The “You’re Going to Die!” Con Game.

I recently heard from a woman who had fallen victim to the old “You’re going to die!” scam perpetuated by Physicians and Therapists working in conjunction with 12 Step rehabs in a mutually profitable predatory arrangement.

How’s it work?

The victim goes to their physician, therapist, psychiatrist or other “health care” provider who “decides” you have a life threatening alcoholism problem which is going to kill you unless you receive immediate treatment at this particular (and expensive) rehab, and there is no time to lose.

Often this “assessment” is based on lab work which the doctor refuses to let you see (that’s illegal – the lab results are your property, not the physician’s). This refusal in and of itself should be enough of a warning that something isn’t right, but by that point you may well have been so terrified that it doesn’t even occur to you that something is amiss.

So off you go for a counter-productive brainwashing visit to a facility which kicks back a portion of your fee to the referring parties. In some cases we’ve encountered it’s a flat “finders’ fee,” in others it’s a percentage of how much the designated “client” – read victim – can be coerced into paying.

At best you escape befuddled, depressed, poorer, and even more likely to self-medicate than before this whole process started.

How can you protect yourself?

First let me say that these people who are railroading and gas-lighting you are very, very good at what they do and at covering their tracks. Do not beat yourself up for having fallen victim to their well-oiled machine.

Second, consider reporting them to their respective professional licensing boards. That may not do much good as they will all vouch for each other, claim you’re just a crazy drunk, that they were doing their best to protect you since you were clearly “a danger to self and others.”

Bring up that you did not receive an appropriate assessment or referral and they will state that you received appropriate treatment with “Facilitated 12 Step” which is, as everyone knows, the only thing that works. Mention alternatives and any research, outcome, or medically assisted options and these are labeled quackery. Which is ironic since the name calling and labeling are coming from the actual quacks themselves.

So, what else to do that doesn’t turn you into a continuing target?

Report the incident to your state’s Attorney General’s Office. Accumulated complaints may eventually incite some action.

Having done what you can, get real help for yourself, perhaps contribute to on-line victims groups, refuse to be quiet about what happened to you and who the perpetrators were. The predators who operate these rehab mills and the feeder “professionals” have been getting away with these scams for decades because, as with victims of sexual exploitation, the repercussions for reporting and complaining have often been worse than the exploitation itself.

At the very least, educate those around you who actually care about the reality of your experience.

Introverts vs Extroverts

While few of us are purely extroverted or introverted, we each have tendencies which are reflected in our drinking habits and, hence, our solutions.

The obvious indicators are those who do their drinking in public vs those who drink privately at home. If your need for other’s attention is a big part of your habitual behavior, that is not going to result in the same life modifications as will benefit someone who shuns public attention. Guess which one is more apt to find AA and other such groups appealing?

Yet for those lost in isolation, clearly emerging from the dark will have some benefit, especially if the isolated self-medication is in response to loneliness, boredom and/or other unmet needs which require interactions with others.

So where do you fall?

Do you need to replace a preference for a highly social life with drinking for an equally exuberant life without the self-medication? There really are many options, none of which require either AA, alcohol, or deprivation.

Likewise, if you like a quieter life, there are still many options for relieving boredom and loneliness, or other circumstances, instead of disappearing into a bottle.

We have over 15 years of experience helping individuals find the solutions which uniquely fit their particular preferences and circumstances. Why not let us help do the same for you?