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Day: August 23, 2018

Holistic Treatment

Holistic Treatment

Holistic Treatment is a treatment industry marketing catch-all phrase. Treatment centers use this term to build a case that changing a drug or alcohol habit is complicated and that becoming sober demands that you change all aspects of your life, not just your substance use. The definition of holistic is: Taking into account all of somebody’s physical, mental, and social conditions in the treatment of illness.

While a holistic treatment program sounds both plausible and appropriate as a solution to one’s addiction, it muddies an already difficult situation by overcomplicating it. Another more technical sounding term describing the same term is “biopsychosocial.” In that approach, it’s believed the “addict” needs medications and exercise (this is the bio, or biological element); therapies for emotional problems and traumas (this is the psycho, or psychological element);
and a special sober living home, recovering friends, career training, healthy hobbies, and maybe even treatment for your family so they won’t be “codependent” or “enabling” (this is the social element). They’re taught that the cessation of substance use will somehow magically happen once all of these elements are brought into balance for you by an entire staff of professionals.That’s holistic and biopsychosocial approaches in a nutshell. They become completely unmanageable.

Here is what The Freedom Model for Addictions text discusses on the psychological element of holistic and biopsychosocial treatments for addiction:
“Next, there are those professionals who are obsessed with the psychological causes of addiction. These include mood disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and trauma/PTSD. The way it’s told by treatment professionals, these “co-occurring disorders” or “underlying causes” leave the substance user with an absolute need for substance use that he will continue to feed until someone outside himself can properly treat his conditions. Here’s how a doctor who works with high-priced rehabs describes the plight of people with substance use problems:

“The vast majority of people with these co-occurring disorders do not receive treatment for both their substance abuse problem and their other co-occurring conditions, which is why most treatment programs have high relapse rates. If you don’t treat the co-occurring condition, then the person is going to continue to have a need to medicate, and if their prescription medications don’t meet their needs adequately, then they’re going to begin to self-medicate again.” (Leeds)

These treatment programs enroll substance users in every kind of therapy possible, diagnose mental illness, prescribe psychiatric meds, and try to root out hidden traumas, as a way to indirectly cause the substance user to stop wanting and using substances. Modern rehabs have gone full bore with this strategy, and yet they still have the same dismal success rates. “Compliance with treatment” is yet again another obstacle in this model. These treatment professionals often can’t seem to cause their patients to continue attending therapy and group counseling, use their “alternative coping methods,” or keep taking their psychiatric meds on schedule. What’s more, many people “comply” with all of these treatment methods, yet they
still find themselves desiring and using substances. In this case, when questioned the believer in the causal power of “co-occurring disorders” will explain that they simply haven’t found the right cocktail of meds and therapies yet.

The fact is, the issue for the individual to figure out is simply this: will further heavy substance use make me happy enough or not? This has not been directly resolved at the level of thought for the struggling individual, so whether the “underlying causes” are resolved or not, he may still desire heavy substance use. This is because those conditions aren’t really underlying “causes.” They may be seen as reasons to use substances by some people at some times, but the fact that everything is going well in life may also be seen as a reason to use substances
heavily. We need to make a note about “psychological causes of addiction” to be clear what our stance is. Heavy substance use is absolutely a matter of psychology; people want it and choose to do it because of how they think. That is to say, it is a matter of the mind and thus psychological. The Freedom Model stance is that people are free to choose to think differently and this will change
the way they feel and behave so in that sense, substance use is a matter of psychology.
However, wh

en treatment professionals speak of psychological causes, they are usually referring to mental disorders or diseases, which they believe to be out of control of the individual, and to be the cause of that individual’s substance use.

There are many more proposed “causes of addiction,” and the fact is that none of them truly hold water because when the claim is that one thing causes another, this should be readily observable and verifiable in every case, yet it never is with respect to substance use. Causal relationships are not subjective by nature. If I told you putting a lit match to an open tank of gasoline “causes” a fiery explosion, you could test this claim. Assuming you survived the explosion, you could do it a hundred times and it will always result in an explosion. But if I told you that poverty causes addiction, and you went to a poor neighborhood to survey 100 people, you might find somewhere between 5 and 20 people who currently fit the diagnosis ofaddiction. Why weren’t the other 80 people caused to use substances heavily? Then you could go to a high priced treatment center, and find nothing but people who grew up in wealth and luxury. What caused them to become addicted if not poverty? Or say I told you trauma causes addiction. If you rounded up 100 people with high trauma scores, only 15 of them might also have “alcoholism.” This is what the research shows. Yet people proudly claim that trauma causes addiction, as if the only response to traumatic events is to dive headlong into heavy substance use. In fact, this response to trauma is the exception, not the rule – the other 85 arenot addicted. Are they superheroes with magical powers somehow able to flout the law that

trauma causes addiction?

