10 People Revolutionizing How We Study Addiction and Recovery

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For every Dr. Drew, there are researchers who spend all of their time coming up with a solution to a problem that affects 23 million Americans

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For much of the American public, recovery is associated with the extremes: images of million-dollar Malibu Beach treatment centers, ailing A-list actors, and people living in cardboard boxes on your corner. Treatment is something Lindsay Lohan repeatedly tries, Charlie Sheen mocks, and a slew of has-beens and never-weres publicly undergo on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. While Pinsky has received his fair share of criticism for the seemingly-exploitative nature of his popular series, there's no denying the fact that his shows, as well as other popular programs like A&E's Intervention, have gone a long way toward convincing the public that addiction is a destructive problem that can be both treatable and manageable, an insight that will hopefully lead to the continued understanding of a disease that has been stigmatized for years.

But for every Dr. Drew, there are tens of thousands of researchers, educators, social workers, and physicians who have been toiling tirelessly behind the scenes to come up with a solution to a problem that directly afflicts an estimated 23 million Americans and indirectly impacts over 40 million others. So after consulting dozens of experts in the field, we decided to spotlight ten relatively anonymous pioneers who've had a profound impact on the recovery field over the past couple of decades. Like any such list, it's bound to be an imperfect document -- it's difficult to reduce the army of people working in this movement to a simple ten. So we encourage you to suggest your own nominees.

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Image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer.


This article originally appeared on TheFix.com.

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Ruth Fowler is an author, screenwriter, and journalist. She lives in Venice, California, and has written for the Village Voice, the Guardian, The Fix, and others. Her memoir, No Man's Land, was published by Viking in 2008.

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