THE FUTURE OF RECOVERY SUPPORT PART II (BILL WHITE AND MIKE COLLINS) April 6, 2018 By-Bill White

“Disruptive innovation, a term coined by Clayton Christensen, describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”
The worlds of addiction treatment and recovery mutual aid are on the brink of being radically disrupted and transformed. New recovery support institutions and bold innovations in how, when, and where recovery supports are delivered will pose unprecedented threats and opportunities for established players within the treatment and mutual aid arenas.
In our last blog, we offered five predictions about the future of recovery support in the United States.

1. Transformative innovations in recovery support will encompass high and low tech platforms and a dramatically broadened menu of products, services, and support activities.

2. An ecumenical culture of recovery will spread through new recovery support institutions.

3. Addiction treatment as a professional and business endeavor will face intensified challenges to its legitimacy as a cultural institution, due in great part to its own excesses.

4. Responding to this crisis, addiction treatment institutions will attempt to colonize new recovery support competitors and will pioneer new service menus and new technologies of service delivery.

5. Formal membership in 12-Step groups (as measured by membership surveys) will slowly decline but rate of attrition in groups such as AA will be offset by attraction of new members through non-traditional routes of entrance and the growing secular and religious wings of AA.

Below we will discuss five additional predictions and sample some of the websites, social media accounts, apps, and online mutual aid societies that point to this emerging future.

6. The definition of a valid or sanctioned recovery support “meeting” will be increasingly fuzzy, and the roles of the “meeting” and canonic literature will remain but diminish in their import to recovery initiation, recovery maintenance, and enhancement of quality of life in long-term recovery.

“Meetings” will be extended to a growing catalogue of phone- and internet-based recovery support platforms providing continuous discussions (e.g., continual teleconferences) and social activities that one can enter and exit any day and any time of day. Literature will be transformed to instantaneously-accessible audio and video formats that will provide topical guidance on managing an infinite menu of challenges and opportunities before, during, or after such encounters. This transition could be thought of as the moving from “in the rooms” to “beyond the rooms.”

Historically, recovery mutual aid focused on three delivery mechanisms: 1) “friendly visitors” (recovery sponsorship or mentorship in modern language); 2) scheduled membership meetings for story sharing, problem solving, and recovery celebration; and 3) the written literature of a particular mutual aid society. Tomorrow, such friendly visitors will arrive at one’s wrist and often include people we have never met face-to-face.

It’s not that formal recovery support meetings will cease; it is that such meetings will become a smaller part of a much larger menu of recovery support activities that one can combine and sequence according to personal needs and interests over the course of long-term recovery. A day is rapidly approaching when more people will use telephone and online recovery support than those participating in formal face-to-face (F2F) recovery support meetings. The former will dramatically widen the doorways of entry to recovery for people who cannot access or do not feel comfortable/safe within F2F meetings, e.g., women, youth, high-status professionals, people in communities lacking F2F meetings, people whose physical limitations preclude access to F2F meetings, and people who experience social anxiety, to name a few.

7. Phone-based and web-based information and screening tools will facilitate self-diagnosis of substance-related problems and dramatically expand the pool of people seeking recovery support. Service and support options will increase for people experiencing low to moderate AOD problem severity who are now rarely seen in or retained within specialized addiction treatment institutions or traditional recovery mutual aid meetings.

This population of non-dependent help seekers will spark a parallel growth in models of problem resolution that include support for the moderated resolution of alcohol and other (AOD) problems. The “abstinence only” goal of treatment and recovery support is sustainable only as long as providers of such assistance remain closed ideological systems serving only those with the most severe, complex, and chronic substance use disorders while denying the existence of the much broader spectrum of AOD-related problems. Broader population-based technologies aimed at the full spectrum of AOD problems will allow us to shift beyond clinical interventions with the most severely affected individuals to interventions with whole populations that will reduce the prevalence of this broader spectrum of AOD problems at a cultural level.

8. Geographical boundaries of recovery support, including international boundaries, will progressively dissolve as online addiction treatment and peer recovery supports expand and include simultaneous language translations among people from all over the world.

The beginnings of a global recovery community are already evident. Ironically, this emerging global recovery community may provide the connecting tissue to counter the escalating political, religious, and economic divides that threaten the very future of the world.

