a more humane, compassionate message, plus a greater understanding of both drugs and drug users. Only time will tell where this will lead, but it's a start. And a very welcome one, too.

Because -- and not to mince words -- US drug policy has historically been punitive, impervious, murderous, and devastating. Not least because of the enormous power the US exercises publicly and behind the scenes. I've seen that power in action during previous CND meetings, watching as proxy states doing the bidding of the US raise objections to progressive developments in global drug policy. And I've spent my entire professional life (such as it is) criticizing it and being badgered by it.

Still, even at its worst, I've always respected the way the US prepares for these meetings. They bring a large, smart, well-prepared team of career diplomats and policy analysts, plus some treatment/science-based folks. Not too dissimilar to the advocates that show up, really, except we don't have much money or much power beyond our passion and experience.

But back to my original point -- that things appear to be changing over the last couple of years as far as the US message is concerned and there may be cause for hope.

Exhibit A: Gil Kerlikowske, who just took over as US Drug Czar last May (official title: Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or ONDCP). His smooth opening remarks for the US delegation this past Monday emphasized evidence-based interventions such as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, or SBIRT (a harm reduction intervention in many ways) and drug courts, but also advocated integrating addiction medicine into more mainstream medical settings. Kerlikowske also talked up a 17% increase in the federal budget for demand reduction enhancement. That means devoting more money to dealing with domestic drug problems. (Alas, apparently the written version of his remarks is explicit about the US not being comfortable with the term "harm reduction," so that battle that dominated last year's meeting, which I've documented in numerous posts, is far from over.)

Exhibit B: Kerlikowske's second in command, ONDCP Deputy Director Tom McLellan, who has held his post since last August. As the meeting progressed to the more substantive "thematic" debate, his remarks during his presentation at the podium and from the floor were reasonable, pragmatic, and targeted. McLellan explicitly recognized that not all use is problematic and that there are degrees of drug use and drug problems. Chaotic drug problems lie in the top pinnacle of a pyramid of drug use, the larger portion of which is those Americans who do not use drugs. He also acknowledged later that problematic drug use is not necessarily a permanent condition and that he felt remiss in not saying so publicly. Oh brave new world!

In welcome contrast to the bellicose rhetoric that the US delegation usually propagates, McLellan spoke of addiction as a disease. I would have liked to hear him add that not all drug use is an illness and that there is a genuine spectrum. But believe me, it's a great day when the ONDCP moves from the War on Drugs paradigm of criminalization and mass incarceration to the public health model.

While McLellan didn't detail the ONDCP's new direction in great depth, he did talk about moving away from mass social marketing campaigns to a more nuanced approach targeting different communities and populations. Smart. Regarding young drug users and youth, he acknowledged that it's not about drugs in and of themselves but about the "other" issues in young people' lives as they grow and develop. (Not rocket science, I know, but still not the kind of thing we've been hearing from the ONDCP in the past.)

McLellan offered genetics and brain disease as proof of the existence of the "disease" of addiction. But let's face it. Most drug users that use social services operating on a harm reduction model (such as syringe exchange programs) do not need to beaten over the head about the role drug use plays in their lives. They can be extremely articulate about the consequences of their own drug problems and what the solutions are but they're never asked, consulted or considered active participants in the solution.

Is this kind of change in tune (and performer) that Kerlikowske and McLellan represent comprehensive from a progressive drug advocate's point of view? Absolutely not, especially given the US government's schizophrenic fear of harm reduction. Still, in the broader world of how problematic drug use is addressed in the US, it does signify a positive direction.

It's obviously early days, so I'm reserving further judgment until I see change on the ground and the discarding of our old and imperfect ways. (In the ideal scenario, we start talking about releasing our drug users from prison and getting them back their freedom and families, too.) Again, it's a welcome start.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy in Spanish and Chinese

March 6, 2010

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to let you know that the following paper of mine is now available in Spanish and Chinese for free download on my website,, under Publications:

Harm reduction psychotherapy: Extending the reach of traditional substance use treatment. (2003). Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Vol. 25, pp. 249-256.

These translations were done for three-day trainings that I was invited to give in Santiago, Chile in 2008 and Kunming, China this past October. These invitation trainings, among others to Poland, Ukraine, North Carolina and Chicago in the past year, reflect a growing interest in integrative harm reduction psychotherapy in the international harm reduction and substance use treatment communities.

Check back to my blog,, for reports on these very exciting trainings and the developments that they reflect in these communities. There is an international network of harm reduction therapists and substance use treatment practitioners that are working to adapt this therapeutic approach to their particular social and cultural contexts.

