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Moving On After Addiction Treatment

This is a common topic…

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This is a common topic when someone calls us for help for their drug or alcohol issue. “What kind of aftercare do you provide once John completes his stay with you?” “Is there relapse prevention so Donna will have the tools to avoid relapsing?” “Derek needs employment when he finishes the program or he will get drunk again.” “I will definitely need aftercare as I’ve been to treatment and relapsed several times.”

These kinds of questions regarding post-treatment planning arise because of the massive misinformation that has been promoted in the treatment industry for the last 60 years. They are based in the idea that “addicts/alcoholics” are weak and cannot overcome the cravings they are taught they will inevitably endure after they leave rehab. By teaching this disempowering view, treatment providers build the argument that “ongoing care” is necessary for the freshly released patient to remain sober.

But what if this perspective is wrong? What if instead, people are taught a message that is so clear and concise, and that addresses addiction from an entirely different and empowering perspective that such safety nets are totally unnecessary? That model exists.

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After Rehab

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The normal path that is taken by disease-based treatment centers is a 1 to 2 month residential program, followed by a “sober living” facility for a few to several months in which “relapse prevention” classes and 12 step support meetings are offered. (Many of these sober living houses say they offer these services, when in fact they are actually warehousing “addicts” to collect their insurance money. In far too many cases, such as the now famed “Florida shuffle”, an entire criminal enterprise has flourished on the backs of vulnerable families sending their children unknowingly into “sober living facilities” that are actual drug houses backed by insurance fraud schemes.) The point of all this is the push for patients to attend a sober living or relapse prevention protocols post-rehab, regardless of the fact that this path has very high rates of return to heavy use, and tragic high rates of death due to overdose, suicide, and criminal activities perpetrated on the innocent.

So what is the answer for people seeking a solution? The answer is relatively simple; ditch all you know about addiction. That’s right — throw it away. You’ve been sold a lie. You are not powerless, and never were. You developed a strong preference for a substance and the activity surrounding using it for very personal reasons. And you’re in good company as it’s estimated 1 in 4 people will struggle with substance use at some point in their life. Here’s the truth that no treatment provider will tell you: more than 91% of people who once qualified as addicted, fully get over the problem; and most do so with no treatment at all. This is based on the largest epidemiological studies on addiction that have been done to date. (See National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions NESARC I, II, III.) So not only is addiction treatment completely unnecessary but so is addiction aftercare; and as a matter of fact, it keeps you chained to a past problematic behaviors needlessly thereby reducing the likelihood that you will successfully move on from it.

If you’ve ever been in a long term romantic relationship that has gone sour, and then left it successfully, then you already know how to do this. Whether your problem was with alcohol, marijuana, opiates, or other substances, you fell in love with that substance; with the feeling it gave you, with your perception of what it did for you, with the ritual of using it, and with all of the perceived benefits you were getting. This is exactly what happens when we fall in love with a person. You feel you need that person to be happy, in much the same way you feel you need that substance. As such, getting over it requires you to question the benefits you were getting and allow for the possibility that you will be happier making a change.

When you do this, there is no need to be sheltered from triggers, or go to relapse prevention, or aftercare, because there are only personal choices to be made. If you prefer to abstain or moderate because you personally see more benefits in those options than in heavy use, you will naturally move in that direction. Maybe it is time to choose complete freedom and move past the entire addiction disease construct for good.

Mark Scheeren is the co-author of The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap, and is the co-founder and Chairman of the St. Jude Retreat, the only residential non-12 step model for addiction in the world. For addiction help, call 888-424-2626

For more information about The Freedom Model go to TheFreedomModel.org

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Apple Backs Down, Will Allow Parler Back on App Store

The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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Free speech is a fickle thing, and precious too.  If we’re not careful, it can be stripped away but those who hide behind the claim that a “private” company can limit your personal freedoms. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms are almost always the culprits here, bending the algorithmic reach of those with whom they disagree. Enter Parler:  A free speech app where only the bare legal minimum of content would be moderated. The platform became incredibly popular with an astonishing swiftness, but soon faced trouble from companies who had previously aligned themselves with Facebook and Twitter’s more controlling stance. Apple, who had previously booted Parler from its App Store, has now relented to the Constitution. Apple has approved Parler’s return to the iOS app store following improvements the social media company made to better detect and moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter the iPhone maker sent to Congress on Monday. The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices. The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.” On April 14, Apple’s app review team told Parler that its proposed changes were sufficient, the letter continued. Now, all Parler needs to do is to flip the switch. The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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Opinion

Oath Keeper Leader Claims Police are Training Militias for ‘Civil War’

And the FBI seems to agree with him!

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At the very end of the first term of Donald Trump’s presidency, we were as close to a civil war as this nation has come in over a dozen decades, and we may not fully appreciate that yet.  We are, perhaps, too close to the events themselves to fully understand just how narrowly we escaped a broader calamity, but we must try to remain vigilant still. Especially if what one of the leaders of the Oath Keepers says is true. The far-right paramilitary the Oath Keepers is home to active-duty law-enforcement officers who are training up other members to prepare for civil war, according to one of the group’s top figures. CBS News’ 60 Minutesprofiled the the increasingly notorious militia on Sunday night, and one of its leaders from Arizona, Jim Arroyo, spoke openly about the close involvement of police officers. “Our guys are very experienced,” said Arroyo. “We have active-duty law enforcement in our organization that are helping to train us. We can blend in with our law enforcement and in fact, in a lot of cases, our training is much more advanced because of our military backgrounds.” And the government seems to already be away of this. Arroyo’s statement was backed up by Javed Ali, an ex-National Security Council senior director and FBI counterterrorism official, who said the Oath Keepers are a “unique and challenging” threat to the U.S. because a “large percentage have tactical training and operational experience in either the military or law enforcement. That at least gives them a capability that a lot of other people in this far-right space don’t have.” Several members of the Oath Keepers were arrested during the January 6th Capitol riot, as they attempted to prevent the certification of the results of the 2020 election by Congress.

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