You Asked, We Answered
I heard the Freedom Model is taught at the St. Jude Retreats. I have a quick question – what happens after they go home from the retreats? Won’t they crave more once they are out of the retreat bubble?
That is entirely up to the individual. Many of our guests truly learn The Freedom Model material that proves they can learn to enjoy other options and that substances are not the only option that can bring happiness. However, if the person refuses to open their mind to these endless possibilities, and holds onto the myths of the romanticized view of substances, well then they will crave until that view changes. The Freedom Model for Addictions spends 4 chapters debunking the various powers of drugs myths. Here is a short but helpful section that addresses your question:
“Literally anything can be pleasurable if we want it to be. Pain can be pleasurable, and many people find it so. Pain as pleasure is a practice in sex and with eating spicy foods that burn. People have odd hobbies that they take great pleasure in whether it’s an intellectual pursuit in a strange, obscure topic or collecting all kinds of things. It’s also true that people often change the objects of their pleasure. The things we find pleasure in contain no special pleasure molecules. We know they aren’t magical. The challenge for you is to be willing to let go of the magical, romanticized view of substances as being so especially pleasurable that they ruin all other pleasures. This just isn’t the case.
The fact that heavy substance users can find plenty of pleasure without substances has readily been on display in our retreats for the past three decades. We have always organized activities for our guests—playing volleyball, playing musical instruments, hiking in the mountains, spending time at parks and local beaches, and even going to movies, museums, amusement parks, and plenty more. A good time is generally had by all (even in the museums!). The people who come to our retreats have quit substances for just weeks or sometimes just a few days, and they begin finding pleasure without substances. Many attest that it’s the most fun they’ve had in a long time.
Fear sets in for some though, and they say “It’s easy to have fun without drugs here at the retreat, but you don’t know what it’s like at home.” Well, we know this: your brain isn’t so destroyed that you’re constitutionally incapable of finding pleasure without substances. So one of two things is going on, either your home is hell on earth where no pleasure is possible, or you just want to stick to a simplistic pleasure. If your home really is hell on earth, then for God’s sake, move. If not, then own your decision, whether to use or abstain, and stand by it. But please don’t believe in the lie that your past substance use has robbed you of the ability to find any pleasure and enjoyment in life wherever you may be. It simply isn’t true and would be a shame if you let this misinformation discourage you from seeking greater happiness.”
*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Saint Jude Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.