These claims of “causes” are based on nothing more than probabilities and correlations. Some reliable percentage of people with depression or anxiety problems also has substance use problems (20%). This correlation doesn’t indicate that depression and anxiety cause addiction, or even that these phenomena are related in any meaningful way. If there is a relationship, it could be that some depressed people think that getting high is a good way to deal with their
depression, or they may even think it relieves the depression. Or it could be that heavy substance use leads to depression. There could be any number of reasons that some people with depression also use substances heavily, but there is nothing that shows heavy substance use is a necessary result of depression, in the same way that an explosion is the necessary result of putting a lit match to gasoline.”

As you can see, the solution to an addiction becomes increasingly hidden under a pile of variables in the holistic or biopsychosocial model. Trauma, depression, and anxiety can and should be addressed for those seeking solutions for them. However, by heaping these human variables together with an addiction problem, and then stating only a holistic treatment program can sort it out, is akin to digging yourself into a deep hole and then needing someone to come along and throw you a rope. It just might be better to not dig. The Freedom Model separates the preference for a substance and all that goes into that personal preference, from
the other natural issues of being human, that is: being depressed, being anxious and experiencing trauma. One need not be tied to the others. The Freedom Model puts the need for a holistic program on hold, and provides a solution for substance use first. Then your other issues can be addressed as singular obstacles to be tackled one at a time.

Sober Living Homes

Over the past 30 years, we at The Saint Jude Retreats have helped thousands of people who struggle with addictions. In that span of experience, we have had guests (and their loved one’s) ask us many times over, “Do you have a sober living home so I have a safe place to live after I complete the program?” The answer usually surprises them, when we say “no we don’t.” For those seeking sober living, this can be upsetting until they learn more about the very important reasons for our reticence to send people to sober living homes. The first of which is that they are typically not a sober environment.

Sober Living Scams Sober Living is a financial catch all for the treatment industry. Because parents and loved ones are desperate to not have the substance user come back home for fear that their loved one will go right back to their old drinking and drugging haunts and habits, they seek any sober living space that is far from their home. This opens the door for a very vulnerable situation where the parent’s fear and panic is taken advantage of by the treatment industry. The substance user is willing to “change people, places and things” by being placed in a sober living house that is far away from their family, only to realize that the majority of these homes are anything but sober environments. Some are actual drug houses. Of course the treatment industry justifies such deplorable environments and results by stating that “relapse is part of recovery.”

This, of course, is unacceptable because the customer’s expectation is 
higher than that, and the low standards of these scams have lead to relapse, extremely high rates of overdose, and the tragic loss of life. These scams came to be known as the “Florida Shuffle” because the fraud was so rampant in the state of Florida. As one Florida State Congressman stated, “Don’t send your kids to rehab here, because we are sending them back in body bags.”

High Death Rates in Sober Living – Why? How did sober living situation get so out of control? The answer lies in the fundamental flaws of the treatment industry as a whole. First, the 12 step mantra that “only an alcoholic can effectively work with another alcoholic,” builds the basis for sober living – that is, to live with those of your kind. This mantra has been repeated so often in the recovery culture, and now society, that people actually believe it. But the reality of what occurs as a result of this idea is a far cry from what the original theory suggested would be the
outcome. Stated plainly, what you get when you crowd freshly sober people together in a house far from home is a blind leading the blind phenomenon. 

There is no growth because the individual’s identities are still focused on “being an addict” or a more nuanced addict identity – “being a person in recovery.” Both say the same thing, and that is, I need to be with other addicts and alcoholics because left in the world outside the addict/alcoholic recovery world, I can’t measure up; I’m broken, I’m weak, and I need to be with my own kind so I can be strong enough to survive. All of this theoretical identity-making is highly destructive and counterproductive, and the high death rates in sober living reflect the ineffectiveness of warehousing the “recovering” population.

Dismantling the Sober Living Charade

Nothing demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the treatment model greater than sober living. It is a microcosm of the shortcomings of believing in the addict identity. It is the result of believing the addiction disease mythology. It is what happens when you teach people in rehab that they are weak and in need of support and that the real world represents a constant danger of “powerful triggers to drink/drug.”

