12 step groups and meds

SAMHSA-recovery-definitionFrom Melissa Petro on After Party Chat:

I’m hardly an AA advocate; I don’t even do the program anymore. But what Cherkis claims simply wasn’t my experience. Sure, there are individual members who have their own beliefs and experiences about prescription medication—and, yes, some of them have gone on to establish facilities in the name of 12 step—but “We are not doctors” is the official party line. This is what I learned as a member of the program. Never was I taught, nor did I believe, that it was my right to police another person’s sobriety. In this day and age, given the proliferation of prescription medication, including medicine for pain, most 12-steppers I know don’t even think about sticking their noses in another person’s medicine cabinet.


3 thoughts on “12 step groups and meds

  1. As far as treatment centers who prescribe medications to people new in recovery, as a Behavioral Health Consultant, we have seen many in the business for the wrong reasons – pharmaceutical profits. Specifically, treatment centers over medicating their clients for the long term game is unethical except in moderate to extreme cases of psychosis. Of course addicts and alcoholics should have medically managed acute withdrawal periods along with medications during those first 3 to 14 days in most cases. Most commonly are antidepressants shelled out to the new in recovery, this is done way too often and really most addicts and alcoholics will recover mentally over the course of 6 months to a year by more natural methods (good diet, exercise, and 12 step immersion). Years of antidepressants and other psychiatric medications causes the recovering addict to continue filling up their physiology with more toxicity. Actually the opposite is what really helps, actively removing toxins from the body and replacing with nutrients. So yes I agree as a 12 step participants it is not our business what other people are taking but as substance abuse and behavioral health professionals it is our duty to help people the best we can and be aware of problem areas such as the overmedicating of addicts and other individuals who may not have their own voice.


  2. Did you also know that alcohol withdrawal is the only withdrawal that will kill you. Death seizures are common. Rehab centres in Australia use diazapam (valium) to stop this happening – under hospital supervision. Do you have a problem with that as well????


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