Bill White’s writings

Researcher, historian, practitioner and recovery advocate William (Bill) L White has been the most prolific writer in the addiction recovery field. You only have to look at his website. The impact of his ideas, work and writings has been enormous. Here, I include links to a number of my blog posts that focus on Bill White’s writings.

Addiction Treatment (By Itself) is Not Enough
Addiction treatment as a stand-alone intervention is an inadequate strategy for achieving long-term recovery for individuals and families characterized by high problem severity, complexity, and chronicity and low recovery capital.  In isolation, addiction treatment is equally inadequate as a national strategy to lower the social costs of alcohol and other drug-related problems. Here’s why.’

Personal Failure or System Failure
‘Accepting the mantra that “Treatment Works,” families, varied treatment referral sources and the treatment industry itself believe that responsibility for any resumption of alcohol and other drug use following service completion rests on the shoulders of the individual and not with the treatment program.’

What is a Recovery Carrier?
‘Recovery carriers are people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion for and service to people still suffering from alcohol and other drug problems.’

Recovery Landscapes
‘Researchers are beginning to suggest that reaching the tipping point of addiction recovery may have as much to do with community factors as intrapersonal factors.  Recovery advocates and clinicians are calling for creation of a “healing forest” – “naturally occurring, healing environments that provide some of the corrective experiences that are vital for recovery.”’

From trauma to transformative recovery
‘So an early challenge within Project SAFE was to understand what distinguished the trauma resilient from the trauma impaired. Our collective experience with thousands of women across diverse community and cultural contexts led to the conclusion that the resilient and the impaired differed in two fundamental ways.  They differed in the nature of the trauma they had experienced, and they differed substantially in the recovery capital that influenced their capacities for resilience.’

A Rendezvous with Hope
‘Life and their addictions had delivered to these women more than enough pain; what was needed was an unrelenting source of hope delivered to them by a cadre of recovering women who lacked much by way of professional credentials and polish, but who brought an inextinguishable and contagious faith in the transformative power of recovery.’

An Intervention Gone Wrong
‘The most famous and controversial treatment for addiction in the 19th century was Dr. Leslie Keeley’s Bichloride of Gold Cure.  Dr. Keeley franchised his cure procedures through more than 120 Keeley Institutes scattered across North America and Europe.  These Institutes became the preferred drying out institutions for the rich and famous in the 1890s.’

Moral panics, the limits of science and personal responsibility
‘Where promotion of the junk science had been ever-present in the popular media, few of those media outlets made visible retractions based on the new scientific findings. (Apparently, moral panic draws more cultural attention and sells more products than the cold conclusions of scientific consensus.)  But there have been and continue to be exceptions to this tradition of silence.’

Listening Across the Stages of Recovery
‘Such listening can come in many forms: listening to the stories of others, listening to the experience and guidance of recovery elders, listening to those affected by our past or present actions, listening to the written word, listening to our own deepest aspirations, or listening for the voice of spiritual guidance.’