Stories by Maia Szalavitz

Maia Szalavitz is a columnist at The Fix. She is also a health reporter at Time magazine online, and co-author, with Bruce Perry, of Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential—and Endangered (Morrow, 2010), and author of Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead, 2006). subscribe to Maia Szalavitz's feed

Posted on: Jan 16, 2015, Source:

Here, people who get into trouble with prescribed pain pills are too often denied further treatment or even prosecuted. The UK has a smarter approach.

Posted on: Dec 5, 2014, Source:

The paper of record has picked up a bad habit in its addiction reporting. It's all about the drug, not the causes of addiction, and that's missing the point.

Posted on: Dec 4, 2014, Source:

By continuing to chase drug after drug, we miss the chance to target the real causes of addiction.

Posted on: Nov 24, 2014, Source:

"Legal high" drugs such as Spice, K2 and bath salts are changing the drug landscape.

Posted on: Jul 3, 2013, Source: The Fix

Drugs are not that dangerous. If we want to fight addiction, there are better ways than demonizing controlled substances.

Posted on: May 7, 2013, Source: The Fix

I've been on antidepressants for 20 years, and can still remember exactly when the first one started to work—allowing my recovery to begin for real.

Posted on: Feb 25, 2013, Source: The Fix

Rather than treat a vulnerable population, legislators gear up to regulate them.

Posted on: Feb 25, 2013, Source: The Fix

Pinsky should either get with 21st century treatment or get off the air.

Posted on: Oct 21, 2012, Source: The Fix

While animal and human research data show that ibogaine undoubtedly does relieve opioid withdrawal—the drug is now being used in dozens of clinics around the world, often illegally.

Posted on: Aug 22, 2012, Source: The Fix

The Olympics saw only one doping (and one pot!) bust. Opposition to chemical boosting remains high, but the inevitable trend will end in an embrace—oddly, led by "smart drugs."

Posted on: Mar 31, 2012, Source: The Fix

Naloxone is a cheap, safe drug that could save countless people from overdosing on heroin and other opiates. So why isn't it in every first-aid kit?

Posted on: Mar 12, 2012, Source: The Fix

Abuse of meds by America's teens has reached epidemic proportions. But if we're serious about keeping kids away from Oxy and Adderall, we need to get honest with them.

Posted on: Jan 27, 2012, Source: The Fix

The media trumpets a crisis in Rx painkiller addiction, but only 1% of patients get hooked. The result? Doctors treat patients like addicts, while addicts escape responsibility.

Posted on: Jan 9, 2012, Source: The Fix

Much of what is portrayed in the media as “professional treatment” isn’t based on evidence of what works and can lead to boundary violations and outright abuse.

Posted on: Nov 30, 2011, Source: The Fix

America’s ambivalent relationship with drugs and medication pushes us to ignore critical differences between drugs, while failing to appreciate useful similarities.

Posted on: Nov 7, 2011, Source: The Fix

With America facing the greatest income gap since the Great Depression, the largely unpublicized link between financial inequality and drug addiction suggests big trouble ahead.

Posted on: Jul 22, 2011, Source: The Fix

As the White House prepares to launch a billion-dollar anti-Oxy war, here are some crucial facts about who gets addicted—and why.

Posted on: May 17, 2010, Source: William Morrow Press

What the social impulses of teenage girls may reveal about the development of altruism.

Posted on: Nov 24, 2008, Source: Huffington Post

We can't ignore science like Bill Clinton did and install a drug czar who will ignore science and push dogma.

Posted on: Jul 6, 2007, Source: Huffington Post

<i>Over the GW</i> takes us inside "tough love" teen programs which pose as rehabilitation clinics, but offer their patients steady physical abuse and humiliation.

Posted on: Mar 13, 2007, Source: Huffington Post

Jailing Richard Paey for taking pain pills serves no one -- not taxpayers, not pain patients, and certainly not the image of America as a decent, humane country.

Posted on: Aug 31, 2005, Source: STATS

Being labeled a 'meth baby' by the media can do more harm to children than the methamphetamine itself.

Posted on: Apr 26, 2005, Source: STATS

What did the Partnership for a Drug Free America study really say about teens and prescription drug use?

Posted on: Apr 19, 2005, Source: STATS

There's a lot to debate about teen drinking -- but you'd never know it from the way the issue is covered by news organizations like '60 Minutes.'

Posted on: Mar 15, 2005, Source: STATS

Looking for misstatements, myths and outright errors about drug addiction and recovery? Watch CNN's 'House Call.'

Posted on: Mar 8, 2005, Source: STATS

There's no evidence to support the Today show's claims that an increasing number of suburban moms are using methamphetamine.

Posted on: Feb 15, 2005, Source: STATS

Despite <i>The New York Times'</i> bleak picture of addiction recovery, methamphetamine addicts have relapse rates no worse &#8211; and no better &#8211; than for those of any other drug.

Posted on: Jan 5, 2005, Source: STATS

Why is the media still hyping an unproven and possibly deadly treatment for addiction?

Posted on: Oct 6, 2004, Source: STATS

Pregnancy rates, STDs and abortions among young people are at record lows &#8211; so why does the media continue to insist that the teen 'hook up' is a new and alarming trend?

Posted on: Sep 7, 2004, Source: Reason

Why are millions of Americans being undertreated for pain? Because prescription painkillers have become the new frontline in the 'drug war.'

Posted on: Apr 7, 2002, Source: AlterNet

Partnerships between government agencies and the media could have the unintended result of teaching kids a lot more than the feds want them to know about drugs.

Posted on: Feb 18, 2002, Source: AlterNet

By focusing on addiction treatment and prevention, Bush is doing exactly what Clinton did: talking treatment and funding law enforcement.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2001, Source: AlterNet

When boomers did it, promiscuity was "free love," breaking the law was "questioning authority" and getting high was "mind expansion." But if their children dare experiment, it's off to boot camp or worse.

Posted on: Oct 11, 2001, Source: AlterNet

Rapidly expanded maintenance prescribing could dramatically affect drug markets. But in order to work, such prescribing must be done right -- and in the right places.

Posted on: Sep 3, 2001, Source: AlterNet

The drug reform movement is celebrating a few states' transition from incarceration to treatment for non-violent drug offenders, but the new programs may not help those who want it most.

Posted on: Aug 26, 2001, Source: Village Voice

Net filtering software censors much more than sex and violence. It also blocks alternative political perspectives from reaching one-third of American households.

Posted on: Aug 20, 2001, Source: Village Voice

Heroin use, and heroin overdoses, are on the rise. But the drug naloxone could save the life of an overdose victim with one harmless injection. Too bad users can't get access to it.

Posted on: Aug 13, 2001, Source: AlterNet

A generation of crack users are beating their addictions by switching to marijuana, but cops still attack pot operations, driving up prices and steering users towards harder drugs.

Posted on: Jul 24, 2001, Source: AlterNet

Boot-camp style drug treatment programs profess to help kids with addiction. Some describe their methods as torture.

Posted on: Jul 16, 2001, Source: The American Prospect

Over the last 10 years, more than two dozen teenagers have died in so-called "tough love" programs. It's a result of the kind of deregulation Bush would have in all social services.