The television commercial shows an ornate building with the appearance of being elaborate hotel. A booming voice says, “We treat the causes of addiction. We’re not a twelve step program.” The scene shifts to a young man, who says “I used to be an addict and now I’m not.” (If he was an addict, by the ASAM definition, he still is, even if is clean and sober and in recovery).
A representative of a treatment program, when asked about Motivational Interviewing, says “We don’t do that. It isn’t Twelve Step.”
A representative of an adolescent program says, “You can’t do Twelve Step work with adolescents.” We believe that people saying that are only describing their own competence. Competent clinicians can work with adolescents using a Twelve Step approach. It may or may not be the best method to use in any given situation, but the suggestion that it can't be done is just not true.
Although we do find refreshing exceptions, for the most part both the treatment “industry” (we don’t like that word for treatment programming but we lack a good alternative) is divided into what too often seems like two armed camps. On the one hand we have the twelve step loyalists who claim that anything other than the basics of Twelve Step work is a distraction from becoming and remaining clean and sober. On the other extreme, we have people who rely on alternative methods who claim that twelve step is religious brainwashing and rarely effective. They attack each other in what sounds like the worst of negative political advertising.
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Links to pages on this website related to this topic:
- Full article on Destructive Battle over Recovery Methods (members/ subscribers)
- Full article on Substance Abuse and Addiction (members/ subscribers)
- Substance Abuse and Addiction -- Introduction
- Old format guidelines on addiction and substance abuse (public access, still recommended reading)
- New Definition of Addiction (Old Format) Some readers tell us they still find this helpful. The ASAM definition of addiction is more precise, but some readers say they understand that better after reading this Old Format entry.
- See related article on Twelve Step Resources
- See Related article on Twelve Step Alternatives
- See Related article on Christian Recovery
- See Related article on History of Differences over Treatment Resources
- See related article on The Seven Challenges
- See related article on Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change, Transtheoretical Model
- See related article on Harm Reduction Model
- See related article on Dr. Lance Dodes (influential at Cedar Ridge Academy)
- See related article on Process Addictions
- See related article on Interventions and Interventionists
Navigation helps (this website):
- Return to Topics of Interest -- under Meeting Special Needs
- Return to Issues of Concern -- under Virtual Consultant
- Return to Substance Abuse and Addiction (link page under Virtual Consultant)
Links to relevant information on other websites:
- ASAM Definition of Addiction
- Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
- Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
- Alcoholics Anonymous -- Official Website
- Alcoholics Anonymous -- Wikipedia Listing
- Frank Buchman -- Founder of Oxford Group
- Oxford Group -- Wikipedia
- Sam Shoemaker -- Wikipedia
- Twelve Steps and Traditions -- With explanation, Official AA
- Twelve Steps (for people with no prior knowledge) -- Wikipedia
Last update August 9, 2018