9. The exponential growth of recovery support will be fueled by two phenomena: positive network effects and open source recovery support.

Put simply, positive network effects suggest that the more people who use a particular recovery support mechanism, the greater its value and long-term viability as a social institution. For examples, the effects of an online recovery support service increases in tandem with the number of members using such services, the effects of participating in a recovery celebration event increase in tandem with the number of people participating in such events, etc.

The idea of open source, drawn from the history of software development, is that recovery support resources (ideas, information, techniques, helping platforms, literature, art, film, etc.) are a product of peer production: products developed within a community and shared at minimal or no cost. Examples of peer production include all the service activities (e.g., 12-Step calls, sponsorship, literature authorship, and other service work) delivered through recovery mutual aid groups by members without compensation or the free exchange of ideas and materials between recovery advocacy organizations.

Peer production is the antithesis of proprietary, fee-based, profit-driven services and products. Open source recovery resources will grow exponentially in the coming decades and survive the threats of professionalization and commercialization. The very essence of the recovery movement (“You can’t keep it unless you give it away”) is a revolutionary concept when freed beyond the bounds of a particular recovery fellowship and freed through new technologies beyond the limitations of face-to-face contact. The future of recovery support will be marked by accessibility, affordability, convenience, portability, flexibility (to one’s personal needs/values/culture), and inclusiveness. It will also be marked by a balance or shift between an expert relational model and a mutual partnership relational model.

10. New innovations in recovery support will engage both dissatisfied portions of existing recovery support markets as well as open new markets that have not been reached through the dominant systems of service provision.

We are witnessing a detonation point that will forever alter the history of recovery. And what is this defining moment? It is twofold: freeing recovery from the bounds of recovery mutual aid meetings and professionally-directed addiction treatment (via new recovery support institutions) and the extension of recovery support beyond the boundaries of space and time (via the explosion of digital recovery support platforms and content). The recovery revolution is here and we do not yet see and grasp its full implications. As William Gibson—the man who coined the term cyberspace—suggests, “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”

A small sampling of websites, social media accounts, apps, and online mutual aid societies that point to this brave new future include the following:

https://www.reddit.com/r/stop drinking/ 94,776 readers at press time.

https://www.intherooms.com/ 491,114 members. Ever-expanding menu of online secular, spiritual, and religious recovery support meetings and related services. Total member recovery Time: 2,029,267 YEARS! Year

https://recovery2point0.com/ 250,000 person online recovery community embracing a holistic approach to recovery from addiction.

https://sobermovement.com/ These guys have moved all flavors of recovery to Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sobermovement/?hl=en) 56,300 followers.

http://www.viralrecovery.com/ Chronicling all types of online recovery websites, social media, and apps.

https://geniusrecovery.com/ Watch for big things from this group.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AddictionUnscriptedSupport/?ref=br_rs 63,000+ members.

Samples of Recovery Bloggers

http://soberseniorita.com

https://www.miraclesarebrewing.com/the-bloom-club/

https://www.recoveryelevator.com/about/

http://www.hipsobriety.com/

http://sobermoxie.com/

http://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/

http://sherecovers.co/blog/

https://iloverecovery.com/

http://livingwithoutalcohol.blogspot.com/

http://sincerightnow.com/contact

http://guineveregetssober.com/

https://www.hellosundaymorning.org/

https://www.facingaddiction.org/ (Just merged with the the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, NCADD).

https://facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/

https://soberworx.com/

http://www.thesobrietycollective.com/link-love/

http://sober.gotop100.com/

http://soberblogs.gotop100.com/

http://annadavid.com/

http://ericaspiegelman.com/

https://thisnakedmind.com/

http://www.iamnotanonymous.org/

http://www.theroomsproject.org/

https://theherrenproject.org/

http://y12sr.com/

http://youngpeopleinrecovery.org/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/friends.billw/

Sample Apps

http://meetnomo.com/index.html

https://www.sobergrid.com/

http://www.sobertool.com/

Post Date April 6, 2018 by Bill White

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October 19, 2017 -Bill White- RECOVERY AND THE EYE OF HISTORY