Addiction is a mental construct, it is not a “thing that happens to you.” So therefore you cannot be susceptible to it, or weak to stop yourself from succumbing to it – because addiction is not an “it.” Addiction as stated in rehab and sober living is the idea that you cannot stop yourself from giving in to “it”. But really, what is “it”? “It” – addiction as stated in rehab and sober living – is a disease bent on your destruction. They describe it as if it is a breathing, living, sentient thing. But in reality, addiction is a self-chosen, internal to the individual, personal habit, based on an activity you find enjoyable at some level, and valuable to you. Addiction is not addiction at all, because it is none of what the
addiction industry says it is; it’s not a disease, you aren’t out of control, you’re not weak. You’re simply doing what you want to do which causes panic in those around you. And so you learn to play the victim role – the disease victim. You take on the powerlessness identity because it’s easier to do that, than to tell those panicked around you that you actually like getting drunk and high and that you’re willing to pay the high price for this choice and lifestyle you’ve chosen.

And so you play the charade. You go to rehab. You go to sober living. You “relapse” over and over again. You take on the disease victim identity, and then something insidious begins to happen – you start to believe the charade. There is enough half-truth to everything you hear in treatment for it to make some sense. You begin to actually feel hopeless and weak. You forget that you are the one choosing and acting, and you start to believe that the drugs are somehow acting and thinking on your behalf (this is when the mythology of personifying substances becomes massively destructive). You literally let go of reality and become a ward of the treatment mythology complex.

There are no answers in this model because it is not designed to have them. The entire treatment charade is designed to keep you embroiled in that system; to be in need of “experts” and “sponsors”; to need a special place
called sober living to hide away from the “triggers” and “traumas” and “anxieties” of life; to separate yourself from a self-sufficient identity and into the “sick” and hobbled identity of the “alcoholic” or “drug addict.”

The Answer to Moving Past the Charade Maybe it’s time to learn the truth and be free from this nightmare. Addiction, like so many other scary myths throughout man’s history, is only as strong as your belief in it – like the
witches and trolls of earlier centuries. If you are willing and ready to simply side-step this defeatist addict identity, not be corralled into the human warehousing of rehab and sober living establishments, and move on with your life fully, then read the Freedom Model for Addictions. In it, we debunk the disease theory and all that goes with it. Learn to be free. If however, your life is so chaotic that you are unable to motivate yourself to read it, then look into the at-home Freedom Model Private Instruction option, or The Saint Jude Retreats. The retreats are a residential option if you need to “get away” for a little while and gain the knowledge and perspective to move on from the addiction construct and also become free from the recovery culture as well. We look forward to helping you become free from the treatment and recovery trap!

For more information on The Freedom Model options, call 888-424-2626.

Non 12-Step Program

Non 12-Step Program

The Freedom Model Retreats created the term “Non-12 Step” in the mid-nineties. We had developed the first residential non-12 step program in the world at that time and the term was coined when we began describing our approach as “non-12 step”. Prior to that, the term did not exist and was not used in the public lexicon. There were other non-12 step approaches, but none used that specific term, and all were “meeting” based and remain so to this day. So in this meeting respect, they hold onto one of the main characteristics of the 12 step paradigm, that being to gain “support” through a meeting structure. The Freedom Model has no dependence on such support mechanisms, and consequently we remain the only true and pure non-12 step model in the world. No 12 step meetings and some history

The non-12 step Freedom Model System offered at The Freedom Model Retreats was researched and developed over the past 29 years (founded in 1989). Ironically the non- 12 step model that would eventually grow into the Freedom Model System began in the late eighties as a research project to attempt to prove the efficacy of the 12 step model. Over the span of a 12 year research effort to prove the success of the 12 steps (1989 to 2001), we found the truth – that the 12 steps harm people rather than help them. It was also discovered that the 12 step model fed the entire addiction treatment industry with its myths of powerlessness, loss of control, and the need for perpetual “support.” As the non-12 step model progressed, we abandoned any ideas that did not allow people to be free – free from addiction AND free from the constraints of perpetual “recovery.” This unequivocal definition of freedom is held only by The Freedom Model. In reality, any model that defines itself with a requirement to be attached to meetings or therapy in perpetuity, CANNOT claim to be a true non 12 step approach. This being true – there is only one authentic non-12 step model, and that’s the original, the Freedom Model System.

