A New Approach To The Drug Crisis: Augment 12-Step Programs & Drug Laws

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Silhouette, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    OK, so we all know a drug addict or seven, or seventy. And what do they all have in common? The desire to use numbing substances in order to escape deep emotional pain from past traumas and/or current unlivable stresses. The escapism becomes a thing in itself even outside the substance of choice. This is why if one cleans up from one drug they often sidestep to another and the whole process begins again.

    I've seen this a dozen times or more. An addict is ordered by the courts to attend 12-step meetings. 12-step meetings do have their limited benefits, don't get me wrong. But they are filled with people in various stages of denial about their addiction process, and really, outside just moral support for those ashamed and struggling, to find others like themselves willing to explore getting better, the 12-step program has its limitations.

    I was watching a documentary on addiction the other day and heard one of the intervention specialists say something interesting. He said something like "if you want your daughter to get better, you have to understand that it isn't her addictions making her sick, it's her sickness making her addicted". The solution was an in-house treatment that focused on one-on-one counseling to address the core reasons of emotional pain and childhood trauma that led to the escapism in the first place. All family members were required to participate and acknowledge (verify) their part in the painful experiences, as much as possible.

    So, in addition to 12-step attendance, I'd say a court-ordered one-on-one counseling stint of no less than 6 months (more would be better), outpatient, would be a MUST.

    Also, I'm not exactly sure how to work out the fine details of drug-sentencing laws, but I had another idea. Drug addicts when they fall deep into their lifestyles, begin to push away healthy people and only begin to associate with other addicts and their suppliers. It becomes like their new family. What if there were laws that punished other addicts for associating with a newly-sentenced addict if they were found in the company of said addict with drugs? Relapse is the highest among people who are just starting to kick the habit.

    It would be like a sort of blanket restraining order against others approaching that sentenced addict. I'm sure there would be issues with freedoms etc., but if you go to a newly-recovering addict's house with the dope he's trying to get off of, you face like triple the penalties for normal possession?

    We are trying to get a grip on this problem as a nation. I'm always a big fan of taking in the information, distilling it down to its roots and then getting to the root of a problem in order to keep the weed from growing back.

    Your thoughts? Other ideas? This is intended to be an exploratory thread and not a "legalize/not legalize" flame war, OK kiddies?
     
  2. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Should work for some who desperately desire help...

    ... figure about the same percentage as AA, GA & NA...

    ... around 10% of those who come through the doors.
     
  3. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    So you are saying 90% relapse rate? That sounds about right.
     
  4. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    This approach may seem appealing to humanists, but it has a fatal flaw: addicts at some point still have to go back home and face the emotional pain and stress they are burying with the drugs. Nice to expose them to a different environment, but the geographical-cure has already been tried and flopped miserably.

    World-class athlete develops unconventional program to help drug addicts
    Getting them to seek a new rush is just the sidestepping I was talking about in the OP. The core of the issue is getting them to STOP seeking the rush and the high and face their pain, walk through it and come out the other side more sober and not numbing themselves.
     
  5. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    From Psychology Today we find the nugget of wisdom; the core of the issue of addiction:

    If one on one psychotherapy was added to a 12-step sentencing (or even replaced it), the root of the weed can be killed by teaching addicts how to face pain incrementally so that finally their coping skills will allow them greater strength in resisting addictive behaviors intended to numb pain and stress.
     
  6. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    OK, here's one way to NOT get the average addict through your door: Past life regressive therapy: Past life regression therapy | Addiction.com

    It's like all the "solutions" I see dance around "dealing with current issues and changing self-messages" or "learning a new direction to hope for" or the one above "past life regressive therapy".

    I ask, what is wrong with THIS LIFE's regressive therapy? I think I know the answer to that. Therapists are humans too and most of them go into the trade because of disturbances they themselves have been through as kids. So "going there" with clients may be threatening to themselves. It's a shame because childhood and early adult traumas are the root of most mental illness in the world. I know of a therapist with a PhD. I watched that little girl grow up. Her parents are legendary domestic violence athletes, drug abusers etc. The dad to assert his dominance regularly killed her and her little sister's family pets. Sometimes right in front of the two girls. The dad's father (grandpa) used to pimp out his own sisters (PhD's aunts) for cash.

    I know for a fact that doing childhood trauma therapy would NOT be in this gal's wheelhouse. She simply couldn't handle it. But there are therapists who can. Maybe a screening test for the good ones?

    Getting raw with reality is the only way to treat the addicted. And this post I won't apologize for. We need to all understand where the demons live and how to name them and then eradicate them from our past.
     
