Author Topic: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..  (Read 4991 times)

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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2009, 11:12:25 PM »
While I support opposition to troubled teen gulags and such, I fail to see how the demonization of the 12 step modality is going to accomplish much of anything. Perhaps I am just not reading the thread closely enough? The purpose of these fliers is what exactly?

1. What message do you want to relay?
2. What positive ideology can you include to help facilitate communication?

Blasting an idea, or a modality, or a program simply by pointing out the negatives does nothing to truely address the situation. Offer an alternative.

In the case of 12 step opposition, I would personally suggest looking into "Smart Recovery" or "Life-Ring".

.02




Edit: Remember that 12 step communities are like any community. There are good ones and bad ones. Many 12 step groups are nothing but meat markets for folks with a damaged past, however MANY 12 step communities help both their members and the communities that they reside in.

Are you talking about adults or adolescents?

Many of the "cult" aspects of NA and AA involve psychological devices that replace habitual and ritualized perperation, lifestyle, and consumption of drugs with a lifestyle that is "addicted" to the concepts of sobriety and the concept of maintaining sobriety through reaching out to others.

Not that I support AA and NA, I personally find their bluntly christian overtones to be a turn off...but to deny that the modality has increased basic quality of life for many members is simply untrue.
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Offline try another castle

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2009, 11:28:10 PM »
Im not sure.. but I think that whole flier endeavor was shitcanned. Best to ask psy.

As far as Im concerned, adults who choose to join something is none of my business. Cult, AA, KKK, NAMBLA, NAACP. Whatever. Their choice. Biggest prob I have with 12 step is that courts force people to go.

Doesnt mean Im going to do anything about it. Just sayin.
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2009, 11:49:58 PM »
I'll let you in on a dirty secret.

Courts mandate AA/NA attendance because its a free treatment modality that has a track record of having a moderate success rate at increasing the quality of life for folks. On the flip side of the coin, statistically speaking, the pressure from court mandated recovery or pressure related to losing your job shows higher sustained sobriety rates than "walk ins".

Of course statistical studies of 12 Step "lifetime" sobriety also prove quite nicely how unobtainable the abstinence based models REALLY are, but hey....if it keeps the syringe out of your arm for 1 more day to say the Serinity Prayer, why knock it?
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Offline psy

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2009, 12:19:54 AM »
Quote from: "xEnderx"
I'll let you in on a dirty secret.

Courts mandate AA/NA attendance because its a free treatment modality that has a track record of having a moderate success rate at increasing the quality of life for folks.

While that might be the public perception, that's just not true.  See Brandsma et. al.  That's hardly the only study finding that.  The truth is AA is not only worse than no treatment at all, it's much much worse, actually causing harm.

What's really interesting on some other studies that have been done is that the people who do worst attribute their success to AA most emphatically.  Just because somebody believes something is working does not mean it's actually objectively so.

And btw, AA is not christian at all.  Many of their teachings are in stark opposition to those in the bible, such as the teaching that a human being has free will and actions are choices.  A couple links on that:

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-heresy.html
http://www.2ndccn.com/Twelve_Steps_to_Hell.html (warning, gospel tract)

The bible explicitly says that drunkenness (or anything in excess for that matter) is a sin, and not a disease a person cannot control.  If most churches knew what AA actually taught, they probably wouldn't allow them to have meetings there.  AA is more a religion in itself than a method of recovery.
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2009, 01:21:41 AM »
The important question Psy, is as follows....."How are you measuring the word success"


Now if you are talking about lifetime sobriety, you won't find a damn program on planet earth that has any meaningful success rate. However if you define it by giving people an increase (however slight) in their day to day quality of life, and the ability to participate in a community that supports the concept of sobriety SOME 12 step communities can be very efficacious.


This does not mean I personally support the modality. It does mean that I understand the applicability of a faith based self help program in regards to certain populations. If you are polling a client from a culture that has shame or obligation based traditional rules (like Asian), or a culture that does not support open group discussion of patriarchal weakness (Latino), then you will have a lower rate of compliance (in the clinical sense).

Am I making sense?

I'm familiar with the "cult" mentality of the 12 step community, like I said....its derived from a christian root organization called "The Oxford Group" so do you honestly think that it can shed those roots? No. The organization cannot, nor should they rid themselves of that which forms the basis of their ideology.

