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What is Rational Recovery®?

Rational Recovery® is the exclusive, worldwide source of counseling, guidance, and direct instruction on self-recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs through planned, permanent abstinence. We use an exclusive method, AVRT®, which is by far the most cost-effective, dignified approach of all.

What is AVRT®?

AVRT® is the lore of independent recovery from substance addiction in a brief, consumer-ready, service-marked, educational format. Many visitors to this website have recovered using The Crash Course on AVRT.  In fact, AVRT is based upon the common thread of success as described to us by thousands of self-recovered people.

It is a comprehensive remedy for addiction, allowing addicted people to fully recover in as short a time as they like, without regard to age of onset, the substance of choice, previous unsuccessful attempts at recovery, and the existence of other personal problems. AVRT-based recovery is nothing more or less than secure, permanent abstinence.

AVRT is simple, quick, and easy ­­ so much so, that it may seem "too good to be true." That objection, of course, is an example of the Addictive Voice, because it supports continued addiction. The definition of the Addictive Voice is, any thinking that supports or suggests the possible future use of alcohol and other drugs. Any contradiction of a personal commitment to permanent abstinence is the Addictive Voice. Simple, isn't it? AVRT is powerfully simple!

Where is the nearest Rational Recovery meeting?

There are no Rational Recovery groups, anywhere! In AVRT-based recovery, you are on your own. Based upon universal family values, AVRT is incompatible with the group format, and contradicts practically every concept presented in recovery groups. We believe strongly that your desire to attend recovery groups is couched in the belief or plan that you will ”have a relapse” if you do not attend meetings.  In AVRT-based recovery, you will quickly recognize that self-doubt as an example of your Addictive Voice. Then, you will not want to congregate with others who would reinforce that crippling, dependent belief.

Where can I find a Rational Recovery® treatment center?

There are no Rational Recovery® treatment centers, anywhere. We stand strongly opposed to addiction treatment in principle because. according to mountains of research findings, it does not work, and because it is most often harmful instead of helpful. Moreover, AVRT® is incompatible with addiction treatment, because the billing format requires that addicted people be diagnosed with a medical or psychological disease and provided services aimed at reducing the desire to get high. AVRT® is just too simple, too quick, too obvious, to easy, for insurance companies to justify the cost of medical surroundings with a large cast of misguided clinicians. AVRT-based recovery is independent recovery, without the use of groups, shrinks, and rehabs.

We do not endorse, authorize, license, or permit any other party to offer services called Rational Recovery® or Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®). We do not train or certify individuals in AVRT®. If you are offered Rational Recovery® or AVRT® by a treatment center or by a professional counselor, you are being seriously misled, and you will not receive services that are untainted by the presence of incompatible elements such as new age spirituality, whole-being, whole-person, or “holistic” silliness, nutritional and vitamin therapies, nature walks, cognitive-behavioral psychology, and other confusing irrelevancies. Every time another element is added to AVRT®, a new condition has been given to the Beast whereby it may justify continued use of alcohol and other drugs.

How can I learn more about AVRT?

To get started on AVRT-based recovery, go to The Crash Course on AVRT. There, you can learn enough AVRT to fully recover. Remember, recovery is not a process, but an event, when you make an irreversible decision to never drink/use again. Once recovered, stay away from recovery groups of all kinds, set your confidence level arbitrarily at 100%, recognize all self-doubt as Addictive Voice, and you will do fine. Take credit for your recovery, as we are not interested in taking credit for your successes or failures, but by all means let others know about this escape hatch from addiction and recoveryism. Give us an email, so we can tell others about your AVRT-based recovery.

You will probably want to make this website your home base for a while as you learn AVRT, and until you “get your legs” in life after addiction. For this, you should become a subscriber to this website.

Because the stakes in addiction recovery are high, most people want more than the basics of AVRT. We recommend you make good use of the advanced learning materials available at the Rational Recovery Bookstore. Be sure to get your own copy of the book, Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, which provides a good foundation in AVRT-based recovery . This is the best book ever written on addiction because it is the only one that explains how people naturally defeat addictions.

