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Below are some glossary definitions from the latest RR book, Rational Recovery: The New Cure For Substance Addiction. From the beginning, Rational Recovery has struggled to devise help using the tortured language of the recovery group movement, "The Emperor's New Words." One by one, nearly all expressions and concepts in the field of addictions have been found to be inverted, misused, or, all too often, frankly pathogenic. In order to facilitate clear, helpful communication, the RR Dictionary attempts to bring order from linguistic chaos. Many definitions have come from Coordinators and correspondents to The Journal of Rational Recovery. Your suggestions are welcome. An understanding of AVRT is helpful in formulating definitions that will be included in this expanding reference. The purpose of the RR Dictionary is to aid people with planned abstinence, not to satisfy the rigors of science or lexicography.

RR is a different approach to addiction recovery with different concepts and different language. For example, we do not speak of being "in recovery," but are recovered. To us, the concept of "denial" and "relapse" are perfectly nonsensical. Likewise, terms like "co-dependency" and "enabler" have no meaning in RR. We have language that is better, we think, because it is based on the dictionary of the English language and common sense rather than recovery group movement jargon. Here are a few definitions, to get you started on AVRT-based recovery.



Some RR definitions:

Addiction. 1. Addiction is chemical use or dependence that exists against one's own better judgment, and persists in spite of efforts to control or eliminate the use of the substance. Logically, since addiction is known only to the individual, it may not be "diagnosed" except by directly asking the individual. 2. Addicted people are not out of control, in the usual sense of the word, but have reversals of intent which lead back to drinking or drugging. 3. Addiction exists only in a state of ambivalence, in which one strongly wants to continue drinking alcohol or using other drugs, but also wants to quit or at least reduce the painful consequences. With AVRT, recovery from addiction is a simple, mercifully brief undertaking. 4. Chemically enhanced stupidity. (See, chemical dependence and substance abuse.)

Addiction Treatment Industry. 1. The business arm of the recovery group movement.

Addictive Voice. 1. Any thinking or feeling that supports, or even suggests, your future use of alcohol or drugs. 2. An expression of the appetite for pleasure induced by alcohol or drugs, or the Beast.

Addictive disease. The idea that some people do not use alcohol and other drugs of their own volition and free will, but as the direct result of irresistible "psychobiosocial" factors over which they have no control.

Beast. 1. The desire to get high, to drink or use drugs. 2. Addictive desire. Often used synonymously with "Addictive Voice," but more accurately, the appetite or desire for substance-induced pleasure. 3. Addictive Voice is to Beast as bark is to dog. (AV —> Beast = Bark —> Dog)

Big Plan. 1. A transcending personal commitment to unconditional, permanent abstinence. 2. The pivotal act of self-recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Chemical dependence. 1. The use of any substance for any purpose. For example, "I use salt to make my food taste good. I depend upon salt to make food taste better." Or, "I breathe oxygen to stay alive. I use or depend upon oxygen to survive." Or, "I take aspirin for headaches. I use or depend upon aspirin to relieve pain." Or, "I drink vodka to feel different. I use or depend upon vodka to produce certain feelings." Or, "I drink beer to have a good time. I use or depend upon beer to enjoy a party." 2. Chemical dependence (esp., upon drugs and alcohol) is an individual liberty with known health risks and known personal disadvantages including regrettable behavior, social ostracism, relationship problems, divorce, unemployment, and imprisonment. If one is willing to accept the risks, chemical dependence is a "legitimate" option. Regardless of the content of prohibition laws and the best efforts of law enforcement and others who oppose chemical dependence, using alcohol and drugs for pleasure is a personal liberty that cannot realistically be controlled by others. {See substance abuse.}

Co-dependency. 1. A hypothetical disease thought to affect persons associated with another person who is suffering from the hypothetical disease, "alcoholism."

Cope. 1. Deal. (See "deal")

Deal. 1. Cope. (See "cope")

Denial. 1. A relatively rare condition noted among the never-addicted, experimental subjects of psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud. 2. Purposeful lying, esp. to sustain an addiction, e.g., "I drink socially, just like anyone else." 3. An alleged symptom of the hypothetical disease of alcoholism, in which an addicted person is presumed to be blithely unaware of the connection between drinking or drugging and the painful consequences. It is assumed that addicted people are pathetic dumbbells who do not know that they are addicted. The phenomenon, denial, has never been reported or observed outside the recovery group movement, which includes its business arm, the addiction treatment industry. 4. Used to denote disagreement with chemically dependent people, as in, "He has a problem but doesn't know it. He's in denial." 5. Archaic: Unpardonable sin of heresy or blasphemy, as in, "The heretic denied God and must die."

