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Downtown Placerville, aka Old Hangtown, where gold rush claim jumpers and horse thiefs were taken to the gallows. Pictured is the famous landmark, the bell tower used to summon folks for the approaching pony express. El Dorado County is a vast land mass containing the High Sierras, Desolation Wilderness, pristine national forests, and Lake Tahoe. On the Western Slope of the Sierras is the County Seat, Placerville, where the social service system is housed. Due to isolation by winter conditions, South Lake Tahoe serves as a duplicate or “co”-county seat.

Welcome to the El Dorado County Planned Abstinence Program

Deborah Springborn

Agencies involved:

Alcohol and Drug Services
Child Protective Services
Health and Human Services
Mental Health
Family Court
Traffic Court
Drug Court




Let’s Turn the Problem Over to Addicts!

by Deborah Springborn

El Dorado County is the birthplace of the widely acclaimed organization, Rational Recovery, listed by the American Medical Association since 1990 as a key resource for addicted people and their families. I invite you to explore the exciting concept of family-centered recovery throughout this website. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

I’ve lived in El Dorado County for ten years, the most wonderful years of my life.  As a woman who never drinks or uses illicit drugs, I can richly enjoy our county’s natural splendor. I don’t drink/use with good reason, of course, but I never tell my story of recovery to others because it’s no one’s business but my own.

I was very seriously addicted to alcohol and street drugs from my teens into my thirties, many years of not knowing that I was free to quit any time I wanted to. My so-called “alcoholism” was actually nothing but recoveryism, an illusion carried forward by our entire social service system. By using Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®), I was finally authorized to permanently quit getting high.

I have been totally recovered since 1997, when I made my mind up to quit. I attend no meetings nor counseling sessions. Whatever personal problems I may have are entirely my own and not related to my extinct addiction. My life is my own, free from the stigma of addictive disease, free from therapeutic invasions of privacy, free from unbelievable recovery doctrines.

I’m happy I can now give back to the county by making information on independent recovery from addiction available to each citizen. Just think of what it would be like if every alcohol or drug related case in all of our social agencies above would be offered a one-time option to permanently quit drinking/using, along with explicit instructions on how to do it.

We believe that all addicted people have an absolute right to accept total, personal responsibility to use or not use alcohol and other drugs. People in trouble who are willing to quit drinking/using for life must have the option to set a higher standard, “I will never drink again,” and not be forced into the lower standard of one-day-at-a-time sobriety. We know, however, that independent recovery is a better bet statistically than group-bound sobriety, that nothing is more cost-effective than independent recovery, and that independent recovery brings precious freedom and dignity.
Rational Recovery World Services has embarked on a mission to make independent recovery a viable option for all addicted people, wherever they may be. It is certainly fitting that citizens of El Dorado County be aware of this very important issue, and provide crucial guidance to the El Dorado County social service system. 

Status quo:
The agencies listed above currently offer only AA/NA to the thousands of substance abusers who come to their attention each year. This fact has serious implications for highway safety, law and order, and the individual substance abusers and their families.

• In spite of all the hoopla surrounding AA recoveryism, 12-step recovery doesn’t work. Only 5% of newcomers are consistently “sober” at the five-year mark. Much research shows that addiction treatment produces lower abstinent outcome than just allowing the natural consequences of addiction to occur. Over 90% of repeat drunk drivers have already been to AA and AA-oriented addiction treatment.
• AA/NA are fellowships of addiction, created by and for addicted people, based upon a system of practices, beliefs and values common to addicted people. Addiction is anti-family at its core, so it is true to logic that the 12-step programs of AA/NA are also anti-family. For example, recovery group members expect their families to accept responsibility for their substance abuse, as “enablers,” or as “codepenents.” They also expect their families to tolerate the endless uncertainty of one-day-at-a-time sobriety. Review the tabs at the top of this page to learn more about family-centered recovery and the clever illusions of group recoveryism.
• AA is the prime origin of the disease concept of addiction in our social service system. Although most people agree that addiction is some kind of disease, the idea is without scientific merit.
• “Alcoholism” isn’t even a medical word. It is a folk expression for drinking too much, like “rheumatism” is folk expressoin for “rheumatiod arthritis.”

County Government Needs Your Help
We have had some serious discussions with county employees about providing informed consent to recovery group participation and addiction treatment services, with emphasis on how to actually quit drinking, right now, for good, instead of requiring local offenders to board the endless recovery merry-go-round. On May 13, 2009, Rational Recovery founder, Jack Trimpey, LCSW, presented the basics of independent recovery through planned, permanent abstinence to the combined clincial staffs of the above agencies.  Here is a write-up of the El Dorado County Planned Abstinence Program, which you can examine, criticize, add to, or cheer.

Our decades of experience have shown that social services can fall in love with AA/NA because recovery groups are a great way to localize, monitor, and control substance abusers. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anomymous certainly appreciate having our health and social service systems as a giant funnel for new members, to add to the convincing illusions that 12-step recovery is a great remedy for mass, runaway addiction to alcohol and other drugs and a great lifestyle as well.

The key to success in this is to make informed consent to recovery group participation and addiction treatment services available to all addicted people and their families. When people have their native beliefs and better intuitions verified, they can take action to free themselves from the clutches of addiction and its entourage in public agencies. For example, you can provide life-saving information to any addicted person you know, or help a family reclaim its life from recoveryism by sending them to the Rational Recovery website.

We know that the powerfully simple logic behing independent recovery will win all the arguments, but it is first necessary to get this precious information to the public officials and employees who make policy. So far, I’m just one woman carrying the ball to change the system, but two heads are better than one, and a whole committee of heads will create an unstoppable force.

Give me a call at 530-621-2667 or send me a message telling me what you think about creating an El Dorado County Planned Abstinence Program. Think of how you might help make it a reality.





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