The Papers of Hossein Dezhakam: An Iranian Perspective on Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Mr. Hossein Dezhakam is the founder of Congress 60, a recovery community in the Islamic Republic of Iran that has more than 100,000 members. I first met Mr. Dezhakam at an addictions conference in London nearly fifteen years ago. Our first meeting was the beginning of what evolved into an enduring friendship and numerous professional collaborations. Many of his translated books and papers are posted on my website (See Here).  It is my pleasure to announce release of a new collection of Mr. Dezhakam’s articles and interviews, deftly translated from Farsi into English by Mr. Ehsan Ranjbar.

Congress 60’s approach to addiction treatment addresses a broad spectrum of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of the tens of thousands of individuals and families that make up this recovery community. Within this model, one finds a unique approach to restoring normal physical functioning of the addicted individual at the same time he or she is involved in a dramatic reconstruction of personal identity and daily lifestyle. Also of note are quite remarkable achievements in the integration of smoking cessation, nutrition, exercise, athletic competition, the arts, music, and acts of community service into the very heart of Congress 60’s approach to addiction treatment and recovery. Readers seeking to build a recovery community organization will also be interested in Congress 60’s innovations in the screening, training, testing, certification, and supervision of thousands of peer recovery mentors long before peer-based recovery support services became popular in the United States.

Through much of the world, the treatment of addiction resides within polarized camps representing different theoretical models and approaches to treatment. This is particularly true regarding the treatment of opioid use disorders and the split between approaches emphasizing pharmacotherapy and those that instead eschew medications and embrace psycho/social/spiritual recovery support alternatives. Readers will find in the descriptions of Congress 60 a unique conceptual and clinical bridge across these divides that integrates time-limited (11 months) medication support, a unique and culturally compatible maintenance medication (opium tincture), and a vibrant culture of recovery that supports individuals and families through the long-term stages of recovery.

The articles and interviews included within this collection will acquaint readers with the history of Mr. Dezhakam and Congress 60 as well as Congress 60’s methods and evaluation efforts to date. Those interested in comprehensive models of addiction treatment and recovery support will find much to reflect upon in this collection. Innovations in Addiction Treatment and Recovery points to a future when addiction will be unraveled based on a synthesis of scientific and experiential knowledge and in which individuals and families are graced with sustained recovery support. A PDF of Innovations in Addiction Treatment and Recovery coedited by Mr. Dezhakam and myself is available for free download at