©2007, Jack Trimpey, Founder, Rational Recovery
(Written for Congressional Quarterly, Feb. 9, 2007)
I know a woman twice convicted of drunk driving who finally quit drinking altogether, but is now mandated to addiction treatment. She knew after her first arrest she’d better quit drinking altogether, as other teetotalers in her family had done. However, she was sentenced to AA, where groupers warned her against quitting her addiction. Only one-day-at-a-time sobriety, while learning the stepwise piety of recoveryism, would suffice. Thus, was her problem drinking converted to chronic addiction. She had her obligatory “relapses,” and two years later she received her second DUI.
This time, in an unyielding act of moral judgment, she quit drinking for life. She has since abstained effortlessly without support, based on moral principle alone. However, during clinical interrogation, her probation officer (an AA member) discovered that she denies addictive disease, and considers self-intoxication by problem drinkers immoral. Noting her “deep denial,” he ordered her into 28-day rehab, where, under color of treatment, physicians and counselors certified as 12-steppers will wrench her from her original family values, impregnate her with addict-identity, stain her ancestry with congenital disease, and, upon discharge, require proof of AA immersion to retain custody of her children. When she tells her counselors she will never drink again, she is told, “This is not about abstinence; this is about surrender of control.” This true anecdote is standard operating procedure everywhere.
The public interest is that she abstain from alcohol, not in how she becomes abstinent. Addiction treatment is an economic black hole. A travesty of pseudoscience. An iatrogenic nightmare. An ethical catastrophe. A public danger. A violation of common sense and traditional American values. The 12-step program and group recoveryism make sense only to addicted people who deny the immorality of their own self-intoxication, and whose beliefs and values are comprehensively inverted. Addiction treatment does not work and aggravates addiction.
There can be no sanity nor success in the addictions field until independent recovery through abstinence alone is a viable option for all addicted people. Independent recovery is commonplace, costs nothing, is easily learned, and brings out the best in addicted people and government. Because the states will not revoke the drinking licenses they grant to citizens of age, we should therefore grant addicted people the privilege of doing so themselves, and accord them whatever leniencies and respect permanent abstinence suggests. Public funding for addiction treatment, especially when sponsored by 12-steppers in elected office, must not pass.