The answer to whether someone needs support meetings such as AA or NA after rehab is not as easy as saying yes or no. It all comes down to what you are taught in rehab and how much of it you believe to be true. The need for support meetings arises out of the idea that some people called “addicts” and “alcoholics” are powerless over their ability to stop getting high or drunk – and so the customer needs external means to stop themselves from going back to their drug of choice. This idea is a myth created by the treatment industry that sells the “answer to powerlessness”, that being increased “support.” Problem is, even myths such as this that are produced by an industry, when believed by their patrons, becomes the patron’s truth. Being that rehabs sell this idea – that some people cannot stop themselves from behaving as drug taking and alcohol consuming automatons – they own the continuous struggle their patrons are handed. This struggle is needless if you are provided the facts; and the facts tell us that loss of control and powerlessness in regards to any level of substance use is a myth. Therefore, when provided the truth, no one needs 12 step meetings or the like after rehab. The struggle to “stay sober” and need “support” is an unnecessary issue when the myths of powerlessness and loss of control are debunked. No one needs to struggle to stay sober or moderate their use to less harmful levels – no one.
Meetings are Not Necessary
The entire era of support was created by a drunken stockbroker named Bill Wilson in the 1930’s. Prior to this, the idea that a drunkard or drug user could not stop on their own was unpopular at best. People either kept their habits intact, or they stopped or moderated at will. Prior to Mr. Wilson’s agenda becoming mainstreamed in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous, whether you decided to use substances heavily was a decision that sat squarely where it belonged – on you, the individual. Consequently, as a population (in the US) prior to the 20th century, we had higher rates of drinking per capita – with dramatically less social problems! How can that be you ask? If it’s a disease that renders the individual powerless, then how could the rates of problems be less while more people drank and at higher levels?
The answer is simple – our beliefs about what substances “do to us” changed. The Wilson promoted disease concept took the responsibility for one’s use away from that individual and rendered them in perpetual need of the 12 step and rehab complex. Humans became minions to that industry, and never bothered to ask if the industry had evidence to back up their disease of addiction claims.
Brain Scan Prove Users Need Support – Or Do They?
Today we see colorful brain scan images showing the “chronically diseased and addicted brain.” Never mind the fact that all those “brain changes” don’t stop people from moderating or ceasing to use drugs. As a matter of fact, in the studies that were used to demonstrate that these brain changes render the individual powerless to stop – the scans themselves proved just the opposite! In the study’s post-addiction scans, (the study subjects who decided to quit their drug of choice and be scanned months later while sober) had stopped their use at the height of their addiction! They stopped getting high and had the post-scans taken while sober to prove that their brains were changed (and they were – but less so than when getting high) – yet they had voluntarily stopped and remained stopped. Think about that! The very study to prove that the “diseased” and substance induced brain changes would render them powerless to stop, used study subjects that had stopped! This point was completely ignored until Steven Slate, Co-Author of the Freedom Model for Addictions wrote a famous piece about the flawed study in his blog thecleanslate.org.
So Here is the Point:
Even in cases of heavy use, the possibility that your brain tissue has temporarily adjusted to your use, means nothing. After all, the study subjects whose brains were studied simply quit. In the final analysis, everyone who stops or moderates their use is doing so based on their ability to choose. Choice trumps brain changes (which are normal by the way – it’s called learning), trumps feeling powerless (you can feel powerless, and still choose to feel differently), and trumps the rehab industry’s desire to make you a ward of the 12 step complex. In other words, you can choose to be free – completely free of addiction AND recovery – no meetings needed. All the research you would need to make an informed decision and move past addiction and the need for endless support is written in The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap. If you are ready to let go of the recovery lifestyle, and let go of this idea that you are weak and in need of support, and move on, then learn the facts and become free.