Mental Health and Addiction: Beyond the Original Chicken and Egg Debate
In this Special Issue, David Crockford has masterminded the contributions of a group of Canadian clinical leaders who share their insights about the interaction of the range of psychiatric disorders with the spectrum of substances and other behavioral disorders.
These interactions have, over the years, led to passionate debates about the relative causation of these disorders, involving insights from neuroscience as well as psychological and sociological perspectives. For some, substance use was mostly secondary in nature to the stressors of psychiatric/mental health disorders. Any chance for recovery from this form of self-medication required treating these disorders first.
For others, the main practice achievement of the last few decades was the demonstration of the primary role of substances in shaping the course and prognosis of individual substance-induced disorders. The debate over “primary” versus “secondary,” often based on the order of first onset of the disorders, became intertwined with causality.
Like-minded professionals have even formed different national and international societies to advance their own views.
Our hope is that the articles in this Special Issue will contribute to a rapprochement between these two perspectives based on the primacy of individual relevance.
Nady el-Guebaly, C.M., MD, FRCPC
Editor in Chief, CJA-JCA