I received two emails this week, each posing the question: Are recovery management (RM) and recovery-oriented systems of care (ROSC) dead as organizing frameworks for addiction treatment and recovery support? For 15 years, these conceptual rubrics ascended as promising alternatives to ever-briefer, acute care models of addiction treatment. RM and ROSC were among the most important progeny of efforts to extend the organizing center of the addictions field from its historically dual focus on problems (etiological roots and resulting clinical pathologies) and interventions (competing methods of treatment) to a focus on lived solutions (i.e., lessons drawn from the collective experience of long-term personal and family recovery). Questions regarding the future of RM and ROSC are quite legitimate concerns.
RM pilots (see HERE and HERE) generated promising new approaches to treatment and recovery support spanning the arenas of early identification, engagement, and motivational enhancement; comprehensive and continual assessment protocol; partnership models of recovery planning; assertive linkage to indigenous recovery support institutions; the integration of professional and peer-based recovery support services; and post-treatment personal/family recovery check-ups. Most importantly, RM implementation efforts addressed support needs across the stages of recovery: 1) precovery, 2) recovery initiation and stabilization, 3) transition to recovery maintenance, 4) enhanced quality of personal and family life in long-term recovery, and 5) efforts to break intergenerational cycles of addiction and related problems.
The concept of ROSC provided a rationale and a framework for expanding recovery support resources beyond the treatment setting into the very fabric of local communities. ROSC promoted forging the physical, psychological, and social space (recovery landscapes) within which personal and family recovery could flourish. Adopted and adapted at the federal level under the leadership of Dr. Westley Clark at SAMHSA and drawing inspiration from early ROSC efforts in Connecticut and Philadelphia, significant resources were extended to seed ROSC-focused transformations in addiction treatment in the U.S.
The question at present is whether RM/ROSC-related innovations mark a sustainable shift in addiction treatment and recovery support, or if they are one more flavor of the month to be cast into the waste bin of a field known for such fleeting infatuations. The recovery orientation within national drug policy (at ONDCP, SAMHSA, and to the extent that it existed at NIDA and NIAAA) has rapidly dissipated under a new presidential administration whose drug policy efforts to date are marked by delayed promises, at best, and, at worst, a return to failed drug policies of the distant past. Also of concern is the disengagement of the first wave of RM/ROSC champions (e.g., McLellan, Lewis, Boyle, White, Kirk, Evans, Clark, Nugent, Botticelli, and Murthy) due to the assumption of new roles or retirement. The lost visibility of RM/ROSC initiatives at the federal level and the decreased visibility of RM/ROSC champions at a national level spark fears that these concepts will be relegated to a brief footnote within the field’s history.
But there is another side to the RM/ROSC story. The RM/ROSC initiatives launched at the federal level exerted a potentially enduring influence on the field. Addiction professionals from across the U.S. and around the world visited early RM/ROSC pilots in Connecticut and Philadelphia. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s network of Addiction Technology Transfer Centers embraced RM/ROSC and the resulting RM/ROSC monograph series and related training events stirred innumerable state and local RM/ROSC initiatives. The results of these and related efforts are evident in the following:
Key elements of the RM/ROSC model are being positively evaluated by research scientists, e.g., the positive effects of post-treatment recovery checkups.
A second generation of RM/ROSC leaders is providing training and consultation services focused on RM/ROSC implementation across diverse clinical, cultural, and geographical settings.
New strength-based assessment instruments are being developed, e.g., the Assessment of Recovery Capital.
Peer-based recovery support services are being integrated into addiction treatment and allied health and human service organizations.
Traditional abstinence-based addiction treatment organization and harm reduction organizations are evolving from a state of stale rhetorical warfare to efforts of collaboration and integration—aided by staged models of addiction recovery.
Efforts are increasing to integrate addiction treatment and recovery support services within primary health care, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system.
New financing models are being piloted that support the transition from acute care interventions to RM/ROSC.
Recovery community building efforts are progressing via the growth and diversification of recovery mutual aid organizations, the rise of new recovery support institutions, and the maturing of a new addiction recovery advocacy movement.
No matter what happens at the federal level, the essence of RM/ROSC will prevail, or if lost, be rediscovered in the future. Historically, when addiction-related systems of care collapse, people in recovery and their families and visionary professionals rise up and forge new systems of care and support.
Recovery is more than a personal and family experience; it is a catalytic idea that can transform addiction treatment, allied service organizations, and the communities in which such professional support is nested. The future of RM/ROSC is being written by heroes who are carrying forward this movement at a grassroots level. And change at the grassroots level is ultimately what RM and ROSC are all about. The stakes are enormously high, and the eye of history is watching.

