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The American Rehab Opry and the
Family of Charlie and Martin Sheen

©2011, Jack Trimpey, LCSW, all rights reserved.


Sunday, February 27, 2011: Today, I was scheduled to discuss Charlie Sheen’s recent debacle on Fox’s “Fox and Friends” show, but the segment was bumped by hard news on the convulsions of worldwide Islamism. The invitation got me to thinking about the Sheen family, so I’ll post this item today in case Fox abandons this latest chapter in the American Rehab Opry.

Disclaimer: I have never had personal contact with any member of the Martin Sheen family, nor with any other person named “Sheen.” Sheen is a famous name and its members are cultural icons, exempt from the ethical and legal protections afforded other citizens. My comments contain many assumptions about the Sheens, some of which are undoubtedly false, so read on understanding the likelihood of errors.

Every nation or society has a culture founded upon a core of beliefs, values and perceptions. For example, ancient civilizations had pantheons or families of human-like gods whose conduct, relationships, attitudes, and decisions were compelling examples of proper thought, custom, and morality. Collectively, they appeared publicly as marble statues in open-air buildings, forming a cultural pantheon of mythical beings that possessed ultimate authority and power, and directed the daily flow of current events we now call history. The antics of ancient gods were not unlike soap operas, replete with dramas of love, jealousy, betrayal, anger, gentleness, war, and practically all aspects of citizens’ lives. Citizens did not believe in those gods, however; instead they experienced them inwardly as real, human-like entities they could see, hear, and feel. What we call “mythology” was simply the cultural consciousnesss of ancient societies as demonstrated by dramas that intruded into the consciousness of ancient peoples.

Melodramatic mythologies drive modern societies as well. England’s pantheon is its royal family, a cast of very real and imperfect characters, demigods whose personal lives grip citizens in royal melodramas that represent and enact an ideal way of life. The pantheons of Greece, Rome, and England have all carried forward de facto state religions from which law and social policies are formed.

Hollywood is a living, American pantheon of celebrities that generates a powerful mythology deeply experienced throughout American society, an enormous open-air, multimedia colloseum where the gods are not statues or royalty, but movie actors and other celebrities engaged in the “fine arts.” The content of movies are gravel in the roadbed of American culture, because movies show us how life really is, through the eyes of creative Hollywood talent. Of course, nobody really believes in the Sheens, Mel Gibson, Humphrey Bogart, or Sean Penn as ideal examples to live by, or as experts on anything substantive, but they nevertheless play the same central role in American society as the mighty, ancient gods and the procession of kings did in the Old World.

Movie and TV celebrities who parade in public as “recovering alcoholics,” are opening a window to their souls that ought to be zipped shut as they would their trousers. It’s simply indecent and manipulative to inject one’s disease victimhood into otherwise normal discourse, particularly when the depravity being passed off as disease is at least suspected if not well-known. The idea that wisdom might arise from a pretend disease begs credulity, and downward-grasping humility cancels itself each time it is brandished. In the weird world of recoveryism (discussed below), appearances of selflessness and inexplicable compassion are the Emperor’s New Clothes, a private delusion by strangers to human affairs attempting to impress other strangers. Silly as these medical charades may be, we must recall that the fabled Emperor did succeed with his fashion show for quite a while – until exposed through the innocent eyes of a child.

Summary: Hollywood is a crucible where cultural mythology is forged from the content of movies and the personal melodramas of movie actors. When we hear tabloid stories about celebrity substance abuse, we are experiencing a mythology that defines the soul of the USA in a very real, practical way. The current drama surrounding Charlie Sheen, for example, is a microcosm of the American addiction tragedy, which is the logical outcome of the inverted beliefs and values arising from the 12-step recovery group movement. Althouth protected by thick privacy shields preventing direct access, celebrities’ daily lives are broadcast into our homes, just as the mythical melodramas of ancient gods intruded into the minds of our ancient ancestors.

