Many alcoholism experts as well as many former members of Alcoholic Anonymous express concern that the organization is either a cult or cult-like, that it indoctrinates members, and that it uses very strong social and psychological pressures to force compliance from vulnerable people. Many call it authoritarian and some call it fascistic. Many also wonder if so-called alcoholics who go to AA are replacing one problem with another, as A.A. has no true success rate and rather hinders a user’s chance of sobriety from alcohol.
A.A.’s belief is that people with a drinking problem must first publicly admit that they are an alcoholic. It also teaches them that they will always be alcoholic; that they are powerless; that they must summit to a Higher Power; that if they don’t abstain from alcohol they will die as a result; that if they have even a single drink, they will lose control over their consumption; and that they will need to attend A.A. for the rest of their lives.
Critics point out that members are discouraged from thinking for themselves; from questioning A.A. beliefs; from asking difficult questions; from socializing with non-alcoholics; and from moving beyond the group. Many say that A.A. simply replaces one dependency with another.
Unfortunately, A.A. has a one year success rate of only about five percent and most alcohol rehabs use A.A. as part of their programs. In fact, most are based on A.A.’s 13 steps. That may be why such facilities are so ineffective and people repeatedly return to them in hope of success.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to A.A.’s control-oriented ideology and methods. The Cognitive Behavioral Education program at St. Jude Retreats is based on the Freedom Model of human behavior. St. Jude’s methods are different from A.A. and alcohol rehabs as day is from night.
The St Jude Retreat Program teaches that alcoholics are not powerless, that they needn’t submit to a Higher Power, that they don’t lose control after consuming one drink, that they needn’t attend group meetings for the rest of their lives, that they needn’t accept any ideology, that they can think as they wish, and that they are free to make their own personal choices.
Although A.A.’s success rate is only about five percent (that is, only one out of 20 members is successful in abstaining for one year), St. Jude’s long-term success rate is 62%. Important is the fact that St. Jude’s is the only program in the United States that has its success rate researched and calculated by an outside, independent professional research firm. There are no labels at St Jude’s and you won’t be considered an alcoholic. If A.A. has failed you, we suggest calling our program today to discover the new life you have been waiting for!
Organization Brief :
|Organization Name :||Alcoholic Anonymous|
|Telephone No. :||(212) 870-3400|
|Address :||475 Riverside Drive at West 120th St.|
Share and Enjoy
With the anticipation of the “biggest storm of the century” battling down on the east coast, there are commonly two ways people react. There are those who embrace the over dramatization of the news channels and media, obtaining unnecessary fear and panic and then those who are of course skeptics, who believe that the media has overplayed the storm. The same thing is brought to mind with our current “addiction crisis.”
Now while Sandy is currently leaving her battle scars on the east coast, the weather channel and media have those believers scared and panicked. As forewarned east coasters heard more and more bad news, they flocked to local grocery stores to stock up on water, batteries and canned food. Pretty much, anything and everything the news channel has advised to pick up, most of us east coasters ran and purchased.
While the news is trying to be preventative, there has been some bluffing in the past, or over-hyping previous storms. Sandy was a monster, but didn’t reach the impact expected by the weather channel. The point is that our society believes anything the media says, it instills fear in us and can persuade us to think in certain ways. So what’s to say that the media isn’t blowing America’s “addiction problems” into something it’s not?
We commonly don’t hear people say someone is being over dramatic about their alcohol use, because they believe they have a real disease. After all, our culture, especially the media, runs tv special after special about addictions and how they are a permanent part of life. Our culture has blown the “disease of addiction” into an epidemic, but realistically, more people overcome alcohol and drugs by quitting themselves, over those who go into rehab or treatment. The reason why so many people struggle with stopping is because the media, therapists or programs in the past have told them they can’t stop! In an “alcoholic’s” mind, what if their disease is simply fear that others have projected on them?
Fear of the unknown, fear of dying, fear of being hurt. Essentially fear can make us think and act completely uncharacteristically. Every time we hear drug addiction stories from national news to celebrity gossip magazines it raises an alarm in those that are currently using and for their loved ones. Parents shield their teens from the next “drug epidemic” and people live in fear of being addicted to everything!
In the end maybe those skeptics who don’t panic over everything are the ones with the most common sense, who can think the most clearly, when things seem to be spiraling out of control. When it comes to common sense those who understand they have gained power over alcohol and drugs find it revolutionary and those who realize they don’t have a disease of addiction are most successful at abstaining from their habit.
That’s why at Saint Jude’s we don’t blow addiction into something it’s not, we know you aren’t sick, which is why you are educated in our program about what addiction truly is and ways you can overcome alcohol and drug use. You are never treated at St Jude’s. Call our program at 1-888-424-2626 for more information!
**This article has no intention of downplaying Sandy’s wrath, and our thoughts are with all those on the east coast (including ourselves) that have been impacted by the storm but this article is rather to point out how the media creates unnecessary, hype, and fear about, well frankly, everything.
Share and Enjoy
Marijuana use will always be a controversial topic but I recently read an advice column on how to kick a cannabis habit and it caused quite a stir with readers. As I perused through the comments I realized that people were angered by the fact that the author provided a lackluster answer for how to quit. In addition to a “try on your own” example, she continued by listing some addiction treatment methods.
