A guest column in the Portland Business Journal provides a thoughtful overview of addiction and treatment today. The author, Dr. Andy Mendenhall, medical director of the Hazelden clinic in Beaverton, wrote this in the context of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman:
“We are spurred to feel compassion for the lost hero when we identify with them personally. We value their contribution; we identify with their greatness, their struggles, their humanity. We must be reminded of the dichotomy of the lost addict-hero we mourn and the street-corner bum we avoid, avert our eyes from, and judge with disdain.”
In other news, the Portland Business Journal reports that former US Attorney Dwight Holton, an articulate healthcare advocate, particularly in the area of prescription drug abuse and the need for effective partnerships between treatment providers, law enforcement and citizenry, is joining Lines for Life as CEO.
Holton’s predecessor and founder Judy Cushing retires this month after two decades of directing the high-profile, not-for-profit agency (formerly known as Oregon Partnership) that works to prevent substance use and suicide.