Friday, October 15, 2010

12 Step Oriented Rehabs?

12 Step oriented rehabs?  What the hell is this?  A.A., by it's own traditions cannot, did not, and will not... ever... be affiliated with outside entities!  A.A. is not professional!  The founders may have looked into this.  Bill sure wanted it!  He wanted A.A. hospitals and treatment for alcoholics, did he not?

But when Rockefeller said "money would screw this thing up", it kind of put a damper on the plans, right?

Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

requests the pleasure of your company

at dinner

on Thursday, the eighth of February

at seven o'clock


Park Avenue and 69th Street

Mr. William G. Wilson, author of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

and Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick

will speak on an effective control of alcoholism

12 Step Oriented Rehab... I've been through a couple of "treatment centers" myself, and did community service at some and went to meetings at still others.  I chaired meetings at one for a time.  It's been my experience and observation that A.A. and the 12-step process is not the only game in town.

You talk about MOTR (Middle Of The Road) sobriety!?!  They got all kinds of stuff in these things and even if they offer the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous up for sale there, they sure don't use it in their curriculum.  They got a bunch of other stuff that is very much NOT A.A.;

  • group therapy
  • 7 tools, of which the 12 steps may or may not be one of
  • a drug is a drug is a drug
  • THIQ
  • dopamines
  • Valium
  • antabuse
  • psychology/psychiatry
  • TFT
  • cigarettes, smoking porch
  • 283 question 4th Step
  • Step 1 declaration, "I lose things"
  • aftercare
  • Orange Juice spiked with honey
  • ping pong
  • pajamas
  • spades/poker/rummy
  • good insurance or 14,000 to 28,000 dollars to spare
Now... I have some friends who work at these places in some capacity.  I even know and respect some of these counselors that work there.  I'm just not seeing them on the same page as A.A. in any of the three legacies, Unity, Recovery, and Service.  Perhaps good PI and CPC work could and should bridge the gap.  But if we were to go into these treatment center meetings, that call themselves an A.A. meeting, and try to change things, it would go contrary to what they're being taught by the folks in the treatment center.

I know this for a fact, because I've seen it from both sides of the fence.  To go to a treatment center and be told to use them for subsequent aftercare is a fantasy.  At some point, you either have to be on your way or seek support in some kind of 12 Step Program not affiliated with the treatment center or some other Recovery Program or seek some other spiritual avenue or go it alone.

I don't think rehab is necessary for most with alcohol problems.  A place to dry out like at a hospital or detox place for about 3 days, then recovery of your choice on your own.  That could mean A.A. or some of the alternatives to A.A., be it spiritual-based or not.

I go to these treatment center meetings and hear them out, speak my peace and experience in the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and once in a while, a person from there asks me to "sponsor" him.  This basically means "hear his 5th Step."  So I do that and try to line them up with what I do from there, namely 6,7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12... and wish them well.  But I get no chance to follow up... or see if they stay sober.  Once in a while I see them outside of there and at an A.A. meeting... but not the kind of A.A. meeting that I would attend.  That's right.  I said "kind of A.A. meeting". 

A.A. as a whole has got some problems.  I admit this fully.  I just think that there's hope for some in there.  If you're there to do spiritual work, it's there for you.  If you're there to sit around and "support each other", that's there too.  If you're there to serve some social function, well that's sad, but it's there too.  If you're there to try to turn A.A. into Life Ring, I guess that's going on too. 

But 12 Step Oriented Rehab is a claim put on us by our adversaries... the radical atheist/anti/XAers.  It's bullshit.  There is no such thing.  Treatment/rehab is not A.A.  Not now, not ever.


  1. Rehab is the last place I would send an alcoholic. Problem drinker? Yes, Real alcoholic nope, I would hope they would find the solution in AA, wonder what odds Vegas gives this proposition.

  2. So you agree with me that they are different entities?

    Mark Houston said he used to ask nurses, therapist, and counselors, "How much do you charge for a spiritual experience?"

    RIP, Mark. Oh, but didn't he head up a men only 90+ day treatment center of his own? Wonder what his success rate was and/or what was different about his.

  3. Yes, Mark did own his own treatment center, Mark Houston Recovery. Chris Raymer is now president of MHR. Check out the website, it tell you all you want to know. Just Google "Mark Houston Recovery."

    Speaking of treatment facilities, I went to one of the local detoxes this evening (not the one I work at) as part of my home group's commitment of bringing our message there. When I got there, I was informed that I was not welcome there. The staff didn't know why, but I have an idea.

    We don't do discussion meetings, we go in as a panel, two of us. We don't let the patients share, except to ask questions. A few months ago, I was there. There was a patient there who had an attitude and kept disrupting the meeting and when I asked him not to, he got pissed and stomped out, which riled up the others.

    I don't know what was said after that, it doesn't matter. What it boils down to is that I won't sell their product or let them dictate how we should run our meeting. This is not the first time I've been asked to not come back to a treatment facility.

    I just find it ironic as hell that I work in one.

  4. I agree with you 100%. Rehab-treatment is not nor ever will be AA. However, they are savvy enough to make it appear they are connected and somehow are related.

  5. The industry somehow affiliates itself to AA. Where AA makes the mistake is by allowing that happen and to be perpetuated, thus giving our friends like MA and the ST gang ammunition. Can't blame it on either the treatment centers nor our detractors. It's AA'a fault.

  6. Well then... I agree that it's A.A.s fault because, as I've heard... if my problems are of my own making, then our problems are of our own making.

