Originally Posted by JeffreyAK
It's therefore hard for me to understand someone from that population trying to tell me what addiction and abstinence is like, or ought to be like, or that there is no such thing as addiction, or PAWS, etc. There's a need for direct personal experience, and that can't really be compensated by a clinical sort of detachment relying on research and statistics.
I don't generally go into great depth on my history, but I have a lengthy criminal record, I went homeless for a while, spent a month in jail, betrayed my family and friends in all the worst ways, and just about died using substances. I went for several types of treatment, and several types of 12 step groups. I spent 2 years working about 100 hours a week for very little pay in a facility to help substance users. I've taken several homeless people with drug and alcohol use problems into my home to try to help them out. I have been there on both sides.
My co-author Mark Scheeren was an alcohol user who used to the point of getting DTs when he tried to stop. He grew up in a household where his mother and about 9 of his siblings were heavily involved in AA and treatment. He started his research projects in 1989, and the Saint Jude Retreats in 1992, and lived in his facilities with like no money until 2001. He believed in AA at first and went to thousands of meetings. He first set out to do a fundamentalist type of AA program and research its effectiveness, and quickly found it needed to be modified. He did the follow up research himself interviewing program grads and a corroborating family member every 6 months until the early 2000s. Over that time he developed his own approach, all while fending off attacks from AA and treatment providers, and while conducting studies. When he presented the state with evidence that treatment programs needed to be reformed and ways to do it, they responded by trying to shut him down, because they didn't want to change anything.
This wasn't written by a couple of carpet-baggers who just thought it would be fun and lucrative to write a book about addiction.
Yes, our development process relies on published clinical research too. I'm not sure why that's bad.