Post Date October 19, 2017 by Bill White

August 4, 2017 -Bill White- THE ECOLOGY OF ADDICTION RECOVERY

Addiction and addiction recovery are most often portrayed in the form of highly personal stories, but vulnerability to addiction and efforts to recover unfold within life-transforming or life-ending contexts. I have tried through many of my writings to illuminate these environmental influences and was struck in my recent interview with Dr. Phoebus Zafiridis his articulation of how physical, political, economic, cultural, and professional environments influence addiction and addiction recovery. For those readers unfamiliar with the work of Dr. Phoebus Zafiridis, he is a social psychiatrist and founder of the therapeutic community “ITHAKI” and the Self-Help Promotion Program of the Department of Psychology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2000) in Greece.
Below are three excerpts from my interview with Dr. Zafiridis.
“I believe that policy makers over the last decades, in collaboration with the dominant scientific trend, have been trying in every possible way to avoid any association of growing psychosocial problems with the socioeconomic environment. The reasons are obvious. Such a correlation would imply a demand for political and social change. Therefore, manipulation of research in the specific scientific field is an essential condition for the maintenance of the status quo. The research in psychology and psychiatry that is unaffected by political or economic interests can illustrate the importance of transparency, social justice, social coherence, and decreasing inequality to the mental health of citizens.”
“I do believe that psychotherapeutic procedures would make more sense if they related people’s personal psychological problems to the prevailing social conditions and promoted personal as well as social change. For it is self-awareness and the understanding of one’s environment that make citizens claim their right to participation in political decisions that determine the quality of their lives. That is mature political action. This is the emancipatory version of psychotherapy, as opposed to the dominant manipulative version, which is content with appeasement and temporary relief of the symptom. This symptom is considered to be a very personal experience in modern societies. It is treated as a problem of separate individuals and most of the time is classified as a new disorder by a “neutral” scientific community, supported by the pharmaceutical industry. This is why psychology and psychiatry should investigate and address the social and cultural dimensions of personal problems, instead of covering them up.”
“…dominant Psychology and Psychiatry today support the people in power. They conceal facts that would help citizens realize the true nature of their problems and urge them to fight for social change. This is not only achieved by constructing diagnoses and nosological theories to explain people’s misery and suffering. It is achieved by the “psychologization” of everyday life, with the support of the television, popular media and multiple pop psychology publications. I have had enough of listening to personal dramas that center around a lack of meaning and emptiness; failed friendships, romances and relationships; financial and professional failures; deep sorrow caused by a pet’s psychological problems; and problematic parental relationships, which are used by 40 or 50 year-old people as excuses for their misery, or even for the family drama caused by the inability to afford a summer house, etc….And all this, at a time when our politicians are piling refugees from Syria into tents and unheated buildings, and people right next door can’t have enough food to survive the day. We avoid looking at what’s going on right next to us, ignoring the suffering that exists around the world. The more we focus exclusively on ourselves, the more we ignore other people’s problems, and hence, the greater our misery seems. This is the price to pay for egoistic behavior.”
Those wishing to read the full interview may click HERE.