Andrew Tatarsky, PhD

Harm Reduction Psychotherapy and Training Associates
303 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1403
New York, NY 10016

Saturday, March 6, 2010 is a new, scientifically proven, program to help people learn how to change their drinking

"Our web site is for drinkers who want to change their drinking. If you are looking for answers about moderate drinking or abstaining, you may find our program useful. We can help you make responsible decisions about your drinking. We can also help you be successful in cutting back on your drinking. Before you register, consider our Guided Tour to see what we have to offer.

  • Our protocol is evidence-based. This means we have evidence from a federally funded, randomized clinical trial of the program.
  • What is moderate drinking? This page defines moderate drinking; what it is and what it isn't.
  • Is moderate drinking for everyone? The short answer is NO. There are a many reasons to consider abstaining if you’re considering a change in your drinking.
  • What might your chances of success be if you tried to moderate my drinking? Take a quick questionnaire and get feedback based on scientific research.
  • If you decide to try moderate drinking how can you learn how to do it? Here is a description of our program on how to cut back and maintaining moderate drinking over time. There also is much here if you're considering abstaining.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a video demo of the program. It's large so please be patient while it loads.
  • We also recommend that you consider joining Moderation Management, a unique support group for people wanting to moderate their drinking.

Register to use our site."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Holistic Treatment Conference: Changing the way we look at recovery

April 28-30 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada

Holistic Treatment: Changing the way we look at recovery
Foods that lower depression and anxiety.
Learn this and more at the Holistic Treatment Conference

How Diet Affects Mood Disorders Associated with Addictions

A recently published article* in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that an Australian study reported a whole foods traditional diet resulted in lower rates of depression and anxiety. These mood disorders often co-exist with addictions such as alcoholism. Learn about other nutritional and holistic modalities from experts in the industry.

A few of the featured speakers include:
bullet Stephen J. Schoenthaler, PhD
bullet Hyla Cass, MD
bullet Kenneth Blum, BSc, MSc, PhD
bullet John Giordano, MAC,CAP,CCJS

Visit our website to review the entire agenda.

Continuing Credit Opportunity

Attendees have the chance to receive up to 18 hours of Continuing Education Certification. To see all approvals for CEU credits, click here.

Our conference is:
bullet NCCAOM approved for 18 PDA hours
bullet NANP approved for 18 CEU hours


Conference Info

Held in Las Vegas at the Palms Casino Resort on April 28-April 30, this conference focuses on the 21st century approach of dual diagnosis treatment by integrating crucial body, mind and spirit evidence-based treatment strategies.

For more information or to register, call 877-345-3274 or visit us at for special discount rates.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Foundations Recovery Network has hosted 30 national conferences and has gained a reputation as the leader in behavioral healthcare events. To learn more about our events, please visit

Reference: *Jacka, F.N.; Pasco , J.A. et al. 2010. Association of Western and Traditional Diets with Depression and Anxiety in Women. American Journal of Psychiatry [Epub ahead of print]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Upcoming Harm Reductions Trainings in the NYC area

MARCH 18-21, 2010
Dr. Tatarsky will present a workshop, Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Survivors of Trauma, as part of a pre-conference institute, Effective Approaches for Treating Traumatic Stress and Addiction, at MaleSurvivor : 2010 International Conference for Male Survivors, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

MARCH 24, 2010 - BRONX, NYC
Dr. Tatarsky will present a Grand Rounds on Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy for the Treatment Substance Using Patient, Department Of Psychiatry, North Central Bronx Hospital.

Dr. Tatarsky will present an in-service training on Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Patients on Opiate Substitution Treatment, Opiate Treatment Program, Addiction Institute, New York.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guilt-Based Anti-Alcohol Ads Can Backfire, Study Finds

March 1, 2010
Research Summary

Using shame or guilt to try to prevent overconsumption of alcohol can actually cause people to drink more, researchers say.

Researcher Adam Duhachek of the Indiana Kelley School of Business and colleagues said that ads that link alcohol abuse to negative consequences like blackouts and automobile crashes in order to elicit feelings of shame or guilt can trigger a defensive coping mechanism. This can lead viewers to believe that bad things related to drinking can only happen to others and can actually increase irresponsible drinking, researchers said.

"The public health and marketing communities expend considerable effort and capital on these campaigns but have long suspected they were less effective than hoped," said Duhachek. "But the situation is worse than wasted money or effort. These ads ultimately may do more harm than good because they have the potential to spur more of the behavior they're trying to prevent."

A better approach might be to educate the public about the negatives associated with drinking but link that message to one of empowerment, said Duhachek. "If you're going to communicate a frightening scenario, temper it with the idea that it's avoidable," he said.

The study will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research.