There Are Many Paths To Get From Here to There

TruthTalks News   •   March 6, 2017

A 2016 Huffington Post article by Brooke Feldman, There is No “Right Way” to Overcome Addiction, validated my instincts and confirmed what I’ve seen in our TruthTalks workshop sessions. I’ve met dozens, if not hundreds of people who struggle with addiction. I’ve witnessed firsthand the wide swath that addiction cuts across individuals of every socioeconomic level, race, religion, and gender. While addiction does not discriminate, every single kid, every single parent, every single family unit is a universe unto itself with different histories, perceptions, and responses to treatment modalities.

There is no right way to get sober.

I’ve seen the downcast eyes and vicariously felt the shame of a young adult who, when asked “So, are you working The Program?” Quietly mumbles, “not really, I just couldn’t get into AA.” Failure. Judgment. Not doing the one thing he’s expected to do in order to “overcome” addiction.

Brooke goes on to write these important truths and varied options.

  1. Whether it is Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, Lifering, Overcomers Outreach, Millat         Islami, Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery or any other mutual aid group, there is a place for them all.
  2. Whether it is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy or Family Behavior Therapy, there is a place for all evidence-based treatment interventions and promising practices.
  3. Whether somebody opts for abstinence-based, moderation management, medication assisted, or a slow and steady reduction of use, there is a need and a place for all approaches to overcoming addiction.
  4. Whether an individual aims to or is successful in achieving a reduction or cessation of substance use naturally, with no treatment or mutual aid support at all, or an individual initiates and sustains a reduction or cessation of use with a high level of treatment and mutual aid supports, a path ought to be paved and room ought to be made for whatever course of action an individual selects as best for him.
  5. In order for more people to have access to wellness and recovery, we need ALL of our existing options and alternatives to be equally available, widely understood and proportionately offered as we continue to seek out even more.

Rather than simply evangelizing around our own personal toolbox and presenting it as the one and only right way, we must elevate our service level in this area by educating ourselves and then educating, supporting, and linking others to the wide array of resources available at their disposal.”

Our own way is not the only way.  Let’s keep open minds and not lose sight of the ultimate goal–long, healthy lives, lived in truth and love.