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FINDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN PROFESSIONAL TREATMENT AND THE 12 STEP PROCESS

Posted by on in Alcoholism
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Chris Schroeder is the Director of Media for C4 Recovery Solutions. In his role with C4, he has been tasked with hosting and developing the webcast show, The Afflicted and Affected, interviewing leaders in the addictive illness field and other interesting personalities revolving around the recovery world. Chris comes into contact with those who research and apply the latest methods of treatment and those who are a force in positive change in outcomes and funding both politically and in the media.

In various blogs and in many discussions with those in and around addiction treatment and recovery support groups the topic that seems of utmost importance to me seems to be Spirituality and Clinical Methods as they relate to Recovery and vice-versa.
There seems to be two teams on this – those who state that there can be no long term recovery without the spiritual transformation who at times ignore professional support systems and then you have those who perform and find support for the many therapeutics in use in professional treatment who can at times ignore the non-professional recovery support systems. Harm reduction vs. 12 step abstinence would be one example of this issue.
This looks to me to be caused by a lack of perspective. If you see alcoholism and drug addiction treatment on a scale – from active use and the resultant intervention to long term recovery you need to place these in their proper place.
As someone who has been in 2 outpatient groups and a 30 day treatment center – then participated in the 12 step spiritual system I can look back on my experience and see that it was beneficial to be in front of the professionals. That to me was the first part of the continuum; I found it extremely important to develop spiritually after that fact.
Two things seem to me to be serious misperceptions.
1. Those in professional treatment who declare that all you need is what they have developed and offer for recovery.
2. Those who state that the only thing that works is the 12 step process.
The good professionals see that a personal commitment to grow emotionally and spiritually is essential to a long term recovery with the quality of life improvements that accompany ones continued abstinence. And the good 12 step abstinence people see the benefit of what the professionals offer and place it accurately on the continum. The problem is in taking a position from only your experience or beliefs, not seeing how aggressive or diverse the problem is and that there are many paths and need to be many paths up the mountain.

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