Now it’s easy to blame health insurance companies. There’s just-cause too, as Cigna settled out of court due to their denial of substance abuse and mental health claims. Yet the principle of anonymity espoused in Alcoholics Anonymous bears partial responsibility. By refusing to open its doors to researchers, it’s difficult to conduct, well, research.
Now I have to give credit where credit is due. Matthew Leichter, a researcher, recently wrote an article on The Fix that inspired this article. I thought I could use his work and build on it with my own experience, since he doesn’t appear to have any personal experience with substance abuse.
To me, a researcher without personal substance abuse experience is a lot like a commentator on sports versus an athlete who plays the game. It’s easy to watch and read and study, but it’s no substitute for playing the game.
Mr. Leichter’s article cites several studies that conclude 12 step programs are not effective. I wonder if he read this study, or this study, or this study, or this study. You get the idea.
Truth is, the health care industry doesn’t like 12 step fellowships because they are free and unable to profit from them.
But with the fall of 12 steps in addiction treatment, and AA membership dwindling, I can’t help thinking of a day when my support group isn’t there to support my recovery. What will I do then? What will people do who can’t afford high-roller services like private therapists and counselors?
Guess I should start putting aside a therapist fund. Without the support I’ve found in 12 step fellowships, I’m going to need all the counseling I can get. Remember, I’m Bipolar I and II with major depressive disorder with personality disorders and another unspeakable disorder.