There is an interesting follow-up to the New Perspectives conference we reported on last week.

The conference was hosted by a Canadian residential program called Edgewood. At the conference they provided shuttle buses for any of us who wanted to tour their facility and program.

Mary Ellen and I signed up for the tour, fully expecting to see a state of the art program that incorporated all of the different possibilities we’d been hearing about.

Instead, what we found, was the same old 12 Step nonsense down to the “Steps” being chiseled into one stone wall and a 12 Step labyrinth.

The staff too was pretty much the usual collection of former clients and other ill-trained para-professionals, true believer types anxious to spread the AA gospel.

As has been my habit for 30 years now, I asked the question, “Why aren’t you doing any of the things that actually work? Like the one’s being presented at your own conference?”

My unwelcome question was eventually referred to the medical director who was, bless him, unusually candid. “This place, like most every place in the U.S, and Canada, operates on a business model, not a treatment model. That means cheap staff, maximum failure, and hence very high recycling rates.”

Here too the “Minnesota Model” – selling AA which is, after all, available for free, and calling it treatment is alive and well – and prosperous.

30 years ago I was fired at the end of my 9 month internship from a Minnesota residential program which is still thriving. The reason? 60% of my clients were succeeding. That was considered a severe threat to a program, which like all AA based programs, aims for a success rate of less than 5%, the same dismal rate that AA itself admits to.

As we always note – ask if a program you are considering is based on AA and the 12 Steps. If they say yes, you know what you chances of succeeding are. If they say no, remember that most programs also lie to get you to sign up.

(See: Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Brother Off To Rehab)

Their excuse? “It’s the only thing that works and if we have to lie to save you, well, lying’s the right thing to do!”

Remember, please, it’s not only NOT the “only thing that works,” it’s not even in the top 30!

(See: Ending Alcohol Abuse: What Works)

Really, there are perhaps a dozen research based programs scattered around the country that do actually provide the services and tools that “work.” Don’t be conned into another AA treatment mill where the outcomes aren’t any better than going to AA on your own and for free.

And as another note – the fact that you subscribed and read our Newsletter pretty much guarantees that you’re too smart and mature for AA to work for you.

Like we said in the 60s and 70s, don’t drink the Kool Aid.

A rare victory for physicians.

A former client’s medical license was suspended two years ago because he refused treatment based on a phony assessment that never actually happened and mandated to attend treatment at a 12 Step facility.

The physician in question chose to fight and after two years the state’s Court Of Appeals ruled in his favor noting that the constitution forbids forcing anyone to join any religion and, since AA has been repeatedly judged to be a religious cult, forced attendance was unconstitutional.

(see: “No Judge, No AA!”)

Given the nature of the supposed “assessment” the court also ruled that the doctor’s license suspension was to be lifted immediately.

Through the years we have been privileged to assist a number of doctors in their fight to keep from being labeled and forced into inappropriate and ineffectual treatment by boards or individuals who are usually compensated by the treatment facilities.

Of course this isn’t an uncommon practice as anyone who’s been blindsided by an “intervention” is well aware – interventionists infamously receive kick-backs too.

But it’s been especially heinous in the case of physicians and, here in California, nurses.

We will furnish additional details as we receive them but as we have always noted, fix an emerging problem before it comes to anyone’s attention, and never volunteer information to any licensing board or “Physicians’ Assistance Board” most of which are just AA fronts.

For more detail on this issue, see the Oregon Physicians Advocacy Group  or give us a call.