There are a couple new books about that jettison the ‘wisdom’ spouted in AA. I spent thirty years in “the program” but as a person with bipolar disorder and then three years of uncontrolled tardive dyskinesia, if I shared anything about these issues wanting to make me drink, the whole room would erupt into haters and ‘me toos’
I got tired of tripping on IED’s and left the program over two years ago. These books shed light on different approaches to treating addiction and point out that AA’s success rates, and this includes people who go to expensive thirty day rehab…those success rates are 3-5%. Of course this goes way up if a person stays, gets a sponsor and works the steps. Then the success rate for lifelong sobriety is thirty percent. But what about the other seventy percent of us??? Don’t we deserve an alternative?
“Unbroken Brain” suggests that addiction (and she’s a former opiate addict now successful author and freelance writer) is a ‘learning disorder’ in other words, by experimenting with drugs to begin with, we activate the dopamine neurotransmitter and if we could just unlearn that and replace it with a healthy way of getting ‘high’ we’ll be ok.
“The Sober Truth” points out many flaws in AA philosophy and the multimillion dollar rehab industry and other 12-step treatment providers, who think “abstinence only” is the only way to go. If you remember 8 in 10 people who start taking opiates took it for pain and still have that pain, then you can see that for someone like the late Prince, who had excruciating hip pain, “abstinence only” is not going to cut it. They always relapse and take the same amount they used to take, but their tolerance has gone down and they OD. It’s a sad story.
Just like with heroin addicts, methadone, always has been legal and it’s proven that it cuts OD’s by 75% percent, cuts down on disease transmission (dirty needles) and cuts relapse on dangerous drugs like Heroin that’s laced with God knows what like crazy!
Everyone screams and demonizes the opiates instead of laying the blame where it belongs…the addicts who abuse the pills.
Oxycontin was terrific in terms of being safe and time-released except addicts figured out a way to trick with the coating so they could get the ‘rush’ of the entire dose right away instead of letting it slowly time release.
And we pay for the ‘high’ they were chasing. I don’t take Opiates anymore but I did so safely and conservatively for twelve years. It bought me a quality of life I can only dream of now. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take them anymore due to side effects. Since I stopped, I’ve canceled gym membership, let my pilates classes expire and can’t write nearly as long as sitting in the chair aggravates it.