You Asked, We Answered

Addiction Questions

A friend of mine was talking with me today and started talking about this book. She then tried to explain the recovery society you talk about in it. Can you tell me about this – I’m not getting it.

Yes, we can. Here is a direct quote from Chapter 3 defining the recovery society and the difference between that and The Freedom Model philosophy:

“To answer this question, first, we must explain to you the basic tenets of the recovery society philosophy. It assumes that heavy substance users are stuck with a lifelong compulsion and lack of self-control. Based on this, it assumes that, the moment you enter treatment, your goal should be a lifelong effort to maintain abstinence. This is the reason people enter into treatment dreading that they will never be able to drink or drug again. With this as a starting point, treatment’s primary objective is to teach methods of resisting the desires for substance use that it says you must fight for the rest of your life. Thus, the goal of treatment is to prepare you to construct and exist in a limited world to support you in painful resistance of your desire and protect you from exposure to substance use and so-called triggers. The recovery society is trying to help you not do what you really want to do (which is to use substances heavily). This is the reason treatment programs fail.

The Freedom Model completely upends this approach. We do not assume that you will be stuck with your current level of desire for the rest of your life, nor do we assume that your goal must be lifelong abstinence from substance use. We know that your behavior is voluntary. Furthermore, we ask you to become fully informed about your abilities and the alternative ideas about substance use and addiction before you make any decisions regarding whether you will abstain or decrease your substance use for the rest of your life.”

 

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