Getting old has its advantages if you look hard enough. One of those advantages is the beautiful gift of experience. Back in the old days when dinosaurs roamed the earth – you know, the 90’s….our local community had only a few options for treating substance use disorder.
We suggested that everyone access and use the appropriate mutual aid society like AA, NA, etc. as their recovery resource. As in all things there were exceptions. Some people were able to afford to kick start their recovery by going into an in-house treatment program. There were outpatient programs as well. Whatever route a person chose, it ALWAYS led to AA or NA or the like. (Hence the oft heard phrase for folks coming out of treatment, “90 in 90”.)
Today we recognize that there are many pathways to recovery and I am all for this approach! We are not making the progress we need in the area of treatment for substance use disorder - of course we need to keep trying new things!
But I have a deep and abiding respect for the 12 steps and those who work them. I have a hunch that, as time passes, research in the field of addiction and recovery will find ways to articulate why mutual aid societies have worked for many people trying to get sober and recover their lives.
For the next few days I’m going to talk about my opinions on the subject. But first, I have to issue a strong warning and a few advisories!