Saturday, February 12, 2011
Treatment Center Versus Alcoholics Anonymous?
Jim... you just printed up the best description of the difference between the Treatment Center and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. You had "Chris S" at the bottom of it... I've heard of Chris R, but who is Chris S?
It said something about the alcoholic being different than the hard drinker or the real addict being different from the hard drug user? I guess this is very possible. I don't think I know what it's like being a hard drinker. I was a hard ... or maybe a firm drug user from time to time. But I remember being young... like 18, 19 years old and purposely laying off the weed so I could have a good drunk-on and not get sick. Getting the bed spins is a good waste of booze. But it rarely stopped me. Now drinking to unconsciousness... that's something I could relate to.
It said something about the treatment centers/rehabs/etc. not wanting to turn loose of some of their clients? How would that go? You are a bad drunk and this treatment center may not be effective for you. Give it a shot and if you are not satisfied after 90 meetings in 90 days, we'll give you 80% of your money back... less charges for this wonderful and nutritious food."
I was sent to treatment centers. I have my own experience with them. In the first one, back when I was 18, I learned that "For me to drink again is insane." This is how I would sum up my first reading of the 164 in the Big Book, of which I did during my stay at Washington House Detox. What else I learned there was how to play spades and smoke cigarettes until 3:00 am every morning and how to get 13th Stepped by a 26 year old girl with a Camaro and the Playboy Channel. If you think I'm bragging about the last comment, you'd be correct. Now... without going to A.A., I left that experience to go back to smoking weed and staying away from booze for about 6 or 8 months... the details are foggy. But I did manage to do all kinds of fun drugs, like acid, shrooms, opium, coke... snorted and smoked, crank, whippits! Ha. That last one is funny. Amazing I have any brain cells left. But guess what? After about a half a year or so... I decided I was missing something, not being all that I could be. So, I decided to try some controlled drinking. I drank 8 beers my first night and drove home. Was quite sure this was great and I could handle it. A few days later, I was back to blacking out and a week later, I spun out of control, wrecked my car and felt like a fucking loser POS that didn't deserve to live.
I tried so hard to control my drinking over the years, only to find as the book says, pitiful, incomprehensible demoralization. I really really could control my drugs though. I could smoke $50.00 worth of freebase with a friend in Louisville Colorado, go home and stay away from him and his cocaine for months, years. In fact, the last several times I'd seen him was since I got sober.
I got sober and stopped doing drugs... except for caffeine.
Now, let's talk about treatment centers and money. There's a dude named Wayne B. who spoke at our Ocsoberfest a couple of years ago, and his spiel was that things changed in Recovery Land, for the worse, once the insurance companies regarded alcoholism as a disease and an addiction. I'm not saying I know how this all went down nor am I the expert here. I also don't know where to place the blame.
I'm not of the belief that it's all A.A.s fault. I do believe that it's all A.A.s burden. When the treatment and alcoholism recovery industry fails, A.A. gets the blame. Just ask our anti/XAers out there in cyberland.
Well.. back to my treatment/rehab experiences... so, my first attempt merely planted the seed for me. Ten years after buying my first Big Book I would dig that book out again and give A.A. an earnest attempt. From 1994 to the present, I have 7 years of continuous sobriety and no wrecked cars as a result. That's got to be worth something.
However, I did manage to cause damage to a hotel in Durango Colorado. That landed me back to a treatment center. To get sober or dried out? No. To save a job. My A.A. peeps told me that it wouldn't work and I've have to re-learn my recovery once I got out... if I was going to do A.A. So I told them, "What the fuck do you want me to do? Quit the rehab, leave and quit my job or get fired?" They said, "No. Do their deal and get some rest. Consider it a 2 week vacation." So I did. Then a year later, I'd stayed sober and my place of business let me go and refused to pay the treatment center bill. They charged $14,000.00 and my employer picked up $6,000.00 of it and said the treatment center charged too much. So Parkview of Pueblo Colorado sent the remaining $8,000.00 that I owed to a collection agency and I paid them off... thanks to a pension, some tax-return savings, and a gracious wife who stood by me.
I think treatment centers suck ass and the Industry of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction is a big huge fucking scam.
But I'm the fucking loser piece of shit who chose to drink booze, right? Well I'm sober now and all of my naysayers can suck my hairy sweaty sober balls.
If you have anything to add to this topic, please do so. What you cannot do is argue my actual experience with the deal. Now, I go to those treatment center meetings from time to time. There are a couple of counselors who are either there or once worked there who I respect and who I can discuss recovery with. One guy is someone who I would describe as a recovered alcoholic and perhaps a recovered addict. Though he can't seem to put the tobacco down. Too bad he may die of lung cancer. But he's an otherwise smart and spiritual guy. The other guy ain't an alky, but is an otherwise neat guy. I disagree with him 100% about recovery. He's a huge proponent of current science, THIQ, and the "drug is a drug is a drug" philosophy.