Power and responsibility in all the wrong places

mU8NMGqzWRQSRikWZCaTggwPeter Sheath did a guest post a while back at Memoirs of an Addicted Brain that took the treatment field’s inventory:

Unfortunately many of the people working in treatment do not see any need for self-reflection and continued self-development. They have come to believe that they simply don’t have time. I’ve travelled all across the UK, delivering training, coaching and consultation, and it’s the same everywhere. Blame, intimidation, threats and arrogance become the tools of rehab, the vehicles of control. It’s just easier that way.

. . .

Unfortunately, and here’s the rub: when we have absorbed the ideology that addiction is a disease and we need to sort it out or cure it, we are unknowingly removing from the person the very thing that is going to get them well. By assuming the “expert” status we are telling people that they are sick and, as such, unable to take responsibility for their recovery. Walk into any treatment centre anywhere and suddenly you become completely incapable. You can’t even fill in a form yourself and you certainly have no capacity or competence to manage your medication. Even if you begin to take responsibility by getting honest and telling the workers you have used again, they will need to take a confirmatory drug test to prove it! “You will need to undergo an assessment, looking at everything that’s wrong with you…” Using a form filled out by a worker, because you can’t do it yourself. The process is repeated by any further “expert” you may need to see. Any initiative on your part will be viewed the same way: as an obstruction. If you don’t want a script or you want to go straight to detox, you will be met with, “you’re not ready for that yet”, or the classic, “people die doing it that way.”

Perhaps I'm the Wrong Tool by Tall Jerome
Perhaps I’m the Wrong Tool by Tall Jerome

His focus is on the UK, but a lot of this is true for the US as well, even if it manifests differently.

I’m grateful to work in a place that makes it our responsibility to engage clients as active participants in their own recovery by utilizing strategies like peer support, recovery planning and Personal Medicine.

Read the rest of Sheath’s post here.