Chris 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.
Like most statistics or studies that these organizations put together, they fail to separate the alcoholics from the hard drinkers. The test base they always use has both, the difference is; that a hard drinker can stop or moderate if they really try and the alcoholic can't. What good are statistics for a treatment process when there are people in it who can do it anyway by themselves when they decide to. When the treatment field gets with that fact, real alcoholism outcome statistics will finally mean something to me, don't trust what you read made by people who do not understand the nature of alcoholism, many professionals don't.
With a lot of treatment or awareness programs, what they try to do is get you to decide to stop or moderate, they show you what you can do to stay clean and sober. These can be as affective and are good things, but what happens is there is harm reduction or sobriety for the heavy or potential drinker but no real help for those who are already alcoholic or real drug addicts. They need a personality change at depth, a spiritual awakening with a shift in perspective so large they operate with a completely different perspective and perception that can only come after a conversion experience following extensive use of spiritual practices.
We end up working with those who have been in 12 treatment centers or whatever and have been desperately trying to separate from drugs or alcohol for years; they absolutely cannot summon up the needed fortitude to not pick up. After the 12 step work, if they remain focused on spiritual disciplines and carry the message of the 12 steps to others who have their problem, they find the power manifests in them and become safe and protected from the first drink or drug, but this takes constant willingness and persistence, something only the desperate have, 90% of people in treatment would not bother to do this work, they would feel it an overreaction to a problem they can handle because maybe they can. Read the doctors opinion, and chapter 2 and 3 in the Big Book really carefully. This is still the best understanding I have ever read about the nature of powerlessness and addiction. Most positive statistics with professional addiction studies are with the category of the Hard Drinker not the Alcoholic, treatment processes alone fail almost always with the real alcoholic or addict, that is where the 12 steps can be one of the only solutions.
As someone who works one on one with alcoholics I need to stay focused on what works for me and not get sidetracked by things that are interesting intellectually but of little value to my work with the powerless. I don't mean this to sound completely negative, treatment processes are needed, we need every rehab we have, its just they have nothing to gain by the separation of the real from the hard drinker, what would it profit them to say they can’t do anything permanent for a percentage of their clients? So I understand what they do and why, I just get frustrated when I see a whole industry with statistics that do not apply in a way I would find meaningful and truly accurate. Treatment can be seen then as part of the early continuum of recovery for some. They do help people realize that drinking and drugging is a negative behavior, so they should stop. This is important for those who can. The good treatment centers emphasize the need for a 12 step way of life for a real recovery and the bad ones don't.