To take the strongest action against addiction, register for four days of direct, face-to-face instruction in AVRT: The Class, conducted by Mr. Trimpey  at Rational Recovery headquarters near Sacramento, California. A significant other is invited to sit in  as a participant-observer, to get satisfying answers about AVRT-based recovery, and to set the stage for eventual reconciliation. Call 530-621-2667 for details and the schedule of sessions.

How do I help a family member start AVRT-based recovery?

A good rule to remember is that addiction expands into the tolerance that surrounds it. If you tolerate the use of alcohol and other drugs, then the problem will very likely continue until you don't tolerate it.

There is nothing wrong with your loved one to prevent him/her from quitting the use of alcohol and other drugs, right now, for life. Getting this to happen, however, may be a difficult or impossible task, as addicted people are quite determined to continue getting high, no matter what.

Family pressures are among the most effective measures against addiction. You may try reasoning, complaining, pleading, and discussion, but these weak measures rarely produce lasting abstinence. The strong approach, which fits well with AVRT-based recovery, is the confrontation, accompanied by zero-tolerance ultimatum.

Should we do a family intervention?

We are firmly opposed to the widespread practice of interventions,in which families conspire, often under professional guidance, to force their addicted loved ones into worthless, expensive addiction treatment programs. A typical intervention may involve a substance abuse counselor, rehab van idling outside, who conducts a tearful surprise party involving friends, family, neighbors or others who are coached to recall examples of addictive behavior. When the addicted person appears sufficiently humiliated, a family spokesperson says, "Because we all love you we want you to go now to the treatment center." These unethical, melodramatic confrontations not only aggravate addiction and destroy bridges of reconciliation, but rarely produce secure abstinence.

Instead, we encourage the zero-tolerance ultimatum, coupled with the firm expectation of immediate, AVRT-based recovery. In this approach, the family simply confronts the addicted member with a choice between addiction and family membership. While this may seem excessive or even cruel, the zero-tolerance ultimatum is the kindest cut of all, because it presumes that the addicted one is capable of moral conduct and loyalty to the family. Of course, families who have long labored under the illusions of the disease concept of addiction, or who have become involved with the recovery group movement or addiction treatment programs, will find it very difficult to deliver an ultimatum to an individual they assume to be diseased, powerless, or in need of massive support and therapeutic services.

Most importantly, remember there is nothing wrong with your spouse or other loved one besides chemically-enhanced stupidity. Addiction is not a family disease. Family members are not responsible for anyone else‘s drinking, nor are they responsible for anyone else‘s abstinence. Addiction is the ultimate self-indulgence, and no marriage can survive addiction. Addiction is more a betrayal of marital vows than adultery, because the pleasure of addiction exceeds the pleasure of the biological bond between a man and a woman. Marital sexual love is replaced by a stronger desire to get high with alcohol and other drugs. This is the justification for uncompromising action, the zero-tolerance ultimatum, which demands marital fidelity in the form of planned, permanent abstinence.

You may expect your loved one to visit this website and take The Internet Crash Course on AVRT, which will introduce the basics of AVRT-based recovery. That may be sufficient, or may open the door to AVRT-based recovery through AVRT: The Course.

Make information on AVRT-based recovery available by giving your addicted loved one the book, Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, along with the videos “AVRT: Live,” "Greater Expectations," and "But I'm a Really Tough Case!" From there, you may very reasonably demand that he/she read or view the materials and decide between addiction and family membership.

Your initial efforts to introduce your family member may take some time and raise more questions than covered in this short section, so we invite you subscribe as a member of the Rational Recovery Web Center, where you may enter discussion groups monitored by RR founder, Jack Trimpey.

Can I use AVRT while I continue to attend AA/NA?

Many 12-steppers start their actual recovery by learning AVRT as they continue meetings. As you learn AVRT, however, you will discover that everything said at recovery group meetings strongly supports the idea that you will continue to drink/use unless you follow certain rules or accept certain beliefs.  Apparently, the  “God” of AA leads its members into temptation each time they predict one will use because of this or that. For example, you will be told that if you become hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT), you will "have a relapse," which means get high. This prediction is an example of what we call the Addictive Voice, which is the sole cause of your addiction!