The Foibles of Charlie Sheen

There is nothing mysterious about Charlie’s deterioration in recent years. He is addicted to synthetic drugs that produce pleasures more intense than the pleasures of sex, eating, breathing, and other survival related behaviors. His mind literally blown by mind-blowing drugs, he has acquired a drive to repeat the pleasure of drugs, a super-drive that overrides all other matters in his life, including his responsilities as a professional, as a family member, as a man, and as a citizen. Addicted, he cannot have successful relationships with women, so he follows rutting instincts.

He is still a young man, in his years of robust health, and he suffers from no inherited or acquired disease that compels him to use. Because of his robust health, he is a man with a fiery appetite for pleasure, not the tameness wine, women and song, but the baseness of synthetic drugs that transform him into an animal with a combative dispostition toward those who stand in his way. Very much like a werewolf, he transforms from human to dangerous, wild animal, not according to phases of the moon, but as the direct action of synthetic, animalizing drugs. It would be a tragic error to call his plight a disease, when the remedy is fully within his reach when he’s not under the immediate influence.

Charlie is of two minds about synthetic drugs (alcohol, cocaine, pot, whatever gets him high). It’s a love-hate attitude, and he switches back and forth between craving them and hating them. He’s not in denial; he knows full well that all of his problems are directly caused by the effect of drugs on his judgment and behavior. He wants to quit, but his body wants to go the other way. When he thinks, “I’ve really got to quit using,” his body recoils and retorts in his thoughts, “Yeah, right, Charlie. Uh, huh! You’re an addict, and once an addict, always an addict. Never say never, Charlie.” And so on. He is not powerless over his desire to get high; he can’t make up his mind, which is now set to default on addiction. That can change radically on a moment’s notice, as you will see below.

Enter Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Addicts are all the same, all over the world. They will say or do most anything to avoid saying “I will never drink/use again.” However, addicts live in a state of chemically-induced stupidity, very often applying enormous intelligence and creativity to the smarmy task of justifying still more self-intoxication. One such addict was AA founder, Bill Wilson.

Mr. Wilson updated the disease concept of addiction, for centuries an odd-ball, speculative notion, bringing it forth in the contrived fullness of the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There, he mixed fringe religion with fringe medicine to produce an ungodly, high-proof distillation of the beliefs and values of addicted people who assemble daily as a surrogate family.

Here are some of the elements in a narrative stripped of the unctious decorum of steptalk:

We alcoholics are different from others in that we are powerless over the desire to drink/use. Therefore, we are exempt from traditonal morality and common standards of decency that would otherwise implore us to cease and forever desist from alcohol/drugs. The most we can possibly accomplish is to get to bed this evening in a sober condition, but this is only possible with the help of a God that is infinitely tolerant of substance abuse. Our most important relationships in life are with others of our own kind, other addicts who will supervise us, support us, and give us the special fellowship, affection, and spirituality that our families cannot provide. We cannot guarantee ourselves, our families, or God that we’ll never drink again because, well, just because. We must always reserve the option to have relapses because to say “Never” would deny the fact of addictive disease, and denial is a primary symptom of that disease.  Because original family values, the shortcomings of our dysfunctional parents, and our family genetics have caused our addictions, our families must accept responsility of being enablers and co-dependents, our families must accept the possibility of endless relapses, and tolerate the progressive reversal of the family’s ancestral beliefs and values by the addict’s creed, the 12-step program of AA/NA.our families must tolerate the possibility of endless relapses, and accept the progressive reversal of the family’s ancestral beliefs and values by the addict’s creed, the 12-step program of AA/NA. We are innocent of acquiring and sustaining our addictions, and struggle to stay sober just one-day-at-a-time with the loving support of God-as-we-addicts-understand-him. We take this message of hope and inspiration to all others who suffer from the terrible disease of addiction/alcoholism, freely giving to others what was so freely given to us in our time of desperate illness.

