Posts tagged addiction

12-Step Doctor Not Really a Doctor? Hmmmmmmmmmmm….

In a follow-up to the story about David Scratchley, the 12-step doctor who was arrested Friday for attempted rape of a child, some new details have arisen. First, and not surprisingly, there is evidence that he may have victimized other children. Also, it seems the good doctor may not be a doctor after all:

“It’s upsetting…it’s very upsetting”

“Prosecutors also say there’s evidence Scratchley may have victimized other children. And while Scratchley refers to himself as “doctor” the only state license we could find for him is as a “chemical dependency professional trainee”.

This guy is the Clinical Director of the Matt Talbot Center. The obvious question is: what kind of background checks and due diligence does the Matt Talbot Center use in hiring its employees? If this guy is the director, who is facilitating the actual operations of this place? What qualifications do they have? Gregory Alex, the Executive Director of the center said that he was surprised because they saw no indication of this behavior. Had he done an actual background check, starting with whether or not this guy is actually a psychologist in the first place, he may have caught a clue as to this guy’s integrity.

One thing we did learn from the article is, this center does not drug test its employees. What kind of sense does this make for an organization that treats people with drug problems? Knowing the rate of recidivism for those with chemical dependency problems, and knowing the staggeringly high percentage of drug counselors who fell into the profession because of their own addictive behaviors, it seems obvious to anyone with half a brain that drug testing of employees should be part of normal course of business.

Because I wasn’t born yesterday, I’m certain more interesting information will come out on this story. I’m also certain that the incompetents running the show at the Matt Talbot Center will do what they can to cover their asses, and will keep their explanation of this little problem within the confines of rigorous honesty™.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Drew Jumps Shark

Salon writer, Drew Grant, just posted an article called “Why it’s time to shut down ‘Celebrity Rehab'”, which I was hoping would be about The Obvious. It’s not, though…  He takes the position that, basically, it’s awesome, but Dr. Drew jumped the shark when he started bringing in frivolous people who suffer from Celebrity Narcissism (can someone please put a moratorium on this word?), just to boost his ratings. Now  the show is just all over the place and it makes no sense anymore, because the meaning of addiction is sort of up for grabs (which is an interesting result — one that perhaps the writer should linger over a little longer).

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr was found dead of a drug overdose in Utah yesterday. The 44-year-old had been a part of Dr. Drew’s 3-ring VH1 circus “Celebrity Rehab” in its 3rd season, a fact that will provide ample fodder to the show’s many critics.

But Mike’s death isn’t the reason Dr. Drew needs to pull “Celebrity Rehab’s” plug. If every recovery center had to close down after a former patient relapsed and died, we’d have no facilities left. Addiction is a real disease, and while treatment helps, it is by no means a cure-all.

Read it all…



Quote of the Day

“No creature on earth is more inclined to public verbal diarrhea than a modern American; whether it’s the AA culture, or the post–Me Generation emphasis on “finding yourself,” or all those neo–Woody Allens confessing to their therapists, or just too many damn people fantasizing about telling the audience of Oprah what influenced their latest album (“In the fourth track, I’m trying to share the sacred message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama…”), we live in a country where people believe implicitly in their right to bore the living shit out of absolutely everybody within haranguing distance with tales of their miserable, lonely, and inevitably self-deluding searches for personal fulfillment in the emotional desert that is our crass commercial culture.”

– Matt Taibbi, author, taken from The Great Derangement

Meet Francine Stone: Freedom House Secretary

I know, I know…you can’t get enough of our ongoing series on Freedom House in Kalispell, Montana – and since we are here to placate our target audience of serenityless resentillians, we figured, “what the hell, let’s meet the Freedom House board of directors!”

Today, we’re profiling Francine Stone, aka inmate #3003107. She bears a striking resemblance to Weird Al Yankovic after three-day drunk, with the only discernible difference being the tattoo of a pit bull that Francine has on her left shoulder. Her hobbies include meditating, serenity searching, and obstructing justice. Currently a resident of Montana, Francine has also lived in California, where she was also in trouble with the law. Hey, let’s play a game! Whatcha think she was busted for in Oakland? I’ll send out a complimentary amends letter for anyone guesses correctly.

In another development, Randall Marr was sprung from the big house last night. I hope he doesn’t celebrate by tying one on. I hear he’s an angry drunk.

Finally, A Little Bit of Common Sense

Finally, a little bit of common sense when it comes to dealing with probation and parole. Shockingly, it comes out of Arizona, which has devolved into the most batshit crazy state in the U.S. It’s nice to see a nugget of reason coming from that hotbed of lunacy. Adult probation credited with reducing revocations:

Knowing whether a probationer is more or less likely to commit new crimes lets probation officers better match rehabilitative programs with probationers’ needs, Sanders said.

And using what are called “evidence-based practices” means probation officers have stopped using therapies and punishments that clearly don’t work and have started using those that do, Sanders said.

For example, probation officers used to force people convicted of alcohol-related offenses to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but there was no evidence suggesting AA lowered recidivism rates.

Instead, probation officers now require attendance at cognitive-skills therapy sessions. Studies show this therapy improves impulse control and thinking skills, Sanders said.

Daniel Gelinas is an AAshole

Daniel Gelinas is a murderer and a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He killed a guy back in ’83, then got out of jail, broke his parole conditions, and found himself back in the slammer. Now, along with the support of his AA sponsor, he is back out on the street. But hey, there’s no need to worry, ‘cuz he’s got it all figured out:

“I am going to get up in the morning, take a shower, go to work, come home and go to AA,” he told the board. He said his friends were mostly his contacts within AA.

I’m setting the over/under for his going back to the slammer at ten months.

Tearing Down The Ego In Alcoholics Anonymous

The primary objective of the 12-steps is not to rid people of their drinking addictions. Drinking abstinence is simply a consequence of an an overall character change. This is not a surprise to those of us familiar with the AA program, and even those who work the steps and happily profess the virtues of AA will say the same thing. AAs believe that alcoholism is a result of a spiritual weakness, which is a result of character flaws, which are largely the result of ego and self absorption – and working the steps will rid us of these character weaknesses, one of which is alcoholism.

The only way of achieving sobriety through AA is for a person to admit his or her powerlessness over alcohol. It is the first step, after all, and any AA – even those who don’t work all of the steps – will say that the first step is essential. Powerlessness of the individual is the cornerstone on which AA and the 12-step program is built, and it achieves this belief among its members in a number of ways. Continue reading Tearing Down The Ego In Alcoholics Anonymous

CNN Addiction Documentary

I hope I remember to watch this.

“Addiction – Life on the Edge” takes you behind the scenes at Hazelden, one of the largest rehabs in the world, and Promises, the rehab of choice for celebrities. The documentary also takes you inside the walls of one of the growing number of recovery high schools in the United States and inside the life of a meth addict and his family.