Therefore, AVRT is incompatible with the recovery group format because it contradicts the values and beliefs necessary for the group's survival. For example, the idea of "support group" contradicts the idea of independent recovery. The meanings of the words may be changed in order to avoid contradiction, but AVRT will identify this wordplay as the Addictive Voice.

Recovery groups interfere with your recovery by attacking your confidence in your own ability to abstain without group support. The disease concept of addiction is the crippling idea that the act of using alcohol and other drugs is a disease symptom and not subject to moral judgment and beyond voluntary control. Recovery groups will invariably attack your original family values and introduce new religious and psychological belief systems. This is not good for you, as you already have within you all you need to fully recover in as short a time as you like. AVRT-based recovery draws upon your own judgment and common sense, and helps you trust your own values, perceptions, and thought processes.

We warn everyone to stay away from recovery groups of all kinds, because groups foster dependence and actively discourage self-recovery. If abstinence from recovery groups feels difficult, you may want to begin your AVRT-based recovery with a decision to abandon recovery groups, as in the AVRT Declaration of Independence.

Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions of people. Why is Rational Recovery so critical of 12-step recovery groups?

If you object to criticism of AA, you should read no further. Our approach, AVRT, identifies the Addictive Voice regardless of its source. AVRT shows that recovery groups, especially 12-step groups, are virtual fountains of Addictive Voice. When you have taken The Crash Course on AVRT, you will probably be able to see more clearly that recovery groups are harmful as well as ineffective.

Our reluctant conclusion, that AA is only the painted shell of addiction itself, is born of tragic outcomes and simple logic. We base our opinion on daily, direct observation of the 12-step recovery group movement for two decades. We are highly suspicious of praise for AA by people whose identities and personal lives are defined years later by a period of supidity and irresponsibility. We do not care about their spiritual visions and gratitude toward AA/NA, because in spite of all their piety and enthusiasm, they are still in the jaws of addiction, staying sober one-day-at-a-time, engaged in occult spirituality, languishing in the social ghetto of recovery groups. That, we believe, is a tragic outcome of addiction, actually an unnecessary extension of addiction.

We do not believe that members of AA are helped because their program does not explain how to actually quit drinking or using. Instead, they promote a passive, dependent approach in which sobriety is an indirect result of self-improvements and divine intervention. We believe that there is too much at stake for addicts to depend on others, including God, for that which we can do ourselves. To seek God while in the grip of addiction is absurd; addicted people cannot conceive of a power higher than their own addiction, which cements them to their seats for life.

When people first attend AA or NA, they are usually on the brink of recovery, ready to take the plunge into permanent abstinence but troubled by the difficulty of making such a commitment. Instead of receiving encouragement and constructive advice, such as at this webstite, newcomers are met with the worst possible advice! Desperate and vulnerable newcomers are told that planned, permanent abstinence is useless, because they all tried themselves and failed!

In AA doctrine, free will is just an illusion of a mysterious disease. Any plan to quit altogether is doomed, they say, and their only hope appears to lie in tentative, one-day-at-a-time "sobriety" coupled with unending occult religious experience. While most newcomers are put off at the strange-sounding belief system, many are seduced by the one-day-at-a-time approach, which, of course, is a reprieve from the painful decision to never drink or use again.

Recovery groups are based upon the uncertainty principle, whereby all group members must remain uncertain about the future use of alcohol and other drugs. For example, if you plan to continue getting high, then you will have no purpose for attending. Likewise, if you know you will never drink/use again, you will not want to hang out with people who would undermine your confidence. In fact, recovery groups oppose the concept of abstinence, favoring "sobriety," one-day-at-a-time, forever. People expressing ideas related to AVRT are said to be "in denial," and they are predicted by the group to suffer and fail.

I think I may need to check into a rehab. Does addiction treatment work?

"Treatment works!" is a slogan of the addiction treatment industry, a form of advertising suggesting that inpatient and outpatient rehabs result in secure abstinence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Research on abstinent outcome shows that addiction treatment is futile. The abstinent outcome is so low that statistics on abstinent outcome are not even collected by most addiction treatment programs. The majority of those treated resume using within a few weeks, and only a tiny, single-digit percentage are abstinent for long. All research on abstinent outcome suggests that this is so. Suicide among substance abusers is common: more than 75% of all suicides involve alcohol and other drugs and according to a 1984 National Institute of Mental Health finding, 25 percent of deaths among treated alcoholics are suicides, most occurring within one year of addiction treatment.

