Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This is a complex disease. It is resistant to treatment. It is subject to relapse.

Dr. Phil McGraw on addition

More later. The South Kansas City Observer extends condolences to the family of Ken Gurley and to the South Patrol officer forced to shoot him dead the morning of December 29th.


Anonymous said...

The post treatment world is coming to the view that alcoholism and drug addictions are not disease at all.

People freely or with some serious drying out quit usually on their own. Drug and alcohol use is a freedom, not a disease. Addiction is just doing things against one's better judgment. Some people are weak and super hedonistic. The love the pleasure and they don't want to stop getting it.

Don't call these things diseases. That only removes the responsibility for using from the user. Using too much very often puts people in contact with the police. It's one of those things that people know they do when they do the drugs and lose their ability to think and react clearly.

We know drink and dope impairs our judgment and that's why we take them... for the high. Shit happens when we choose to drink, knowing we can't stop when we start.

Break the cycle. Forget AA and NA, the cult doesn't work for most people. Go get insurance paid treatment just to dry out and listen to some lectures--takes about a week to detox and a month to break your old playmates and playgrounds. And buy the book Rational Recovery.

I too extend condolences to families of those who die by police or liver disease. But quit the 'disease' excuse. He didn't have cancer. He chose to get high. as everyone does who does.

Just don't keep passing on the treatment/12 step industries' fairy tales. Those only keep them in business... treating and re-treating and re-lapse re-treating again.

And if something ELSE is wrong in your head, go see a doctor, not the guy running the liquor store or some lifelong 'alcoholic' who has sequestered himself in meetings. Self medication can get out of hand, as we see so often.

Google Rational Recovery. Good luck. Sorry, I'll stay anonymous.

Bob G. said...

Anon makes some excellent points.

People don't develop these "diseases" out of thin air...they CHOOSE to pursue them.

They CHOSE to take that first drink or drug, and then allowed themselves the "luxury" of overindulging and eventual abuse...with the predictable results.

Perhaps they may have a genetic predisposition to abuse a substance, and that might encourage those that believe the disease aspect.

But most every time, it's the INDIVIDUAL that decides to do the right thing...or the wrong one.

MY thoughts also go out to the family and officer involved in the shooting.

Good post.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
First, I want to applaud your compassion toward the families and the police officer. How awful for everyone.

It's impossible to parse this together without fault being part of it. I don't think it's wrong to use 12 steps if 12 steps works. I also think that people should straighten out, whether 12 steps works or not. Try something else if the twelve doesn't help.

Also, I can't find this story on google--and I don't know why not.
But if this has to do with domestic disturbance, that is another disease/situation that doesn't work. If you can't get out with one method, try another one. Keep trying or you will die, or kill someone.

Thanks for giving us some things to ponder. I hope the officer involved is getting good counseling, good counsel, and a lot of support.

Ann T.

the observer said...


Thanks for commenting. This was just the snub of a post, which is to be followed up with a post later as my life allowed. Your comment surprised me.

I personally do not struggle with chemical addiction. I do believe that addiction involves the will, both to continue and to stop, but as Dr. Phil says it is complex, and difficult.

Your post and much of Jack Trimpey's work is evangelical in its zeal to extol that program and condemn 12 step programs. As a health care professional, I know the grasp that addictions can have on people. I am a pragmatist--whatever works. If the spirituality of 12 Steps does it, do it. If RR works, fine.

I am an unashamed Christian and I was uncomfortable noting that RET is in the foundation of RR--it is frankly hostile to religion. Also google revealed many atheists gung ho for RR.

Subsequent posts may flesh out more of this writer's position for you, and you are welcome to read, and comment if you like. Just avoid condemnation and judgment, and keep it in good taste.

The Observer

the observer said...

Bob G:
Because the post was not complete, it looks like I believe in the disease theory of addiction. I do not completely buy into that--I do think that will and choice have some very big influence on whether or not someone gets over addiction. I have always liked this quote from Dr. Phil--he said it like 4 years ago--because it recognizes the truth about the treatment and work it takes to get over addiction. With apologies to anon, it is not easy to treat--detox, classes, bang you're done--it is complex, resistant and subject to relapse.

Thanks for the comment on a half baked post!

The Observer

the observer said...

Ann T:
Even in the state of its half bakedness, I should have left a newsie link. Here's one, in case you come here before I pound through the rest of the post.

Now as to addiction and the will, I do believe that the will to stop is very involved in successful treatment. Whatever works to get a person to examine the compulsion of addiction in a rational and calm way, and be able to tell themselves no is good to me. For some, it is the 12 Steps, others it might be this Rational Recovery, for others it might be still something else.

As a healthcare provider and a person with friends, I have seen every kind of flow to addictions. I have seen those actually kick an addiction after the physical detox was done. I have seen those kick it after a couple tries at it. I have seen people kick it for a while, then go back to it, both while in treatment, and while resisting any kind of treatment. That is why I like Dr. Phil's quote, even tho I do disagree with the total outlook of it being a disease that he espouses.

I think no matter what sort of treatment a person seeks, they really have to have the will to stop and the continued will to resist the compulsion. Like you said, keep going until you lick it or you will most certainly die of it.

More in a minute as I return to the blog to post. Thanks for reading.

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
A short post, and you end up writing three posts to answer us.

I knew you would give us more.

Thanks for the link!
Ann T.

the observer said...

Ann T:
I guess that makes four with the blog post--which appears to have gone in a totally different direction!

I was thinking about getting into brain chemistry issues and all that with respect to addiction, but really as I reread the news reports and looked at the video, the loss came to the front for me and the addiction debate faded in importance.

It's just a sad thing, in the end.

The Observer