We’re nearing the end of September, which you may not have known has been National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The designation “provides a platform to celebrate people in recovery and those who serve them. Each September, thousands of treatment programs around the country celebrate their successes and share them with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues in an effort to educate the public about treatment, how it works, for whom, and why.”
While I acknowledge the good intentions of those who’ve sought drug treatment for drug addiction, I can’t in good conscience celebrate the drug rehab community as a whole. A celebration is best reserved when victory is at hand or, at the very least, to acknowledge a job well done. Neither has happened.
Drug abuse rampages through society unchecked laying waste to users and their loved ones alike. Cocaine, crack, heroin, meth and prescription drugs abound. Drug addiction outwits feckless drug rehab programs. While a few addicts recover, the majority never do.
Most of the students at Narconon came from other drug rehab programs. They failed rehab before, though it’s fairer to say that these other drug rehab programs failed them. And not just once or twice. Many have gone to three or more programs before they came here.
But why? Why do so many addicts fail so many drug rehab programs so often? I believe the reason is evident in the following quote:
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, public health advocates promoted the view that mental illness and substance abuse are rooted in neurobiology. While 54 percent of respondents believed that major depression had neurobiological causes in 1996, 67 percent believed that a decade later.
The view that addiction is a disease, widely promoted but never proven, lies behind the ineffectiveness of most drug rehab programs. Participants who are called patients in such programs are indoctrinated to believe that there’s nothing they can really do to beat addiction. Such belief provides all the excuse they need when tempted by drugs and alcohol. Relapse is inevitable. What do you expect? They’re sick.
Narconon Georgia succeeds in part because we don’t treat drug addiction as a disease. It’s not; it’s a condition, a condition that you or someone you love can do something about. Now that’s something to celebrate.