This is a guest post by Jack Bloomfield, CAI and Rachel Borkon, CAI of A Design for Living.
Do all addicts and alcoholics need to go to rehab? From my personal experience and that of millions of others, the answer is no although many people, professionals included, believe that rehab is the only way someone can arrest the disease of addiction.
In some cases, the 24/7 protective environment of an inpatient facility along with medical detox is truly necessary but from decades of experience, I have seen thousands recover without ever going to rehab. Today’s column is for sure not meant to negate the great work that some treatment facilities do. It is more to educate those who might not know about the power of support groups.
Although the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert “Bob” Smith both had been admitted multiple times to hospitals and sanitariums over the years, where they finally were able to achieve life long sobriety and recovery was when they realized that they needed EACH OTHER to stay sober. This is what the recovery movement phenomena is all about.
The original story goes like this. When Dr. Bob first agreed to meet with Bill Wilson (Bill felt that if he could find another alcoholic to talk to that it might help him to stay sober) it is written that Dr. Bob, a struggling alcoholic himself, stated “OK, I’ll give him 15 minutes.” What actually occurred was that this meeting between two struggling alcoholics lasted a little over 5 hours. When Dr. Bob was asked how come he spent all that time with Bill after originally saying that he would only give him 15 minutes, his reply was “because he spoke my language.”
This is why AA and many other support groups have been able to help save millions of lives, a large majority of those who never entered a rehab. It is here, for the first time, that those who are in need of healing from addiction are able to hear others speaking their language. This is the magic that permeates the rooms of support groups and that has ultimately helped millions to find healing and a new way of life free from addiction.
Wishing you peace and all good things,
Jack & Rachel
Note: AA was founded by these two men in 1935. Neither picked up another drink in their lifetimes. Dr. Bob died in 1950 with 15 years of continuous sobriety and Bill died in 1970 with 35 years of continuous sobriety.
“A new life has been given us or if you prefer, a design for living that really works.” – A.A. Big Book pg. 28
Landau, J., & Garrett, J. (2008). Invitational Intervention: The ARISE® Model for engaging reluctant substance abusers in treatment. O.J. Morgan & C.H. Litzke (Eds.) Family Intervention in Substance Abuse: Philadelphia, PA: Haworth Press.
This was a guest post by Jack Bloomfield, CAI and Rachel Borkon, CAI of A Design for Living Interventions. Jack brings more than 30 years of continuous sobriety to his skills as an interventionist, and Rachel has been on the front lines of working with mental health and addicted individuals and their families for more than twenty years.
Jack and Rachel are both certified (CAI) in the ARISE® model, which focuses not only on helping the alcoholic or addict to find recovery but includes the whole family as well. Learn more at: http://www.arise-network.com/.