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Experts Increasingly Questioning Religious Approaches to Recovery

  • 19-07-2023 5:59pm
    Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    Very good opinion piece in the New York Times that I came across that questions and challenges the religious approaches to addiction recovery, including the AA 12 steps approach.

    The article author does acknowledge that AA and religious-based addiction treatment programmes do help many people struggling with alcoholism and other substance addictions, but the growing body of scientific and sociological evidence based on research suggests that for many, religious approaches do not help at all, can generate guilt and anxiety and can even put their lives in danger. The author believes that no-one should be subjected to a religious treatment regimen to get them sober and clean if they have issues with religion, an opinion I completely agree with.

    The article also seriously questions the Narcotics Anonymous 12 steps model where the use of methadone and other opioids to wean addicts off heroin etc are actively discouraged or forbidden. The author also references scientists working in the field of addiction who believe that denying or discouraging opioid addicts these medications is very dangerous and has resulted in lives needlessly lost.

    I myself did the AA 12 step programme with a sponsor in 2018/19 after nearly a decade of worsening and destructive drinking. It did work for me - thankfully - but I have always been rather uncomfortable with the religious aspect of AA (claimed to be spiritual, but references to God and Higher Power belie that claim) and other recovery groups where I feel that as addicts in deep despair, self-esteem is so low that addicts will not stand up for themselves if the courts/employers/families of the addicts force them into religious recovery programmes.

    Plenty of food for thought in the articles linked below:

    Post edited by JupiterKid on