The axiom most pertinent to this topic is "Some things work for some people some of the time". Thats a truism in the behavioral health and recovery professions. 12 step works for many people to some degree or another.
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 01:25:01 AM »
Quote from: "psy"

And btw, AA is not christian at all.  Many of their teachings are in stark opposition to those in the bible, such as the teaching that a human being has free will and actions are choices.  


The 12 step modality evolved out of quasi temperance movement. It has christian roots, and while not technically christian in their practices, the root behavior is there....evidenced by the concept of fellowship and somewhat "blind" obedience to mantra's such as "we keep what we have by giving it away", "It works if you work it", etc etc.

Hope that clears things up....I want it to be understood that I really do know what I'm talking about some of the time when I post on this forum. These are literally life and death things that we talk about...esp in regards to addiction and recovery.


Edit: Let me also be clear in regards to my intention in this thread. I am not attacking the idea of offering an alternative to 12 steps, I am simply stating that creating documentation of the type should include suggestions and information that allows increased access to another treatment modality.
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Offline psy

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 01:36:22 AM »
Quote from: "xEnderx"
The important question Psy, is as follows....."How are you measuring the word success"


Now if you are talking about lifetime sobriety, you won't find a damn program on planet earth that has any meaningful success rate. However if you define it by giving people an increase (however slight) in their day to day quality of life, and the ability to participate in a community that supports the concept of sobriety SOME 12 step communities can be very efficacious.

Define "quality of life".  If it simply means feeling good perhaps they shouldn't quit drinking.  Hell.  Maybe they should take up smack or some other opiate.  Again, believing something works does not mean it objectively does.  Sure people get sober in AA. I'm not denying that.  What i'm questioning is whether those people wouldn't have gotten sober anyway on their own.  Since AA's sucess has never been shown to be higher than the spontaneous rate of remission it's not really correct to say that it works.  You wouldn't say a placebo works, even if a person does "get better" on it... but as i've said, AA is a bit worse than a placebo.
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 01:45:41 AM »
Quality of life is defined by an individuals ability to fulfil what are called "ADL's". This means getting up and going to work, taking part in society, having a reasonable range of emotions (happy, sad, joyful, angry, etc), and generally feeling that they have a "life worth living".


I've always found it amusing that the statistics of spontaneous remission and AA assisted remission are pretty similar. Thats no joke....but the question of "could they have done it without AA" is sort of a moot point from my perspective.

If someone FEELS that AA helps them, then it helps them. Much the same way that statistically speaking the modality of a psychotherapist (narrative systems analyst, humanistic, behaviorist, etc) has zero effect on whether or not a person increases their quality of life. The ONLY case this isn't consistent in is regarding Cognitive behavioral and Dialectical behavior therapies in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Just because I personally feel that AA is idiotic doesn't mean I will steer a client away from 12 step if it is somethign they want to explore. When speaking of adults, nobody forces them into an AA meeting (except court) and nobody forces them to really "get anything" out of their experience there.

Now adolescents are a completely different story. I don't really have the training to address addiction in that demographic, but I wouldn't personally push for an abstinence based modality (including 12 step) simply because I feel that it is not an attainable goal for a 15 year old.
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Offline psy

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2009, 01:47:49 AM »
Quote from: "xEnderx"
Quote from: "psy"

And btw, AA is not christian at all.  Many of their teachings are in stark opposition to those in the bible, such as the teaching that a human being has free will and actions are choices.  

The 12 step modality evolved out of quasi temperance movement. It has christian roots, and while not technically christian in their practices, the root behavior is there....evidenced by the concept of fellowship and somewhat "blind" obedience to mantra's such as "we keep what we have by giving it away", "It works if you work it", etc etc.


All of that depends on how you define christian.  AA might have been based on a bible based cult-like group, but in their effort to make themselves marketable to atheists and agnostics they rejected certain christian principles and made themselves heretical to those familiar with their faiths.

None of those concepts are particular christian.  "We keep what we have by giving it away" is a selfish statement.  The bible teaches to give everything away expecting nothing in return.  In the same light AA teaches people that they should make amends for their transgressions not because they're actually sorry for what they've done, but because somehow it'll help them to get better.  Personally if somebody ever comes to me to make amends I'm going to tell them to GTFO and come back when they're legitimately sorry and not doing it as some step.

Quote
Hope that clears things up....I want it to be understood that I really do know what I'm talking about some of the time when I post on this forum.

I don't doubt that.  But don't expect everybody to agree with you just because you have knowledge.

Quote
These are literally life and death things that we talk about...esp in regards to addiction and recovery.

So are any risky choices, such as smoking.  Do you view addiction as a disease?

