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Messages of keeping an open mind and recognizing excellence at SECAD 09

February 9, 2009
by Douglas J. Edwards, Editor-in-Chief
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Being open to fresh ideas quickly emerged as a key theme at this year's SECAD conference.

SECAD opened Monday afternoon with a presentation by Eric Woods of the Vendome Group, the new producer of the annual event (Vendome publishes Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction Professional). Woods says the conference presents an opportunity for exploring new ideas and developments in addiction treatment, a theme picked up by opening keynoter Dr. Carlton Erickson, author of The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment, who discussed "questions he wishes he had never been asked."

Dr. Erickson emphasized the importance of keeping an open mind to new ideas and the latest medical research into substance abuse and dependence. He suggested that treatment providers refrain from using the term addiction to label problematic/excessive sexual behavior, exercising, pornography viewing, gambling, and Internet use, suggesting that these are better described as obsessions, compulsions, or impulse-control disorders. He noted that addiction is a stigmatizing and not well-defined term, recommending that treatment professionals avoid its use when referring to these behaviors.

After Dr. Erickson's presentation, the editors of Addiction Professional recognized the winners of their first annual Outstanding Clinicians Awards, and the latest inductees into the Conway Hunter Society also were announced. The day concluded with a lively gathering in the exhibit hall, where attendees could win prizes offered by industry vendors.

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