Archive for the 12 Step Treatment Industry Category

“Why Rehab Fails”

The New Republic review of Anne M. Fletcher’s Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment-and How to Get Help That Works

Why Rehab Fails: The dogma of AA has taken over

My favorite two sentences in the Alcoholics Anonymous literature are: “Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its twelve steps are but suggestions.” When a drunk at the end of his tether, Bill Wilson, founded Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s—a spiritual program based on meeting with other addicts—there was a fundamental humility to his ideology: It might work for some.

But that sentiment is often forgotten in the rooms of AA itself, where I spent a lot of time getting sober. There I found that what are suggestions to some are fundamentalist Scripture to others. In the rooms of AA, suggestions and traditions can sometimes feel more like ironclad laws, and when I inadvertently trespassed upon those laws, I was humiliated and rebuked. The predominantly AA-based culture of rehab in America has become one of imposition and tautology: If the program doesn’t work for you, then you didn’t work the program. If you succeed in staying sober, then you did a good job working the program; ergo, the program works.

Read the whole thing…

Regulating the Troubled Teen Industry

New Efforts to Crack Down on Residential Programs for Troubled Teens

The first legislation aimed at regulating residential programs for troubled teens was introduced on Thursday in the House and the Senate. The bill would crack down on hundreds of programs housing thousands of teens, many of which use punishing “tough love” regimes found to include physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2011 was sponsored in the House by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). A previous version of the bill passed the House twice, but was never introduced in the Senate (at the time, the relevant Senate committee was focused on President Obama’s health care legislation).

Read the rest…

Spottedcrow Update

 

This story makes me want to scream.

In an order issued Friday, Associate District Judge Robert Davis decided to suspend the final four years of the sentence for Patricia M. Spottedcrow, stating she has “done better in the structure of the Department of Corrections than she had during her adult years in the community.”

Spottedcrow, 26, received the sentence last October after selling the marijuana to a police informant in December 2009 and January 2010. Her mother, Delita Starr, 51, was also charged.

Their stories were publicized in a Tulsa World series earlier this year about Oklahoma’s high female incarceration rate.

In blind guilty pleas before a judge, Spottedcrow received prison time and her mother received a 30-year suspended sentence. Neither had prior criminal convictions.

Oklahoma City attorney Josh Welch, who represents Spottedcrow, said the punishment does not fit the crime.

“We are pleased Judge Davis recognized her sentence needed to be modified, but we are simply not pleased with the amount of time that was modified,” Welch said. “I don’t walk away from this feeling good even with four years knocked down, and I’m not going to give up until she is released.”

[snip] Continue reading Spottedcrow Update

Hazeleden to Create a Generation of Replacement Addicts

Hazelden to Invest in Outreach, Services to Help America’s Youth Find Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol

Hazelden, one of the world’s largest and most respected private, nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers, announced today it will invest $42 million to expand services to help young people who struggle with addiction find and maintain recovery.

An estimated 1.5 million American youth ages 12 to 17 meet the criteria for admission to alcoholism treatment, but only 7 percent receive treatment. Additionally, an estimated 1.4 million youth ages 12 to 17 meet the criteria for admission to treatment for illicit drug abuse, but only 9 percent receive treatment. With these staggering numbers in mind from SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies’ report, “Youth and Alcohol and Illicit Drug Treatment,” Hazelden is now launching increased efforts for youth treatment and recovery initiatives as a part of its strategic plan.

$42 million!

Arid Club

Akron’s Arid Club Shuts Down

A sobriety club that dates back 60 years and hosts about 20 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings each week closed its doors Friday because of “poor economic performance.”

[snip]

Changing ways of socializing might have contributed to the decline of the club, which was a destination point every year during Founders Day weekend in June, when thousands of people converge on Akron to remember the founding of A.A. here in 1935.

Because of social media like Facebook, Wagoner said, and easy access to people via cell phones, there is simply not as great a need for groups of people to gather in large settings anymore, he said.

[snip]

According to 2010 data from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, which regulates charitable bingo in the state, the Akron Arid Club bingo game had gross receipts of $1,231,650 and expenses of $1,105,708 for its 2010 reporting period for a profit of $125,942. Net profits from bingo are expected to be lower this year, Wagoner said.

[snip]

The business model was no longer working, Wagoner said. For example, when people attending the A.A. meetings held at the club leave $5 to $10 total per meeting to help operate the club, the donations were not enough to pay mounting utility bills.

And while membership “was in the hundreds,” lately there were only about 35 dues-paying members, he said.

Last September, the Today Club II in North Akron, also a sobriety club, closed because of financial problems.

Read the whole thing.

Related: AA’s Own Stats Show Slow Demise

 

Just Another Bogus Study

Harvard, Hazelden and the Center for Addiction Medicine conducted a study which shows a couple of things: 1. When young people enter treatment, their motivation is high, but their coping and self-efficacy skills are low; 2. Those who have the highest success rates, 3 months post-treatment, have the highest levels of self-efficacy and coping skills.

