What is Rational Recovery®?
Rational Recovery® is the exclusive, worldwide source of counseling, guÏidance, and direct instruction on independent recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs through planned, permanent abstinence. We use an exclusive method, Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®), which is by far the
most cost-effective, dignified, private approach of all.
What is AVRT®?
AVRT® is the lore of independent recovery from substance addiction in a brief, consumer-ready, service-marked, educational format. Many thousands of visitors to this website have recovered using The Crash Course on AVRT. In fact, AVRT is based upon the common thread of success as described to us by thousands of self-recovered people.
It is a comprehensive remedy for addiction, allowing addicted people
to fully recover in as short a time as they like, without regard
to age of onset, the substance of choice,
previous unsuccessful attempts at recovery, and the existence
of other personal problems. AVRT-based recovery is nothing more
or less than secure, permanent abstinence.
AVRT is the only family-centered approach to addiction recovery. All others, including spiritual and psychological recovery group approaches, which are also the source of doctrine, theories, and customers for the addiction treatment industry, are addict-centered. They have created an elaborate mythology and melodrama surrounding the high-life that conceals ugliness and immorality of addiction behind the sterile backdrop of groups, shrinks, and rehabs. They all cater to the addict as if there is some good reason they cannot summarily quit drinking/using and get on with more productive lives. AVRT is based upon family values of Western civilization that significantly overlap with Judeo-Christian beliefs and values that inspired the founding of the United States of America. We restore the moral axis to addiction and recovery, so that addicted people may make a principled commitment to lifetime abstinence, and beging the long process of living down their bad reputations with those they really care about, particularly their families, employers, and others they have offended or harmed in their mad pursuit of addictive pleasures.
AVRT is simple, quick,
and easy so much so, that it may seem "too good
to be true." That objection, of course, is an example of the Addictive
Voice, because it supports the Option to drink/use. The definition of the Addictive Voice is, any thinking
that supports or suggests the possible future use of alcohol and
other drugs. Any contradiction of a personal commitment to permanent abstinence is the Addictive Voice. Simple, isn't it? AVRT is powerfully simple!
Where is the nearest Rational Recovery
There are no Rational Recovery
groups, anywhere! In AVRT-based recovery, you are on your own. Based upon universal family values, AVRT is incompatible with the group format,
and contradicts practically every concept presented in recovery
groups and addiction treatment services. We believe strongly that your desire to attend recovery
groups is couched in the belief or plan that you will ”have a relapse” if
you do not attend meetings. In AVRT-based recovery, you
will quickly recognize that self-doubt as an example of
your Addictive Voice. Then, you will not want to congregate
with others who would reinforce that crippling, dependent
belief, or make predictions of suffering and harm to you if you don't accept their recovery doctrines.
Where can I find a Rational Recovery® treatment center?
There are no Rational Recovery® treatment centers, anywhere. We stand strongly opposed to addiction treatment in principle because, according to mountains of research findings, it does not work, and because it is most often harmful instead of helpful. Moreover, AVRT® is incompatible with addiction treatment, because the billing format requires that addicted people be diagnosed with a medical or psychological disease and provided services aimed at reducing the desire to get high. Addiction treatment seeks means to reduce or eliminate the desire to drink/use, but AVRT® welcomes residual addictive desire as evidence of robust, physical health. AVRT® is just too simple, too quick, too obvious, to easy, for insurance companies to justify the cost of medical surroundings with a large cast of misguided clinicians. AVRT-based recovery is independent recovery, without the use of groups, shrinks, and rehabs.
We do not endorse, authorize, license, or permit any other party to offer services called Rational Recovery® or Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®). We do not train or certify individuals in AVRT®. If you are offered Rational Recovery® or AVRT® by a treatment center or by a professional counselor, you are being seriously misled, and you will not receive services that are untainted by the presence of incompatible elements such as new age spirituality, whole-being, whole-person, or “holistic” silliness, nutritional and vitamin therapies, nature walks, cognitive-behavioral psychology, mediation exercises, disputation of irrational beliefs, and other confusing irrelevancies. Every time another element is added to AVRT®, a new condition has been given to the Beast whereby it may later justify continued use of alcohol and other drugs.
