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Dawn Farm Addiction and Recovery Education Series

Mar 31, 2019

Does Addiction Treatment Work?” was presented on March 19, 2019; by Carl Christensen, MD, PhD, D-FASAM. Recent publications claim to define research-supported definitive truths about the root causes of addiction and efficacy of treatment modalities; however, conclusions are conflicting and have been subject to divergent interpretations. Feel confused? Dr. Christensen will review the recent criticisms of treatment for addiction including Twelve Step, residential, and medication assisted therapy, the scientific studies that do and do not support their use and other controversial issues. The presentation will include a short discussion of naloxone (Narcan) resuscitation.  


Dr. Christensen obtained his MD and a PhD in Biochemistry at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hutzel Hospital. He then completed a Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Duke University Medical Center in 1988.  He returned to Wayne State, practicing both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology, and was Associate Residency Director of the OB Gyn Residency until 2012.  He retired from WSU in 2012 and continues as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and OB Gyn. While working with the late Dr. James Wardell, one of the first obstetricians to treat pregnant addicted women, he became certified in Addiction Medicine in 2004 and later Board Certified in Addiction Medicine in 2009.  He served as the Medical Director of the Eleonore Hutzel Women’s Recovery Center, founded by Dr. Wardell in 1969, an outpatient program dedicated to caring for pregnant, chemically dependent women from 2004 to 2018, as well as the Medical Director at the Tolan Medical Research Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at WSU from 2009 to 2018.  He continues his work with pregnant chemically dependent women at SJMH in Ann Arbor. He is the past president of the Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine and the current Medical Director of the Michigan Health Professional Recovery Program, which monitors impaired nurses, pharmacists and doctors.  He was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society Addiction Medicine in 2013. He is also the Medical Director for Dawn Farm Treatment Center in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, returning to that job when Dr. Pat Gibbons passed in 2014. Dr. Christensen also specializes in the treatment of chronic pain patients who are trying to detox or taper off opioids and works at SJMH at Recovery Specialists.  He also sees chemically dependent patients at Packard Health in Ann Arbor. He has received numerous teaching awards.  He has been named one of the “Top Docs” in Addiction Medicine in Hour Magazine for 2006 through 2018. Dr. Christensen currently works with the US Attorney’s office, the DEA, and local law enforcement as an expert witness for opioid prescribing cases. He lives in Canton with his wife Cathy, a Nurse Practitioner also specializing in chronic pain and addiction, their therapy dog Olive, and 3 rescue cats.

This program is part of the Dawn Farm Education Series, a FREE, annual education series developed to provide accurate, helpful, hopeful, practical, current information about substance use disorders, recovery, family and related issues.  The Education Series is organized by Dawn Farm, a non-profit community of programs providing a continuum of substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services. For information, please see