I must ask, isn’t this perverted reasoning basically what you’d expect from a habitual drunkard, a chronic addict? The narrative is far more sophisticated than the natural lying, deceptions, and evasions of drunks and lushes, because it has been honed by several generations of Bill W’s inbred, 12-stepping descendents. Can you think of anything more self-centered than this program, one that eschews self-centeredness, indulges in endless moral preening, and then claims brutal honesty as its own? It is to Charlie Sheen’s credit that he despises an organization founded upon base hypocrisy, a syndicate of addicted people who intend to swallow him whole and digest him, using their two-hatting proxies in the health and social service systems.

Many may be offended by this interpretation of 12-step recovery, but, alas, the truth only singes those invested in the lie. There is a tragic comedy in the recovery group movement, but I hope readers won’t laugh at the strangeness and silliness of the core beliefs of the 12-step program. AA has been elevated to the de facto state religion of the United States of America. We have chosen the cause of addiction — the lore of the drug culture in pious language and scientific dress — as the solution for mass, runaway addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Now we all stand back watching in horror, watching people we love consumed by addiction and its malignant twin, recoveryism (discussed below).

Summary: The 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is the doctrinal form of the Addictive Voice, which is any thinking that supports or suggests the possible future use of alcohol or other drugs. AA is a fellowship of addicted people who know nothing about addiction recovery, for the simple reason that none of them, including its founder, Bill W, defeated their addictions.

Cultural Recoveryism
Even in these tumultous times, it is possible that the greatest threat to the soul of America is cultural recoveryism, the turbulent melodrama surrounding substance originating in the recovery group movement. Recoveryism is life according to the rules of addiction, which is the opposite of life according to universal family values (love, honesty, loyalty, kindness, compassion, responsibility, self-restraint, generosity, respect for others, etc.). Recoveryism is based upon the addictive mandate, demanding the highest loyalty to the recovery group, and the beliefs and values that perpetuate chronic, one-day-at-a-time addiction. It is a ruthless, anti-family, pack mentality.

For example, several of Charlie’s employers converged upon him recently in a very aggressive attempt to recruit him into AA. Yes, they were not only 12-steppers taking the 12-step program to others still suffering the pretend disease of alcoholism/addiction, but also his employers from CBS. Charlie later called them “AA Nazis,” but let it suffice to say that members of AA in our social service system, particularly the criminal, domestic, and traffic courts where much of the business relates to substance abuse, are ruthless and relentless in their effort to make sure that no alcoholic, addict, or other substance abuser will succeed in life without the blessings of AA.

In meetings, members are assured that merely quitting their addictions is not enough, that unless they turn their lives and identities over to AA, they will lose their grip on sanity and fall into the pits of depravity. Even if they “willfully abstain,” they are told they cannot possibly be happy because life will be hollow and meaningless, and they will spend the rest of their lives depressed, yearning to drink, and probably go crazy and drink/use anyhow. This is not the kind of “support” most people think of when they hear of how 12-steppers stay sober simply by telling their stories of spiritual redemption to others suffering from addiction. The dry-drunk myth is a powerful threat to anyone who would defy the inverted moral authority of AA, for the fear of abstinence is native to addiction itself.

I can only conjecture what went on during Charlie’s meeting with CBS’s Mr. Moonves and others present, but I am keenly aware of how such “interventions” usually go, having spoken with thousands of folks exactly like Charlie Sheen. I read his angry account of the confrontation and intimidation, and thought, “Yes, that is what happened. They’re stepping on Charlie, pushing him over the edge, and quite possibly he’ll end up in a psych ward or jail or worse before this is over — unless he can get a grip and call his inner attack dog off his assailants. There are scarcely words to describe the calumny of 12-step intervention, in which the subject’s anger at his antagonists is interpreted as a symptom of the disease he denies having, and for which he is refusing treatment that he has reason to believe is worthless and harmful. Later, Charlie went ballistic, and said, “This is war!” God bless you, Charlie Sheen! You drew the line, but can you hold it? If I can help you, I will!

