Why is it that the vast majority of articles regarding alcohol and chemical dependency rehabilitation treatment all seem to have an anti-12 step premise? Why is it that all of a sudden Medically Assisted Treatment is the new treatment panacea? Is it really possible that all of the Treatment facilities that have been around for many years and provided treatment to those in need were using a treatment modality that didn’t work?
I was recently a patient in the hospital and met my roommate who ruefully confided in me that had his wife been alive he would not have lost his leg to diabetes. When I asked him what he meant he stated quite simply that she would have made sure he did what he was supposed to do to deal with his diabetes. Left on his own he had simply not done what he had been told was necessary to deal with his diabetes.
Sound familiar? While not apples to apples analogous, most of us in the Treatment field have heard this refrain many times.
Has anyone wondered if with the explosion of new Treatment facilities opening in the past several years whether there are a sufficient number of experienced Executives to run these facilities? Are there a sufficient number of trained and experienced Clinicians to staff these new facilities? Where did they all come from?
Why is it that the National Associations that represent the Treatment field don’t speak up and support the Treatment modality that they represented for so many years? Could it be that it doesn’t work? Have they decided that they were wrong all these many years? Could so many people have been wrong for so long?
Why is it that our industry is like a punch drunk fighter taking shot after shot and no one steps up to say “Hey, wait a minute”? Why is our industry allowing those with the least amount of experience to frame the issues about treatment modality? Allowing others to construct and direct this conversation is self-defeating and will be disastrous over the long haul.
Dialogue about alcohol and chemical dependency rehabilitation treatment modalities should be part of an ongoing conversation within our industry. This is good for our industry. Dialogue and self-reflection is healthy for any industry.
What is not healthy for our industry is the abrupt 180 we are currently seeing, reading about and soon to be forced fed. Allowing financial considerations to dictate treatment is the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. Those of us who have been around long enough watched a very similar event when managed care came in as the next best thing for our industry. What was the result of that? Half of the Treatment facilities closed.
After nineteen years in the field I have watched thousands of people turn their lives around and experience sobriety. Was it easy? No. Does it take a daily commitment to continue that sobriety? Yes. Does it work for everyone? No. Yet unlike my roommate, those who are willing to do what must be done have a good chance at sobriety and a productive life.
There is no coming into treatment and getting cured from the disease of Addiction. There is no pill or remedy that will magically make one better. Those looking for a quick fix to addiction and the treatment modality being used by the vast majority of treatment providers today, will be disappointed with the direction our field is taking when this newest solution doesn’t live up to its claims.
Robert Piccone, M.S. | President | Clearbrook Treatment Centers