How can I learn more about AVRT?
To get started on AVRT-based recovery, go to
The Crash Course on AVRT. There, you can
learn enough AVRT to fully recover. Remember, recovery is
not a process, but an event, when you make an irreversible
decision to never drink/use again. Once recovered, stay
away from recovery groups of all kinds, set your confidence
level arbitrarily at 100%, recognize all self-doubt as Addictive
Voice, and you will do fine. Take credit for your recovery,
as we are not interested in taking credit for your successes
or failures, but by all means let others know about this
escape hatch from addiction and recoveryism. Give us an
email, so we can tell others about your AVRT-based recovery.
You will probably want to make this website your home base for a while as you learn AVRT, and until you “get your legs” in life after addiction. For this, you should become a subscriber to this website.
the stakes in addiction recovery are high, most people want more
than the basics of AVRT. We recommend you make good use of the
advanced learning materials available at the Rational Recovery Bookstore. Be sure to get your own copy of the book, Rational
Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, and a later book, The Art of AVRT, both of which provides
a good foundation in AVRT-based recovery . This is the best book
ever written on addiction because it is the only one that
explains how people naturally defeat addictions.
the strongest action against addiction, register for five one-hour sessions of direct, face-to-face instruction in AVRTeleConference, conducted by Mr. Trimpey via FaceTime connection on iPads, iPhones, or iMacs. A significant other is invited to sit in
as a participant-observer, to get satisfying answers about AVRT-based
recovery, and to set the stage for eventual reconciliation. Call
530-621-2667 to enroll and schedule sessions.
How do I help a family member start
A good rule to remember is that addiction
expands into the tolerance that surrounds it. If you tolerate
the use of alcohol and other drugs, then the problem will
very likely continue at least until you don't tolerate it.
There is nothing wrong with your loved
one to prevent him/her from quitting the use of alcohol
and other drugs, right now, for life. Getting this to happen,
however, may be a difficult or impossible task, as addicted
people are quite determined to continue getting high, no
Family pressures are among the most effective
measures against addiction. You may try reasoning, complaining,
pleading, and discussion, but these weak measures rarely
produce lasting abstinence. The strong approach, which fits
well with AVRT-based recovery, is the confrontation, accompanied
by zero-tolerance ultimatum.
Should we do a family intervention?
We are firmly opposed to the widespread practice of interventions, in which families conspire, often under professional guidance, to force their addicted loved ones into worthless, expensive addiction treatment programs. A typical intervention may involve a substance abuse counselor, rehab van idling
outside, who conducts a tearful surprise party involving friends,
family, neighbors or others who are coached to recall examples
of addictive behavior. When the addicted person appears sufficiently humiliated and tearful, a family spokesperson says, "Because we all love you we want you to go right now to the treatment center." These unethical, melodramatic confrontations not only aggravate addiction and destroy bridges of reconciliation, but rarely produce secure abstinence.
Instead, we encourage the zero-tolerance ultimatum, coupled with the firm expectation of immediate, AVRT-based recovery. In this approach, the family simply confronts the addicted member with a choice between addiction and family membership. While this may seem excessive or even cruel, the zero-tolerance ultimatum is the kindest cut of all, because it presumes that the addicted one is capable of moral conduct and loyalty to the family. The family is not sending the addict away, but calling him home without his addiction. Of course, families who have long labored under the illusions of the disease concept of addiction, or who have become involved with the recovery group movement or addiction treatment programs, will find it very difficult to deliver an ultimatum to an individual they assume to be diseased, powerless, or in need of massive support and therapeutic services.