There is no treatment for addiction, although an entire industry is based upon the illusion that addiction is a treatable disease. Even the federal government participates in the deceptive disease/treatment concept of addiction. Addiction treatment is actually a combination of many procedures devised to treat a wide range of problems besides addiction. Addiction treatment does not address addiction itself, but views it as a symptom of other, hidden conditions. In AVRT-based recovery, there are no hidden causes of addiction.

Some addiction treatment methods are past-oriented, other methods focus on present patterns of "dysfunctional" behavior and social hang-ups, and other methods address moral failings, spiritual deficiencies, and emotional disturbances such as shame, guilt, anger, and depression. Addiction treatment is based on the expectation that by "dealing" with "issues" such as these, and learning new "coping mechanisms" including honesty, anger management, assertiveness, sensitivity, humility, frustration tolerance, and self-esteem, one will become less inclined to drink alcohol or use drugs. All of these virtues and self-improvements may have significant value for persons needing or wanting such help, but there is scant evidence that any of these fine traits result in abstinence from alcohol and drugs.

Another example of addiction treatment folly is "relapse prevention," as if drinking beer is involuntary, like having a seizure. In AVRT-based recovery, you will learn how to decide to have no relapses and easily stick to that decision under all conditions.

If you think addiction treatment can benefit you, study AVRT first. Then you will at least have informed consent to treatment, which substance abuse counselors do not provide. It is doubtful you will ever consent to addiction treatment once you understand AVRT. Many take the very strong action of taking AVRT: The Course, especially when other means have failed.

How effective is AVRT?

We must be very cautious about crediting programs, such as Rational Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, or other organization, with the success of individuals who possess free will. AVRT is based on the experience of successful, self-recovered people who have taken full, personal responsibility for acquiring, maintaining, and ending their addictions. Therefore, it is a fundamental error to credit Rational Recovery or AVRT with anyone's success or failure. As you will see in a study at the next link, some people who learn AVRT and make a commitment to permanent abstinence later change their minds about drinking or using. Why would we call that a failure, or the failure of a program, or even an individual's failure, if he or she decides to drink or use drugs once again? True, it may be a failure to live up to others' expectations, or a failure to honor a previous commitment, but has anyone or any program really failed when someone does exactly what he or she wants to do?

The idea that recovery programs are effective means to resolve substance addictions is uniquely American, although the idea has been spread rapidly worldwide by American recovery group missionaries. However, only a tiny, single-digit percent of recovery group attendees remain abstinent for long, and many of the rest leave the program feeling like failures, or stay with the program and invest considerable time and effort in its routines. Those who leave AA, or who get no help at all, actually do very well; according to AA, over 60% of all successful recoveries occur without groups, substance abuse counseling, and addiction treatment services.

The idea that recovery groups or programs are effective or ineffective is an extension of the disease concept, wherein addicted people are seen deterministically, as though the act of drinking/using is caused by external or forces, biological drives, or subliminal influence. AVRT-based recovery asserts that addiction is voluntary, purposeful behavior, and that human beings are free moral agents. AVRT is essentially a set of instructions, like a recipe for bread, which if followed results in a highly predictable abstinent outcome. This said, AVRT is very effective, using abstinence as the measure, as the study below suggests.

 

AVRT OUTCOME STUDY 1999

 

Rational Recovery takes no responsibility for anyone's behavior, good or bad, nor any credit for anyone's abstinence. By expressing the effectiveness of AVRT, we are only stating that a certain number of people have followed through on what they said they would do. The results of the above study are, therefore, a testament to human competency rather than to the "effectiveness" of Rational Recovery or AVRT. After all, AVRT is simply the lore of self-recovery in a brief, educational format.

 

Given that human beings generally do exactly what they want to do, it should not be surprising that so many follow the instructions of AVRT and become securely and permanently abstinent. Certainly, the data in this study do not reflect on any individual's chance of prompt, full recovery. Each person has exactly 100% chance of becoming permanently abstinent, if that is one's wish. The Addictive Voice, described elsewhere, naturally predicts that each individual will be among the few who do not cease and desist from alcohol and drug use, for all time. So, in summary to this question, the numbers game works strongly in AVRT's favor, in comparison to other approaches, but in the last analysis, it means absolutely nothing to any addicted individual.

