Given that alcohol and drug addiction is multi-billion dollar a year issue (healthcare, incarceration, etc.), that one in ten alcoholics ever get help, and that two in ten alcoholics who seek help ever get it (availability issue), we have a huge problem in this country that can be at least partially addressed by teaching addicts how to use the free community resource of an NA, CA, or AA 12 Step Program.
I work at a private, for-profit, treatment program and when someone finally gets enough courage to call us, if they don’t have insurance nor the ability to pay for treatment, we need to refer them to county-funded programs – all of which have one month long waiting lists at a minimum. I know in my heart that few, if any, of those people we refer ever get into these programs because the disease will tell them, “Well, at least you tried,” and they return to use.
So, after years of use, someone finally makes perhaps the most important call of their lives, and the best I can do is to send them into recovery “limbo” somewhere? Given that I take great pride in helping people turn their lives around, this horrifies me.
In summary regarding this dilemma, we have this multi-billion dollar a year healthcare issue and most people who want help are not able to get it. However, we have free help in the form of 12 Step Programs (AA, NA, CA, etc.) in nearly every community and often at multiple times a day. Shouldn’t these people be taught how to use these free 12 step programs so they get the help they need? Am I crazy or is this a “no-brainer?!”
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