What about Narconon – Isn’t that a Non-12 step program?

In a word, no. A true non-12 step model does not have a religious agenda, nor a
religious component. It’s important to know that the 12 steps have been deemed a religion in several states, and is a method for Christian conversion. That is where its roots lie, in a first-century Christian movement. For those seeking a religious conversion model, the 12 steps might be a fit.

Like the 12 steps, Narconon is a religious organization. The Narconon program, while claiming to be non-12 step, also claims to not be associated with its parent corporation, The Church of Scientology. So while Narconon states it is not governed by The Church of Scientology and is also a non-12 step model, they are in reality neither.

Narconon IS run and managed by a cult: the Church of Scientology – a religion, and
therefore cannot be a non-12 step model. In this aspect, Narconon borrows the non-12 step moniker as a distraction to what they actually are. This is also true of many other facilities worldwide that now have co-opted the non-12 step program moniker in an effort to inappropriately borrow on the good reputation of The Freedom Model System.

But the big chain of rehabs I called said they have a non-12-step facility. In all likelihood, their version of non-12-step is a “dual diagnosis” program. Their method is to come up with a dozen mental health diagnoses for you, like depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, and more. They call these mental health problems “the underlying causes of addiction” and then set about treating them with medications and therapy. Here’s the rub. Where 12 Step programs say that “character defects” are a major cause of addiction, these dual diagnosis are essentially saying the same thing when they target mental illnesses as the cause. While 12 Step programs say fear is a cause of substance use, dual-diagnosis programs are saying anxiety and stress (essentially more specific types of fears) are the problem. And so on. The non-12-step programs are repackaging 12 step ideas as scientific sounding methodologies.

Although they may not require 12 Step meetings in their program, these programs will still require you to accept that you have “the disease of addiction/alcoholism” as is the tradition in 12 step program. Let’s not forget that this disease model is a creation of 12 step programs. They will say that abstinence is necessary, citing AA’s concept of loss of control, as their justification. They just won’t attribute
this to AA. They’ll say you need ongoing support, another creation of the 12 Steps, who taught the world to believe that addiction/alcoholism are chronic diseases that require ongoing support to battle.

The Facts:

Here are the facts. There is one residential non-12 step model – The Freedom Model System offered exclusively at The Freedom Model Retreats. There is not a religious agenda, no need for meetings, daily therapies, medically assisted “therapies”, or any modes used to scare people into coerced abstinence (another hallmark of 12 step programs). The non-12 step program provides for an individual’s ability to change their preferences based on their pursuit of happiness and positive motivations. There is no need for “support” meetings because the
individual is not fighting anything – rather, they are choosing every behavior they engage in, and that includes their level of substance use. Anything added to that core is outside the definition of an authentic non-12 step approach.

Family Treatment

Being close to someone who is struggling with substance use problems can be exhausting and overwhelming at times. The problem commonly referred to as “addiction” is grossly misunderstood and the misinformation being propagated by addiction experts and the treatment and recovery community is misleading, wrong, and harmful. By labeling problem substance use (i.e. addiction) a progressive, incurable disease, this idea systematically takes away the substance user’s ability to change. Worse yet, by labeling it a “family disease”, the responsibility for the substance user’s behaviors are basically taken away from the only person who does have control, that being the substance user, and placed on those who have no power at all over the substance user’s behaviors, the family. This family addiction disease theory, and the treatment based on it, is largely inaccurate and leads to damaged relationships and broken families.

If you have attended any kind of therapy, especially family addiction therapy, you are likely familiar with the terms “denial”, “co-dependent”, and “enabling.” You have probably analyzed each of your actions and reactions to see how you may be contributing to the substance user’s ongoing drug and/or alcohol problems. You may feel immense guilt over your past behaviors and conflicts with the substance user as you are concerned those may have contributed to the substance user’s behaviors today. You may be struggling with intense fear and anxiety for the substance user’s health and well-being, both mentally and physically, and you may now be completely confused as to what you should do.

In these situations, well-meaning family members, friends, counselors, and even acquaintances, weigh in on what they think you should do and each person’s advice is different and many times conflicting. This can leave you more confused and frustrated than ever. So, what should you do? The answer may be simpler than you think and The Freedom Model for the Family text can help families navigate through the difficult times of living with a substance user. Also, The Freedom Model System taught at The Freedom Model Retreats in Upstate New York can help determine the best course of action for the substance user themselves. So there is a solution for everyone.  Know this – for each family, the answer is different. And even for individuals within the same family, the best course of action may be different from one person to the next. First and foremost, it is important to strip away the misinformation and panic, and ensure that everyone involved learns the truth about addiction, substance use, and choice.

