9 thoughts on “One Heartbreaking Way Treatment Centers Incentivize Illness

  • April 9, 2014 at 11:15 am

    It’s worrying that the treatment centre doesn’t include 12 step groups as part of their addiction programme. This would be the place where these families could get help to recover from trauma and other issues, a massive support network and with the sponsor and the steps learn to make their own healthy loving relationships.

  • April 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Surely the author of this piece doesn’t think this is anything new? This type of recidivism has been remarked upon for years in the case of inmates completing long sentences only to promptly reoffend. Some seek “three hots and a cot”; some a familiar routine in which they know their place.
    The solution in both treatment and prison is to establish a transitional facility where people have support while returning to society. This might take on the order of 3-6 months for addicts and 12-18 months for inmates, many of whom are also addicts.

  • April 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    No one really seems to want to parcelize and market sobriety. And, I think maybe it’s time to solicit support from the creative and literary community, to build a guide for people looking to divorce themselves from various addictions and crutches and other similar life hurdles that prevent us from being healthy, happy, and so forth.

    Our modern world is full of things like television, internet porn, drugs, alcohol, and various other forms of self-indulgence, including 24/7 fitness centers, where your runner’s high isn’t that far away, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re not happy with that, then there’s 500+ channels of cable, multiple different fast food establishments, and other means of self-indulgence. You can also plead depression, and a sympethetic physician can prescribe you enough antidepressants and other pill-candy to put you in another mental dimension, for the rest of your life, potentially.

    But, if it’s true what’s been said, that man’s basic problem derives from being unable to sit quietly in a room, maybe there’s some answers to be found in such a pursuit? Is meditation one vehicle to carry us on the path to freedom from addiction? Or, is orchestrated navel-gazing just one more ‘crutch’, and the real challenge to just walk down the street, going about one’s business, reacting(not excessively, but as necessary), to the events, trials, and tribulations, joys, sorrows, and obstacles both major and minor, and take them as they come, obsessing on none, denying none, but rather just learning how to take things in stride, and handle circumstances and oneself in a calm and mature, collected fashion.

    I would like to see a book, titled: “Get a Grip”, or something along those lines, that simply reminds people that yes, they can, yes, they can handle what comes their way, without diving down the neck of a liquor or pill bottle, or relying on a similar chemical crutch.

    I think a lot of emotional/social/psychological distress today, has a common origin: Media. I think that too much media intake can literally make us sick, in more ways than one. First being that media makes us voyeurs, peering into other people’s lives, either real, or contrived, as with theater. Second, it teaches us to sit quietly in a room, but in a room that is constantly saturated with advertising messages, news that may or may not be relevant or of interest, and it teaches us to be sedentary complainers, rather than actors in the major and grand play that is our lives.

    Help yourself, get sober, dump the pills, dump out the booze bottles, take the batteries out of the remote, turn off the computer, and go outside once a day. If it kills you. Ironically, it probably won’t, and if anything, it might save your life, by reconnecting you to a larger outside world that might not be quite as bad as some people might like to imagine or portray it.

    It’s said that the major portion of mental illness is in our head. But, what is the path to mental health, and can it at least partly be achieved, by walking(literally) a path to better physical health? Baby steps to emotional balance, baby steps to cardiac fitness, baby steps to the produce section, where healthy food is sold…keep on stepping…not one step, not two, not twelve, but as many as it takes you to realize that you can make it on your own two feet, in this life. That’ll be $50.00

  • April 10, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that people can become extremely dependent on the supportive nurturing energy in these groups.

    The group represents the ‘good mother’ & for people with adverse childhood experiences this form of caretaking can prove very rewarding and even addictive.

    The group is,in effect, used as a pathological defence-used for the relief of (original) abandonment depression and this leads to the inhibition of reality perception.

    Authentic growth self development and differentation is not able to occur.

    What do you think the answer to this is?

  • April 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for this rational post about trauma & addiction. It’s time for society to stop the labeling of “disease” and focus on underlying issues around substance misuse.

  • April 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I am stunned by the article and the responses. Perhaps the thrust should be to allow people who have formed supportive groups to transition out of addiction with this support–both those who are addicted and those who are helpers. It seems so obvious that I can’t understand the article or the responses. The article indicates that addicts relapse in order to re-enter a supportive environment. Many of the responses seem to be pushing for more tough love, a get a grip response, or a twelve step response. What about a “keep the support going for as long as it’s needed” response that combines a 12 step program with help to keep growing, becoming strong, setting and meeting goals. I began to think about this thread being one where people in families were told that in order to be healthy they needed to “transition” out of their families. It seems like a very sick prescription to me.

    • April 11, 2014 at 4:07 am

      Juniper they (unintentionally) induce and condition people to fall apart.

      People become overly reliant/dependant on the support in the group they don’t have an incentive to develop the capacity for self sufficiency and that ends up being counterproductive.

      They fail to develop in order to linger in the comfort of connection and responsiveness.

      • April 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm

        Janey, you captured what I hoped I conveyed–irrespective of the how of care or the programs, this conflict is central.

        No matter if it’s a 12 step, DBT, CBT, or other form of care, if we connect “love” with “active addiction” and “treatment” in language, it’s hard to “get better .”

        For years, we’ve seen the perpetuation of “psychiatrizing” people to the point that they have a hard time functioning outside of care–and we need means and ways of helping them transition into learning how to live as if they were “normal” (a word I use with caution!).

        Getting folks who provide services to even think about the double binds is difficult; sorting them out is too. Sigh.

  • May 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I think this article is likely spot on. However, the comments make me sad and furious. As someone who STRUGGLES with CPTSD, I can speak for myself and others by saying that IT ISNT ALWAYS A CASE OF LAZINESS OR SELF LOATHING. I have had periods of drug and alcohol use to self medicate. Talk about adding to the guilt and misery! Luckily, I am insured now and can obtain the care I’ve always wanted and needed. That being said, I can see where mothers with substance abuse issues could find bliss in such an environment. I happen to be a complete introvert in close confines, but the way that society treats people who struggle- it’s no wonder!!! I am beyond sick of the self righteous who believe that we can just “suck it up” and “get over it”! Do you really believe that most WANT to feel so alone (and as in my case are), so ostracized by the outside world, so tormented stuck in a body of your own with the brain and emotional control of a stranger… someone you’d DEFINITELY not even be around given a choice- BUT THAT HORRIBLE PERSON IS YOU!??? And “get over it”! If only that simple. Maybe I’d not feel like this was one waste of what could have been a good life.


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