Quote
Edit: Let me also be clear in regards to my intention in this thread. I am not attacking the idea of offering an alternative to 12 steps, I am simply stating that creating documentation of the type should include suggestions and information that allows increased access to another treatment modality.

Makes sense.  Either way the whole flier thing is not my baby.
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 01:55:16 AM »
Quote from: "psy"
[
I don't doubt that.  But don't expect everybody to agree with you just because you have knowledge.

Certainly not.

Quote
So are any risky choices, such as smoking.  Do you view addiction as a disease?

Addiction causes measurable and lasting changes in brain chemistry and in extreme cases physical development. Depending on the drug, these changes can be extremely long lasting. In many cases cravings can be alleviated or assisted by medication. Medically assisted detox is something that is needed in cases of extreme alcoholism. Methadone is used as a long term medication for opiate addiction.
 
Since is has measureable side effects, clear progression of intensity, and can be treated medically (or at least medically assisted treatment) it fits with the disease model. I hope that answers the question clearly enough. If not let me know.
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Offline psy

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2009, 02:05:14 AM »
Quote from: "xEnderx"
Quality of life is defined by an individuals ability to fulfil what are called "ADL's". This means getting up and going to work, taking part in society, having a reasonable range of emotions (happy, sad, joyful, angry, etc), and generally feeling that they have a "life worth living".

That might be your definition, but others have a right to seek happiness as they see fit so long as it doesnt' directly affect others.  You might look at a person shooting smack as a junkie and a loser.  I see a person who has made certain choices and should neither be condemned or made excuses for if he harms somebody.  Freedom and personal responsibility.

Quote
I've always found it amusing that the statistics of spontaneous remission and AA assisted remission are pretty similar. That's no joke....but the question of "could they have done it without AA" is sort of a moot point from my perspective.

If someone FEELS that AA helps them, then it helps them.

No.  Because a person can feel that something helps them and actually have it hurt them.  Take bloodletting for example.  Once upon a time that was popular and people swore by it, claiming it saved their lives.  Snake oil being another example.  I'd have to dig for it, but there was a study done with court ordered offenders that showed that the ones who were doing the worst thought they were making great progress in recovery thanks to AA. The worse they did, the more they credited AA for saving their lives.

Quote
Just because I personally feel that AA is idiotic doesn't mean I will steer a client away from 12 step if it is somethign they want to explore.

And that's your choice.  But often people getting into AA don't have full knowledge of what they're getting into. The group is rather deceptive and i've confronted several AA members on this who have admitted it. They claim it's necessary in order to help people.  You sound like a shrink so if you are you should be familiar with the concept of informed consent.  That's one of the primary reasons I have issues with AA.

Quote
When speaking of adults, nobody forces them into an AA meeting (except court) and nobody forces them to really "get anything" out of their experience there.

Yes and no.  There might be little actual force, but there's a hell of a lot of psychological pressure including but not limited to the insinuation that if you leave you'll wind up dead, insane, or in jail.  Those in AA believe AA is the only way and they're not afraid to make that sound like a proven fact to outsiders.  NEVER will you hear an alternative suggested in AA meetings with slogans such as "Our way or the Die way".

Here's a little writeup about that:
http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cul ... a_only_way
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2009, 02:13:10 AM »
Quote from: "psy"
That might be your definition, but others have a right to seek happiness as they see fit so long as it doesnt' directly affect others.  You might look at a person shooting smack as a junkie and a loser.  I see a person who has made certain choices and should neither be condemned or made excuses for if he harms somebody.  Freedom and personal responsibility.

I want to be very clear in regards to this statement. I do NOT view addicts or drug abusers as "junkie's", "losers", or anything of the type. If someone I encounter is unhappy and wants help, I will do everything in my professional and personal power to assist them in developing the tools to live a more satisfying life. My responsibility is to assist people in healing the aspects of their behaviors that cause them unhappiness or damage. My responsibility is not to apply my own morals, rules, stigma, or justifications to anything they do.


I did not find this board because I am a drug crusader, I found it because I went through the Peninsula Village program. I now work in the behavioral health field because I believe at the core of my being that compassion and ethical behavior is something that the field needs if we are going to (as a society) assist in the recovery of individuals from behavioral health concerns or addiction, or mental health, or whatever the hell you call it.

I would as soon call someone a junkie as I would call them a nigger. Both are hate filled words that damage both the accuser and the person accused.



As for the AA thing, I feel like I've derailed the thread. I agree with the majority of what you've said...I just view it from a slightly different angle.


