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Dr Shari
Skeptic Friend

135 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  01:08:28  Show Profile Send Dr Shari a Private Message
I find myself feeling uneasy about sending patients to Rehab for dependancy problems knowing that 12 Step Anonymous programs are a large part of the treatment plan and all programs are in large part based on a "Higher Power" concept. They use terms such as "A Higher Power as you've come to know it" but we all know what they mean. Serenity Prayers whether they say "Jesus Grant Me" or not is still a prayer and I know from experiance that these are highly emotionally charged meetings and most everyone at least for awhile "finds Jesus".

90 meeting in 90 days is a requirement for most new Rehab grads. They are trading an addiction to a substance for an addiction to recovery and meetings. They argue that being clean and sober is the point but I have seen damage done to family relationships when a partner is excluded from the process and the new 12 step freinds become the focus for the person.

Plus after going to Rehab the AA/NA book states "many of us has sought help through medicine, religion and psychiatry. None of these methods were sufficient for us" So why did the patient come to the doctors and mental healthcare workers for us to just send him to an Orginization that says we can't help them.

Steps 2,3 and 11 still explicitly say only through admitting to God they are powerless and need his help can they have any hope of staying sober. I want these people off the alcohol and drugs that are killing them and destroying their lives and families. I admit that these programs have helped people who are ready stay clean but I want an alternative. It's time. I know there is an Atheists AA in some of the larger metro area's and several other programs scattered around but until a viable plan establishes itself I must continue to use these programs because it is the only game in town.

Death: The High Cost of Living
It is easier to get forgiveness then to get permission!

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  03:14:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
"If you are a licensed professional engaged in addiction treatment or counseling, I advise you here to get out of the business. It is a matter of your personal honor and professional stance. Substance abuse counseling is a bogus occupation, newly created around 1980 to accommodate rivers of federal cash. If you are a certified substance abuse counselor, find new work in an occupation for which you are qualified. Your certification is worthless, a kite flown on the winds of discontent, misguided trust, missionary zeal, and unwise legislation."


http://www.rational.org/Professional.issues.html

"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
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Dr Shari
Skeptic Friend

135 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  10:15:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dr Shari a Private Message
Good quote. Good site. Thanks. Now if I could just find an answer to what to do with my patients that because of their job, the law or total lack of options I keep sending to the same 3 places. I do tell them to make up their own minds about Rehab after they have detoxed ( my main reason for Hospitalization of pateints. Detoxing outside a medical facility can be deadly especially for alcoholics) but I can't babysit them either. 12 Step programs remind me of mothers who are to busy to deal with a child so they put them in front of the TV.

No one can deal with an addict so we send them to other addicts to talk about their disease. What is funny is that like eating disorder programs most people come back with new ways to do what they do better. We keep criminals in prison to learn about how to be better criminals. Until the system changes we probably perpetuate the problems more then wait for them to resolve on their own either through the death of the person or their just plain old deciding to knock it off.

Death: The High Cost of Living
It is easier to get forgiveness then to get permission!
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  10:27:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Well, you're the doctor, but I wonder if it's a case of telling people that they have to attend these meetings because society is stuck in the middle ages, but if they want to quit drinking, this is a program that will actually help them quit.

You're right about prisons, too.

quote:

Good quote. Good site.


"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
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Lisa
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  12:14:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lisa a Private Message
In the military, if a person is referred to rehab, AA is a requirement. I had a friend who didn't want to go, stating that's its basically a church. ie starts with a prayer, they sing a few hymns, preach a bit, pass a collection plate, end with a prayer. Don't know what else you'd call it.
She requested extra counceling from the base mental health in lieu of going to AA. She was told she would go to AA, follow all the steps, and like it. The only other option was to get kicked out of the service.
If this isn't an example of a government agency shoving religion down someone's throat, I don't know what is.

We have enough youth. We need a fountain of smart.
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  12:20:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
I'm not an authority on the subject in any way, but from what I've seen, there isn't much in the way of science when it comes to drug and alcohol counseling. Hopefully I'm wrong.

"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
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The SollyLama
Skeptic Friend

USA
234 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  13:48:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send The SollyLama a Private Message
I got sent to rehab while stationed in Korea. A bar fight- in the Amry, any offense (ANY!) commited where there is alcohol within mortar distance automatically ends up with the troop in rehab. They call it ADAPC.
The counciler told my commander I didn't need to waste the space (I wasn't even drinking before the fight) in rehab. I got sent anyway.
There was no religion involved. There was precious little rehab as well. Mostly people sat around and compared their favorite drinks.
AA and all the step programs are shams. Much like religion, it looks to fix blame for a personal problem on anything but the person with the problem. Escapism and lack of personal responsibility are their trademarks.
I don't buy any addiction as a disease. I was exposed to TB during my military career. A living bug that was unavoidable. Simply not picking up a bottle solves every boozers problem.
It may suck, but the only real medicine for alcoholics is not drinking. Deal with it.
Maybe some people are more easily addicted to substances. I was hospitalized for months on a morphine drip for a shattered knee, and had morphine pills for nearly a year after that. I took them more often than most boozehounds can pound bottles. When I ran out I simple didn't take anymore. The doctors offered methadone, but I never needed it. Other people may not be so lucky, however, there is one sure fire cure- don't drink/smoke/snort/inject it anymore! Where's my Nobel prize?
All these step programs do is teach people that they are so utterly worthless and weak they can't survive on their own. Kinda like welfare, but that's a different rant.
I totally agree with the earlier post that these programs merely replace one addiction with another-to the group. Which is more often than not, a quasi-religious group.
Like the Promise-makers, or keepers or whatever.... It's really just a way for people to shed the responsibility of having ruined their own (and possible other peoples) lives.
Worst, these born-again sober people usually turn out to be sobriety-nazis. Like the smoker that quits and now pesters everyone he knows to quit too. The born-again christian that just refuses to accept that not everyone wants to join a cult.
I personally find it nauseating to ever consider myself so helpless. I believe in Triumph of the Will.

