Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Drug Rehab

And, no, I am not on my way there smarty pants!

Since, I work in drug policy reform it might seem odd that I would write a post about drug rehab. But here it is just the same. There are different kinds of rehab. There's AA, which consists of meetings with other alcoholics trying to put the bottle down, there are services for the family members of alcoholics called Alanon and for the family members of people with a drug addiction there is narconon, there are inpatient and outpatient services, drug courts, which are largely run for profit only and have no real interest in helping people overcome addiction.

Having worked with drug and alcohol counselors for a while now I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this field. The first is the probation officer mentality jackass who think it is their job to hound, harass and make you live in abject fear of them. They seem to revel in their control over you and look down at your condition. Many of them have previously been probation officers, police officers and prison guards. Boy...that promotes a feeling of healing don't it?

Then there are the people who are in this line of work for the right reasons. These people have been addicted to something at some time or another and in my opinion are the only ones who should be allowed to counsel anyone else on breaking an addiction. They have been there, know what it is like to hit the bottom and know how to help people come back from it and put their lives back together.

Why would you want to talk to a 'drug and alcohol counselor' that has never experienced the very thing they are trying to help you deal with. You can't get the kind of information you need to help others overcome addiction out of a textbook. In order to be effective that kind of thing needs to be based on reality and hands on experience.

Granted, not everyone receiving drug and alcohol counseling services have the choice of who they talk to. It would be nice if being a former alcoholic or addict were a prerequisite for working in that field.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

someone can't explain what a bannana takes.They have to experience the taste for themselves. i think the same philosophy should apply with people who work with drug and alcohol rehabilitation. you can't tell someone how to overcome something you have never experienced

wheeler said...

rehab is for quitters.

Loretta Nall said...

haha bayou boy...how goes the move to Shreveport? saw those lovely pics on your site and all that delightful water....i envy you

Anonymous said...

My mother was a Drug and alcohol counsler for many years. She is also a recovering alcoholic. She was pushed out of her job because the state of Alabama said that after 17 years she was not qualified.... Go figure.

She has said forever that only an alcoholic can properly treat an alcoholic.

Thanks for letting me rant!

Anonymous said...

Would someone who had a parent, spouse, or child suffer from addiction but who had not themselves been addicted be qualified to become a counselor under these criteria? How about a close friend? Is it possible that the people around an addict understand the problem as well as the addict does? If someone wants to help, should they be turned away because they have not suffered from the disease they are willing to treat? I don't have the answers, but these are the questions that come to mind.

Loretta Nall said...


Family members and close friends who have not been addicts or alcoholics would be better suited to helping the family members and friends of people who are. Not that they couldn't be counselors...I just think working with people who are affected by it but not addicted to it would be more suitable and produce better results.