news and links
'Only good at cleansing your wallet': The truth about detox http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/health/only-good-at-cleansing-your-wallet-the-truth-about-detox/
'Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life, but now I’ve lost my faith' The Big Book (AA’s core text) says: “there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.” Well, actually it has. In the mid-1990s, an American doctor, David Sinclair, began using an opiate blocker called naltrexone to treat alcoholics. Naltrexone inhibits the euphoria alcoholics get from drinking and allows them to drink normally. This is called “pharmacological extinction”. It means that, eventually, the drinker no longer associates alcohol with a high. (According to AA, that association is never lost.) What became known as the Sinclair Method has now been used to treat thousands of alcoholics in Finland, where he worked. In the rest of the world, naltrexone is largely unheard of (although nalmefene, a similar treatment, is available on prescription in Britain). What’s more, it’s out of patent, which means it’s unattractive to pharmaceutical companies who can no longer profit from it – so they’ve no reason to promote it. Sadly Sinclair died earlier this year, without the international recognition he deserved. http://gu.com/p/4efcb/stw
The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous. Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective. Gabrielle Glaser. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/03/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/
There Has To Be a Better Way Than Alcoholics Anonymous. Chez Pazienza http://thedailybanter.com/2015/03/there-has-to-be-a-better-way-than-alcoholics-anonymous/
The U.S. public health establishment buries overwhelming evidence that abstinence is a cause of heart disease and early death. People deserve to know that alcohol gives most of us a higher life expectancy—even if consumed above recommended limits. http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/truth-wont-admit-drinking-healthy-87891/
Challenging the 12-step hegemony. For much of the past 50 years or so, voicing any serious skepticism toward Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12-step program was sacrilege—the equivalent, in polite company, of questioning the virtue of American mothers or the patriotism of our troops. If your problem was drink, AA was the answer; if drugs, Narcotics Anonymous. And if those programs didn’t work, it was your fault: You weren’t “working the steps.” The only alternative, as the 12-step slogan has it, was “jails, institutions, or death.” By 2000, 90 percent of American addiction treatment programs employed the 12-step approach. In any other area of medicine, if your doctor told you that the cure for your disease involved surrendering to a “higher power,” praying to have your “defects of character” lifted, and accepting your “powerlessness,” as outlined in the original 12 steps, you’d probably seek a second opinion. But, even today, if you balk at these elements of the 12-step gospel, you’ll often get accused of being “in denial.” And if you should succeed in quitting drinking without 12-step support, you might get dismissed as a “dry drunk.” Fortunately—just in time for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that substance misuse be covered in a way that is equivalent to coverage for physical illnesses—a spate of new books is challenging the 12-step hegemony. Last year, the bestselling author David Sheff published Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, which includes a chapter aimed at debunking the idea that AA is the only way. The author Anne Fletcher released Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment and How To Get Help That Works, a deeply reported exposé on the poor results and exorbitant prices of upscale rehab centers. And the journalist Gabrielle Glaser came out with Her Best Kept Secret, which illustrates, among other things, how forcing AA attendance on women makes them easy prey for sexual predators. http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/75-years-alcoholics-anonymous-time-admit-problem-74268/
Gene Makes Some Drink More When Other Boozers Are Around. Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/alcohol-social-gene/
Pill For Alcoholism May Also Dampen Urge To Steal. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102974699
How We Get Addicted. http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1640436,00.html
Alternative 12 Steps
the realization that the system was based on making people pay. From lawyers to judges to court clerks to counselors to those working in the caffiteria at the courthouse.
"Look at the person sitting next to you. 50% of you will re offend and return to this program. Will it be you or the person next to you?"