Does AVRT work with other addictions?

Although AVRT presently is written to address alcohol and other drugs, eating disorders, sexual error, and gambling, the principles do apply across the board. AVRT is a depiction of free will applied to vices, addictions, bad habits, and immoral conduct. All of these terms seem to describe the innate tendency of human beings to seek short-term gratifications which undermine long-term well-being. Indeed, AVRT is the way human beings naturally self-correct when undesirable behaviors persist.

Although not a panacea, AVRT may be used with any undesired behavior including gambling, overeating, pornography, and a wide range of sexual difficulty we call “sexual incontinence.“ To apply AVRT to your behavioral hangup, become a subscriber, and join in the Other Addictions board in the Rational Recovery Discussion Forums.

We have heard from many individuals who have praised AVRT as their means to change persistent sexual conduct that is risky, self-defeating, or later shameful to the individual. Taming The Feast Beast (Delacorte 1995) is an adaptation of AVRT to overeating. Articles on problem gambling have appeared in The New Cure and in The Journal of Rational Recovery.

Is Rational Recovery against God and religion?

AVRT-based recovery fits well with any religion except the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, AVRT does not advance any general philosophy or system of values; it merely rests upon universal family values such as family loyalty, honesty, privacy, individual responsibility, and self-restraint. Instead of setting forth new beliefs and values, AVRT directs one back to his or her original family values, especially the concepts of resisting temptation and choosing right over wrong, ideas that are acquired in the family and well-understood by age five.

We object to the practice of requiring addicted people to seize upon a newfound “understanding” of God, and then depend upon that self-made entity for strength, wisdom and guidance. Addicted people cannot conceive of any benevolent entity that would condemn the act of self-intoxication. Indeed, the “God” of AA is a one-dimensional, loving God, infinitely tolerant of “relapses.” Many groupers discover that, in spite of God’s loving tolerance of “relapses," the cost of self-intoxication is still a painful death. To anyone versed in AVRT, AA’s God-as-you-understand-him is none other than the Beast of addiction itself, and the 12-step program is the doctrinal form of the Addictive Voice.

By contrast, AVRT is a zero-tolerance commitment to permanent abstinence. Instead of ritual confession and moral inventories, AVRT allows the individual to take moral responsibility for abstinence. The Big Plan of AVRT is not unlike a pledge to God to remain abstinent, a common expectation in many religions.

People who quit addictions face the same problems as others, and may draw upon religious faith in their spiritual growth and as a precious resource in solving life's problems. We encourage people to maintain their original family values, religious beliefs, and devotion to the church of their choice. We believe that church attendance can open doors for rewarding relationships with normal people who share wholesome interests and desires, and that churches are a vital social institution in America.

Rational Recovery, a friend of organized religion worldwide, was not designed for atheists or agnostics. It was designed for addicted human beings of all persuasions who want to quit drinking or using drugs. Because AVRT does not require religious beliefs, one may independently pursue real spiritual growth in the clarity of permanent abstinence rather than in the fog of addiction and the daily struggle of one-day-at-a-time sobriety.

Clergy will appreciate that AVRT is congruent with Christian repentance and our structural model parallels Old and New Testament scriptures, as well as the sacred writings of other religions. We deplore suggestions that any of the world's great religions are insufficient to address the common human problem of habitual self-intoxication.

RR has voiced the conscientious objections of tens of thousands of persons who have received unwanted, unconstitutional, religious indoctrinations in the course of addiction treatment. To them and others, we provide a program that is free from religion. By advocating for their religious freedom, and identifying the 12-step program as a religion that competes with established religions, we have been accused by some of being irreligious, sacrilegious, or even anti-religious. Ain't so.

What about Antabuse and Naltrexone?