Enabler. 1. In the recovery group movement, used to describe persons taken advantage of by addicted people in order to continue drinking or using drugs. syn., sucker. 2. An individual, most often a family member, held responsible for an addicted person’s preposterous drunkenness. 3. A person thought to suffer from the hypothetical disease, codependency. (See, codependency)

Harm reduction. An attitude of tolerance by public agencies toward the use of drugs, exemplified by supplying clean needles to addicted people. Harm reduction is the direct result of the complete failure of 12-step addiction treatment to produce abstinent outcomes.

Incapable. 1. Powerless. 2. Used within the recovery movement to describe persons who disagree with the 12-step program, e.g., "They are constitutionally incapable of being honest." Persons thus described are most often refusing the "first step," that of admitting that one is powerless, i.e., incapable, of independently quitting an addiction. The founder of AA, Wm. Wilson, after many relapses, concluded that he was incapable of resisting his own desire for the pleasure produced by alcohol, and subsequently found a religious solution for himself, which later became the foundation of AA.

Issues. 1. Reality. 2. That with which recovering people cope and deal. 3. Syn. - problems.

Original Denial. 1. Every addicted person’s denial of the moral dimension of addiction and recovery, specifically the pivotal act of self-intoxication. 2. The disease concept of addiction, which explains the act of self-intoxication as symptom of biopsychosocial conditions. 3. Step 1 of the 12-step program: “We admitted we were powerless…”

PhD. 1. Initials which follow the surnames of doctorate level psychologists. 2. Initials which, in Rational Recovery, follow the surnames of phormer drunks and phormer druggers, as in, "The foremost experts on addiction recovery are those with PhD's in Rational Recovery."

Planned abstinence. 1. A style of recovery based on individual responsibility, self-determination, self-restraint, moral judgment and conduct, and self-reliance. 2. Harm elimination. 2. The essence of AVRT.

Psychologists. 1. The pro-wrestlers of the professional community.

Rational. 1. Having to do with conscious thought processes. The use of reason to solve problems. 2. (slang) Personally advantageous.

Recovery. 1. The state of secure, planned, permanent abstinence from alcohol and other drugs, usually followed by improved personal functioning and emotional tone. 2. A planned event, rather than an outcome of a lengthy process of psychological self-discovery or spiritual awakening.

Recovery Group. 1. A mutual procrastination society that diverts the attention of seriously addicted people away from the immediate task of becoming securely abstinent. Recovery groups of any stripe are probably the slipperiest places in the known universe. 2. A fellowship of insecurity, in which one may not claim to know if or when he/she will resume drinking or using drugs. 3. A social institution to dignify indulgence in alcohol and other drugs, and to protect members' option to drink or use in the future.

Recovery group disorder (RGD). 1. Addiction in its dessicated phase, i.e., dry addiction. Defining life as dry spells between relapses, i.e., “Every day sober is a day closer to my next relapse.” 2. RGD is epitomized by one-day-at-a-time sobriety while holding to a creed based upon the beliefs and values of addicted people, i.e., the 12-step program.

Recovery group movement. 1. A subculture centered around indirect means, both spiritual and psychological, to defeat addictions, as in, "Rational Recovery is not part of the recovery group movement because the interests of recovery groups conflict sharply with their members' interests." 2. A religious movement based on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, with various denominations centered around different sacramental substances. 3. The feeder system for the addiction treatment industry. 4. A government project that uses the apparatus of nonprofit organizations to expand its influence in the personal lives of citizens, e.g., "The judge sentenced the drunk driver to attend recovery group movement meetings." 5. The drug culture of America between drinking or using episodes. AA is the embodiment of the desire to drink excessively, which we call the Beast.