Be your own god!
(First, and only, commandment of Sollyism)
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Boron10
Religion Moderator

USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2002 :  19:31:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Boron10 a Private Message
A good friend of mine got sent to rehab, because her "friend" spoke to their chief about her (instead of talking to her directly). She tried it once, noted the strong religious theme, and refused to continue. She wasn't kicked out, but they made her sign documentation that will get her prematurely discharged for any "alcohol-related incident." These incidents are, just as Mr. Solly said, a little loosely defined.

-me.

Edited because I can't spel.

Edited by - boron10 on 07/30/2002 19:32:49
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Bradley
Skeptic Friend

USA
147 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2002 :  09:36:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Bradley a Private Message
Twelve Step Programs shamelessly promote religion and then bare-facedly deny that they do so, cloaking the religion with euphemisms like "spirituality." They do more harm than good by telling people that their way is the only way to overcome addiction, and thereby alienating the best and brightest. Folks with addictive behaviors are in and out of Twelve Step Programs like popcorn, in a vicious cycle of "get with the program" and (halelujah!) "relapse." I've been what Twelve Steppers call a "white-knuckler" for over sixteen years (in the old days I was a chronic pot smoker and a common drunk), and I can attest that groups like Secular Sobriety and Rational Recovery have a much higher per capita success rate than the much-touted Twelve Step Programs.

I know I'm going to be jumped on and vilified for it, so let me admit up front to "looking down the nose" (a thousand mea culpas). While I don't begrudge even the most backward rube his or her sobriety, I think that the loss of one thinker to addiction is not worth the saving of a thousand non-thinkers.

"Too much doubt is better than too much credulity."

-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833 - 1899)
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Cosmic string
New Member

USA
37 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2002 :  19:42:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Cosmic string's Homepage Send Cosmic string a Private Message
Bradley, I couldn't agree more. Also, their evangelical nature is also very harmful. Not only do former drunks become addicted to religion, they feel compelled to 'show people the light' by getting them into the 12 step program and teaching them about the "higher power".

SollyLama, you're right that AA and such do everything they can to blame the actions of the addicts on something other than the people who did that. They tell people that alcoholism is a disease, but in the sense that it is a congenital disorder. Wrong. Research on both alcoholics a rhesus monkeys have shown that it is primarily a phychosocial disorder. Especially causal is a person's feeling of where they are in the heirarchy of society (not where they actually are). They say that these people are "powerless" against their drug of choice and that only the "higher power" can help them stop. Wrong again. If they really want to quit, they can work to overcome their craving, or, as you put it, "triumph of will." They need to confront what they've done to themselves and others and recognize that they don't want to do that anymore. They need to take responsibility. I'm sure the lack of responsibility hinders recovery because it eliminates guilt. Then you have that they become, as you so eloquently put it, "sobriety nazis." I know someone who traded alcohol addiction for opioid addiction (he rx'd them to himself) for AA addiction. Apparently, AA wants to be the only addiction these people have; they told him to stop exercising because he was "addicted" to it. He has, for almost a decade, been an evangelical AA addict. Now he's a sobriety nazi. He tries to 'spread the word' about alcohol being the great satan of society. He also thinks painkillers should be illegal because he abused them. Both of these things he 'learned' to believe in AA.

On a lighter note, this guy's AA group sometimes has private concerts for them and other 12 step programs (including CA) around the state. One time it was Eric Clapton; he played the song Cocaine for them. Honest.

"Triumph of Will." I can attest to the fact that this works. For a couple years as a teenager, I got caught up in some drugs and alcohol. My father encouraged and sustained binge drinking. Someone I thought was my friend got me first to become a pothead, then for a few months using cocaine off and on. It was at this point that I took a look at my life, what harm I was causing myself, and what harm I was causing others. I took a look at my supposed friend and his stealing, vandalizing, drug dealing, and bullying. I realized that I was ruining my life, hurting other people, and being dragged down to a criminal level. So what did I do? Turn to an imaginary "higher power"? Trade the addiction to drugs for one to groups and religion? No. I just quit. Period, end of story. I never had any more contact with that person and have had no more cravings for alcohol, cocaine, or other drugs. If I ever think about them, the first thing I think of is "damn I'm glad I quit; I'll never do that again." That's enough to keep me sober.

“The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning.” --Voltaire
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Dr Shari
Skeptic Friend

135 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2002 :  01:06:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dr Shari a Private Message
Again I feel that AA/NA are just trading an addiction (or often just a binge not a true addiction) to a substance for addiciton to a mind washing psuedoreligous cult that removes you from your family and makes you think the only hope for you is to hang around other addicts/alcoholics. If you have the will power to stay sober with others abusers you have the will power to do it with the help of your family. Either you will or you won't. Same with dieting, smoking or shopping.

Death: The High Cost of Living
It is easier to get forgiveness then to get permission!
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