The Sheen saga is an example of cultural recoveryism, in which immorality, stupidity, or criminality is dressed in clinical gauze, and the offender’s soul is raped by the fellowship of addiction under the pretext, “We only want to help. You are very sick and you need treatment, emergency treatment, and the van’s idling outside. If you don’t come, then you will go to hell, or lose your professinal license, driver’s license, child custody, or other cherished freedom, status, or relationship.” Even though 80% of physicians reject the disease concept of addiction, the medical profession endorses the disease concept of addiction in the complete absence of even a shred of scientific evidence. And, sadly, the sentinels assigned to protect society from evil, the religious community, have sold out to the disease concept of addiction, which is far more entertaining than the traditions of Western civilization, formerly known as Christendom.

Since the Children’s Revolution of the 1960’s, members of AA have accomplished amazing feats of public relations, including filling the file drawers of every medical office, church study, and media organization with propaganda on the disease concept of addiction and the supremacy of AA as the only thing that works. Hollywood, where substance abuse is epidemic, has become a holy city for cultural recoveryism, writing the smarmy scriptures of recoveryism into screenplays, TV dramas, documentaries, and movie plots.

Family Recoveryism
By “family recoveryism,” I refer to life according to the rules of addiction. When a family, the Sheens, for example, re-organizes itself to accommodate a chronically addicted, sober one-day-at-a-time member, a number of things change. First, the family must accept the doctor’s excuse for self-intoxication, i.e., addictive disease. Next, the family must appreciate whatever sobriety transpires, and never expect an apology for self-intoxication, but gladly accept amends for the drunken or drug inspired behavior. Then, the family must accept the possibility of further self-intoxication as they would recurrence of cancer, heart attacks, or other real diseases.

This means the family is unable to plan ahead or make commitments such as new loans or other goals requiring consistent discipline, because you-know-who might have to enter rehab or jail again. Then the family must never question or challenge the palpable silliness of the 12-step program itself, or complain about nightly absences from the home while you-know-who is hanging out with other substance abusers in church basements. When one family member is in recovery, the family is addict-centered, turned inside out and upside down.

Whereas children normally learn that the pursuit of pleasure or gain at another’s expense is wrong, i.e., immoral, the family must choose to see the addict’s pursuit of unspeakable pleasures as innocent. As for honesty, the entire family must substitute pious altruism for moral indignation as they explain that you-know-who has had another “relapse,” but is fighting valiantly against the dread, pretend disease of addiction. When meeting time comes each day, family loyalty is subordinated to the addict’s need for the comforting murmur of the 12-stepping herd, and hope he’ll be home before dawn.

If a man repeatedly defecates on the living room couch because he has colon cancer, his family will be far more supportive, forgiving, and tolerant than if they learn that he is soiling the couch for the simple reason that it feels absolutely wonderful to do so. Recently, Charlie’s father, Martin, summarized his perception of his son’s addiction, “He's an extraordinary man. If he had cancer, how would we treat him? The disease of addiction is a form of cancer, and you have to have an equal measure of concern and love and lift them up, so that's what we do for him.” If Martin were to ask son why he uses, he’d admit it’s entirely because it makes him feel re-e-e-e-eally good. Steppers, however, won’t tolerate this kind of brutal honesty, and they’ll slam in as “in denial” of his (pretend) disease. The Martin family has been snookered by the 12-step syndicate, including the physicians-in-recovery at the root of the epic deception of addictive disease.

This is a perfect example family recoveryism, which, incidentally, is a product of the creative genius of addicted people who would rather do anything than live without the option to get high again. Without the gravity well of that dark star sucking them forward, life without the option to drink/use is unthinkable, purposeless, unlivable, intolerably boring, the Big Empty that must be filled by the grace of God-as-addicts-understand-him. Turning it over to AA’s higher power is completed in Step 1 with the admission of powerlessness over bodily desire, leaving the rest of steps as so much ecclesiastical window dressing.

