In my opinion, our society has become the worst ‘addict’ walking our streets. Its drug of choice? An old, outdated way of thinking that’s actually keeping our world stuck in the horrors of addiction.
We’ve been taught to believe that addicts are powerless.
Twelve-step programs have, for decades, been our country’s go-to solution for addiction in all of its forms. These programs teach us to implement Steps that are based on the notion that there’s a disease to blame, and that the only solution is to “work the 12 Steps or die.”
This model of thinking was founded back in 1935 by two wealthy, white Christian men – and the 12 Steps they developed at that time include many shame-based and religious overtones such as “God,” “Him,” “shortcomings” and “defects of character.” Today, as 2021 draws to a close, many people seeking a road to recovery have a problem with such language. As well, in 2021, many credible doctors and scientists feel that these Steps are not helping and could actually be harmful for many of the people who seek them out.
This is not the first time I’ve spoken out about this situation. And it is usually at this point that my views become unpopular, because the majority of our society continues to believe that addiction is a disease and that addicts are powerless.
This way of thinking is so deeply embedded into our culture, it’s become a huge part of the fabric of our society: 12-step-based treatment programs are mandated by drug courts, prescribed by doctors, recommended by therapists, and are unilaterally adopted by countless detoxes and rehab centers.
But our addiction to this mode of treatment – an addiction that we can’t seem to kick after all these years – makes us feel powerless and gives the addicts we love very little choice for recovery.
Surely, we can do better for those people who truly want to stop using. [Read more…]