The misinformation being propagated in our addiction disease and recovery-centered culture is at the heart of the current addiction crisis and is actually fueling it. The addiction disease theory, and the treatment based on it, makes people believe that they need to be rescued. It forces them to think they must be saved from themselves by external means. Heavy substance users are taught that something outside of themselves, a sponsor, a counselor, a pill, a meeting, a treatment provider, etc., must get into their mind and change their wants and desires largely against their wishes. And they are taught that their wants and desires for heavy substance use are not only morally wrong, but an indicator that they are sick and completely out of control, which is why they need an outside entity to fix them.

One of the primary problems with addiction treatment is the reality that the only person that can change your wants and desires is you. Think about something you truly love – maybe it’s coffee, chocolate, Chardonnay, or running. Can some external force change your desire for that which you love? In the same vein, can an external force make you like or love something that you don’t? Think about that. Of course it can’t; that kind of preference change can only happen within your own mind. And that internal change of mind is absolutely required for people to change their substance use habits for good.

Research has shown clearly that no one makes a long term change in behavior, and in their preferences, based on lies, distortions, and fear; and sadly, the treatment industry is built on those things. It is built on forcing people to make a change they don’t truly want to make. The truth is people will only make a change in their lives when they come to believe they can be happier by making the change. You may think, well, isn’t that the same thing as wanting to avoid negative consequences? The answer is no, and in the Freedom Model System you will see the immense differences between these two motivators – moving toward happiness and avoiding pain, and exactly why that difference is crucial to your loved one’s long term success.

The overall goal of The Freedom Model is to educate the family on what addiction is, what it is not ,and how people stop and/or change their substance use habits. We also want to help families separate their own happiness, success, and life goals from the substance user’s. Ultimately, The Freedom Model for the Family is designed to help families of substance users build happier lives, regardless of what the substance user does or does not do. While it is true that you have no control over the substance user and his/her behavior, it is important to understand that, by changing the relationship you currently have with the substance user and improving the quality of your own life, it is more likely the substance user will come to you for help when ready, potentially follow your example, and seek to improve the quality of his/her life as well.

For more information on The Freedom Model Retreats for the substance user, or The Freedom Model for the Family text, call 888-424-2626 . 

Aftercare for Addiction

Aftercare for addiction implies that addiction is something that happens to you; that it is out of your personal, internal control. This is of course the talk of disease. Diseases do in fact, happen to you. They are out of your immediate control. They do require treatment and in many cases aftercare. Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that once initiated by the tissues of the body, is an out of control state of being. Once cancer takes hold in the body, and it is battled with chemotherapy, a regimen of aftercare is usually necessary. The recovering cancer patient will be provided a certain diet to follow, an exercise regimen, and possibly some emotional therapy might be added into the aftercare mix. 

Aftercare is a vital piece to overcoming disease fully, which is why it has become a common term used in the “treatment for disease-based addiction” models. But here’s the rub…addiction isn’t a disease, its’ a personally held preference for heavy use of substances. But in order to know for certain that there is no need for aftercare, we must show you that addiction is truly NOT a chronic relapsing brain disease. The Freedom Model for Addictions text provides the evidence against the chronic disease theory, and thus the need for aftercare as well. 

Take a look:

“We hear all the time that “addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease.” the “chronic” part of that statement is perhaps the most absurd. What is meant by chronic in the case of “addiction” is that it’s ongoing, consistently recurring, and thus needs to be managed or attended to in some way for the rest of your life. In other words, “once an addict, always an addict.” The recovery society compares addiction to diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension to convey this view. You don’t stop having diabetes, rather, you spend the rest of your life adjusting to it through diet, and managing it with medications, and it continues to be a problem for you. Addiction they say, is the same way. However, the data disagrees with this vision of addiction.

Here are the rates of addiction to all substances, by age, from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The results of this survey are similar year after year, for every year it’s been done. What’s more, it’s similar to results found in other epidemiological surveys. The trend with addiction is that rates consistently go down as a function of age, and they go down rather sharply. Death rates do not even come close to accounting for this. What this means is that people are permanently getting over their addictions; it is not chronic at all. To be clear, people once classified as addicted aren’t continuously relapsing like recovery lore says they will. If this were the case, the rates would not go down with age, and it certainly would not go down so rapidly.

