To the Families of Addiction:
When you have read the thoughts below, visit the Crash Course on AVRT® for Families of Addiction, which is also linked below. That will help you gather your own thoughts about the ugly crisis in your family, so that you can take constructive action rather than being swept further into the abyss of recoveryism.
Recovery® is a family-centered approach to addiction recovery, based entirely upon the virtues, beliefs and values of the human family, e.g., honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, love, affection, loyalty, self-discipline, compassion, cheer, generosity, and mutual respect. For example, we do not look upon addiction as a disease, but
rather as voluntary self-indulgence in addictive pleasures at the expense of others, especially others in his/her family. It is misleading to think of habitual drunkenness as "alcoholism," because it is better called "recoveryism" — chronic addiction disguised as recovery.
Addiction/recoveryism is anti-family from the beginning to its end. Recoveryism is comprehensive contradiction of traditional family values. Addicted people live in an alternate reality, the high-life, wherein one's highest purpose is to preserve the Option to get high, and the most meaningful experience of all is the deep, visceral pleasure produced by synthetic drugs, most notably alcohol, street drugs, and doctor's dope. They appeal to the compassionate nature of the human family and seek society's tolerance and leniency when their preposterous, often criminal, behavior threatens dire consequences. The personal narrative of addicted people always (1) exempts the act of self-intoxication from moral judgment, (2) shifts fresponsibility or the act of self-intoxication upon circumstances or other people, especially one's immediate family and ancestors, and (3) implicitly or explicitly reserves one's Option to continue getting high, i.e., "have relapses."
The truth is self-evident, that alcohol and other drugs produce a pleasure greater than the physical bond of the marital relationship, along with a proportionately greater drive to repeat that pleasure. Thus, addiction of a marital partner is a love triangle -- first class adultery. Likewise, addiction of an adolescent creates a Teen Monster that will inevitably exhaust the family's emotional and financial reserves, and then come demanding more. Addicts drink/use for the sheer pleasure of it, not because they are powerless over their voluntary muscles, not to cope with stress or painful emotions, not to escape from painful reality. Indeed, those conditions are the results, and not the causes, of self-intoxication. They are escaping from nothing, but passionately pursuing the greatest pleasure they have ever known, the torrential pleasures of alcohol and other synthetic drugs.
Addiction is so harmful and heartbreaking that family members find it difficult or impossible to understand why a loved one has changed into an ugly, disgusting, traitor. They are extremely vulnerable to the manipulations and deceptions of someone to whom they are deeply attached. Sadly, the medical and allied health professions have accepted the dubious proposition that substance addiction is caused by or, in itself, an inherited disease with psychological and social aspects that renders them powerless to resist addictive desire. Because the medical and health professions have traditionally held such high authority in matters of mainstream thinking and public policy, families no longer trust their own common sense and traditional family values.
Emotionally distraught by domestic chaos, brokenhearted by the betrayal of addiction, families turn their addicted family member and their own lives over to a worldwide fellowship of addicted people that meets during prime-time family hours in every community, every evening. In those recovery group meetings, addicts find emotional support, affection, social acceptance, sexual opportunity, and other currencies understandably and wisely withheld by their families. Unnoticed by their famiies and the public at large, newcomers are introduced to a system of beliefs and values that transforms immoral conduct into innocent disease symptoms, addicts into victims, and family members into perpetrators, enablers, and codependents.
The recovery group sets forth a religious-sounding doctrine based upon the disease concept of immorality, which is fundamentally at odds with the foundation of the human family, which instills in children a strong sense of personal responsibility for their personal conduct. In Rational Recovery, we call the disease concept of addiction, and its denial of the moral axis of addiction and recovery, original denial. That critical contradiction of the disease concept of addiction creates a wonderful, symmetrical relationship between AVRT-based recovery and all other approaches that regard addiction recovery as a process of spiritual and psychological self-improvement in the hope of maturing out of addictive desire.
The addict's first and highest loyalty is switched from his family to the recovery group, as the slogan, "My Recovery Comes First," forthrightly declares. Newcomers learn to yield all responsibility for abstinence to circumstances and the benevolence of God-as-addicts-understand-him, and to define success as tentative, one-day-at-a-time sobriety, rather than secure, permanent abstinence. The family is expected to be highly supportive of the apparently disease addicted family member, and gratefully accept life under the dark cloud of one-day-at-a-time uncertainty in perpetuity.
Addict as Animal
In reality, the addicted family member is not a sick person, a diseased person, a defective person, or someone who is trying to deal with problems or to cope with stress. Your family’s addict is not the original soul you knew and loved before the onset of addiction; he/she checked out long ago and became an intelligent, talking animal that operates on animal voltage, obeys the call of the wild, and betrays the family in the headlong pursuit of physical pleasure.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “party animal.” Dictionaries define animal, "as opposed to human." Strong drugs have transformed your loved one into an animal being, quite different from the human being you once knew and still love in your heart. He/she lives in the animal realm, where life is cheap and life has one purpose — survival. Biological survival is assured by strong, transcending pleasure drives, such as in eating, sex, safety, temperatures, and so on. Your loved one is a loveless being, possessed by one love above all else, addictive pleasure. He/she is anti-family, seeking solitude or running with the pack/herd.
When an addict quits drinking/using altogether, for life, with no provision for “relapses,” he reverts to the original soul he once was, wiser and matured by his experience with the dark side of life. Addiction is one-day-at-a-time; recovery is forever. You’ve suspected this all along, but now you can finally trust your own native intuition!