Alcoholics Anonymous doesn't work for everyone -- and that's OK. Failing to achieve sobriety using AA and other programs that insist alcoholics are powerless over their 'disease' doesn't mean an addict is without hope. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-oew-coy-alcholics-anonymous-20100730,0,754278.story
Alcoholics Anonymous is open to all. Contrary to the imagery accompanying a Times article, the organization is not a religion-based recovery program. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/debate/la-oew-0714-aamichelle-20100712,0,950788.story
In the end, it's just one drunk talking to another. Exercise, acupuncture, self-help books, special diets, psychiatrists — nothing worked till he tried Alcoholics Anonymous. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-fleming-alcoholics-anonymous-20100704,0,4349404.story
Changing attitudes through Beatitudes
Faith-based recovery program helps participants heal
October 13, 2006 Looking back, Tami described her life three years ago as “bankrupt in every sense of the word.” Her husband of 18 years had walked out on her. She lost her job and her teenage son struck out on his own.
“I was extremely angry with the world,” she said. “It was always somebody else’s fault.”
It wasn’t until a friend directed Tami to a Celebrate Recovery program that her life began to turn around and brought her to Alaska.
“Celebrate Recovery led me to listen to what God wanted,” Tami told newcomers last Friday night at Zion Lutheran Church.
Since early June, the faith-based recovery program has slowly grown, mainly by word of mouth.
“We have about 25-40 people every week and are hoping for 150 to 200 by the end of the year,” said Alice Heckert, program coordinator.
Participants gather for a buffet dinner at 6 p.m. every Friday, followed by worship, song and a lesson in the church sanctuary at 7 with testimony or a special speaker before breaking up to meet in small groups segregated by gender. The evening ends with coffee and dessert in the church lobby.
Why Friday night?
Heckert said the program organizers didn’t even consider any other night of the week.
“That is the night most everybody is out there partying,” Heckert said. “A night when people are in a bad place and they need the company too.”
Healing is the H-word aspired to at Celebrate Recovery. Participants work on overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits ranging from eating disorders, gambling, drinking, grief, abuse, sexual addictions, pornography, broken relationships and depression in a safe, confidential environment.
“It’s forward looking, and it emphasizes personal responsibility,” Heckert said.
At Celebrate Recovery the life-transforming goal of healing relies on the assistance of a higher power. It’s not a generic God that is called upon by program participants, but Jesus Christ.
The recovery ministry adheres to eight recovery principles found in the Beatitudes and a Christ-centered 12-step program, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Some in the program, like Scott, a recovering alcoholic, said, “We need something more than AA.”
Bill Slayden, a Celebrate Recovery group leader who overcame alcohol and drug addiction through AA and Narcotics Anonymous, has embraced the new program.
“This is what I was looking for a long time,” Slayden said. “I’ve seen many lives already touched and changed by what’s going on here.”
Celebrate Recovery is not a replacement for AA or NA but an adjunct to addiction programs, Heckert said. Nor does it replace therapy.
“It complements any recovery program you’re in,” she said.
In addition to the Friday night gatherings, during which child care is provided, Celebrate Recovery Step Studies are held during the week in confidential, caring groups, sharing and working through the program’s steps and principles with a trained facilitator.
There is an afternoon and evening group for women and two evening men’s groups.
The Celebrate Recovery ministry started in 1991 at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., by John Baker, a pastor with Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life.” Today, thousands of churches worldwide are running the program.
A Celebrate Recovery workshop will be held Saturday at Zion Lutheran, 2982 Davis Road. Registration is $10 and fellowship begins at 8 a.m., followed by worship at 9 a.m. and an introduction to the program at 10.
Following lunch, there will be leadership training at 1:30 p.m.; a Saturday Nite Alive Worship Service at 5 p.m.; and a free evening concert featuring Bryan Duncan, which begins at 7 p.m.
Workshop leaders include Duncan, who holds three Dove Awards, has sold more than a million records and did the video for “Left Behind.”
Also training will be Hillary DeCecchis, CR Northwest regional director, and Charlie Graham from Saddleback Church, who offers the program to rescue missions in Southern California.
For more information, contact Heckert at 590-1062 or firstname.lastname@example.org.