Contrast this with diabetes, a verifiably chronic disease to which addiction is constantly compared:

As you can see from this data acquired from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at increasing ages more and more people are found to have diabetes. The same is true for Coronary Artery (Heart) Disease (CAD), another condition often compared to addiction:

Heart disease and diabetes are truly chronic conditions that require ongoing treatment and management by the individual sufferer. The numbers grow because nobody is ever cured of heart disease or diabetes, but more people are diagnosed as they get older. Let’s look at the trends for all three of these conditions against one another:

Clearly, the trend for addiction (SUD on the chart) goes down as a function of age while the trends for truly chronic conditions go up with age. Despite the fact that they’re constantly compared by the recovery society, these are not at all comparable conditions.

Now perhaps most important to this discussion, the people who get over their addictions are not constantly “managing their recovery”, or working to prevent relapse. As we showed you in The Freedom Model, most never get treatment or any formal help, and yet, most get over these problems. If you haven’t gotten help for “addiction”, then you certainly aren’t getting the form of treatment known as aftercare. You aren’t using “coping skills” taught to you in treatment programs. You aren’t “avoiding triggers” that you identified in treatment programs; nor are you tied into a “support network” of recovering people. What you’re doing is simply living your life, having moved on from heavy substance use because you’ve found that you’re happier without it.

Contrast this with diabetes. You may have to monitor your glucose levels daily, radically alter your diet and exercise regimens, and administer medications such as insulin for the rest of your life. This is what managing a chronic disease actually looks like.

Getting over an addiction just looks like moving on with your life, and it truly is that, because it is not a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease or cancer.”


Addiction: NSDUH 2015, Table 5.3b
Coronary Artery Disease (i.e. heart disease)


Consumer’s Guide to Addiction and Alcoholism Treatment, and Treatment Locator

A free service provided by Baldwin Research Institute

 It’s never been easy to choose a treatment for addiction. Today, there are more than 14,000 specialty addiction treatment programs in the US, and they offer a wider array of methods than ever before. This means it’s even harder to choose a treatment program now than it ever was.

 This website serves to clear up all the confusion in getting help for a substance use problem, and match consumers with the services that are right for them. It’s both a database of available treatment programs, and a database of the growing range of available treatment methods. There are two ways you can use it to your advantage. You can enter your treatment preferences and be matched with programs that best fit what you want. And if you are unsure of what you want, you can learn about all the available methods before you make a choice.

 One important note before beginning your search – if you believe you may need urgent medical assistance with detoxification, please contact your primary care physician, local hospital or 911 for an immediate referral for that service. Withdrawal syndrome from substances such as alcohol or benzodiazepines (prescription drugs such as Xanax or Valium) can be dangerous and potentially fatal, and the need for medical assistance with detoxification from these drugs can only be determined by direct examination from a medical professional.  

 For those who already know what they want and do not have an immediate need for detoxification, we offer 3 broad categories to choose from, each of which include a choice between inpatient or outpatient treatment (inpatient programs are those where the patient lives in a facility during the initial stages of treatment, often for 28 days, known as “rehab” or residential programs. Outpatient refers to services delivered at appointments in offices or clinics while the patient continues living at home). Some of the treatment providers listed in your personalized search results can also provide or coordinate detoxification services when needed.

 You can check the following options, and then will be brought to a page of matching programs, where you can further refine your search. For those who are less familiar with these treatment options, click here to visit our educational portal where you can learn more about the options before doing your treatment search.

  1. 12 Step Treatment. Based on the theory that addiction is a disease. This is the traditional spiritual model of addiction recovery based on Alcoholics Anonymous that has dominated the treatment field throughout the 20th century.
    1. Inpatient
    2. Outpatient
  2. Non-12-Step / Alternative treatments. Based on the theory that addiction is a disease or mental illness. These are programs that focus more on therapeutic methods and possibly medication-based treatments. This can include Dual-Diagnosis programs for other mental health diagnoses, but can also include a wide range of methods that are spiritual or holistic in nature as well.
    1. Inpatient
    2. Outpatient

 For those who do not believe that addiction is a disease or mental illness, we also offer information about The Freedom Model for Addictions – a social/educational model of help for people with substance use problems. This model doesn’t treat addiction, rather, it teaches users how to regulate their own desires and choices regarding substance use: 

  1. The Freedom Model for Addictions, non-disease based, non-12-step, social educational approach.
    1. Inpatient
    2. Outpatient

 If you know one of the above options is what you want, clicking on any one of them will bring you to a page where you can further refine your results in that category by cost, location, insurance coverage, demographic specialties (adolescent, adult, elderly, men, women, LGBTQ, etc.), and with or without medical detoxification. If you want to know more before searching for treatment, continue reading.