Most importantly, remember there is nothing
wrong with your spouse or other loved one besides chemically-enhanced
stupidity. Addiction is not a family disease. Family
members are not responsible for anyone else‘s drinking,
nor are they responsible for anyone else‘s abstinence. Addiction
is the ultimate self-indulgence, and no family bonds, marital or parent-child, can survive
addiction. Addiction is a greater betrayal of marital vows
than adultery, because the pleasure of addiction exceeds the pleasure of the biological bond between a man
and a woman. Marital sexual love is replaced by a stronger desire to get high
with alcohol and other drugs. This is the justification
for uncompromising action, the zero-tolerance ultimatum, which demands marital
fidelity in the form of an explicit guarantee of perfect, lifetime abstinence.
should expect or demand that your loved one visit this website and take The
Internet Crash Course on AVRT, which will introduce the
basics of AVRT-based recovery. That may be sufficient, or may
open the door to AVRT-based recovery through AVRTeleConference.
Make information on AVRT-based recovery available by giving
your addicted loved one the book, Rational Recovery: The New
Cure for Substance Addiction, along with the videos “AVRT: Live,” "Greater
Expectations," and "But I'm a Really Tough Case!"
you may very reasonably demand that he/she read or view the materials
and decide between addiction and family membership.
initial efforts to introduce your family member may take some
time and raise more questions than covered in this short section,
so we invite you subscribe
as a member of the Rational Recovery Web Center, where
you may enter discussion groups monitored by RR founder, Jack
Can I use AVRT while I continue to attend
Many 12-steppers start their actual recovery
by learning AVRT as they continue meetings. As you learn
AVRT, however, you will discover that everything said at
recovery group meetings strongly supports the idea that
you will continue to drink/use unless you follow
certain rules or accept certain beliefs. For example, you
will be told that if you become hungry, angry, lonely, or
tired (HALT), you will "have a relapse," which
means get high. This prediction is an example of what we
call the Addictive Voice, which is the sole cause of your addiction!
Therefore, AVRT is incompatible
with the recovery group format because it contradicts the
values and beliefs necessary for the group's survival. For
example, the idea of "support group" contradicts
the idea of independent recovery. The meanings of the words
may be changed in order to avoid contradiction, but AVRT
will identify this wordplay as the Addictive Voice.
Recovery groups interfere with your recovery
by attacking your confidence in your own ability to abstain
without group support. The disease concept of addiction
is the crippling idea that the act of using alcohol and
other drugs is a disease symptom and not subject to moral
judgment and beyond voluntary control. Recovery groups will
invariably attack your original family values and introduce
new religious and psychological belief systems. This is
not good for you, as you already have within you all you
need to fully recover in as short a time as you like. AVRT-based
recovery draws upon your own judgment and common sense,
and helps you trust your own values, perceptions, and thought
We warn everyone to stay away from recovery groups of all kinds, because groups foster dependence
and actively discourage self-recovery. If abstinence from
recovery groups feels difficult, you may want to begin your
AVRT-based recovery with a decision to abandon recovery
groups, as in the AVRT Declaration of Independence.
Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions
of people. Why is Rational Recovery so critical of 12-step
Rational Recovery is critical of all recovery group organizations, not just AA. If you get a group of substance abusers together after dark, they're up to no good. Certainly, there is no wisdom leading to recovery at a recovery group meeting, for none present have achieved recovery. When they keep coming back, they coalesce around the beliefs and values of addicted people, which we call the Addictive Voice. Those who actually quit have no purpose in attending meetings, so their wisdom is removed from the group along with them.
If you object to criticism of other approaches to recovery, you should read no further. Our approach, AVRT, identifies the Addictive Voice regardless of its source. AVRT shows that recovery groups, especially 12-step and psychology-oriented groups, are virtual fountains of Addictive Voice. When you have taken The Crash Course on AVRT, you will probably be able to see more clearly that recovery groups of all kinds are harmful and ineffective. Recovery groups based upon cognitive-behavioral therapy advance the psychological disease concept of addiction, beliefs and values aggressively dispute to traditional family values of legitimate, moral authority, shame, honor, and family loyalty. SMART Recovery is an adjunct to the addiction treatment industry, and the other "alternatives" also carry forward the fundamental error of segregating addicted people unto themselves where they coalesce into fellowships of addiction.
