Experiential not Evidence Based


As the world, especially the United States, battles with the overwhelming issues of alcohol and drug related deaths and family lives shattered as a direct result of these losses, those with the authority to make changes continue to rely on ‘evidence based’ solutions rather than the possible growth from experiential learning.

‘Evidence Based’ solutions run the gambit of Suboxone Maintenance, Methadone Treatment and the ever-popular Narcan injection when someone has overdosed. None of these ‘solutions’ work. None. The one method of achieving and maintaining being clean and sober relies solely on a 12 Step program. Suboxone Maintenance suggests that a dose of opiate like substance, an opiate blocker, will deter the addict from wanting to take pills or shoot heroin. Possibly. It does not, however, block someone from drinking, taking Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin or Valium. Neither does it prevent the person from not taking a does on any given day and selling it to another person.

Methadone suggests something similar only it gets one addicted to another substance with a punishment, reward set of circumstances for the client to be gauged and studied, evaluated and have numbers crunched as to it’s efficacy. This means that ‘evidence’ shows at least something. For people who rely on numbers, research brings the person down to a formula from which the state and nation can say, ‘See this may not work really well, but at least we have numbers to show you something.’

Narcan, which is an injection into a person who has overdosed on heroin, brings the person instantly back to life and immediately into horrifying withdrawal. Narcan is not saving a life. It prevents death. It does nothing to help the addict/alcoholic learn how to over come anxiety or find worth and value within themselves. Only through a program that takes a person through steps to learn a new way of life, experience HOW to learn tolerance, HOW to have patience, HOW to transform from an old way of life to a new one can there be some hope of finding an answer to our horrific dilemma.

There is no easy way out. Yet ‘evidence based’ crap suggests there is. The ‘highlight’ of Narcan, when it puts the person immediately into withdrawal, forces that person to crave heroin and to use again as soon as possible. The person will be furious that they are alive, not appreciative for another chance to live.

The idea that anyone who hasn’t experienced addiction, and its phenomenon of craving, can help an addict is delusional and very suspicious. There are two kinds of people; those who are addictive in nature and those who are not. Neither will EVER understand the other, yet they OFTEN marry. Continuing the cycle for generations, especially if no one does any of this experiential work to change the patterns. The younger generation now finds drug overdose and suicide acceptable alternatives to suffering.

Yet, only by experiencing pain and growing through it will maturity come. Human beings learn how not to get burned not by reading a book about it or being told about it but by touching the flame. Getting caught up in the numbers of research that can bring an ‘answer’ such as -.38 to any question is meaningless where addiction is concerned.

Let’s talk about it. Debra Whittam is the author of “I'm I Going to be Ok?" For any media inquiries or questions please contact: Contact@DebraWhittam.com

#addiction #experiential #evidencebased #treatment #12stepprogram

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