 Learning more about your options

 A good doctor will always explain how a treatment, medication, therapy, or surgical procedure basically works before applying it, but this sadly isn’t the case with addiction treatments. Treatment centers simply say you need their treatments, give a list of several methods they might use as part of an “individualized treatment plan”, assure you these are Evidence Based Treatments (EBT), but offer little or no explanation of how these methods are meant to work. They quickly move to getting you signed up for the treatment, creating urgency with dire warnings of how intractable the disease of addiction will be without treatment. The conversations with treatment quickly move toward logistics of payment/insurance coverage, before you can gauge whether the treatment fits your needs. The gap in knowledge and emotionally charged process of seeking addiction treatment leave the consumer at a disadvantage, and can lead to costly decisions since the average inpatient rehab costs more than $20,000.

 Our educational portal can help you to navigate these choices better, by closing the information gap, and putting you on a level field with treatment providers. Here you can learn the basics about common addiction treatment methods to gauge whether they might be a good match for your individual needs. The portal covers methods like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy); Twelve Step Facilitation; MI (Motivational Interviewing); Individual Counseling; Group Counseling; Dual Diagnosis Treatment; Relapse Prevention; Support Groups such as SMART Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc; Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT) such as Buprenorphine, Suboxone, Subutex, Methadone, Naltrexone, Vivitrol, Antabuse, Disulfiram, etc; EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing); and many more. When available, we will also describe the evidence base for these methods. With fuller knowledge of the methods offered, you’ll be better equipped to handle decisions regarding the best addiction treatment for you or your loved one.

 Even if you already know that you want 12-Step or Non-12-Step treatment, we still recommend using the educational portal before conducting your search, as there is often crossover between these categories, and the evidence base for these methods may surprise you.

 Click here to enter BRI’s Addiction Treatment Education Portal

 About The Baldwin Research Institute Addiction Treatment Locator and Education Portal

 Founded in 1989, the Baldwin Research Institute’s mission is to research cutting edge drug and alcohol issues, educational methodology, and best practices for drug and alcohol problems and related issues; to guide the drug and alcohol treatment industry and recovery society as a force for change, and to honestly and objectively educate the public as to the effectiveness of treatment and prevention programs with respect to drug and alcohol use.

 Baldwin Research Institute first began its efforts in 1989 when it conducted a study of the modern Alcoholics Anonymous organization. Then, in 1990, the Institute began a study of 38 subjects with drug and alcohol problems. These studies were initiated to prove or disprove claims by Alcoholics Anonymous of success rates as high as 93% and claims by the treatment industry of success rates as high as 80%, but the claims of any single treatment program could not be validated with a success rate greater than 30%.

 Baldwin Research Institute continues its over a quarter of a century mission of research of substance use issues, methodology, and education. By disseminating its findings, BRI impacts the drug and alcohol treatment industry and the current “recovery society” as well as providing an objective resource for scientifically verified information for the general public to be more accurately and fully informed.

 This website is a free service to consumers seeking information about addiction treatment, and fulfills BRI’s original charter to educate the public on solutions to drug and alcohol problems. BRI also offers unique methods of help for people with substance use problems, and this site serves the purpose of matching the right candidates with our services. Our model of help is educational and choice-based rather than treatment and disease-based. It does us no good to accept students who are fully invested in a disease / mental health model of addiction as we cannot be helpful to them. We would rather match them to the services they believe are appropriate for them, as research shows that people with substance use problems are more likely to make progress when they believe in and have chosen the recovery method they are using.

 The Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. is a New York State Corporation. The United States Department of Treasury has ruled Baldwin Research Institute to be a tax exempt corporation as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, the Baldwin Research Institute is registered with the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau and the New York State Department of State Office of Charities Registration. Additionally, the Baldwin Research Institute has been approved by the New York State Supreme Court to conduct business as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York and has been approved by the New York State Department of Education as an institute conducting alcohol and drug research.

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