Natural Remission Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2625 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs


In the first instance the subjects are "told that they must enter treatment to recover." However in the traditional 12 step-based treatment patients are informed that they will never fully recover. "This duality seems to be therapeutically unproductive, and largely unnecessary." ( ibid)

Nelson also states that there is ample evidence from various studies that reveal that "... successful natural recoverers fuel their change process with personal, unique motivational themes, and utilize their social networks to gain support." ( ibid) This evidence goes against the formal disease model and the postulation that alcohol and other dependent addictions are necessity lifelong and uncontrollable without formal treatment. Importantly, she also argues against the reliability of the DSM-IV-TR criteria which suggests that social or occupational impairment is a result, rather than a cause of substance dependence. ( ibid)

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Many researchers state that there is a strong and growing body of evidence, both qualitative and quantitative, that suggests that addictions such as alcoholism can be cured through spontaneous remission and self treatment. These research findings indicate that natural remission is an area which has been neglected in the past. This is one of the main reasons, among others, for the recent criticisms of the formal disease model of addiction. For example, in a study by Russell ( 2001) it was found that there was no indication that biological association within a family had any impact on addiction recovery; which suggests that natural recovery is a distinct possibility. In other words, biological or genetic predisposition to an addiction is not an indication of lifelong addiction. Burman (1997) also states that subjects are capable of finding personal motivation to enable their recovery from addiction. There are numerous studies that point out that maturity and age may in itself be a factor in the recovery and remission of addictions. In the study by Russell et al. ( 2001) it is suggested that many older subjects " mature out ' of their addictive behavior.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Natural Remission Has Had on Assignment

Furthermore, many studies point out that accepted formal procedures may in fact be counterproductive for remission. This relates particularly to the important area of the correct type of treatment for the specific individual. Hester and Miller (1995) state that,

"It is clear that inappropriately matched clients can be harmed, faring worse than if they had received no treatment at all. Individuals matched to the right treatment the first time can be spared years of needless suffering and impairment. A common concern for those who suffer from alcohol problems should, in the end, be the most persuasive ground for agreement and cooperation toward a comprehensive system of informed eclecticism." (Hester, Reid K. Miller William R, 1995 p. 10)

4. The Informed Eclectic approach

The above theories and studies are suggestive of a new approach to addiction theory and praxis. As mentioned, the eclectic approach is seen by many researchers as a better alternative to the strictly formal method of dealing with addictive behavior. Informed eclecticism tends to combine the various possibilities of both qualitative and quantitative theories of addiction treatment.

This approach emphasizes a number of central principles. These include the view that there is no single treatment or approach which is superior for all subjects. (Reid K. Hester, William R. Miller. 1995) In other words there is no single method for the treatment of addiction but "an array of empirically supported treatment options." ( ibid) Informed eclecticism also states that treatment programs should offer a number of different options. There is also the emphasis on different treatments to suit various individual types. Those who suggest the eclectic approach are strongly cognizant that different types of people respond to different approaches to treatment. ( ibid) One of the most important aspects is that "The art of the clinician lies in matching the right treatment to the right patient the first time around." ( ibid)

Advocates of the informed eclectic approach are aware that at present the natural remission approach is problematic, with existing treatment programs offering little in the way of treatment alternatives. One of the main obstacles lies in the full acceptance of alternative approaches. Researchers have found that in most instances formal and empirically-based treatment programs still tend to dominate. "There is no tried and true, 'state-of-the-art' treatment of choice for alcohol problems. Rather, the state of the art is an array of empirically supported treatment options." (ibid) Furthermore there is also the realization that the matching of treatment to patients is an important aspect that needs to be developed.

5. Conclusion

Theories of natural remission have had a profound impact on addiction theory. The number of studies indicating that spontaneous remission should at least be included in more inclusive approaches to addiction, are increasing. Walters for example states that "The present review suggests that people who abuse alcohol, tobacco, and other substances regularly remit without professional treatment or formal intervention." (Walters Glenn D, 2000) Other research also emphasizes that self-treatment and spontaneous remission can be achieved and have been both qualitatively and quantitatively verified. For example, Granfield and Cloud (2001) state that the belief that one can change oneself is significantly influenced by the societal conditions present in subject's life. (Granfield & Cloud, 2001 pp. 45-61). This also implies that the lack of certain condition such as stability and social networks will increase the likelihood of addiction and substance abase.

6. Bibliography

Burman, S. (1997) The challenge of sobriety: Natural recovery without treatment and self-help groups. Journal of Substance Abuse, 9, 41-61.

Granfield, R. & Cloud, W. (1996). The elephant that no one sees:

Natural recovery among middle class addicts. Journal of Drug Issues, 26, 45-61.

Hester Reid K., Miller, William R. ( 1995) editors: Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches: Effective Alternatives: (2nd Ed.) Allyn & Bacon (Review) ( PDF) Retrieved April 15, 2005. Web site:

Informed eclecticism. Retrieved April 16, 2005 from AQR Glossary. Web site:

Nelson C. ( 2004) Natural Recovery from Alcohol Problems and its Implications on the Disease Model of Addiction and the DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Dependence. Retrieved April 17, 2005. Web site: hl=en& start=4& client=firefox-a

Peele, S. (1998). Ten things NIAAA research shows about alcoholism. The Addictions Newsletter .The American Psychological Association, Division 50, 5,17-19.

Russell, M., Peirce, R.S., Chan, A., Wieczorek, W.F., Moscato, B., & Nochajski, T.H. (2001). Natural Recovery in a community-based sample of alcoholics: Study design and descriptive data. Substance Use & Misuse, 36, 1417-1441.

Sobell L. et al. ( 2000) Natural recovery from alcohol and drug problems: methodological review of the research with suggestions for future directions. Addictions. 95( 5) 749-764.

Stall, R., and Biernacki, P., (1986).Spontaneous remission from the problematic use of substances: an inductive model… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Natural Remission.  (2005, April 18).  Retrieved July 30, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Natural Remission."  18 April 2005.  Web.  30 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Natural Remission."  April 18, 2005.  Accessed July 30, 2021.