Post Date August 4, 2017 by Bill White

July 28, 2017 -Bill White- ADDICTION RECOVERY IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN


Like the United States, the Islamic Republic of Iran has faced critical challenges from rising opioid addiction. And like the U.S., Iran has experimented with a wide variety of remedial responses, ranging from supply reduction efforts and harsh punishment of users to expansion of harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services. The latter include the explosive growth of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, which now constitutes 28% of all NA meetings worldwide, and the growth of other indigenous recovery communities, such as Congress 60.
Congress 60 was founded by Mr. Hossein Dezhakam in 1998 and has since grown to 38 branches across Iran with more than 50,000 members. Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of regularly communicating with Mr. Dezhakam and members of Congress 60. Several aspects of Congress 60 commend it to international readers interested in addiction treatment and recovery, including:

A theory of addiction (the X theory) that parallels much of what is being learned within modern studies of the neurobiology of addiction,
A theory of recovery as a sustained process of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual (worldview) rejuvenation and self-discovery,
Decelerating doses of reparative medicine (opium tincture) through the first eleven months of recovery initiation and stabilization,
Sustained and saturated involvement in a vibrant recovery community, with its own recovery-focused language, literature, values, symbols, and rituals,
Intense involvement of members in competitive sports, music, the arts, and community service activities,
Integration of smoking (tobacco) cessation within the larger rubric of addiction recovery, and
Sustained involvement of family members in the treatment and recovery processes.
Medication-assisted and psychosocial approaches to addiction treatment have historically existed as isolated, competing, and often mutually antagonist silos in the United States. Discussions have begun about the potential value of uniquely combining and sequencing these approaches across the stages of long-term addiction recovery. With programs like Hazelden Betty Ford taking the lead in such explorations, it would be of value for us to also look beyond the borders of the United States for models of such integration. Congress 60 offers one such approach that should be closely examined for potential replication and adaptation across cultural contexts. Congress 60 integrates theoretical constructs and practices from both approaches and adds elements not found in either.Like the United States, the Islamic Republic of Iran has faced critical challenges from rising opioid addiction. And like the U.S., Iran has experimented with a wide variety of remedial responses, ranging from supply reduction efforts and harsh punishment of users to expansion of harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services. The latter include the explosive growth of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, which now constitutes 28% of all NA meetings worldwide, and the growth of other indigenous recovery communities, such as Congress 60.
Congress 60 was founded by Mr. Hossein Dezhakam in 1998 and has since grown to 38 branches across Iran with more than 50,000 members. Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of regularly communicating with Mr. Dezhakam and members of Congress 60. Several aspects of Congress 60 commend it to international readers interested in addiction treatment and recovery, including:

A theory of addiction (the X theory) that parallels much of what is being learned within modern studies of the neurobiology of addiction,
A theory of recovery as a sustained process of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual (worldview) rejuvenation and self-discovery,
Decelerating doses of reparative medicine (opium tincture) through the first eleven months of recovery initiation and stabilization,
Sustained and saturated involvement in a vibrant recovery community, with its own recovery-focused language, literature, values, symbols, and rituals,
Intense involvement of members in competitive sports, music, the arts, and community service activities,
Integration of smoking (tobacco) cessation within the larger rubric of addiction recovery, and
Sustained involvement of family members in the treatment and recovery processes.
Medication-assisted and psychosocial approaches to addiction treatment have historically existed as isolated, competing, and often mutually antagonist silos in the United States. Discussions have begun about the potential value of uniquely combining and sequencing these approaches across the stages of long-term addiction recovery. With programs like Hazelden Betty Ford taking the lead in such explorations, it would be of value for us to also look beyond the borders of the United States for models of such integration. Congress 60 offers one such approach that should be closely examined for potential replication and adaptation across cultural contexts. Congress 60 integrates theoretical constructs and practices from both approaches and adds elements not found in either.

I recently published a photoessay describing the Congress 60 recovery community. Those interested in learning more about their methods may review this essay HERE. The translated publications of Mr. Hossein Dezhakam and my posted interviews with him are available HERE and HERE.