This is a major difference from the popular view, that problem drinkers and drug users suffer brain disease or psychological troubles, that they require professional treatment, or that they need the support of other substance abusers, or that they must live by a special philosophy or religion designed for alcoholics and other substance abusers. There are no hidden reasons for addiction; addicts drink/use for the sheer pleasure of it.
This greatly changes the family’s strategy in handling addiction within its ranks. Instead of requiring recovery groups and costly addiction treatment services, we warn addicted people and their families to stay away from recovery groups of all kinds and rely upon their own heritage of wisdom and intuitions.
It should come as very good news to families of addiction that the severe threat of addiction is best resolved using resources that the family has had all along, and that the time involved in defeating addiction is measured in days or weeks instead of decades. The materials at this website should be the very first consideration when addiction begins, and certainly should be the last resort when the addict has nearly exhausted the family’s emotional and financial resources. Moreover, the the cost of total recovery ranges from free, using the materials here at this website, to the investment of very modest fees for subscriptions, educational materials, and direct instruction on independent recovery.
We at Rational Recovery view the family as the cradle of life itself,
the highest level of human organization — higher than nations or
organized religion, both of which obtain their legitimacy from the
human family. Addiction is anti-family, a betrayal of marital fidelity,
a direct threat to the family itself.
Whereas current standards and mainstream thinking are addict-centered, expecting
families to accommodate addiction by tolerating one-day-at-a-time
sobriety and by accepting responsibility for “enablement” and
“codependency,” Rational Recovery® is family centered, expecting addicts to accommodate the family’s reasonable expectation of lifetime abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.
base our work upon our own direct experiences with the horror of
addiction, as well as a massive dose of skepticism for current trends
on addiction and recovery. Not only did we have to contradict
practically every concept of popular recovery mythology, but as mental
health and education professionals we had to defy the fundamental
concepts and clinical principles long in use by our health and social
Based upon universal family values, AVRT® is the crown jewel
of addiction recovery, leading seriously addicted people to prompt,
total recovery in as short a time as they choose. It is a wonderful
experience to have faith in what we are, human beings with free will and the ability to choose between right and wrong.
Addiction Recovery Means Swimming Upstream
Following the lead of Alcoholics Anonymous and its auxiliary
group, Al-Anon, our social service system, has become overtly
anti-family in recent decades, encouraging disrespect for the addicted
person’s immediate “dysfunctional” families, for their original family
values, and for their ancestral heritage of religious and genetic
codes. This can be seen clearly in the public schools and in the mental
health and substance abuse service systems, which have joined together
to correct the errors of American families by requiring students, and
clients to accept a wide range of attitudes, beliefs, and views that
clearly contradict their own families’ views and traditions.
Chief among these anti-family beliefs is the disease concept
of addiction, wherein self-intoxication is regarded as an innocent act
— a symptom of genetic or psychological disease. Worst of all in this
web of deceit, abstinence is discounted as a remedy for addiction, and conditional, one-day-at-a-time sobriety is set forth as the most realistic, acceptable solution.
This inverted way of thinking has become very popular, and is
causing our society to decay at an alarming rate. Our addiction service system has become pro-addiction, explicitly
intended to convert problem drinking into chronic addiction through
licensed professionals who are chronically addicted (in recovery)
themselves. Worse, is that addicted family members are expected to
accept the views of the Al-Anon fellowship of addiction, beliefs and
values which are not modeled after the experiences and wisdom of
independently recovered people who remain in healthy families, but
based upon the anti-family views of addicted people and their endlessly
In this perverse belief system, families are considered the source of addiction. Recovery
doctrines encourage disrespect of one’s origins, rejection of
traditional beliefs and values, and assigning blame for addiction on
the “dysfunctional” family and the family defective gene pool.
Families are expected to accommodate the uncertainty of
one-day-at-a-time sobriety as well as accept the expense of
astronomically expensive addiction treatments that do not work, and
actually aggravate addictions and threaten family cohesion and
stability. Families are induced to take a passive stance toward
continued self-intoxication, to remain supportive so the addict remains
sober, to abandon cherished beliefs and values, and to believe that the
family is partly responsible for addiction and sobriety.
Our society is upside-down, with the addicted inmates literally
running the addiction treatment asylums. We think it is most unwise, as
well as unproductive to hang out all of your dirty laundry at the town
square in hopes of finding useful or well-founded guidance. Our purpose
is to offer your family a way back to sanity based upon your own
beliefs and values, using your own internal resources. That means
you’ll have to swim against the strong currents of recoveryism that
prevail throughout society. Compared to the destruction of addiction,
that effort will be very well worth it.
We hope you find the Crash Course on AVRT® for Families of Addiction
useful in your struggle against the ravages of addiction. It is
programmed instruction on how to break free from family recoveryism, a
very short journey from the chaos of addiction to family life free from
We also invite you to read The Art of AVRT, which will help you to lay the foundation for AVRT-based
recovery based upon the wisdom of the ages. You should also review the
following links to gather your thoughts and make a plan that cannot
fail, the zero-tolerance ultimatum:
Zero Tolerance in the Family
The ASS in Your Family
You may freely use this key material to help you gather your
thoughts about some key questions and issues you may have. This website
is a growing, truly unique national resource that, since 1986, has
guided many thousands of addicted people and their families to complete
recovery from addiction and final reconciliation with their families.
The best is yet to come!
Feel free to contact us by telephone or email with any
questions, or to let us know what you think of this unique Internet
Jack and Lois Trimpey, Co-founders