Our reluctant conclusion, that AA is only the painted shell of addiction itself, is born of tragic outcomes and simple logic. We base our opinion on daily, direct observation
of the 12-step recovery group movement for two decades, and upon one decade of direct supervision of the Rational Recovery Self-Help Network, which we finally disbanded.
We are highly suspicious of praise for
AA by people whose identities and personal lives are defined years later by a period of supidity and irresponsibility. We do not care about their spiritual visions
and gratitude toward AA/NA, because in spite of all their
piety and enthusiasm, they are still in the jaws of addiction,
staying sober one-day-at-a-time, engaged in occult spirituality,
languishing in the social ghetto of recovery groups. That,
we believe, is a tragic outcome of addiction, actually an
unnecessary extension of addiction.
When people first attend AA or NA, they
are usually on the brink of recovery, ready to take the
plunge into permanent abstinence but troubled by the difficulty
of making such a commitment. Instead of receiving encouragement
and constructive advice, such as at this webstite, newcomers
are met with the worst possible advice! Desperate
and vulnerable newcomers are told that planned, permanent
abstinence is useless, because they all tried themselves
All recovery groups are based upon the uncertainty
principle, whereby all group members must remain uncertain
about the future use of alcohol and other drugs. For example,
if you plan to continue getting high, then you will have
no purpose for attending. Likewise, if you know you will
never drink/use again, you will not want to hang out with people who would undermine your confidence. In fact, recovery groups oppose the concept of abstinence, favoring "sobriety," one-day-at-a-time, forever. People expressing ideas related to AVRT are said to be "in denial," and they are predicted by the group to suffer and fail.
I think I may need to check into a rehab.
Does addiction treatment work?
"Treatment works!" is a slogan
of the addiction treatment industry, a form of advertising
suggesting that inpatient and outpatient rehabs result in
secure abstinence. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Research on abstinent outcome shows that addiction treatment
is futile. The abstinent outcome is so low that statistics
on abstinent outcome are not even collected by most addiction
treatment programs. The majority of those treated resume
using within a few weeks, and only a tiny, single-digit
percentage are abstinent for long. All research on abstinent
outcome suggests that this is so. Suicide among substance
abusers is common: more than 75% of all suicides involve
alcohol and other drugs and according to a 1984 National
Institute of Mental Health finding, 25 percent of deaths
among treated alcoholics are suicides, most occurring within
one year of addiction treatment.
Although an entire industry is based upon the illusion
that addiction is a treatable disease, there is no treatment for addiction. Even the federal
government participates in the deceptive disease/treatment
concept of addiction. Addiction treatment is actually a
combination of many procedures devised to treat a wide range
of problems besides addiction. Addiction treatment does
not address addiction itself, but views it as a symptom
of other, hidden conditions. In AVRT-based recovery, there
are no hidden causes of addiction, and the sole cause of addiction, the Addictive Voice, is as conspicuous as the nose on your face.
Some addiction treatment methods are past-oriented,
other methods focus on present patterns of "dysfunctional"
behavior and social hang-ups, and other methods address
moral failings, spiritual deficiencies, and emotional disturbances
such as shame, guilt, anger, and depression. Addiction treatment
is based on the expectation that by "dealing"
with "issues" such as these, and learning new
"coping mechanisms" including honesty, anger management,
assertiveness, sensitivity, humility, frustration tolerance,
and self-esteem, one will become less inclined to drink
alcohol or use drugs. All of these virtues and self-improvements
may have significant value for persons needing or wanting
such help, but there is scant evidence that any of these
fine traits result in abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
Another example of addiction treatment
folly is "relapse prevention," as if drinking
beer is involuntary, like having a seizure. In AVRT-based recovery, you
will learn how to decide to have no relapses and easily
stick to that decision under all conditions.
