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I'VE BEEN QUIET TOO LONG

Apr 14, 2013 - 12 comments
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Addiction

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Recovery



For the last six years after designing new concepts and specific to the point answers, no wiggle room terminology, and with a specific direction in dealing with addiction and related issues I have chosen to speak out about a grave injustice I see.  The traditional forms of treatment, medical, twelve-step, religious… have failed to be of service to the vast majority of those that need assistance.  The numbers vary from three to ten percent for success and one still must ask, what is considered a successful outcome.  For me it is TOTAL ABSTINENCE.  Anything less would facilitate a return to an existence not a life and at some point DEATH will follow, but not before causing heartache for those loved ones who unfortunately must witness the self-destructive actions of someone who is seeking death on some level.

My speaking out so directly maybe seen as an attack, knowing this and the possibility and most likely scenario that negative feedback if not personal attacks will come from those who are entrenched in the status quo because of financial concerns or their personal bias to their dogmatic need to believe that their way is the only way.  I would be ecstatic if overnight the number for success was ninety percent from traditional treatment methods, but here again what about that ten percent for whatever reason just do not relate or benefit with traditional treatment methods.  Unfortunately the numbers are reversed, recidivism factually means that at best, for every (1) person that is helped (9) people are returned to a self-destructive existence do to concepts and a vocabulary that is filled with harmful, misleading, and potentially lethal misinformation I believe.

    
I ask that you take a minute or two to relax and reflect on your memories.  If you are one that attends a twelve-step fellowship recall the number of people who do not return after attending for a short period.  Recall those with weeks, months, even years that have returned to active addiction.  Those fortunate few that do return avoiding death, if you’ve been around long enough you know it happens, are doomed to pick up the same information and even with a positive attitude and a new commitment the same recidivistic material is offered.   Look at your own experiences with your recovery efforts. How many times has it taken, how many questions still unanswered, do you believe your personal program has everything you need for a lifetime?  If not there are things you can and must do if you honestly believe you deserve a quality life.

If you happen to work in the field be it a counselor, medical staff, educational teaching, and all the others, why I ask are your clients, patients, students subjected to believing that a ten percent success rate is acceptable, and your continued inference by treating and teaching that the statue quo is the best that can be achieved supports my statement.  Blaming the quality of someone’s commitment as the excuse for a dismal recidivism rate outcome should not be accepted on any level.  As the percentage cries out for, the professionals and the concerned must look to something different than the old standard if the majority of those entering treatment are to have a chance.


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by clean_in_ks, Apr 14, 2013
Total Abstinence is, of course, the only way to remain clean and sober.  No disagreement there.  Adding educational knowledge, medical knowledge, spiritual food and awareness, and a fellowship of other human beings whose goal is to live a life free of drugs and alcohol and help one another on this long and winding road to recovery are also critical components of recovery.  

I come from a family FULL of recovering people.  My Dad had 25 yrs sobriety when he died in 1999.  My mother just celebrated 36 yrs sobriety; my one and only brother just celebrated 22 yrs sobriety; one of my sisters just celebrated 25 yrs of sobriety.  I, myself, had 25 yrs sobriety prior to some medical crises that required pain medications.....and I have now been clean 10 months from opiates.  I have not relapsed.  Relapse is not a requirement.....it is a choice.

There is no "cure" for addiction.......and if YOUR progam is successful, that is wonderful.  I would just like to encourage you to allow yourself to get PERSONAL in the way you relate to all of us on this forum.  You obviously are doing something well if you have 24 yrs clean and sober.  Offering help to others is what this forum is all about......and if you are unable to offer help without "selling" or "believing" YOUR "method" is the ONLY way to succeed then hopefully you will  be able to find another place where you can accomplish that.  I would think that you would certainly have some experience, strength and hope to share from your heart.  However, if you don't find yourself able to help, support and share with the addict that still suffers here on this forum, maybe your calling is somewhere else.



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by nursegirl6572, Apr 14, 2013
Couldn't agree more with clean_in_ks's comment above.

I DO have to ask one thing:

"The traditional forms of treatment, medical, twelve-step, religious… have failed to be of service to the vast majority of those that need assistance.  The numbers vary from three to ten percent for success and one still must ask, what is considered a successful outcome."

Where are your figures coming from?  Could you site your references?  

" Blaming the quality of someone’s commitment as the excuse for a dismal recidivism rate outcome should not be accepted on any level. "  I couldn't disagree more....

There are MANY MANY ways a person can choose recovery, some are successful with one avenue, versus another.  Success ultimately lies in the person working the program, not the program itself, so I cannot disagree more that there is a great "injustice" in terms of the failures of the programs you cite.  

