After being a member of narcotics anonymous for 34 years I have seen more relapse and overdoses than I care to share about. Many of these are fatal. In fact most of them are fatal. When I sit down to do an intake with someone and I ask the question “how many times have you been in rehab?” The answer to that question is unbelievable. It’s always more than 5 times or it’s 10 or 15 or 20 times. What is going on? The focus always is the drug. The focus in rehab is the drug, the focus in the 12 step program is the drug, the focus in detox is the drug and then once the addicts are amongst their peers the topic of discussion is the drug. What the addict fails to realize is that the drug is not the problem. Let me say that again what everybody fails to realize is that the drug is not a problem. Drugs feel good. Drugs feel good to everybody. Which is why alcohol is legal. And which is why marijuana is going to be legal. Because they make you feel good. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good. There is something wrong with not being able to stop using that drug. There is something wrong with not addressing why the addict feels BAD and why they have a need to use something or someone to make them feel better. Hence, enter addiction. So really the focus immediately should be on how one feels before they pick up that drug not after. We all know how somebody feels after they pick up a drug! They feel great! No matter who they are! Oh now don’t get me wrong I know the first time that someone uses a drug they might get sick or they might throw up but after that passes they feel great. So why, when a group of 15-year-olds get together and all decide they’re going to get drunk for the first time or smoke weed for the first time are SOME of these kids unable to stop? Why do some of these kids continue to smoke weed and drink on a daily basis while others experimented once or twice and could drink or smoke weed occasionally? What is the reason for that? The reason is that those ones who were unable to stop using and who drink or smoke weed constantly are most likely the ones who do not like themselves or feel bad about themselves before they pick up the drink or drug or food or person or whatever makes him feel better.
When this person finally goes for help they put the drug down and they are left with the same feeling that they had before they picked up the drug. Feeling of inadequacy, feeling of low self-esteem, feeling of low self-worth, the feeling of just not being good enough. Why is this not addressed immediately when they get to treatment? Why are they sitting around Rehab telling war stories? Why don’t the counselors know how to address these issues. The program is taught in rehab. And the patient is told to do 90 meetings in 90 days; to get a sponsor; to get a home group and to pray. How they feel the minute they put the drug down is not addressed. And truthfully in the people who continue to relapse that underlying the issue is never addressed. Hence the addict goes to rehab again and again and again. Who they are and how they feel before they pick up a drink or drug or food or shopping or gambling or sex is not ever addressed. It should be addressed in rehab and in the 12 step program. Instead what’s addressed is the drug itself and the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more.
Truthfully meetings work for a while and people get some cleantime. They get 2,3,4,5,6 years clean and then they relapse and it gets worse and their addiction progresses and then they go back to rehab.
All kinds of time and energy is spent on controversy. It’s spent on who is taking Suboxone and who is on methadone and who is smoking weed and who is lying about their clean date.
If you use drugs you go to NA; if you use food you go to OA; if you gamble you go to GA; if you use sex you go to Sex Addicts anonymous; if you use cocaine you go to CA and if you use alcohol you go to AA. Then there is Al-Anon, Naranon and Coda! They have made a complicated mess out of things. Once you realize that all of the energy is put on what a person uses instead of why they are using it the work can begin.
There is nothing wrong with an addict taking medication and using it to assist them in their recovery such as Suboxone and or methadone. There I said it. If you want I’ll say it again. Addicts are dying every day in HUGE numbers. Dropping dead left and right. We are now supplying the world with Narcan. We continue to put a Band-Aid on the wound and we never clean out the wound itself because we are too busy worrying about whether or not that person shared in a meeting while they were taking Suboxone. That is extremely shallow.
I heard there was going to be a new rehab in Florida that addresses the underlying issues. I heard that you cannot get in this rehab unless you have been in three or more rehabilitation centers. From what I understand it does not matter what your drug of choice is to get in this treatment center. I believe it is approximately $8000 cash for a 30 day stay. No insurance accepted. That is a very cheap price to pay for that kind of rehabilitation. If you need more information on this let me know I will try my best to find it for you. Wow a rehab that figures out why the patient uses in the first place! Sounds awesome!
Well my sentencing is in less than 20 days and yes I’m a nervous wreck. I need a lot of prayers and I hope that you continue to pray for me. You have all been very very supportive and you have no idea how much that means to me. I truly can’t wait to write my book and tell the world the true story of the demise of the best treatment facility on the East Coast. Long live ASI/MES!!
I receive phone calls daily from addicts who are very confused about Suboxone and the 12 step program. I apologize to all of you 12 steppers however my suggestion and recommendation to the addict whois on Suboxone is to keep their mouth shut and do not tell anybody. It’s just not safe to tell anybody because at this stage of the game you will be shunned from Narcotics Anonymous.
Oh I’m sure that many of you will have comments for me and will not like what I’m saying. I believe that it must be sad though. People are dying because of other people’s ignorance. This has been true for centuries. It’s time to wake up, it’s 2017.