  7. Tipsycatlover
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    Tipsycatlover Gold Member

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    Addicts make their pain. They are adept at using the ordinary vagaries of life to be so painful they must use. The addict will start a fight with family, coworkers, neighbors, strangers, just to have an excuse to use. Then there is part two. The denigration of anyone who doesn't use. Not using means you hate freedom (and hate the addict too). You just want to stop people from enjoying themselves. Those that don't use have no understanding. The addict is a better person when they use. They are smarter, kinder, more aware, they are more physically fit. They are better at everything they do. Those that don't use are worthless curmudgeons.

    12 step programs work, therapy doesn't work. Rehab doesn't work. Unless these addicts give up their concept of self, nothing will work.
     
  8. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    Yes, good point. After the original pain causes them to seek numbing substances, then they set up a self-perpetuating cycle of creating stress/drama in order to give themselves an excuse to keep using. This is why most experts refer to the disease as a "dual disease" of mind and spirit. The spirit suffers and starts using. The mind then becomes addicted and creates more suffering to justify a continuation of the substance it craves.

    The spirit starts to shrink and the addicted brain/mind takes over. The cure is to bolster the spirit once again. And that can only be done by teaching it/the addict in moments of rare sobriety in controlled situations (therapy) how to face its original pain and move through it to grow and become the dominant partner once again in the spirit/mind balance.

    I did say I wasn't totally dissing 12 step. But the root is deeper than you may think. It is a disease of the spirit and mind. 12 step is helpful in one main way and that is for the addict in individual therapy to see a group of his own peers call him regularly on his bullshit and say "yeah asshole, you're not fooling anyone here!". Both are essential because when the addict walks out of the therapist's office he still has the idea of peer pressure (for better or worse) to affect him daily.

    Perhaps this is yet another stumbling block we face as a society. In order to find a cure for this spiritual/brain disease we have to first admit and notice and study the spirit in relation to the physical interface: the body and the world it interacts with.

    In my own humble observations I've noticed that with children they come in as nearly pure spirits. Then over time their personality develops in order to cope/interact with the other people in the world who are overlain with these concreations-to-cope. But the spirit remains in all of us, shrouded to this or that degree by the personality-interface. Think of it like the spirit is the hard drive and the personality is the collection of software so that people can actually use the spirit to interact. Eventually people forget the hard drive exists and erroneously believe the software is all there is to their machine.

    Addicts are the epitome of this. Their malware/software completely takes over to such a degree that they're willing to actively erode their own hard drive (die) and everyone else's in their midst in order to justify continuing to use.

    Your other points are well taken too, and it's clear you are very familiar with how addicts think about their world. Would you agree though that eradicating the concept of self importance gone wild is a form of spiritual healing? If you take for granted that one of the hallmarks of a person with decent spiritual awareness is one who is capable of seeing how their actions affect others?

    I remember a line from a song that says "it's so easy to hurt others when you can't feel pain". The original reasons for seeking numbing can open the door to see how being numb caused the addict to turn a blind eye to the pain he was causing others.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  9. Tipsycatlover
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    Tipsycatlover Gold Member

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    I have extensive experience with addicts. I have never seen therapy work. Not even one time. There might be some fleeting success, which disappears as soon as the addicts feel successful. I have seen 12 step programs work. Many times. An addict in the throes of impetus to use can be stopped by "what step do you need to work. Work that step right now." It's a spiritual program which has to be used by people who gave up spirituality years ago or never had it.

    It does no good whatsoever to persuade addicts to understand the pain they cause others. They don't care. They will never care. They need the 8th step to make them care. Face what you did and do something about it.
     
  10. Silhouette
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    Silhouette Gold Member

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    I've seen 12 step work too, except when the addict gets stuck at the "fearless personal inventory" (past regression). Most addicts who fail in 12 step fail precisely at this step. And this is where the individual therapy can and must augment 12 step in order to increase the success of the 12 step program.

    I disagree on the caring/not caring part. I think if you had to find one hallmark that predicts the success of a recovering addict it would be at that precise moment in time the addict started to care how his actions affected others and vice versa from his/her past as well. This is the root of all 12 step failure or success.

    I'll give you a case example. One man I know who is an addict struggling to get sober had a father who was a fiend. He drank and beat both his mother and himself and his siblings. The father got into the program and waffled around, but finally got his sobriety when he began to see how his actions affected his family. His eldest son (my friend's brother) committed suicide and I believe at that point the lesson really hit home. He spent the rest of his life being kind to his wife and trying to set a better example for his surviving wounded children to live by. In this way he maintained his sobriety, with a rare slip here and there, which is usual for even the best of recovering addicts.

    In other words, he finally learned to care how his actions affected others via his son's suicide. A very hard lesson indeed. And from this, he found sobriety.

    Just want to say again how I value your input. This discussion is a hard one to have and your experience is invaluable. I suspect precisely because most of us have old issues from the past, many people give this thread a read and uncomfortably move on without commenting...
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

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