Edit: I'm also not a "shrink". I am currently what you would call a "line staff" member. I'm also working towards a degree in social work.
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Offline psy

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2009, 02:15:59 AM »
Quote from: "xEnderx"
Addiction causes measurable and lasting changes in brain chemistry and in extreme cases physical development. Depending on the drug, these changes can be extremely long lasting. In many cases cravings can be alleviated or assisted by medication. Medically assisted detox is something that is needed in cases of extreme alcoholism. Methadone is used as a long term medication for opiate addiction.

So drugs causes changes in the brain.  I see.  That's sort of the point.  So does a frying pan if you hit somebody hard enough with one.  IT doesn't mean it's a disease.  Part of the issue I have with the disease concept is that it labels behaviors and symptoms as diseases.  How many people suffering from depression end up in AA because of the symptoms they exhibit rather than treating the root causes of why they drink to excess?  How many of those people never get genuine treatment for the depression because they end up believing the depression is a symptom of their "spiritual" disease?

Quote
Since is has measureable side effects, clear progression of intensity

Progression of intensity.  Really?  Some such as Stanton Peele cite that as a myth.  Sometimes progressive, of course, but it's hardly guaranteed unless a person believes themselves to be powerless and doesn't bother trying ("it's futile after all they told me in AA").

Quote
and can be treated medically (or at least medically assisted treatment) it fits with the disease model.

What medical treatment.  Other than the actual alcohol dependence, which is as much a disease as poisoning is, what medical can actually be done?  IT seems to me at that point a person is referred to the local AA chapter for indoctrination.  I'm all for therapy and so forth for people who want it, but medical doctors shouldn't be passing off AA as some legitimate solution any more than they should be recommending snake oil.
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Offline psy

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2009, 02:23:12 AM »
Quote from: "xEnderx"
I did not find this board because I am a drug crusader, I found it because I went through the Peninsula Village program. I now work in the behavioral health field because I believe at the core of my being that compassion and ethical behavior is something that the field needs if we are going to (as a society) assist in the recovery of individuals from behavioral health concerns or addiction, or mental health, or whatever the hell you call it.

I totally agree, though I'm just not sure drug use is a medical issue.  It might sometimes cause medical problems (cirrhosis, lung cancer from cigarettes, overdose), but the use itself I don't see as a disease and don't think it should be treated as one.  I think a lot more can be gained by teaching people that they're responsible for their own choices.  Who has a better chance of avoiding over-use of drugs... somebody who believes it's a choice, or somebody who believes progression is inevitable and fulfills that prophecy?

Quote
As for the AA thing, I feel like I've derailed the thread.

LOL.  This is Fornits.  Show me a thread that has stayed on topic all the way through.
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Offline xEnderx

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Re: Flier think tank for AA/NA/TC and etcs..
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2009, 02:28:54 AM »
I didn't say that drugs cause changes in brain chemistry, I said that "addiction" causes long term changes in the way that the brain operates. This is readily apparent if you look at the MRI from a long term meth abuser during the time when they are using meth, during the 6 months after they cease to use, and during the 2-3 year period that it can take for the brain to return to "normal" functioning.


I don't understand why you seem to be taking such offense to the things I've said, but I'm certianly not trying to offend anyone.

Addiction potential (as a clinical term) is defined by a drug's interaction with the mesolimbic pathway. When I say that something causes long term changes, I am speaking of the ability of the brain to regulate its production and distribution of neurotransmitters. Crossing the line from "abuse" into "addiction" occurs when the brain can no longer regulate itself or when it becomes unable to produce a chemical. Behaviorally this results in compulsions, obsession, etc. This is why from a treatment standpoint, addiction is considered to be an obsessive disorder.

I think you are under the impression that I am some sort of staunchly anti-drug person. I'm not.


You don't like AA, I get it. I can respect that. I apologize if I said something that made you feel like I'm attacking your stance. Not sure what else to say.


Oh, and when I say medically treated (or whatever), I'm referring to things such as the use of anti-obsessional meds to help combat drug cravings, the use of benzo's (in a clinical setting) to combat life threatening DT's, open and frank use of methadone programs to treat opiate addiction on a long term basis, the use of needle exchange programs without the social stigma and demonization that occurs in America, ethical accountability to "drug docs", education for parents that want to cram their kids full of anti-depressants. Stuff like that. I also want to try and keep an open mind to the fact that psychiatric or medical assistance can mean life or death for someone that is active in their addiction.
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