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"The Freedom Model for Addictions" by Slate and Scheeren

Old 03-06-2018, 10:00 AM
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In The Freedom Model for Addictions you will:

Uncover the cultural myths of addiction and substance use that not only keep you caught in the addiction trap but persuade family, friends, and society that you belong there forever
Learn the ugly truth behind the business of addiction treatment and how treatment actually plans for you to repeatedly fail and return
Discover how your personal belief in addiction myths can sabotage your ability to end addiction and actually increase your substance use patterns
Reject the myths of Addiction and Recovery to move past a life dedicated and dependent on the endless cycle of “relapse and recovery”
Discard labels of addict, alcoholic and defining yourself as being in recovery when you finally leave addiction and recovery in your past
Leave behind shaming, blaming, and guilt for the freedom of autonomy, free will, and your personal pursuit of happiness
Eliminate any need for 12 Step meetings, aftercare, sober living, and treatment forever
Reclaim your personal will and power to direct your own life
Apply what you’ve learned to set your goals for your life that lie outside a recovery centered existence
I found this off their website. The more I read about it, the more I like it, it seems very empowering to me. I'm going to order the book today and give it a read, if only to help further deprogram myself.
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:08 AM
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LB
Agreed and the above illustrates some aspects of why it is not necessarily easy, in fact can be very difficult, any yet the decision is possible to everyone.

I believe the perception of the difficulty is reinforced from exposure to those who 'know' how to state, use the pop culture lingo in such a away as to shield from view the fact that don't actually want to quit and continue to use the safe haven recoveryism provides them.

Regardless , one can really ever 'know' their 'own truth' , my BP , my pledge is unbreakable to me, and I'll never be really able to 'prove' it, yeah ?

BillieJ posted while I was typing so the 'above' refers to LB's post
and BJ that sounds about right ,imo
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:00 PM
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BJ1, that is my exact philosophy (in your post above). I've been trying to tell people that for a few years now.
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:11 PM
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LBrain, that's what this Freedom Model for Addictions is selling. Sounds good to me too! It is also my philosophy. I don't think of myself as in "recovery", I think of myself as a non-drinker. It wasn't something that happened TO me. For a long time, that's what I believed needed to happen, some outside force needed to "fix" me. But it was really just about changing my behaviour and my thinking, and that had to come from inside, I had to choose it.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
But it was really just about changing my behaviour and my thinking, and that had to come from inside, I had to choose it.
And this actually removes the desire to drink. I find this statement from Chapter 1 of the Freedom Model book truly remarkable and the more I think about it the truer it seems:

Changing your wants and desires is an autonomous activity, meaning you are the only one who can do it in the confines of your own mind by thinking things through and coming to see that you could be happier if you used less. No one else can do this for you because no one else can think for you. To change your desire for substance use, you must weigh the benefits of heavy use against the benefits of moderate use or abstinence. Whichever option you come to see as most beneficial or preferable is the option you’ll truly want, become invested in, and carry out.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
And this actually removes the desire to drink. I find this statement from Chapter 1 of the Freedom Model book truly remarkable and the more I think about it the truer it seems:

Changing your wants and desires is an autonomous activity, meaning you are the only one who can do it in the confines of your own mind by thinking things through and coming to see that you could be happier if you used less. No one else can do this for you because no one else can think for you. To change your desire for substance use, you must weigh the benefits of heavy use against the benefits of moderate use or abstinence. Whichever option you come to see as most beneficial or preferable is the option you’ll truly want, become invested in, and carry out.

Well, that's when we get back into AVRT territory. Can the desire to drink be removed? What if it comes back? Even at a year I still getting occasional flashes of desire for a drink/s. I might have them forever, but with what I've learned from AVRT, I know that I need never fear that desire, that it's a sign of health and vitality. Just my brain, doing what it does. I think that is a major myth that addicted people need to challenge, the myth that quitting means they will have to fear cravings for life or that residual cravings/desire mean they are doing something wrong. It's simply not true.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
Well, that's when we get back into AVRT territory. Can the desire to drink be removed? What if it comes back? Even at a year I still getting occasional flashes of desire for a drink/s. I might have them forever, but with what I've learned from AVRT, I know that I need never fear that desire, that it's a sign of health and vitality. Just my brain, doing what it does. I think that is a major myth that addicted people need to challenge, the myth that quitting means they will have to fear cravings for life or that residual cravings/desire mean they are doing something wrong. It's simply not true.
Yes, the two models do view desire very differently. In this model, as I understand it, our desire to drink is a result of thinking that we will get benefits if we drink, that is, desire comes about because we think drinking will make us happier. It doesn't see desire as a biological drive, still less a permanent one, but as a feeling that we can change once we see that we can re-evaluate the benefits and change our preferences for drinking.