These are "anhedonic" drugs intended to rob their consumers of the pleasure normally produced by alcohol and other drugs. Antabuse (disulfiram), when mixed with alcohol, produces serious cardiovascular symptoms and intense sickness and nausea. Naltrexone blocks the intoxicating action of alcohol and other drugs, preventing the resplendent high. Their chemical action is exactly as advertised, and it is precisely because they work so predictably well that so few addicted people will take them in a disciplined way. In other words, not many drunks or junkies will take an "anti-drink" or "anti-fix" which will ruin the pleasurable effect produced by alcohol or drugs. These anti-pleasure drugs therefore require outside supervision and monitoring services, and are essentially worthless because of these combined factors. notorious

For these anhedonic drugs to take effect, one must consume alcohol. They have no value for anyone who will not be drinking. As a very temporary measure, Antabuse can buy time while getting ready for more substantial measures, such as a commitment to lifetime abstinence. Claims that Naltrexone reduces one's desire to drink alcohol are dubious, at best, since that would entail erasing the memory of past pleasure.

If you eagerly anticipate the day when a medical magic bullet that will remove your desire to drink or allow you to drink without ill effect, you are experiencing your Addictive Voice. Until you recognize that, you are a perfect mark for the next media-hyped pill or treatment that will promise much and deliver nothing.

We gotta watch addiction scientists! Their work is funded by agencies having an interest in addiction treatment. Their language is lab-oratory. Their feet are insulated from the ground by thick, sponge soles, and consequently their conclusions about human affairs are not grounded in reality. They are the pro wrestlers of the scientific community. Treatment works! Yeah, right.

AVRT-based recovery as you to trust nothing and no one but yourself. When you've made your Big Plan, stay away from recovery groups of all kinds, set your confidence level arbitrarily at 100%, recognize all self-doubt as Addictive Voice, and you will do fine.

What about moderation and harm reduction?

"Harm reduction" is the logical outcome of an addiction care system that produces no measurable abstinent outcome. It voids the War on Drugs on a case-by-case basis, after addiction treatment has failed numerous times. Following the powerless doctrine, harm reduction presumes that abstinence is impossible for some people, so the next best goal is to reduce the harm to self-and others resulting from active drug addiction. The result is a growing service system providing professional guidance and supervision to assist addicts in their pursuit of the high life. Harm reduction is a good example of the Addictive Voice setting public policy.

Rational Recovery does not actively support moderate or drinking or "controlled" drinking or efforts to reduce the harm from using drugs. We deny any difference between a problem drinker and a real alcoholic. Indeed, the founder of Moderation Management, Audrey Kishline, fancied herself to be a problem drinker who might imbibe occasionally, if she followed the advice of psychologists. She is now in prison for killing a man and his teenage daughter in a drunk driving crash. This tragedy symbolizes the folly of moderation for problem drinkers, but professional counselors nevertheless continue to invite problem drinkers to drink moderately based on self-assessment and self-discipline.

People who are able to drink moderately do so without awareness they are doing so. It comes naturally. The yearning to drink moderately is the hallmark of addiction, known only to addicted people, which is why so very few achieve their lofty, often death-defying, goal of moderate drinking or recreational drug use.

Addiction seems to be associated with having reached a threshold of deep pleasure that awakens a survival-drive appetite to repeat the pleasure, with little regard for the consequences. Even small amounts of alcohol or drugs impair the judgment necessary to stick with earlier decisions to drink moderately. Thus, "drinking interruptus" is a crap shoot.

Inevitably, addicted people are frightened by ideas of permanent abstinence, unable to imagine a satisfactory life without at least "moderate" use of mood-altering substances. Our exclusive method, Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT), helps people overcome this apparent barrier to prompt recovery. A tutorial on AVRT, the Internet Crash Course on AVRT, may be found by returning to the Rational Recovery home page.

Accept no one's advice to continue drinking in a "controlled" or "moderate" fashion. Beware of professional counselors who say that they can help you to enjoy moderate drinking; being well-educated does not guarantee their personal integrity or common sense. If you have an established pattern of harm to yourself or others or have failed in any of your roles and responsibilities resulting from the use of alcohol, the continued use of any amount of alcohol places you at extreme high risk of new and greater problems. We recommend lifetime abstinence from alcohol and other drugs for anyone experiencing problems related to drinking or using. Planned abstinence is quick, easy, cost-free, and risk-free, and it feels good immediately and in the long run. If you are having problems caused by drinking, quit once, for life! Rational Recovery shows you exactly how. If you are currently abstinent with good reason, do not be deceived by professionals who suggest that you may one day drink without ill effects. Once you have repeatedly crossed the threshold of deep pleasure into drunkenness, there is a strong likelihood that you will re-addict yourself with amazing efficiency.