If you think addiction
treatment can benefit you, study AVRT first. Then you will at
least have informed consent to treatment, which substance
abuse counselors do not provide. It is doubtful you will ever
consent to addiction treatment once you understand AVRT. Many
take the very strong action of taking AVRT:
The Course, especially when other means have failed.
How effective is AVRT?
We must be very cautious about crediting programs,
such as Rational Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, or other organization,
with the success of individuals who possess free will. AVRT is
based on the experience of successful, self-recovered people who
have taken full, personal responsibility for acquiring, maintaining,
and ending their addictions. Therefore, it is a fundamental error
to credit Rational Recovery or AVRT with anyone's success or failure.
As you will see in a study at the next link, some people who learn
AVRT and make a commitment to permanent abstinence later change
their minds about drinking or using. Why would we call that a
failure, or the failure of a program, or even an individual's
failure, if he or she decides to drink or use drugs once again?
True, it may be a failure to live up to others' expectations,
or a failure to honor a previous commitment, but has anyone or
any program really failed when someone does exactly what he or
she wants to do?
The idea that recovery programs are effective
means to resolve substance addictions is uniquely American, although
the idea has been spread rapidly worldwide by American recovery
group missionaries. However, only a tiny,
single-digit percent of recovery group attendees remain
abstinent for long, and many of the rest leave the program feeling
like failures, or stay with the program and invest considerable
time and effort in its routines. Those who leave AA, or who get no help at all, actually do very well; according to AA, over 60% of all successful recoveries occur without groups, substance abuse counseling, and addiction treatment services.
The idea that recovery groups or programs
are effective or ineffective is an extension of the disease
concept, wherein addicted people are seen deterministically,
as though the act of drinking/using is caused by external
or forces, biological drives, or subliminal influence. AVRT-based
recovery asserts that addiction is voluntary, purposeful
behavior, and that human beings are free moral agents. AVRT
is essentially a set of instructions, like a recipe for
bread, which if followed results in a highly predictable
abstinent outcome. This said, AVRT is very effective,
using abstinence as the measure, as the study below suggests.
Rational Recovery takes no responsibility
for anyone's behavior, good or bad, nor any credit for anyone's
abstinence. By expressing the effectiveness of AVRT, we
are only stating that a certain number of people have followed
through on what they said they would do. The results of
the above study are, therefore, a testament to human competency
rather than to the "effectiveness" of Rational
Recovery or AVRT. After all, AVRT is simply the lore of
self-recovery in a brief, educational format.
Given that human beings generally do exactly
what they want to do, it should not be surprising that so
many follow the instructions of AVRT and become securely
and permanently abstinent. Certainly, the data in this study
do not reflect on any individual's chance of prompt, full
recovery. Each person has exactly 100% chance of becoming
permanently abstinent, if that is one's wish. The Addictive
Voice, described elsewhere, naturally predicts that each
individual will be among the few who do not cease and desist
from alcohol and drug use, for all time. So, in summary
to this question, the numbers game works strongly in AVRT's
favor, in comparison to other approaches, but in the last
analysis, it means absolutely nothing to any addicted individual.
Does AVRT work with other addictions?
Although AVRT presently is written to address alcohol and other drugs, eating disorders, sexual error, and gambling, the principles do apply across the board. AVRT is a depiction of free will applied to vices, addictions, bad habits, and immoral conduct. All of these terms seem to describe the innate tendency of human beings to seek short-term gratifications which undermine long-term well-being. Indeed, AVRT is the
way human beings naturally self-correct when undesirable behaviors
Although not a panacea, AVRT may be used with any undesired
behavior including gambling, overeating, pornography, and a wide range of sexual difficulty we call “sexual incontinence.“ To apply AVRT to your behavioral hangup, become a subscriber, and join in the Other Addictions board in the Rational Recovery Discussion Forums.
We have heard from many individuals who
have praised AVRT as their means to change persistent sexual
conduct that is risky, self-defeating, or later shameful
to the individual. Taming The Feast Beast (Delacorte 1995) is an adaptation of AVRT to overeating. Articles on problem gambling have appeared in The New Cure and in The Journal of Rational Recovery.