Post Date July 28, 2017 by Bill White

June 9, 2017 -Bill White- THE DRUNKARD’S CLUB

To many people, the history of alcoholic mutual aid societies begins in 1935 with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). A.A. history buffs are aware that there was another society, the Washingtonians, that existed almost a century before Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith first met. But few are aware of just how many pre-A.A. alcoholic mutual aid societies existed before 1935. There were early Native American recovery “circles” that date as early as 1750. Numerous recovery-focused fraternal temperance societies, many branches of the ribbon reform clubs, the United Order of Ex-Boozers, and many societies linked to 19th and early 20th century treatment institutions: The Ollapod Club, the Godwin Association, the Dashaways, the Keeley Leagues, and the Jacoby Club, all existed prior to A.A. A.A.’s survival takes on added historical significance in light of the demise of so many of its predecessors.
The fate of one of these pre-A.A. mutual aid societies is detailed in Charles Brace’s 1872 book, The Dangerous Classes of New York. Brace tells the story of Orville “Awful” Gardner, a prize-fighter, known for his drunken binges and his brutality in and outside the ring. (He once bit off a man’s nose.) Gardner experienced a profound religious conversion through which he became sober and experienced a call to help other “hard cases” like himself. Gardner opened a “Coffee and Reading Room” in a ward in New York City notorious for its drunkenness and vice. This small experiment evolved into what became known as “The Drunkard’s Club.” Brace describes:
The rooms are filled with reformed or reforming young men. The great difficulty with a man under vices is to make him believe that change for him is possible. The sight of Gardner always demonstrated this possibility. The place has become a kind of central point for all of those who have become more or less addicted to excessive drinking, and are desirous of escaping from the habit.
According to Brace, more than 700 men were sobered under the influence of the Club. The fate that befell the Drunkard’s Club was not atypical of pre-A.A. mutual aid societies. Gardner’s health began to fail from the “strain of his sins and his reform” and he was forced to retire to a quiet place in the country. Without his leadership, the Drunkard’s Club collapsed.
In an interesting twist of historical continuity, it was this same “Awful” Gardner who inspired the religious conversion of another alcoholic, Jerry McAuley, while both were in Sing Sing Prison. McAuley went on to found the Water Street Mission, the first urban mission that catered its message and services to the late stage alcoholic.
Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes of its own pyre, new addiction recovery mutual aid societies followed the Drunkard’s Club until the first society arrived with the right combination of recovery principles and organizational practices that allowed it to outlive its founding generation.
For more stories from this early history, see the new edition of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America.

Post Date June 9, 2017 by Bill White

May 26, 2017 -Bill White- LIFE IN RECOVERY FROM ADDICTION IN CANADA

A 2015 review of Life in Recovery surveys in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia highlighted 20 conclusions of these surveys and related epidemiologic studies on remission from substance use disorders. The profiled studies confirm substantial recovery prevalence within the general populations, the diversity of people in recovery, the diversity of pathways of recovery initiation and maintenance, and the substantial improvements in health and quality of life that accrue with time in recovery.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has just released Life in Recovery from Addiction in Canada, confirming and amplifying many of the findings from the earlier studies. Here are a few highlights from this report.
Self-identified Canadians in Recovery report substantial past problem severity, with more than 70% having experienced each of six major diagnostic criteria for addiction. Most began substance use by their mid-teens and reported onset of addiction between the ages of 15-25. The most frequently reported primary drug choices in order of prevalence were alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, heroin, prescription opioids, and methamphetamine.
Most (52.4%) Canadians in recovery define recovery in terms of abstinence (with a minority of less than 1% reporting controlled use) combined with enhancement of global health and functioning.
Canadians in addiction recovery report substantial gains in health, quality of life, and social functioning.
–70.6% report overall quality of life as excellent, very good, or good.
–80.0% report their physical health as excellent, very good, or good
–In comparing addiction time to recovery time:
* regular exercise increased from 16.5% to 68.7%
* regular medical checkups increased from 33.7% to 82.8%
* healthy eating habits increased from 14.5% to 82.1%
* use of tobacco products decreased from 80.1% to 34.2%
–84.3% report their mental health as excellent, very good, or good.
–78.9% of Canadians in recovery are employed, 11.3% are retired or semi-retired, and 6.5% are students.
–Comparing addiction time to recovery time, reported arrests dropped from 42.3% to 2.3%; jail or prison time dropped from 13.9% to 1.4%; and driving under the influence dropped from 80.2% to 3.5%.
Canadians in recovery report substantial shifts in family and community involvement in comparing time in addiction and time in recovery.
–Participation in family activities increased from 31% to 90.3%
–Rates of reported family violence and lost custody of children all dropped precipitously following recovery initiation,
–Volunteering with a community or civic group increased from 14.4% to 66.8%
–Rates of paying bills, paying current and back taxes, all substantially increased after recovery initiation.
Canadians in recovery report using a wide variety of resources to help initiate and maintain their recovery, including 12-Step mutual support groups, professionally-directed addiction treatment, psychiatric or psychological therapy, recovery housing, non-12 Step mutual support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. More than 50% of respondents also reported using such supports as family and friends, religious or meditative practices, reading recovery literature, pets, exercise, nutrition, recovery websites or social media, and cultural values and traditions.
A significant portion of Canadians in recovery report current use of a prescription drug to treat a co-occurring physical (37.2%) or mental (35.2%) condition, but only 1.8% report current use of a medication for the management of addiction. 20.2% of survey respondents report having used medication-assisted treatment to help initiate their recovery.
More than half (51.2%) of Canadians in recovery report no subsequent experience of relapse following recovery initiation.
More than half (53.4%) of Canadians in recovery report more than five years of time in recovery, with 20.7% reporting more than 20 years in recovery from addiction.
The Life in Recovery from Addiction in Canada report is the latest investigation confirming the possibility of sustained recovery from addiction through a diversity of recovery pathways. It affirms the value of communities creating the physical, psychological, and social space within which personal/family recovery from addictions can flourish. For the full report, click HERE.