Recoveryism. 1. Engaging in rituals intended to ward off the desire to get high by using alcohol and other drugs. 2. The lifestyle of dry addiction, structured around the philosophy and mandates of addiction, explicitly reserving the privilege of relapse under certain unannounced, undefined conditions. Slang: “in recovery,” “working a good program,” “the broad highway,” etc. (See: Recovery group disorder.) See: Recovery group disorder (RGD)

Relapse. 1. A drinking or drug binge. 2. In the recovery group movement, something that happens to an individual rather than a conscious decision to drink alcohol or use drugs, as in, "I don't know what I was thinking. I just had a relapse." 3. An expression to convey that decisions to drink or use happen to people, and that they are not responsible for that decision." 4. Relapses do not occur in Rational Recovery, although anyone may decide to drink or use alcohol. (See, chemical dependence)

Religion. (Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary): 1. A personal set or institutional system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. 2. That which defines the sacred.

Slip. n. 1. (Slang) A drink of alcoholic beverage. 2. A drinking binge. "I had a slip last week." v. (Slang) The act of consuming alcohol. "I slipped last week." 3. Accident, accidental.

Slippery place. 1. Places where mingling of Beasts occur, or where the Addictive Voice is socially prevalent and the conditions for impulsive decisions to drink or use exist, i.e., bars, drinking parties, recovery groups, crack houses, etc. 2. Locations where people suffering from addictive disease may later excuse their decisions to drink alcohol or use drugs.

Spiritual. 1. (Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary): Concerned with or attached to religious values; ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal; things of a religious, ecclesiastical nature; something that in ecclesiastical law belongs to the church or to a cleric. 2. A musical form created in America during the 1800's by people held lifelong in slavery. To ease their torment and enhance social cohesion under oppressive conditions, the slaves sang inspirational songs expressing reliance on God for deliverance from bondage. These songs came to be called spirituals. 3. A descriptive term applied to the 12-step recovery movement, e.g., "AA is not religious; it is spiritual."

Substance abuse. 1. Abnormal or aberrant use of alcohol or drugs. 2. Someone else's opinion about an individual's use of certain substances. For example, a homeless person who regularly drinks to oblivion may be abusing alcohol but may not be addicted or even have an alcohol problem. Some might call the person "an alcoholic," but this only describes behavior, adds nothing to our understanding, and helps not at all. If the drinker in question is simply using alcohol for its effect, which is physical comfort or pleasure, he or she is merely chemically dependent. Whether or not the homeless drinker wants to discontinue drinking cannot be known except by asking him or her. If he/she doesn't want to quit drinking and accepts the reality of homelessness, there is no reason or effective way to interfere with that person's choice. If the answer is, "Yes, I do want to quit drinking but I can't get stopped and stay stopped," then that person is addicted and has a very good prospect of complete recovery through planned abstinence.

Support. 1. The opinion of substance abusers that individuals should not expect themselves to abstain from alcohol and other drugs unless supervised by others who also do not trust themselves to abstain.

Treatment, addiction. 1. Application of recovery group movement concepts in a clinical setting, often with scientific language and professional jargon. 2. An effort by one person to dissuade another from drinking or drugging, often using the most tangential means, and then to claim responsibility for an abstinent outcome. Assumes that drinking is a symptom of underlying, hidden causes rooted in genetics, brain chemistry, childhood miseries, adult disappointments, and separation from God. Always based on the assumption that addicted people are incapable of immediately and permanently quitting the addiction. 3. An agreement between a counselor and client that the client will continue to drink or use drugs for an indefinite time, at least until certain for-a-fee, therapeutic exercises are performed. 4. An historical curiosity of the middle-to-late 20th century.

War on Drugs. An outgrowth of disease thinking, which asserts that pleasure-producing substances, like aggressive micro-organisms, actively infect people who then threaten society. Addicted people are viewed as victims of disease that renders them unable to refuse drugs, while society views itself a victim of an imported epidemic. A national quarantine has been enacted, with the domestic production, distribution, possession, and use of pleasure producing drugs made criminal offenses, and with the military and police activated to enforce it. "Diseased" drug users, willing to pay large sums of money, demand drugs and create an attractive market for domestic sales representatives of economically depressed countries willing to fill orders for drugs. The vibrant drug trade creates domestic and international tension, thus providing internal and external enemies to divert attention from the self-indulgent behavior of addicted people.



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