So, they spent money to figure that out.

When entering treatment, study participants reported high levels of motivation to remain abstinent but lower levels of coping skills, self-efficacy and commitment to mutual support groups. During-treatment increases in these measures predicted abstinence from alcohol or other drug use at three months post-treatment. Self-efficacy or increased confidence in ability to sustain recovery was the strongest predictor of abstinence.

When they say “support group,” what they mean is AA or NA. Twelve Step is the only treatment option these kids received. Therefore, what this study cannot demonstrate is any evidence of the efficacy of 12 Step treatment. It would be irresponsible to even make that suggestion.

Slaymaker of Hazelden adds, “The young people in our study were quite motivated to do well in treatment but lacked the confidence, coping skills, and commitment to AA that are critical to longer-term success. Treatment appears to work by increasing their confidence and ability to make and sustain healthy, recovery-related efforts.”

The findings suggest residential treatment provides the boost that the young people need. By reducing their psychological distress, developing their recovery-focused coping skills, increasing their commitment to AA and other groups [they mean NA, not SMART], and by enhancing their overall confidence to stay clean and sober, young people make meaningful changes in treatment that position them for improved outcomes. Because self-efficacy was a strong predictor of abstinence, it may serve as a useful clinical summary indicator to monitor change and relapse potential among young adults in treatment.

Tricky!

They’re not saying AA is important; they’re saying commitment to AA is. Still, the study doesn’t demonstrate this at all, except by default. Since AA is the only treatment option provided, the honest conclusion would have to be that commitment is important. Throwing AA in as a factor is disingenuous, akin to claiming that Pop Rocks are part of a balanced breakfast if you sprinkle them on your oatmeal and fruit.

Does it seem to anyone else that the conclusions they draw are inconsistent with the information they gathered in this study?

Young adults want to recover from addiction by need help to make it happen, study suggests

Young adults undergoing addiction treatment arrive ready and willing to make the personal changes that bring about recovery, but it’s the help and guidance received during treatment that build and sustain those changes, according to a longitudinal study published electronically and in press within the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study was conducted collaboratively by the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the Butler Center for Research at Hazelden.

Read the whole thing…

Here’s a link to the study.

[Emphasis mine.]

Susan Cheever’s Sanitation Campaign

As for profiting off its intellectual property—the crown jewels of any corporation—AA declines to do so. — From Susan Cheever’s “No Money, No Problems” at The Fix.

What is Cheever doing? What is her interest in cannonizing Bill Wilson and so aggressively rewriting and revising AA’s history? Why is she reframing AA’s motives, tailoring and omitting facts that are common knowledge to anyone who knows anything about AA?

AA already has the stellar reputation. Bill Wilson has already been mythologized. It’s already conventional wisdom that AA is what you do.

 

12-step “Doctor” Pleads Not Guilty

David Scratchley, the 12-step psychologist guy in charge of Seattle’s Matt Talbot Center’s addiction treatment program, put in a not guilty plea in court today.

Drug counselor pleads not guilty to attempted child rape

“Recovery Leader” Arrested

Curtis Oliver, the director of Never Alone, Never Again (check out the overtly religious mission statement), was arrested for stealing $1000 from the organization to fund his gambling habit.

Curtis Oliver, 53, allegedly took grant funding awarded to NANA by the Buffalo Trace Agency for Substance Abuse Policy Board, commonly known as ASAP.

Maysville Police Detective Ken Fuller confirmed Oliver’s arrest Saturday afternoon. Fuller said the investigation was prompted by board members of NANA who contacted him with reports of theft. An examination of bank statements for NANA showed Oliver had withdrawn money from the bank account via ATM card, Fuller said. Continue reading “Recovery Leader” Arrested

Nut

A new comment left on a 2009 Psychology Today blog post by Stanton Peele:

Psychologist / Alcoholic / Addict / AA Member

Submitted by Anonymous on September 18, 2011 – 6:52pm.

I am a psychologist who is clean and sober 17 years. I owe my sobriety to the fellowship (the group of fellow recovering alcoholics) and the program (12 step) of AA. That’s the plain and simple truth.

It amazes me how fellow psychologists who are not alcoholics (or who are but drink their 2-3 cocktails every day freely, denying that they might have a problem) speak against the ONLY “treatment” for alcoholism that works for EVERYONE. Yes, you heard me correctly. AA has a 100% success rate for those who remain in the program long enough to 1) lose the obsession and 2) go through the full 12-step process as it outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Peele responds appropriately:

You should [lose] your license,

Submitted by Stanton Peele on September 18, 2011 – 6:57pm.

you nut.

I wonder if this psychologist thinks you have to be schizophrenic to treat schizophrenics. Maybe you have to have Alzheimer’s in order to treat other Alzheimer’s patients.