In January of this year, Johann Hari published an article that went viral: “The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think.” The article put forth the idea that the “disease model” the addictions industry has embraced might not be the panacea its propped itself up to be. Citing some intriguing research, Hari presented the idea that “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It’s human connection.” He states, “what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong – and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.” Apparently, a lot of people were ready to hear it, since as of this writing, well over 1 million Facebook readers have “liked” the article. That doesn’t include the multitudes promoting it through Twitter and other platforms.
The Fact of Relapse
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates for drug addiction are around an astounding 40-60%. In cases of Opiate Addiction, the rate is as high as 85%. In spite of the abundance of inpatient and outpatient care available to people in need of help, an enormous number of addicts will relapse several times and may never be totally free of their addiction.
“The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With The First Step.” Lao Tzu
Addict, from the Latin addicare: to favor; from ad- + dicere: to say or to call forth. In the days of the Roman Empire, the Gladiators would fight to the death. Whoever won would call forth a slave; hence, an addict is a slave.
Isn’t that the highest of aspirations, to be a slave?
Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
The traditions keeps us safe.
They preserve the sacred arena through which recovery unfolds and matures. The traditions support a culture that nourishes one back to wholeness. The avenue they travel on is Acceptance, Compassion, and Love.
"Do I have to have an open mind on this one?”
He’s one of the brightest, emotionally intelligent men I know. A force in the addictions field, a respected leading clinician, a long-time member of the recovery community with over 20 years clean & sober, and my friend. But when the conversation turned to the new messaging about recovery that’s sweeping the country, the gates of his mind slammed shut.