If the person doesn't WANT it enough, doesn't TRY hard enough, and doesn't make the right changes in their life for long-term success, then NOTHING will work.  I think that's a fair enough statement to make.

If a person is diagnosed with lung cancer secondary to smoking, all of the chemo/radiation and specialists in the world can't help them if they don't stop smoking.  The success of addiction treatment VERY much depends on the actions of the addict, how compiant they are with the program, etc.  The tools can be taught and offered, but if they aren't taken advantage of, then yes, the program will be useless.

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by dominosarah, Apr 15, 2013
It works if YOU work it~

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by VICourageous, Apr 15, 2013
And it won't if you don't....

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by ActingBrandNew, Apr 15, 2013
I also would sure enjoy knowing where you got those statistics your quoting...please site the source as Id love to read it.

"The traditional forms of treatment, medical, twelve-step, religious… have failed to be of service to the vast majority of those that need assistance."

Personally...I dont buy into any of those statistics. I mean...the majority of people sent to programs are done so as a court order. They dont want to get clean...they just dont want to go to jail. So...they get out of the program and relapse because they were never ready to get clean in the first place. How can any blame be put on medical staff...counselors...etc? An idividual has to be completely ready and surrender...only then will any of those programs you named above work. I first stuck a needle in my arm as a teenager and there was no stopping me until I bottomed out...at 32. I tried all the programs you named above and some...and none worked...but not because the medical professionals fell short or didnt do there jobs...but because I wasn't ready. Thats the bottom line and truth to the matter.

If a crying mother...child...wife...pleads with with an addict to stop using but has no effect on him...how do you expect a medical professional to break through that which couldn't be broken through by trusted loved ones?


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by nursegirl6572, Apr 15, 2013
If a crying mother...child...wife...pleads with with an addict to stop using but has no effect on him...how do you expect a medical professional to break through that which couldn't be broken through by trusted loved ones?

VERY well said!!!!

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by ricart70, Apr 15, 2013
I hope your program helps people who do not have a god or have failed repeatedly in 12 step programs/groups.
  What is it?      Relapse prevention is what this all really boils down to because yes,when we are using our minds are altered greatly and we feel nothing but the desire for more drug and no one will probably get us to stop until we have run out of options at that moment.
   I was never court ordered at any time I entered rehab or addiction counseling or aa/na  .I was desperate to get well.
I worked the aa program wholeheartedly but found that I could not get the god thing,as I was told repeatedly by sponsors and surreptitiously by the people who were sharing in our group.I went in with a opiate problem but soon developed an alcohol problem that started landing me in the hospital with a b.a.c. as high as .46 on one occasion and a few high 3s .I worked the steps as I kept going to meetings doing everything that was suggested and wondering why I was not getting better as they all said I would.That is when I started relapsing with the alcohol and so forth as it just tore me down further as I was already severely depressed at the time and hearing about how we are so defective and don't think right and were selfish,just made me more depressed.I had to leave aa and do it on my own or I guarantee I would be dead right now.
  Anyway   I agree with alot of what you are saying and have found some methods that work for me but they do not provide a social component.   I have seen you on here before but you never say what this program really is. Kind of vague don't you think,sounds familiar.

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by ricart70, Apr 15, 2013
I just wanted to mention that this was in the past that I had all of these troubles.I really had to work hard to get where I am .
This stuff all happened in 2007 when I was new to all of this recovery world.I was so excited when I went to my first aa meeting in rehab and later found out that it just was not going to be that simple for me.
I still attend a few aa meetings but am not working the aa program and will not be doing that again.I get a chance to talk to a few people who are nonjudgemental and have become friends.I do not pick up chips but I am 9 months clean from H,and other opiates but more importantly I have now been clean for four out of the last 5.5 years.I do not consider my relapse a failure though some may say that it proves I am powerless but I disagree.I would be on my way to the dope house on New york ave. if that were the case.

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by vicki595, Apr 15, 2013
"Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study";  DATOS.org.   This is the most comprehensive study around, I think, for the most accurate stats.  It's not anecdotal as the OP's references may be...

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by brice1967, Apr 15, 2013
I'm not sure how anyone can blame a program (or a lack there of) for a relapse.  Recovery, sobriety or a relapse all fall on the addicts back.  No program in the world "chooses" sobriety for any addict.

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by dominosarah, Apr 15, 2013
Brice....Exactly!

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by ricart70, Apr 15, 2013
Recovery, sobriety or a relapse all fall on the addicts back. I agree with this statement entirely Brice                               We are not powerless over the first drink or drug. We can have an effective mental defense against it

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