Colorado Drug Rehab...Programs Using the 12-Steps of
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous
Addiction is a Disease... or is it?
From years of interviews with graduates from every modality of alcohol and drug rehab, we found the effects of the ideas that come from many treatment centers many times are perpetuating fear and weakness rather than building a stronger individual that can handle life without medicating with alcohol or other drugs. We found that most rehabs are not empowering their patients, but are assigning labels to their addiction creating the idea that they are suffering from a life-long incurable disease. This disease model has NO scientific proof establishing the existence of an addictive disease.
In your evaluation of alcohol and drug rehab and treatment programs, be aware of that the Alcoholics Anonymous used the term "disease" to protect alcoholics, in the 1930's, from being characterized as having a psychological problem or mental illness. The American Medical Association classified addiction as a disease because it served their economic interest and that of the pharmaceutical industry.
Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers that have the technology and skills to make fundimental behavioral changes in an addict DO NOT subscribe to the disease model of addiction because, at the end of the day, their graduates know that being responsible for every condition in their lives is what makes them happy, successful and keeps them from needing alcohol or other drugs.
The originators of Alcoholics Anonymousof (A.A.) looked long and hard for something, anything, that would work to save alcoholics from self-destruction, anything to break the cycle of addiction. In the 1930's alcoholics were thought of as the retrobates of society and were usually institutionalized in psychiatric centers as being insane and given horendous treatment, which, of course, didn't solve the addiction. So, the original work of the two founders of the 12-step approach are to be commended for reclassifing the problem, but, unfortunately, in the process, they removed all of the personal responsibility by making addiction a disease.
There are many positive aspects of the 12-step approach in that it gets addicts into communication about their lives and their addiction and that is far better than the isolation that they were experiencing. However, it falls short of the truth about addiction and actually relables the problem to fit their philosophy and doesn't actually treat the addiction, but supports addicts with the idea that there is no cure, but by belonging to a like-minded group, one can stay off of alcohol and other drugs and survive at a higher level.
This recovery method was never intended to be institutionalized into a treatment modality, but when insurance programs in the 1970's began to pay for up to 30 days of addiction treatment, many progams oped througout the US and huge profits were actualized for their owners. Soon the insurance companies looked at the lack of ongoing success and have since drastically reduce their support of any form of addiction treatment. These 30-day, 12-step programs do not pretend to graduate their patients free of relapse, but contend that addiction is a disease of relapse and that will continue throughout ones life. They believe that addiction is a chronic and progressive disease, meaning that is last forever and gets worse even when one isn't drinking or using. Less than 10% of their graduates stay clean long enough to rebuild their lives. Many people feel that ascribing a disease to addiciton causes an addict to feel that he is a victim and has less self-determination than if he viewed it as a condition and not a disease.
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DISCLAIMER: None of the information contained here should be considered medical advice. Alcohola nd d;rug detoxification should be done under medical and/or professional supervision. At the first sign of alcohol or drug withdrawal sysmpoms or discomfort, immediately seek medical advice. Do not attempt to detox from alcohol or other drugs without proper medical supervision. If you feel that you have a medical emergency, call 911 and seek local advice.