I can only speak from my own experience of course and that is that I have felt a lot freer in my mind about how I view "addiction" since reading about this model and a lot happier in my decision to quit. I actually feel none of the persistent desire I felt previously because I never went through the process of assessing all the options about drinking that were available to me and choosing abstinence because that's what I really wanted - I felt all models I looked at forced only one card on me and this left me still feeling that I wanted to drink.

The absence of desire may not necessary for my abstinence but I find it a nicer way to live.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
Well, that's when we get back into AVRT territory. Can the desire to drink be removed? What if it comes back? Even at a year I still getting occasional flashes of desire for a drink/s. I might have them forever, but with what I've learned from AVRT, I know that I need never fear that desire, that it's a sign of health and vitality. Just my brain, doing what it does. I think that is a major myth that addicted people need to challenge, the myth that quitting means they will have to fear cravings for life or that residual cravings/desire mean they are doing something wrong. It's simply not true.
Yep, it seems like just another repackaged form of AVRT.

For me, I adopted this thinking before I ever learned of AVRT. My mantra was, "I'll never allow alcohol to have an influence on my life ever again. And the only way to achieve that is to never drink again." It was 3 months later I came across AVRT from this forum. It made perfect sense, so I adopted it. But I only ever read the crash course, I had no need to buy or read books or get deeper into it. The purely simple logic of it was enough for me. I found no need to do X, Y or Z in order to stop drinking. I merely had to just stop drinking.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:17 AM
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A friend on here just sent me this by one of the authors of the book.

In The Freedom Model, happiness is the central motivator of change, but you don't need to be happy to solve your substance use problem. - The Clean Slate Addiction Site

What I took away from it is that they are trying to help people get to the place where they are ready to decide what to do about their substance use. They don't believe in treating underlying causes, they think that's bunk. I agree with all that. I think the only reason for talk therapy should be about helping a person come to a decision, I think "underlying issues" are AV. My AV always had an answer to everything, "Let's have a drink!" In fact, my AV created problems for me to drink over lol.

They also aren't saying that quitting is the road that leads to happiness. They are using happiness as a motivator to true internal change. Getting people to question if substance use is actually delivering the happiness they are seeking or if there is a better way. It's all about perceptions and beliefs, the stories we tell ourselves.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
Yes, the two models do view desire very differently. In this model, as I understand it, our desire to drink is a result of thinking that we will get benefits if we drink, that is, desire comes about because we think drinking will make us happier. It doesn't see desire as a biological drive, still less a permanent one, but as a feeling that we can change once we see that we can re-evaluate the benefits and change our preferences for drinking.

I can only speak from my own experience of course and that is that I have felt a lot freer in my mind about how I view "addiction" since reading about this model and a lot happier in my decision to quit. I actually feel none of the persistent desire I felt previously because I never went through the process of assessing all the options about drinking that were available to me and choosing abstinence because that's what I really wanted - I felt all models I looked at forced only one card on me and this left me still feeling that I wanted to drink.

The absence of desire may not necessary for my abstinence but I find it a nicer way to live.
That's really great Aleric! I'm so glad you are resting easier in your BP and not having those nagging thoughts anymore. That's what I love about SR, there's so much information on here.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
That's really great Aleric! I'm so glad you are resting easier in your BP and not having those nagging thoughts anymore. That's what I love about SR, there's so much information on here.
Thanks. It was the divorcement of the BP from happiness that caused a wishful desire for drinking again in me. I had to plan for happiness as well as abstinence. I recognise that that's not an AVRT BP.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
A friend on here just sent me this by one of the authors of the book.

In The Freedom Model, happiness is the central motivator of change, but you don't need to be happy to solve your substance use problem. - The Clean Slate Addiction Site

What I took away from it is that they are trying to help people get to the place where they are ready to decide what to do about their substance use. They don't believe in treating underlying causes, they think that's bunk. I agree with all that. I think the only reason for talk therapy should be about helping a person come to a decision, I think "underlying issues" are AV. My AV always had an answer to everything, "Let's have a drink!" In fact, my AV created problems for me to drink over lol.

They also aren't saying that quitting is the road that leads to happiness. They are using happiness as a motivator to true internal change. Getting people to question if substance use is actually delivering the happiness they are seeking or if there is a better way. It's all about perceptions and beliefs, the stories we tell ourselves.
Interesting read and makes an important distinction between happy and happier. We can and indeed should, or it wont work!, expect to be happier by changing our substance use but of course we may still be unhappy about other things. Language really is important when you are trying to understand something!
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:02 AM
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I think this quote from the article BJ1 linked to above describes the relationship between drinking and happiness very clearly:

The Freedom Model does not say you need to be happy first and that happiness will then stop you from using substances. It says that you will do what you see as your happiest option and that you have the power to change the way you see things, to cease seeing heavy substance use as your happiest option.

