An Open Letter to Those with an Alcohol or Drug Problem – “Are You Ready for a Solution?”
Have you been to rehab and thought to yourself, “How is this possibly going to help me?” Or maybe you have family members or friends who have gone to treatment, AA, or NA, and you’ve seen them quit drinking or drugging, only to watch them return to even heavier use. Maybe you listen to all the talk about addiction and recovery, and you know deep inside something is off about how our treatment industry addresses these issues, but like most people, you’re not exactly sure what it is that makes you so uneasy about it all. Maybe the disease rhetoric sounds wrong to you, or the idea that people lose their free will when they drink or drug too much seems farfetched and doesn’t sit well with you. There are all kinds of these treatment and recovery ideals that make people pause and think, “well that doesn’t make much sense. There has to be another way.”
I too found all of this treatment and recovery jargon to be confusing and hard to buy into. Thirty years ago I began to question anything that didn’t sit well with me when it came to addiction and recovery. That is when my career as an addiction researcher began, and the roots of the truth began to grow with my drive to know the facts. And you know what – I’m glad I questioned all of it, because I found that nearly all of the information that the treatment and recovery community pushes to the unknowing public, are dead wrong and most treatment providers know it. Simply put, the treatment and recovery industry (and yes, it is an industry) is based on lies. There….I said it. You don’t have to wonder any more. You can reject all the treatment jargon and rhetoric that sets off your common sense meter, because now there is an alternative that won’t leave you scratching your head, feeling hopeless, despairing and even more confused.
Eighty Years of Lying – A Lie Stuck to is as Good as the Truth
It’s taken nearly eighty years for the disease concept of addiction fallacy to take root in our society. That is a long time folks. The disease concept is the foundation of the current 40 billion dollar per year treatment industry, and without it, there would be no treatment industry. Without the disease myth having taken hold, people would simply have moved past addiction on their own as they’ve done for many thousands of years prior. Those responsible for the creation and promotion of the disease mythology, needed the public to buy into it so treatment would then be needed and fortunes could then be made on the backs of the unknowing and confused newly minted “addict” and “alcoholic” and their families. It’s a sad and unnecessary victimization of one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.
If you or someone you love is caught in the treatment/recovery trap, you can break free once and for all! And yes, even recovery is a trap because it keeps you tethered to addiction. Wouldn’t moving past an addiction without recovery be freeing! Of course it would; and I’m going to tell you exactly how to make that transition happen. But first, let’s examine the disease of addiction myth a little more.
The Disease Lie
The reason it took so long for this disease theory to take root is quite simple really; because it defies common sense. To convince the common man that he does not have the ability to control himself is initially rejected because common sense tells us that as individuals, we choose our behaviors. This is self-evident. We move our lives in the directions we want them to move – and that includes the choice to use substances problematically and heavily and habitually.
But here is the problem – as “addiction experts” continuously repeat the disease concept lie over and over again, stating that “addiction is a progressive, incurable brain disease that takes away choice,” the once self-determined individual eventually succumbs to that idea. Unfortunately, believing oneself to be an “addict” or “alcoholic” can be an attractive idea initially. As a hobbled, disabled person you are able to skirt the responsibility of your habit, and are provided a readymade excuse to continue to use heavily. In essence, by framing a chosen habit as an “addiction” rather than a chosen preference, substance users can continue to get high and drunk with less ramifications.
This powerlessness narrative becomes even more influential if the drug being used contains physical dependence properties. If the substance user experiences physical withdrawal symptoms when stopping usage, this reinforces a “powerless” self-image by claiming withdrawal now “forces them to use” (never mind the fact that the data shows that more than 90% of people who are diagnosed with SUD will choose to abstain from their drug of choice when factoring in age).
Once this “loss of control” myth is fully internalized and supported by industry insiders and “addiction experts”, substance users become that which they believe –they become the “addict,” and the “alcoholic”. They become “ruled by a substance”. Once that mental transition occurs, the individual’s sense of personal power is eroded by the “addiction experts” making the newly labeled addict or alcoholic a minion to the treatment model. In short, substance users are taught to depend upon it and this dependence is what we now call “recovery.” When their personal resolve is crushed through the brainwashing that occurs in the 12 step meetings and treatment centers while “in recovery”, the once shaky substance user is now fully converted into a self-labeled addict; no longer believing he/she is capable of self-initiated change. Dependence on the substance is traded for dependence on treatment and recovery. Substance users then slowly and unwittingly become wards of the treatment complex and become “persons in recovery”.
But you can break out of that nightmare: Regardless of the depths of the lies and deceit that exists in the treatment and recovery world, there is a fundamental bright spot that can always lead people back to common sense. It’s called, the truth. The truth is the only place where falsehoods wither and die. And truth is usually quite easy to see if presented clearly. Until now, no one has been able to articulate the truth in such a way that the path to freedom from the constructs of “addiction” and “recovery” was easily navigable. The Freedom Model for Addictions and The Freedom Model System offered at the St Jude Retreats changes all of that!
It took my fellow researchers Steven Slate, Michelle Dunbar and myself 3 years of writing, and many decades of experience and research to spell out exactly how one is able to move past addiction and recovery and become truly free. The result is a book (and a system at our residential retreats) that demonstrates just how easy it is to move past addiction and finally escape from the treatment and recovery trap. Of course, for me to say that addiction is easy to overcome can seem like an insult to those who are struggling. That is because when you are addicted, and you do not have the facts, it IS HARD to move past it. But, once you understand exactly how flawed the entire foundation of the treatment/recovery complex is, there is no reason to have it play any role in your path out of addiction. Instead, that path will become incredibly efficient and will be traveled without feelings of deprivation, guilt or fear, and without the need for endless recovery or therapy. You will not fear “triggers”; you won’t need to go to meetings; and you won’t feel fragile and broken and in need of endless support. What you will know is that you are completely free to choose your life and move on with confidence and ease.
Believe it or not, ending an addiction really can be easy. I would never look an “addict” in the eye, and say that. Instead, I would say, “Read the 450 pages of The Freedom Model for Addictions so we can deconstruct addiction and recovery piece by piece. Within those pages, you will find a path clearly laid out to unearth and debunk the myths that have kept you trapped, and provide all the research to back it up. No stone will be left unturned. Where you feel weak, we will show you why you feel that way and that no strength is needed to let go of addiction and move forward. Where you think withdrawal causes you to use, we will demonstrate that withdrawal cannot cause one to use. Where you think you need support to stay away from using or drinking, we will show you how no support is necessary. Where you think moderation is impossible, we will show you that it is possible for anyone who wants it. Where you think you are hopeless to change a preference for a certain substance, we will show you that changing preferences is more normal than not changing them, and so on. Again, no stone is left unturned. We will show you that you can be free and happy, and yes, we will show how and why ending an addiction is easy – but only after the veil of lies and misinformation is lifted so you can finally know the truth and find freedom.
For more information on The Freedom Model System offered at the Saint Jude Retreats, call 888-424-2626