Beyond Addiction or Beyond Bullshit?

     I must admit that the subtitle, ‘How Science and Kindness Help People Change’ to Beyond Addiction is quite clever, despite the fact that it reeks of PhD arrogance. This is such well-doctored propaganda that it actually hurts my head, and there should be little doubt that this statement has nothing to do with reality and more to do with, who knows, self-promotion, career-promotion, industry-promotion, status quo-promotion (under the guise, of course, of being new and novel, which is amusing to say the least). But before you click off, you wanna hear some propaganda?

     From Beyond Addiction, pp.5-6: “Substance problems are complex and multi-determined (totally false), often determined by underlying psychiatric disorders (false) such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or attention deficit disorders (false) that require specialized attention over and beyond just treating the substance problem (lie). In other words, good treatment often includes psychiatric care (false, but obviously they’d say that to pump meds and because their jobs and salaries are dependent on your belief in the quack science of psychiatry), which has historically been overlooked or even discouraged in some drug and alcohol treatment settings (clear slight towards spiritual programs).
     Science has also given us a better understanding or the brain’s role in substance use and compulsive behaviors (completely false). With that science, there are medications that reduce cravings and compulsivity (false), block drug effects (partially false), ease withdrawal (true), and treat underlying issues (completely false).”

     From The Doctor’s Opinion, Alcoholics Anonymous p. xxix (which every parent or spouse must absolutely read): “Faced with this problem, if a doctor is honest with himself, he must sometimes feel his own inadequacy. Although he gives all that is in him, it often is not enough. One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change. Though the aggregate of recoveries resulting from psychiatric effort is considerable, we physicians must admit we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach.”

     Obviously this sort of professional humility is lost on these guys.
     I’ll admit that I couldn’t finish the entire book because the nauseousness was becoming unbearable, as the authors seem to be trying to inject a good dose of atheism into the reader. What is clear is that they want God out of the equation entirely, and the obvious rejection of God calls into question the very nature of the their character, let alone the quality of their spiritual health. There doesn’t appear to be a single mention of God or spiritual anything throughout the entire book or index, which is unconscionable when attempting to engage in the education of addiction treatment.

     Yet they are more than willing to pump “pharmacotherapies” (another oxymoron) and cognitive behvaioral therapy, two areas of treatment that are both proven to be abject failures in treating chronic drug addicts or hopeless alcoholics. Sorry, but I just don’t see where these people get off. I wasn’t going to waste my time on this, but it’s too important given the publicity this book has received, especially when you consider how misguided it is. Just the title is almost laughable, if it wasn’t so annoying, given the lack of substance within.

     Does anybody else find it sort of amusing how they try to coin a new and original approach to addiction by calling it the CRAFT method, when said ‘groundbreaking’ method is just being nice to your kid and taking care of yourself, mixed with other common knowledge. The rest of it is just the same old conventional stuff that fails to effect any sort of real and lasting change. Maybe I’m just a dick, but I don’t think telling parents not to scream at an addict is worthy of critical acclaim. My two year-old says that every time I get in the car. “No scream, dadda. No mad, dadda.” I don’t know much, but I do know this is very self-seeking stuff and trust me, these guys love the attention and the recognition.

     I actually find what I do to be considerably more kind than beating around the bush and hurling empty platitudes and frothy emotional appeal at some addict who is clearly ill and is all too willing to tell you EXACTLY what you want to hear in order to keep using the way they want. Real kindness and real love is not allowing an addict to continue lying to themselves… and then showing them a solution that actually works. Make no mistake that the lies an addict tells himself are the primary ingredients of a lethal overdose.

    At any rate, right off the bat the authors are eager to criticize the Twelve Step process, using indirect slights, thus exhibiting a non-existent understanding of the pure wisdom contained within the Big Book.

     “However, you’re probably more familiar with the popular notions of intractable character defects and progressive, chronic disease. There’s widespread pessimism about the possibility of real change.” –Beyond Addiction, p.4 

     If you read this and didn’t know what the Steps really were, you’d be absorbing pompous lies about a program that can elicit miracles. Nowhere in the Big Book does it say that our character defects are intractable. In fact, quite the opposite. The steps are designed to change and rid us of character defects and is ‘beyond’ optimistic about full recovery and the achievement of inner peace, strength and tremendous success in life.

     The progressive, chronic aspect of our illness relates to the physical component of addiction, not mental, as made crystal clear in the Big Book, and is a GOOD thing as it keep addicts from using! Telling an addict that someday he may be able to use moderately again is not only ignorant but it is insane. Abstinence is the only option for any true alcoholic or drug addict. The Big Book also makes it crystal clear that we can indeed recover from what truly ails us mentally and spiritually and live a life of pure freedom, contentment and serenity.

     Guess what? Science and kindness do NOT change addicts. Guess what’s going to happen when you’re cooking us dinner and humming kumbaya as you stir the chicken madeira? We’re going to be in the other room robbing you and patting ourselves on the back for so cleverly manipulating and deceiving the shit out of you, once again.

     Compassion doesn’t work for drug addicts, so don’t waste your time. Addicts need to be shredded and humbled beyond belief… and then built back together one spiritual brick at a time.

3 thoughts on “Beyond Addiction or Beyond Bullshit?

  1. POA's are so desperate to help their kids and find a “cure” that we will believe almost anything even when it is ridiculous. We will cash out our retirement funds, we will borrow against our house, and when all the money is gone and there is nothing left you end up filing BK but are still left with a child who is actively using. It isn't in a Parents (or mine) nature to not try to help your child. Addiction is extremely expensive.

    It isn't an addict buying those books it is a Parent, Spouse, etc. Because there has got to be a magic solution to addiction and if the Parents try hard enough and pay enough money they will find it and their child will be saved and their family restored.

    Yea it doesn't work that way.

    I am almost done with your book. It is awesome… that you for writing it.

  2. Thank you so much, Tori. I should admit that being a young parent now myself, I have no idea what I'd do until the problem (God forbid) arises. So thank you for your honesty here. I wish I could do this without sounding so cynical at times, but I suppose given what I know about the mind of an addict and given how much we've taken from you and in so many ways, I'm compelled to sort of call it like I see it. I wrote a relevant piece that was basically a response I'd written on Addiction Journal last year, followed by the post to which the discussion was about, which I'll leave below. God Bless.

  3. and what happens if you leave AA, you cant make it right. that's not freedom or recovery, its just a new addiction you obtained

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