All you had to do initially to get motivated to start using substances was believe it would be worth it. In fact, many people’s early experiences with substance use are painful and involve vomiting, coughing, and other problems and miserable outcomes, yet they persisted because of a belief that they can do it in the right way to acquire happiness. All you need to do to change your substance use is believe it’ll genuinely be worth changing. You need to believe that a change offers you the chance of greater happiness, and you will then persist on this new path if you believe it’s a viable possibility. Building this new preference starts the same way you built the old preference...

...When you use substances heavily, it is because you believe it is the best available option you have for happiness at the time. When you repeatedly do this, it’s probably because you’ve believed that enough to create a preference for heavy substance use that you no longer think about much – that is, you don’t consciously think “this is my best available option for happiness right now”, but it’s just what you implicitly believe and act on without much thought anymore. As long as the beliefs that underlie that preference remain unexamined and unchanged, it will stay in place, and you will crave, want, or desire heavy substance use, even while you know it’s costing you a lot. If you examine your preference, you can change it, by coming to believe that a reduction or quit will bring you more happiness than heavy substance use. You don’t have to believe it’s going to be utter bliss or joy, you just need to believe it’s the happier option. That could mean, on a happiness scale of 1 to 10, that heavy use rates as a 1 in your mind, but abstinence rates as a 2. It doesn’t mean abstinence solves all your problems or results in total joy – just that you like it better than heavy use. The Freedom Model for Addictions is designed to help people sort through this issue, and really come face to face with the happiness potential of all their options. If you don’t believe a change is worth making, you probably won’t follow through on it.

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Old 03-08-2018, 06:53 AM
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Yep, the AV demands quitting leads to happiness. Any condition set on abstinence is AV and therefore ignore-able.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:05 AM
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I think it's all about pleasure and pain, they are calling it happiness, but I think people use substances to feel good and that makes them "happy". They start wanting to stop or start questioning their motivations when the consequences start piling up and it begins to bring pain and discomfort to their lives. When the pain of continuing becomes greater than the pleasure they get from getting high, they quit because they believe it will take away the pain that using is now causing in their lives.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Yep, the AV demands quitting leads to happiness. Any condition set on abstinence is AV and therefore ignore-able.
As to whether the model is AV is a question that is best answered by independently measured and verified long term abstinence rates of people who have gone through the Freedom model program no?

Baldwin Research has published outside research results here:
Drug Rehab and Alcohol Rehab Success Rates | Freedom Model Non Treatment Help

I would think that a success rate of long term sobriety of 62% is nothing less than amazing.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:05 PM
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AV is a) any doubt in ones’s ability to remain abstinent, or b) images, thoughts and positive feelings toward future drinking.

If ‘x’ equals either a or b it is AV.

I did not say this particular method is AV , just that any condition placed on abstinence is AV in that if for whatever reason that condition isn’t realized the option for more drinks is back on the table.

Your AV is the thinking that says quitting will make you happier , it has to or why do it? And it has to , so if you ever find yourself questioning your level of happiness while ‘practicing ‘ abstinence, consider more drinks.
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:29 PM
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Aleric, I didn't click the link to the comparison 'data'. I've no doubt it was compiled by whomever will benefit financially from the "freedom model" or whatever it is called. The fact is that spontaneous sobriety - people who just get sober without any form of treatment - may have the same comparative results against treatment/rehabs. Even the rehabs themselves admit that their success rate is about 3% on a good day.

Regardless of which "method" one chooses, the results are totally dependent on the individual to want to get sober. One of the biggest failures with rehabs and some other forms (methods) of 'recovery' is that they promote the disease model of addiction. To drill it into a person that they "have a disease" does far more harm than good. If people were educated solely on "addiction" for what it is, more people - those willing - would relapse WAY less than the norm. And that is a crime.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:24 AM
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dwtbd,

"anycondition placed on abstinence is AV in that if for whatever reason that condition isn’t realized the option for more drinks is back on the table."

Agreed.

"Your AV is the thinking that says quitting will make you happier , it has to or why do it?"

I think it's very reasonable to ask yourself 'Why do it if you're no happier?" If you go on to conclude that there really is nothing you can do to make yourself happier in your new choice for substance use then continuing to ask this question would be AV. But this just wouldn't happen in the Freedom Model. If being abstinent is causing you to feel unhappy something can be done about it. It would be because when you made your choice you didn't really want it: you made your decision because you felt there was nothing else you could do, not because you wanted to. If you took some time out, reassessed your options and reaffirm your commitment for abstinence but this time for a reason that you believe in, that is, that abstinence is your preferred option over all the other choices. If you do this, I can't see how you can not be happier in your new life.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:04 AM
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"I think it's very reasonable to ask yourself 'Why do it if you're no happier?"

Strip this of all qualifications and you can see it as AV masquerading as your own reasonableness. ' .. why do it" is the essential question , yeah ?

I didn't quit drinking for any reason other than to guarantee for myself that I won't ever again be a drunk.

On some level not drinking is secondary to that goal and the Beast hates that too.

It isn't/wasn't a course of action I was forced into, it is the solution I chose.
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