Is Rational Recovery against God and
AVRT-based recovery fits well with any
religion except the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In fact, AVRT does not advance any general philosophy or
system of values; it merely rests upon universal family values such as family loyalty, honesty, privacy, individual responsibility, and self-restraint. Instead of setting forth new beliefs and values, AVRT directs
one back to his or her original family values, especially
the concepts of resisting temptation and choosing right over wrong, ideas that are
acquired in the family and well-understood by age five.
We object to the practice of requiring addicted people to seize upon a newfound “understanding” of God, and then depend upon that self-made entity for strength, wisdom and guidance. Addicted people cannot conceive of any benevolent entity that would condemn the act of self-intoxication. Indeed, the “God” of AA is a one-dimensional, loving God, infinitely tolerant of “relapses.” Many groupers discover that, in spite of God’s loving tolerance of “relapses," the cost of self-intoxication is still a painful death. To anyone versed in AVRT, AA’s God-as-you-understand-him is none other than the Beast of addiction itself, and the 12-step program is the doctrinal form of the Addictive Voice.
By contrast, AVRT is a zero-tolerance commitment to permanent abstinence. Instead of ritual confession and moral inventories, AVRT allows the individual to take moral responsibility for abstinence. The Big Plan of AVRT is not unlike a pledge
to God to remain abstinent, a common expectation
in many religions.
People who quit addictions face the same
problems as others, and may draw upon religious faith in
their spiritual growth and as a precious resource in solving
life's problems. We encourage people to maintain their original
family values, religious beliefs, and devotion to the church
of their choice. We believe that church attendance can open
doors for rewarding relationships with normal people who
share wholesome interests and desires, and that churches
are a vital social institution in America.
Rational Recovery, a friend of organized
religion worldwide, was not designed for atheists or agnostics.
It was designed for addicted human beings of all persuasions
who want to quit drinking or using drugs. Because AVRT does
not require religious beliefs, one may independently pursue
real spiritual growth in the clarity of permanent abstinence rather than in the
fog of addiction and the daily struggle of one-day-at-a-time sobriety.
Clergy will appreciate that AVRT is congruent with Christian repentance and
our structural model parallels Old and New Testament scriptures,
as well as the sacred writings of other religions. We deplore
suggestions that any of the world's great religions are
insufficient to address the common human problem of habitual
RR has voiced the conscientious objections
of tens of thousands of persons who have received unwanted,
unconstitutional, religious indoctrinations in the course
of addiction treatment. To them and others, we provide a
program that is free from religion. By advocating
for their religious freedom, and identifying the 12-step
program as a religion that competes with established religions,
we have been accused by some of being irreligious, sacrilegious,
or even anti-religious. Ain't so.
What about Antabuse and Naltrexone?
These are "anhedonic" drugs intended
to rob their consumers of the pleasure normally produced
by alcohol and other drugs. Antabuse (disulfiram), when
mixed with alcohol, produces serious cardiovascular symptoms
and intense sickness and nausea. Naltrexone blocks the intoxicating
action of alcohol and other drugs, preventing the resplendent
high. Their chemical action is exactly as advertised,
and it is precisely because they work so predictably well
that so few addicted people will take them in a disciplined
way. In other words, not many drunks or junkies will take
an "anti-drink" or "anti-fix" which
will ruin the pleasurable effect produced by alcohol or
drugs. These anti-pleasure drugs therefore require outside
supervision and monitoring services, and are essentially
worthless because of these combined factors. notorious
For these anhedonic drugs to take effect,
one must consume alcohol. They have no value for anyone
who will not be drinking. As a very temporary measure, Antabuse
can buy time while getting ready for more substantial measures,
such as a commitment to lifetime abstinence. Claims that
Naltrexone reduces one's desire to drink alcohol are dubious,
at best, since that would entail erasing the memory of past
If you eagerly anticipate the day when
a medical magic bullet that will remove your desire to drink
or allow you to drink without ill effect, you are experiencing
your Addictive Voice. Until you recognize that, you are
a perfect mark for the next media-hyped pill or treatment
that will promise much and deliver nothing.