While human beings are all unique, individual souls, all addicts are the same. The ghost of chronically addicted Bill W is stalking the Sheen family through the fellowship of addiction, just as it has stalked the corridors of the free world for many decades, substituting the American Rehab Opry for traditional American values. Look at the forces assembled to impose invasive treatments upon Charlie. His employer, his family, the courts, the police, and every social authority in the nation is prepared to railroad Charlie into an identity change procedure that will transform him from Charlie Sheen to Charlie S, a congenitally defective but grateful, recovering alcoholic who wears his humility stripes high on his sleeve. But alas, Charlie doesn’t want to become a grateful, recovering alcoholic. Many have decided to end their lives when faced with a lifetime defined by past stupidity, by morbid humility, and the insipid lifestyle and bad company of 12-step recovery. I want Charlie to know that he’s on the right track, but can benefit greatly by following the example of others who have recovered independently and forced the Fellowship of the Beast to stand down.

Moreover, I believe it would be prudent for Mr. Moonves, or perhaps someone else from CBS who is not in a dual relationship with Charlie (two masters: AA vs. CBS, creates an intolerable professional conflict of interest), to demand from Charlie a guarantee of lifetime abstinence from alcohol and other drugs accompanied by his signed resignation in advance to be invoked in the event he is ever discovered to have been drinking/using.

Some talk of “tough love,” which follows the narrative of addict-centered recoveryism. Martin may be thinking of how to force his will upon Charlie “for his own good,” which is typical, brutal recoveryism, by incarcerating him or through legal intervention on his freedom, conservatorship/guardianship. Charlie understands very clearly that just because World War II is over, doesn’t mean the Nazis are all gone, at least the AA Nazis he’s already correctly identified. If the Sheen family will focus on protecting themselves from Charlie, rather than “helping” him, effective action will follow a different logic that will empower Charlie to step up to the plate.

Bottom line: Addicts are unlovable because they are loveless creatures themselves. In recovery or not, they can only emulate human affairs and roles such as citizen, employee, family member, and they remain that way until they finally face intolerable losses, such as physical freedom, employment, and perhaps most important, immediate family. Interventions have never worked because they cannot work. Intervention removes free will from equation, and free will is the only crucial distinction between man and beast. It’s not surprising that the addiction treatment industry dreamed up the idea of intervention, so wanting in humanity as they are, fully engaged in the terrible deception of dual relationships, i.e., professional substance abuse counselors, nearly all of whom are in recovery.

Recoveryism forces the family to “love” the loveless addict, drawing them into the darkness and deception of addiction where there is no morality, where the truth is denial and the lie is the good, the true, and the beautiful. In the process, the family is sucked dry emotionally and financially, and the end product is a burnt out grouper at a loss as to what life is about other than to take the message of Bill W’s sick mind to others who suffer the pretend disease of addiction. In positions of authority, charismatic 12-steppers become pied-pipers who subvert the human family in their quest for collective social control.

Families of recoveryism suffer a sense of futility unequaled by any real disease for the simple reason that the family knew from the onset of addiction that it was a disgusting self-indulgence, and that the force of addiction was progressively, often rapidly and grotesquely, emancipating the animal side of human nature from its cage of family values and moral conscience.

Although there is no treatment for addiction, abstinence works immediately and beautifully, but only when it is executed with moral authority, for life. Then follows a sense of jubilant relief and a rapid return to one’s original identity we call the Abstinence Commitment Effect (ACE), so that those who have known the newly recovered addict begin to recognize signs of life where the living death of addiction has recently been.

Caveat: If Charlie will not end his use of synthetic drugs, the outlood is dim, indeed. He’s on a dangerous trajectory that may end in his death, because he is running on direct, biological voltage amplified by synthetic drugs. He feels invincible, indestructable, and godlike. His desire for the torrential pleasures surpasses his other survival drives, so he disregards his own safety and health to pursue the high life. Unless he connects with trusted source of guidance, he will crash and burn out, broken and defeated. Otherwise, Charlie will become progressively more gravely disabled, and require involuntary hospitalization.

