Guest Post: Relapse, Recovery, and Responsibility

Chris Schroeder is the Director of Media for C4 Recovery Solutions. In his role with C4, he has been tasked with hosting and developing the webcast show, The Afflicted and Affected, interviewing leaders in the addictive illness field and other interesting personalities revolving around the recovery world. Chris comes into contact with those who research and apply the latest methods of treatment and those who are a force in positive change in outcomes and funding both politically and in the media.

If you had a doctor who only wanted to talk to you in the waiting room, and never brought you into his medical office to provide treatment, you would soon look for another doctor.

If you believe in the 12 step recovery process you must understand that meetings are the waiting room. So are 99% of the addictive disorder treatment centers. To believe in the 12 step answer you must also believe the practice of the 12 steps are the recovery process.

Let’s look at the sufferer who is engaged in treatment or attending 12 step meetings. If there is not adequate encouragement and opportunity to work with an experienced guide on the actual taking of the steps, are they not being deprived of the medicine needed for survival from alcoholism or addiction? Would you not expect relapse?

Too many 12 step meetings and treatment centers are prioritizing actions not really conducive to the personality change or spiritual awakening needed to bring the afflicted back to a health world view and operational methodology. Who then is really responsible for the relapse? We can be so quick to blame the relapser; it’s inconvenient to blame ourselves.

I personally support the drug and alcohol recovery center movement. These are managed residential communities that understand what one needs to do to recover. They set up the day-to-day processes to facilitate a rebuilding of character through step work and encouragement. The result is an outlook that is fundamentally changed. These centers are almost exclusively self-pay because of the medical and psychiatric community’s interference; motivated by what is reimbursable and what is not.

Let’s stop blaming relapse on one who has not been offered a way out and place the blame firmly on the responsible party. And let’s lobby for a return of medical insurance reimbursement for the things that actually work.