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Operation Reentry

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--- Quote from: "ORStaffMember" ---I was a member in Operation Re-Entry from '72-'74.  Later worked there as a Staff Trainee, went to school and returned to work as a staff member from about '77 until they closed.  I can answer a lot of questions and clear up some misinformation.  Overall I want to reach out to any previous members, whether your experience was good or bad, and help you resolve any confusion or perhaps pain that might still exist.

In the 1970's the Synanon based model was pretty much all there was for drug treatment programs.  Synanon had success with alcoholics and drug addicts, and their well meaning graduates wanted to spread the word and help others.   Pretty much like Alcoholics Annon. does today.  And for the hard core drug abuser, these tactics probably worked very well.  However the problem came when the clients entering the drug programs became younger and younger.  The young confused insecure teenager who is experimenting with drug use, is not in the same category, and to use the same tactics was to me a little heavy handed.  But like I said earlier, in those days, that was all there was and all we knew.   For every client I think Re-Entry helped with their approach, three others were not.

Fortunately there developed by the late 70's other therapy's and methods of treatment that were less "humiliating" or "abusive".   By the later half of the '70's several staff members had joined Re-Entry who were trained in other disciplines and tried to influence the way the program was run.  It was not until the Synanon trained directors left the program that the program evolved. That is the time I believe Re-Entry had it's greatest positive influence in the lives of its teenager members.  I am proud to have worked there during that time.

To those who feel they have been hurt by their experience in the program I would like to say, from every staff member who ever worked at Operation Re-Entry...please forgive us.  Like early doctors who used primitive tools,  we also were well intentioned, but lacked the proper "tools" and education.  

If I can answer any questions that would help you come to terms with what you went through, I am happy to help.  Let me hear your story.

Jorge Carabelli
--- End quote ---
I have to suggest that you might be mistaken, as per your contention that there were few or no other methodologies or role models to choose from other than a Synanon based one back in the 1970s...

Attempts to create a NA model, that is, one based more closely on the tenets and template of AA, were well underway by that time, having commenced at least as early as 1947 ("Addicts Anonymous") within the walls of the Lexington facility otherwise known as Narco Farm. Community efforts along those lines started shortly thereafter in the New York City region via one of the graduates who then called the association or organization "Narcotics Anonymous" (incorporated January 25, 1951). Shortly after that, other groups popped up in Ohio, Illinois and California, some with different names, but also with connections to/influence from the groups in Lexington and/or NYC.

See: NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS: ITS HISTORY AND CULTURE, by William White, Chris Budnick, and Boyd Pickard (2011).

No disagreement here.  

Some of the basic philosophy's of the Synanon model came from AA.  For instance the main premise they called the Triangle of Change:  Act as if, Think as if, Feel as if.  Change your behavior, then your thinking process and soon you will feel that the new behavior is yours.   Also the group confrontation and the use of positive reinforcement through positive peer pressure.


--- Quote from: "ORStaffMember" ---No disagreement here.  

Some of the basic philosophy's of the Synanon model came from AA.
--- End quote ---
Yup. And also some of the personnel. In the beginning, many of these addict-focused groups contained "bridge members," that is, folks who had alcohol as well as drug addiction issues. One of those NA-type groups on the west coast, who called themselves "Hypes and Alcoholics," were allegedly the same folk who later ended up becoming the founding core of Synanon. From the above noted article:

Another group that met briefly in the early 1950s was called Hypes and Alcoholics (HYAL), some of whose members were later involved in the founding of Synanon—the first ex-addict-directed therapeutic community.

When Bill W. was repeatedly asked for guidance on starting groups for "mainline addicts," he suggested that "bridge members" (AA members who were also recovering from drug addiction) could serve as catalysts to develop such support.[/list][/size]

The following excerpt from a post on the Cyber Recovery forums dates "Hypes and Alcoholics" even earlier, closer in time to the presumably original "Addicts Anonymous" that formed at Narco farm:

03-01-2008, 08:11 PM

--- Quote from: "monkeyofstick" ---A Bit of Our History
NA HISTORY first 30yrs

...The late forties saw a group called HYPAL [Hypes and alcoholics] that turned into Tender Loving Care, later to become SYNANON a treatment program. It met at the American Legion Hall Venice Beach, Ca. Habit Forming Drugs formed in Santa Monica, Ca. and others like Addicts Anonymous and Drugs Anonymous started in East Los Angeles, beginning into the early fifties....
--- End quote ---



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