So, here is my advice for Martin Sheen, at last:
1. Call a truce with Charlie. Invite him to meet with you on a matter of great importance. Tell him you’ve had a change of heart, and you’re calling the dogs off, and that from here on in you’ll respect his liberty to destroy himself any way he chooses.

2. When you meet with him, provided he’s clean and sober in the meantime, apologize to him for trying to bully him into submission to an organization he has vociferously rejected, year after year. Explain that you have unwisely believed in AA/NA and the disease concept of addiction because of Hollywood culture and the guidance of corrupt, medical authority.

2. Tell Charlie to keep up the good fight, that you’re proud of him for standing tall against overwhelming social forces pitted against him, some with your help and complicity. Tell him that you will do the surrendering, because you have no more fight left, and all your fighting thus far has accomplished nothing but driving a wedge of estrangement even deeper into the Sheen family.

3. Be very clear with Charlie that you do not love what he’s become, that you only love the memory of someone else, the child that came into the Sheen family and into your heart many years ago. Tell Charlie you want him to come home, but not as the animal thing he’s become, but as the original soul he was before addiction set in, and that you want to welcome back the human being who once brought such joy and love into your life.

4. Now, for the tough part. Tell Charlie that he must choose between his addiction and the Sheen family. Tell him he must answer this question:

“What is your plan, Charlie, for the future use of alcohol and other drugs? Are you going to use again in this lifetime or are you not? You don’t have to answer immediately, but I do have to know one way or the other before we finish this meeting.” If he attempts to answer, say, “Please, don’t answer now. Let me speak.”

5. Speak to Charlie about the Sheen family, and the rich ancestral heritage behind the name. If you aren’t sure about this, call some relatives and they can enlighten you to the fact that historical, Judeo-Christian values, although not necessarily with deep religious faith or commitment, are the core of the Sheen family identity, and of his mother’s family tree as well. In other words, Sheens know right from wrong, that self-indulgence at others’ expense is immoral, that family loyalty is a two-way street, that honesty and fairness are crucially important, that and that parental love is the spark that quickens the human soul of children.

6. Then move on to the Big Question, “What is your plan for the future use of alcohol and other drugs?” Be sure you explain that you really need to know where you stand in his heart, because from here on in, to the extent that you can enlist the entire family, his connection to the family will be based upon a zero-tolerance ultimatum, i.e., “One strike, yer out.” Just one drop of booze, even a sip of beer, or one joint, or any use of doctor’s dope or other illicit drug will set in motion Plan B.

Plan B is for when the Beast comes back, when, to preserve itself, the family abandons the traitor, raises the drawbridge physically, emotionally, spiritually and legally. My question to you now is, “How much longer are you going to tolerate Charlie’s craziness? A day? A week? A year? One more relapse, two, or three? Or, will you not tolerate even one more drop of booze or one more ‘relapse?’ When you have decided, tell him, so he can make his choices. I assure you, his addicted side will be alert for even the slightest degree of tolerance or uncertainty in your comments.

7. Plan A is that he’ll come to terms with your very reasonable demand. You can make that much more likely by drawing in mention of Rational Recovery, and the RR website: http://rational.org. We have unraveled the matter of addiction and recovery so that anyone, especially men and women facing loss of identity, freedom and family, may abruptly recover fully through a principled commitment to lifetime abstinence. It happens all the time, of course, but cultural recoveryism has it that people who actually quit their addictions never had “the problem” in the first place. You probably know people who once drank/used and now do not for personal reasons they discuss with no one but their own families.

