Rehab Doc and Jon

Rehab: Lives Addicted

Here is a quick post about a couple of interesting things in the last week you may have missed. I watched a fairly good documentary on BBC called Rehab: Lives Addicted. It showed the state of treatment in the UK, for addicts suffering serious addiction issues, where there is not much funding. There is not much on offer except 12 step and a detox. I felt very sorry for the people involved and it certainly showed the need for a more modern and effective system rather than what is on offer here. It is either comply with abstinence or you are out, and this can lead to overdose for those who have been through a detox as soon as they get outside. There did not seem to be much CBT or other counselling taking place.

addiction picture

This is from the BBC site

Going behind the doors of the private world of a residential rehabilitation centre in Somerset, this powerful documentary uncovers what is done to help people beat their addictions and start rebuilding their lives, through a series of intimate encounters at Broadway Lodge.

From Phillip Wood, the film maker behind the acclaimed documentary Chasing Dad: A Lifelong Addiction, we meet people who come from different situations and parts of the UK who all have one thing in common: to seek a new beginning here. Observing the relationships formed between staff, clients and their families, the film explores how desperate and difficult it is for people to transform themselves when funding is scarce and emotions are running high.

Jon Stewart

Jon has been busy as ever and has an interview here  

Here is a quote from the piece

Explaining how he ended up in AA himself, Stewart said: “The thing that led me to seek help was the same thing that leads any alcoholic or addict to seek help. It’s that you’re broken in your core. I went to a meeting and got help, I met a lot of nice people, some of whom had had much much bigger records than I had ever had with Sleeper. You know, we had one platinum album, at my first AA meeting there was a guy there who had seven. So that was pretty impressive. I realised I was no longer special and different. And that saved my life”.

With AA he eventually got sober, and also found God through the spiritual side of the organisation. Becoming something of an evangelist for the group – an “AA Taliban”, as he described it – Stewart attended meetings for fourteen years before deciding to leave, after questioning his faith and becoming and Atheist again.

“After fourteen years, I started to feel like I was in what seemed to be a cult”, he said. “Of course AA is not a cult, I want to be very clear about that. But it uses methods that parallel with the ‘thought reform’ methods that have been studied by sociologists. And they work, so AA uses that for good outcomes. I had a fairly spiritual sponsor who encouraged me to pray, so I did it and I had a spiritual experience as the result of working the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Which is the point”.

“I stopped going to AA meetings and started attending some CBT [Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy] groups instead, which were similar, but also different in some ways”, he continued. “I wanted a different kind of recovery based on real world experiences. So while I’m very supportive of AA – I really believe in it – but at the same time the narrative is that a lot of people leave it and move on and I wanted to understand that phenomenon”.


Commenting area

  1. I watched this documentary, I was not sure if it was supposed to be an expose of an abusive environment, but thats ultimately what the programme ended up portraying.
    Places involved in ‘helping’ vulnerable people, in this case addicts/alcoholics, who are isolated and desperate, appear to attract very self absorbed characters to work there under the guise of ‘therapists’.
    This particular establishment was staffed by ex- addicts /alcoholics who seemed to have their own agendas for helping, and as such came across as incredibly needy characters who were avoiding themselves by ‘helping’ others.
    The place seemed to operate under some kind of totalitarian regime, where patients had to do written work to make them see how bad they were!
    Imagine what would happen if CBT and more up to date approaches were put in to practice (qualified mental health staff), where patients were empowered and taught how to rebuild their shattered self esteem/lives. I dont think the staff would be able to cope.
    Dreadful rehab facility, living in the dark ages, can’t believe individuals and Councils pay for this kind of treatment! Would be great to send someone in undercover and see what happened if someone questions things.

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