Addicted? Don’t Go to Rehab
Zachary A Siegel

Thank you for your article. You are absolutely correct. I worked in alcohol/drug treatment programs as a therapist for many years. There I was indoctrinated into the “Minnesota Model.” I began to question why people were being charged to attend a program that basically did what AA does for free. I attended AA meetings so I would understand it and still appreciate the structure provided by the 12 step approach. However, AA has allowed itself to be compromised by signing attendance forms and other such things for the courts, ignoring its tradition that it is a program of attraction. In short, I had to learn to figure out ways to provide other options besides AA and traditional 30-day treaments for my clients and engage in “creative record-keeping.” Bill Miller is my colleague and friend and I watched his research from his beginning studies of controlled drinking. His research is right on, all of it, and his method of motivational counseling has become a major norm in the counseling field. I also learned a lot from Terence Gorski who bothered to understand the stages of addiction and recovery and recommended how to provide guidance at each level. I admire those who are developing alternatives to shaming and confrontation. It’s time to practice what we preach if we want to call addiction a disease — providing evidence-based treatment and doing it with respect and compassion.

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