Post Date May 26, 2017 by Bill White

BLOG & NEW POSTINGS May 12, 2017 -Bill White- AN INTERVENTION GONE WRONG

Post Date May 12, 2017 by Bill White

The most famous and controversial treatment for addiction in the 19th century was Dr. Leslie Keeley’s Bichloride of Gold Cure. Dr. Keeley franchised his cure procedures through more than 120 Keeley Institutes scattered across North America and Europe. These Institutes became the preferred drying out institutions for the rich and famous in the 1890s. But the problem then (as today) was this: Even where there are financial resources to pay for such treatment, how can the afflicted person be convinced to enter such a treatment institution?
There were four general resolutions of this dilemma: self-motivation resulting from the accumulated pain of addiction, company pressure upon an alcohol/drug-impaired employee, pressure from families, and legal commitment of the inebriate (for as long as four years). Family pressure to enter treatment sometimes involved processes similar to what today would be called “intervention,” but these processes did not always go as planned, as is revealed in the following account from Alfred Calhoun’s 1892 book, Is It a Modern Miracle? A Careful Investigation of the Keeley Gold Cure for Drunkenness and the Opium Habit.
As this story unfolds, a family at its wit’s end responds to the chronic drunkenness of one of its members by hosting a meeting of all concerned. The upshot of this meeting is that the young man in question, who we shall call Robert, was to be sent to the Keeley Institute headquarters in Dwight, Illinois, to undergo the Keeley Cure. Seriously doubting Robert’s ability to make this trip on his own, the family enlisted the aid of his uncle to accompany him during the travel to the Keeley Institute in Dwight, Illinois.
On the following day, Robert and his uncle set off for the long trip to Dwight. Robert pleaded with his uncle to stop periodically for alcoholic refreshment on the grounds that this was the only way to stave off the onset of “DTs.” The uncle agreed to such stops, willing to humor his young nephew in any manner that would keep them moving toward Dwight. But the additional catch was that Robert refused to drink such medicinal libation unless his uncle would join him. Although quite an abstemious person, the uncle agreed to imbibe with his nephew as long as they could keep proceeding to Dwight.
So at each stop, which seemed to increase in frequency as the pair neared Dwight, both Robert and his uncle downed various alcoholic concoctions. By the time the now well-oiled pair reached Dwight, both were in a state of considerable intoxication, although they looked quite different. Robert, whose alcohol tolerance was massive, didn’t look too worse for the wear. His uncle, however, whose alcohol tolerance was virtually non-existent, was nearly unconscious by the time they entered the doors of the Keeley Institute.
Upon their arrival, Robert admitted his uncle to the Keeley Institute and absconded with his uncle’s prized car. It took several days to get the uncle sobered up and the nephew located, returned to Dwight, and admitted to treatment. Getting someone in treatment then, as now, was not always easy. But some of the 19th century treatment centers did find ways to keep people in treatment once they were finally admitted: At admission, they took all of their clothes and all of their money!
*For more on the “Keeley Cure” see, the new edition of Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America.