How we view the addicted population definitely matters. How the "addict" views him/herself is even more important. People do need information, and it is important for people to have access to various viewpoints WHILE feeling supported. People can do it on their own, but it's helpful to have others even if it's simply a friend or family member. I wanted some extra support in early sobriety, but I didn't appreciate being treated like I was a delusional fool if I questioned, for example, ideas like being powerless and having to hand over my will. I also think "one day at a time" chips away at the individual's confidence and too often backfires. Why keep that door open?
I also think, however, that how those in the recovery industry view addiction also matters, and by completely divorcing AVRT from the industry, Jack is pushing away rather than inviting the industry to evolve. It's a missed opportunity. I personally know mental health and addiction professionals who are anti-recoveryism, and they are best positioned to influence their colleagues. How a counselor or therapist approaches addiction, how they view the addict, and how they approach treatment are radically different when that counselor is critical of the basic tenets of the industry in which they work. It goes far deeper than whether or not they steer folks to AA or NA meetings.
Jack states: "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT®) is the lore of independent recovery from substance addiction in a brief, educational format. By its nature, AVRT® is not and cannot be a professional tool. AVRT® is not a form of counseling, therapy, or addiction treatment. If AVRT® is offered as a professional service, diluted as an adjunct to any other recovery methodology or treatment, or included in the program of a recovery group, its fundamental meaning is radically changed." I disagree. I used AVRT while exploring other avenues, and it was extremely helpful. I think if a person, fed up with support groups, goes to a counselor who introduces that person to AVRT and RR and helps empower that person to regain a sense of power and independence - great. A counselor's job should be to help the client not need the counselor, after all. The goal of a support group should be to help the individual no longer want or need the support group. To encourage folks to be dependent "lifers" strikes me as inherently manipulative.
That said, these ads on TV saying "you can't do it alone" tick me off. Everyone needs love and connection. Not everyone needs treatment. I never got treatment and I've been sober for over four years (and that was after decades of drinking and drugging). I made a permanent decision before attending my first AA meeting, and was immediately confused and dis-empowered by The Steps. This is not bashing; just my experience. This was also before I stumbled upon AVRT.
Many people who suffer with substance use disorder also suffer with other mental health disorders. I'm not sure the two can be entirely separated. We certainly would not want to make blanket statements about avoiding the mental health industry when one is suffering with a severe and persistent disorder like severe bipolar, schizophrenia, or even moderate to severe anxiety, depression, and/or PTSD. It may not be safe to tell people they can be independent and "do it on their own." Many who end up in substance use treatment got there by way of a mental health evaluation for other (but often related) concerns. If folks are going to stumble into substance use treatment by way of mental health or the courts, shouldn't folks be working to transform the substance treatment landscape?
So yes, definitely, how we view addiction and the addict matters whether folks want to or are allowed to do it alone or not.
Lastly, I'm grateful that there is now a thread devoted specifically to RR/AVRT and another that is off limits to AA and AVRT so I and others can have these conversations by choice rather than feeling like every conversation becomes something other than originally intended. No offense intended. I get it. We want folks to have the information, and RR, perhaps more than any other approach, lends itself to independent types who are sitting at home on the computer trying to figure out next steps...