I'm being forced to attend AA/NA. Can I use Rational Recovery instead?

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and the "AA alternatives" all force themselves upon millions of unwilling men and women by acting as informants on people referred by courts, employers, prisons, and other social agencies. Rational Recovery does not play ball with courts and other authorities by signing slips of attendance or by allowing groups of substance abusers to convene under our name.

We believe that society has a compelling interest in certain people abstaining from alcohol and other drugs, but no one has any legitimate interest in how or by what means one becomes abstinent. Our view is that each citizen is individually responsible before the law, and that is it improper and illegal for a court to require affiliation with an organization in order to establish credibility in court or in society, least of all, with a group of tentatively abstinent substance abusers with a collective abstinent outcome around zero.

If you agree to attend recovery groups in order to avoid other penalties, your participation will be construed as "voluntary," and little can be done to help you avoid unwanted group entanglement. You may resist with legal counsel in state or federal courts, but the cost of defending your constitutional rights can be high. Resistance to forced recovery group participation usually requires noncompliance, with a willingness to risk retaliation by the addiction treatment industry, which may recommend that you be imprisoned for refusing recovery group membership.

If you are trying to decide whether to comply with or resist mandated recovery group participation or coerced addiction treatment, you may receive further information and guidance, subscribe to this website . It may be possible for you to use the Rational Recovery Monitor Program in lieu of recovery group participation. When subscribing, select the Rational Recovery Monitor Program level of subscription, send an email to jack@rational.org, and you will be admitted to the Forum for the Forced. There you’ll receive moral support and guidance for keeping your sanity and staying abstinent while the recovery group attacks your confidence and character.

What is the connection between Rational Recovery and SMART Recovery?

Rational Recovery once sponsored an extensive recovery group network offering cognitive-behavioral therapy along with an undeveloped version of AVRT. Professional counselors were invited to host RR groups as part of their professional practices, and a nonprofit organization was created to manage those activities. When the comprehensive nature of AVRT became better known, and its incompatibility with the psychological disease concept of addiction became clear, the nonprofit board attempted to seize control of the name Rational Recovery®. In 1994, a lawsuit ensued in which Rational Recovery Systems, Inc., prevailed, and the nonprofit organization was denied the right to call itself Rational Recovery® or offer any information or service called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®). The nameless shell corporation re-named itself and is now doing business as SMART Recovery.

There is no similarity between Rational Recovery and SMART Recovery, despite claims to the contrary. SR is essentially a clone of AA, complete with the group format, laypersons providing psyhchotherapy, a central doctrine of general self-improvement, a philosophical conversion experience, a long-term recovery process, the possibility of future use of alcohol and other drugs, a hidden-cause (disease) concept of addiction, and a perfect willingness to use the authority of law, especially in prisons, to deliver its message to captive audiences.

Rational Recovery is not part of the recovery group movement, and uses no psychological theory, no counseling methods, and no addiction treatment concepts. Be glad that there are no Rational Recovery groups, anywhere! We warn participants against forming relationships with others who have a desire to get drunk or high, and we warn against accepting advice from people who obviously have not resolved their own addictions.

Summary: Professional counselors would best strongly advise all problem drinkers or addicted people to immediately and permanently abstain from alcohol and other drugs. Informed consent to professional services includes information on alternatives including self-recovery through planned, permanent abstinence. Psychological theories of recovery are based on incorrect concepts of addiction, which are always conceived as a symptom of some other condition. Recovery groups are the social manifestation of addiction wherein the group's survival depends upon the uncertainty of the members about the future use of alcohol and other drugs. Thus, no one may actually recover in a recovery group, and most often the group will actively discourage members from having confidence in their current ability to abstain independently from the group.

Rational Recovery believes in your ability to quickly recover, even though no one else does. Trust has got to start somewhere, doesn’t it? Addiction breeds hopelessness and despair, which we hope you will soon learn to recognize as your Addictive Voice.

 

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