8. Please accept that no matter what you or I, or all the kings men, or a thousand 12-steppers might do, Charlie may insist on destroying himself. If he suffers or dies, you will shed tears for the life that was lost on the day he converted from human to animal, which was the onset of his addiction long ago. You noticed the change in his countenance, and he’s not been quite right since then, and the only remedy for his fallen state is abstinence planned, permanent abstinence.

9. Tell Charlie you believe in his abilty to save himself because you installed the software of his moral conscience when he was a little boy. Talk more about the Sheen family as the last resort for each and all of its members, and let him know that you hope he will choose the family over his love affair with addictive pleasures. After all, Charlie doesn’t have an alcohol or drug problem; his body is addicted to pleasure, and its time for him to drag it home whether it wants to come or not.

10. Get a copy of my, The Art of AVRT, available at the Rational Recovery website. You can call me if you like.

And finally, here’s my advice to Charlie Sheen:
1. Charlie, this is Jack Trimpey, founder of Rational Recovery. I’ve read about your struggles and you’re on the right track. If you want somthing done right, do it yourself. Most addicted people recover on their own. Unlike you, they then move on without making a big deal of it.

2. I doubt there’s anything wrong with you that’s not directly caused by drugs including alcohol. Addiction mimicks many mental illnesses, so Dr. Drew’s drive-by diagnosis, bi-polar disorder, is probably wrong. The only treatment for you is unconditional abstinence from addictive pleasures. Unconditional means without emotional and social support. You are on your own. You know, “Look ma, no hands.” The only people who will tolerate or support you these days are in Wilson’s Wonderland, not a good place for you to be.

3. You’re not sick or diseased, Charlie,, but you are a very stupid man for using drugs that transform you into a dangerous, wild animal. Because you’re not sick, your addiction is immoral conduct, and you had better knock it off, not one-day-at-a-time, but just once, in the here and now, for all time.

4. Imagine right now, that your addiction is completely over, and you know you’ll never get high again. You will briefly see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is not an oncoming relapse, but a miraculous transformation back into a normal, abstinent human being.

5. Here are your words, Charlie, “I will never use again.” Feel the emotional recoil from saying those words, and feel your own Addictive Voice sneering at you, calling you a liar. Your Addictive Voice is the sole cause of your addiction. Learn to recognize it, which would take a man like you about half an hour, and you can finally really mean those five words, “I will never use again.”

6. To you, the idea of lifetime abstinence feels like a death sentence, an impossible, hollow and meaningless life with no fun, no relief from dark emotions and morbid ideas, and an endless struggle to stay sober. This view through the eyes of addiction is the basis of the dry-drunk myth, the idea that you must replace the high life of addiction with the low-life of 12-step recovery.

7. Although you reject AA, you now have a recovery group disorder. The slogans and mottoes are stuck in your head, and you hear them over and over, predicting that if you don’t do this or that, you will use again. Recovery group disorder can drive a man crazy, or drive him to drink/use, but not if you recognize addictive desire as not-I, but it (my body). This is the opening of Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT), which is fully explained in Rational Recovery publications, including programmed instruction at the RR website, http://rational.org.

8. You’re recovered when you say you are, but you’re not recovered until you know you’ll never drink again. Yes, we can know our future in terms of what we know we will never do. That is the essence of morality, a simple guarantee to self and others that we’ll never engage in certain animal conduct that, in the human family. is immoral.

9. I wrote your dad a set of comments, above, so you might tell him to visit this page/URL.

10. Get a copy of my, The Art of AVRT, available at the RR website. You can call me if you like.

Conclusion: This paper is the application of Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® to a very typical family of addiction, using a conceptual foundation called family-centered recovery. By contrast, all other contemporary forms of substance abuse counseling and addiction treatment services are addict-centered, with the agenda of up-ending the world to accommodate chronic substance addiction. AVRT® is the only example of family-centered recovery in existence, becasuse it is simply an application of traditional American values to a very common, age-old problem. Rational Recovery® and AVRT® are registered service marks, protected by federal laws from infringements by the addiction treatment industry.

Your comments on this article are welcome here. — JT



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