    So... the question for us should be, how to stay in the trenches?

    About a year ago, some of our detractors sounded at least willing to meet us halfway in saying that A.A. can and does somethings well.

    But now, I'm hearing more of what a destructive and evil machine it is. I hear the same thing when "radical" atheist discuss religion.

    But, this doesn't keep me from going out my own door and out into the real world, rolling up my real sleeves, and standing on the firing line of God vs booze.

  7. I think we should stand on the firing line. What I need to keep in mind for myself is it isn't "me vs. the treatment center." However misguided and misinformed our friends in the field can be, I have to remember that for the most part, they have our best interests at heart and sincerely want to help.

    Getting back on the subject of "12-Step oriented treatment facilities, you should read the book "Sister Ignatia, Angel Of Alcoholics Anonymous," by Mary Darrah. It talks about how they ran the first real alcoholic detox ward in Akron. They (the patients) were in there 5-7 days. Their medical needs were met. Their physical needs were met, they got good food and rest. And most importantly, their spiritual needs were met. They were not allowed any outside contact except for their A.A. sponsors. No radio, no newspaper, no literature of any kind, except (until the Big Book was printed) a Bible or maybe a copy of Emmett Fox's "Sermon On The Mount," or "The Greatest Thing In The World," by Henry Drummond. Their sponsors walked them through the steps after a fashion, using the Oxford Group program. If there was a relapse after discharge, they were not allowed back in, except in special circumstances. The success rate was quite a bit higher than today.

  8. Continuing where I left off, contrast that with how we run our detox. Still 5-7 days, but there it ends. Mixed bag of everything, alcoholics, heroin addicts, meth heads, benzos, oxy contin kids, and a drug is a drug. Instead of spiritual needs being met, we park them in front of TV in the dayroom where they sit and swap war stories and watch garbage TV all day long like "Cops" and reality shows and "Jerry Springer. They come in with a head full of shit and leave with a head full of shit. And many of them come back over and over again. We try to work with them, but we are under staffed. Most don't to get well any way, they just want to rest up for a few days so they won't have to shake it off under a bridge or be dope sick in jail.

  9. I was in the local treatment center about 8 years ago. The main reason was to save a job. I'd fessed up to a bad night that didn't necessarily involve my company nor a vehicle. It was just me in a blackout getting thrown in jail. Now the next morning, I made my amends to the affected, mainly monetarily. Then I had to explain my work absence and why I was in no shape to do my work and I was encouraged to fess up and ask the company for help, and I did. They recommended a treatment for my alcoholism, which I was hiding and had gotten out of control, and that I do random alcohol/drug tests, which I complied with as well.

    So, I chose the treatment center closest to my home and the one that was only 14 days. I had gone back to A.A. where my "colleagues" told me "The treatment center is B.S. and doesn't work." I said, "But if I don't do this, I lose my job. What would you do in my shoes?" They said, "Make the best of it, then come to A.A. and do the deal." So that's what I did. I was a pain in the ass for most as I seemed to be the only one who really had any idea that I was the problem and that entire abstinence was obtainable and desirable. I even chaired meetings while in there and did their crazy 4th step.

    I did not spend the night there. I ate their food, drove myself home every night... about 11:00 pm-ish, and drove myself back there at about 7:00 am every morning. It was like a 2 week vacation from work.

    When I was done, I went back to A.A. where they promptly told me to redo my steps, which I did. But I did really get everything I could from those counselors there.

    They were fairly adamant about "a drug is a drug is a drug" and there is an unfortunate culture in my town built around this violation of traditions as many of the "alumni" from the treatment centers perpetuate this in many of the meetings in town. But there is a small but separate faction of both A.A. and N.A. that does not.

    While I was about 10 days into my treatment center stay and nearing my end and commencement of there program, I was walking by the nurse station and a gal there asked me, "Do you want your valium now?" Swear to God, no shit. I said, "I'm not taking valium nor have I ever taken valium in my life. I came here to the treatment center 10 days sober. I did not detox here." Then she said, "Oh... are you sure you don't want a valium?" I said, "Why the fuck... would I take a valium?"

    This is something I don't understand. I worked for a company that did give its patients for elective surgery valium. It was more for the doctor than the patient, if you know what I mean. But to do that, it required a doctor's signature in each and every case for each and every pill. Then at the end of the night, a tech counted off each and every remaining valium pill unused and a witness watched. With two signatures, they sealed off the pill bottle and locked it up.

    WTF? This "nurse" had worked there for years afterwards too. Is this not some kind of violation of protocal? Is valium not mainly used in the detoxification process? These folks detoxed elsewhere and didn't usually start the CDU program for a day or three, until they were safely detoxed.

    Anyway... more later.

  10. I have been to so many rehabs, and they are all 12 step centered, with the exception of two where I made SURE I wouldn't have to deal with the steps.

    The rehabs are nothing more than one giant AA meeting at a big price tag. And you folks wonder why those over at ST call it all a billion dollar industry. IT IS!

  11. So, did this non-A.A. oriented rehab let you bitch, piss, and moan about A.A. while you swam around in the warm piss-water of your own tears?

    Oh, it did? Good. You must have gotten your money's worth.

  12. "And you folks wonder why those over at ST call it all a billion dollar industry. IT IS"!

    They condemn AA for freely giving away what a rehab sells for $12,000.00. Yet they leave the rehabs alone.
    That makes as much sense as they do in every other area. None.