Many readers seemed upset by the author’s quote, “Like all heavy drug users, stoners get high for a reason; to get your drug use under control, you need to find other ways of solving the problem.” My question is, does everyone smoke pot due to underlying reasons? Do people who smoke pot, smoke to get high every time or use it just to relax? Just because someone smokes pot doesn’t mean they are necessarily doing it to become high, I believe many people are recreational marijuana users because, well they simply like it, it’s comparable to a glass of wine after work for them.
Furthermore, if the effects of marijuana are not affecting their job, relationships or overall quality of life, why should they stop?
Now while many readers admitted that even though they were daily users they are still extremely productive and successful, but on the flip side people were upset that the author did not take marijuana addiction more seriously. Who decides when occasional pot use is considered heavy? How is someone diagnosed with a “marijuana addiction?” Many drug treatment centers who treat people for a marijuana addiction will blame it on underlying issues, they ignore the fact that people enjoy the high and blame their use on trying to forget their past failures.
If marijuana use wasn’t illegal and the treatment industry didn’t exist, I don’t see marijuana addiction even being considered a problem today. In fact the treatment industry has continuously lead people to believe they are addicted to pot, when most people can and do stop at any time on their own, without ever needing treatment. A first time offender of pot possession will most likely be offered drug rehabilitation or jail, or in some cases both. They may be court ordered to attend meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous or Marijuana Anonymous. Once they are entered into a “treatment” program, the person using is told they have a drug addiction, from which they can never recover. This belief creates a cycle of endless addiction.
So what do you think? I would love to hear other opinions as to what constitutes “heavy” pot use and if you think many people enjoy marijuana for the high or do they perceive to gain other advantages from it?
Share and Enjoy
What does “success rate” mean? That’s a very important question. In fact, it’s the essential question to be answered by any alcohol or drug rehab program.
The internet is full of rehab facilities describing themselves as having such things as
“one of the most successful treatment centers in the country”
“a proven HIGH success rate,” and
an “unmatched record of success.”
But virtually always lacking is any evidence or any actual specific success rate.
And most programs don’t even claim any success rate, only present glowing but vague generalities such as “we save lives,” “we provide hope,” or we’re the “#1 addiction treatment center.”
Drug and alcohol rehab centers advertise their individualized programs, holistic approaches, luxury facilities, superb cuisine, beautiful rooms, and other amenities. They show pictures of beautiful locations, attractive clients and staff, and breathtaking sunsets.
But this is all completely irrelevant if they aren’t successful. Success is all that matters.
Very rarely, a rehab will report some success rate or range of success rates. But what exactly do the statistics mean? That’s a good question.
There are many ways to measure success. For example, some may define success as moderating alcohol or drug use, whereas others may measure it only in terms of maintaining complete abstinence. Some may measure it for a very short period of time following release whereas may define it for as long as the facility has been in existence.
To make matters worse, the programs decide how and what to measure and then proceed to do the actual measuring themselves. This is like asking students to award themselves their own grades!
This means that potential clients are faced with “comparing apples to oranges” without even being able to see the fruit in question. This forces them to fall back on looking at beautiful pictures and reading glowing descriptions that the programs write about themselves.
That’s no way to select a program.
Only one program commissions outside research firms to evaluate the success of its clients for the entire period of time the program has been in existence. In addition, potential clients can read the evaluation reports online at their leisure. Learn more at Success Rates.
That’s the way to select a program.
Share and Enjoy
While there are no actual underlying causes for substance use, individuals with a drug or alcohol problem may have reasons to justify their use. When someone claims there are “causes” it makes it sound as if that person has no control and that just is not the case. Substance users always have control, no one forces the alcohol or drugs into their bodies, those are choices those individuals decide to make.
Many people who feel they have an alcohol “addiction” blame it on their current situation, whether it involves relationships, a job, financial stress or just life in general. But these factors really do not contribute or cause substance use. All people experience stressful situations and go through hard times. If they are taught that drinking or drugging are good ways to deal with the natural struggles and challenges of life, then that is what they will use to cope. It is simple really; it is all based on a person’s own beliefs. If they believe drugs and alcohol are good coping tools they will use them as such. If they do not, they won’t use them.
The fundamental reason why people in our society use substances is because they like to use them and gain some form of happiness or pleasure from it. Now, someone might also use substances as a learned coping mechanism if they believe it will help them during difficult times, but nonetheless, doesn’t it come right down to liking the feeling of being drunk and/or high? Just because a person has stress and/or trauma in their life does not mean they must get drunk and high.
All people experience stress and trauma, and the majority do not drink or drug at all. So getting drunk or high when things are difficult does not have to be the way these issues are handled. That choice is up to that person, and they can change that pattern and the course of their life. That is where St. Jude’s will help you.
The most important thing a person struggling with substance use problems can do is separate substance use from life issues, so that each can be addressed with their own specific solutions. By breaking the connection between substance use habits and other life issues, a person dealing with these problems is able to solve each with amazing efficiency. Substance use problems can be a thing of the past, and changing your belief system about substance use can be the key to making it a reality.