We gotta watch addiction scientists!
Their work is funded by agencies having an interest
in addiction treatment. Their language is lab-oratory.
Their feet are insulated from the ground by thick, sponge
soles, and consequently their conclusions about human affairs
are not grounded in reality. They are the pro wrestlers
of the scientific community. Treatment works! Yeah, right.
AVRT-based recovery as you to trust nothing
and no one but yourself. When you've made your Big Plan,
stay away from recovery groups of all kinds, set your confidence
level arbitrarily at 100%, recognize all self-doubt as Addictive
Voice, and you will do fine.
What about moderation and harm reduction?
"Harm reduction" is the logical
outcome of an addiction care system that produces no measurable
abstinent outcome. It voids the War on Drugs on a case-by-case
basis, after addiction treatment has failed numerous times.
Following the powerless doctrine, harm reduction presumes
that abstinence is impossible for some people, so the next
best goal is to reduce the harm to self-and others resulting
from active drug addiction. The result is a growing service
system providing professional guidance and supervision to
assist addicts in their pursuit of the high life. Harm reduction
is a good example of the Addictive Voice setting public
Rational Recovery does not actively support
moderate or drinking or "controlled" drinking
or efforts to reduce the harm from using drugs. We deny
any difference between a problem drinker and a
real alcoholic. Indeed, the founder of Moderation Management,
Audrey Kishline, fancied herself to be a problem drinker
who might imbibe occasionally, if she followed the advice
of psychologists. She is now in prison for killing a man
and his teenage daughter in a drunk driving crash. This
tragedy symbolizes the folly of moderation for problem drinkers,
but professional counselors nevertheless continue to invite
problem drinkers to drink moderately based on self-assessment
People who are able to drink moderately
do so without awareness they are doing so. It comes naturally.
The yearning to drink moderately is the hallmark of addiction,
known only to addicted people, which is why so very
few achieve their lofty, often death-defying, goal of moderate
drinking or recreational drug use.
Addiction seems to be associated with having
reached a threshold of deep pleasure that awakens a survival-drive
appetite to repeat the pleasure, with little regard for
the consequences. Even small amounts of alcohol or drugs
impair the judgment necessary to stick with earlier decisions
to drink moderately. Thus, "drinking interruptus"
is a crap shoot.
Inevitably, addicted people are frightened by
ideas of permanent abstinence, unable to imagine a satisfactory
life without at least "moderate" use of mood-altering
substances. Our exclusive method, Addictive Voice Recognition
Technique (AVRT), helps people overcome this apparent barrier
to prompt recovery. A tutorial on AVRT, the Internet
Crash Course on AVRT, may be found by returning to the
Rational Recovery home page.
Accept no one's advice to continue drinking
in a "controlled" or "moderate" fashion.
Beware of professional counselors who say that they can
help you to enjoy moderate drinking; being well-educated
does not guarantee their personal integrity or common sense.
If you have an established pattern of harm to yourself or
others or have failed in any of your roles and responsibilities
resulting from the use of alcohol, the continued use of
any amount of alcohol places you at extreme high risk of
new and greater problems. We recommend lifetime abstinence
from alcohol and other drugs for anyone experiencing problems
related to drinking or using. Planned abstinence is quick,
easy, cost-free, and risk-free, and it feels good immediately
and in the long run. If you are having problems caused by
drinking, quit once, for life! Rational Recovery shows you
exactly how. If you are currently abstinent with good reason,
do not be deceived by professionals who suggest that you
may one day drink without ill effects. Once you have repeatedly
crossed the threshold of deep pleasure into drunkenness,
there is a strong likelihood that you will re-addict yourself
with amazing efficiency.
I'm being forced to attend AA/NA. Can
I use Rational Recovery instead?
Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous,
and the "AA alternatives" all force themselves
upon millions of unwilling men and women by acting as informants
on people referred by courts, employers, prisons, and other
social agencies. Rational Recovery does not play ball with
courts and other authorities by signing slips of attendance
or by allowing groups of substance abusers to convene under
We believe that society has a compelling
interest in certain people abstaining from alcohol and other
drugs, but no one has any legitimate interest in how or
by what means one becomes abstinent. Our view is that each
citizen is individually responsible before the law, and
that is it improper and illegal for a court to require affiliation
with an organization in order to establish credibility in
court or in society, least of all, with a group of tentatively
abstinent substance abusers with a collective abstinent
outcome around zero.
If you agree to attend recovery groups
in order to avoid other penalties, your participation will
be construed as "voluntary," and little can be
done to help you avoid unwanted group entanglement. You
may resist with legal counsel in state or federal courts,
but the cost of defending your constitutional rights can
be high. Resistance to forced recovery group participation
usually requires noncompliance, with a willingness to risk
retaliation by the addiction treatment industry, which may
recommend that you be imprisoned for refusing recovery group
If you are trying to decide whether to
comply with or resist mandated recovery group participation
or coerced addiction treatment, you may receive further
information and guidance, subscribe to this website . It may be possible for you to use the Rational Recovery Monitor Program in lieu of recovery group participation. When subscribing, select the Rational Recovery Monitor Program level of subscription, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will be admitted to the Forum for the Forced. There you’ll receive moral support and guidance for keeping your sanity and staying abstinent while the recovery group attacks your confidence and character.
What is the connection between Rational
Recovery and SMART Recovery?
Rational Recovery once sponsored an extensive
recovery group network offering cognitive-behavioral therapy
along with an undeveloped version of AVRT. Professional
counselors were invited to host RR groups as part of their
professional practices, and a nonprofit organization was
created to manage those activities. When the comprehensive
nature of AVRT became better known, and its incompatibility
with the psychological disease concept of addiction became
clear, the nonprofit board attempted to seize control of
the name Rational Recovery®. In 1994, a lawsuit ensued
in which Rational Recovery Systems, Inc., prevailed, and
the nonprofit organization was denied the right to call
itself Rational Recovery® or offer any information or
service called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®
(AVRT®). The nameless shell corporation re-named itself
and is now doing business as SMART Recovery.
There is no similarity between Rational
Recovery and SMART Recovery, despite claims to the contrary.
SR is essentially a clone of AA, complete with the group
format, laypersons providing psyhchotherapy, a central doctrine
of general self-improvement, a philosophical conversion
experience, a long-term recovery process, the possibility
of future use of alcohol and other drugs, a hidden-cause
(disease) concept of addiction, and a perfect willingness
to use the authority of law, especially in prisons, to deliver
its message to captive audiences.
Rational Recovery is not part of the recovery
group movement, and uses no psychological theory, no counseling
methods, and no addiction treatment concepts. Be glad
that there are no Rational Recovery groups, anywhere! We
warn participants against forming relationships with others
who have a desire to get drunk or high, and we warn against
accepting advice from people who obviously have not resolved
their own addictions.
counselors would best strongly advise all problem drinkers or
addicted people to immediately and permanently abstain from alcohol
and other drugs. Informed consent to professional services includes
information on alternatives including self-recovery through planned,
permanent abstinence. Psychological theories of recovery are based
on incorrect concepts of addiction, which are always conceived
as a symptom of some other condition. Recovery groups are the
social manifestation of addiction wherein the group's survival
depends upon the uncertainty of the members about the future
use of alcohol and other drugs. Thus, no one may actually recover
in a recovery group, and most often the group will actively discourage
members from having confidence in their current ability to abstain
independently from the group.
Rational Recovery believes in your ability
to quickly recover, even though no one else does. Trust
has got to start somewhere, doesn’t it? Addiction breeds
hopelessness and despair, which we hope you will soon learn
to recognize as your Addictive Voice.