The 12 Step Monopoly

Why is it every substance abuse program out there is based on the 12 step method? Because 12 stepapparently California law mandates it, that’s why, and it looks like a facility can’t get licensed unless they teach 12 steps. This conformity concerns me, because there is certainly room for holistic and non 12 step approaches. I’m not tackling the state of California and it’s laws- it is what it is- 12 steps dominate, period.

Now, let’s talk about who is getting treatment. There are 3 ways for folks to get into treatment programs… insurance, self pay, and free beds, the later of which is difficult to find. I must admit health care is cheaper and easier to get than ever, and there is no longer a pr-existing clause that would prevent an addict with a drug abuse history, to obtain insurance. This really has opened up a lot of options for those who previously couldn’t get insurance.

Still, the best care is received by those who can afford it- be it through having top-of-the-line insurance, or the ability to pay the big bucks that recovery can cost. This always saddens me, that health and recovery might be contingent on finances, but again, it is what it is.

In ancient Asia, the healing and the compensation of the healer, was a much different system than we have now, and went something like this;

Each family has a pot outside their front door, and each day the family deposits a coin in the pot, for the healer to collect. This continues until such time as someone becomes ill. On a day that a family member needs the services of the healer, he deposits NO coin in the pot, and instead of collecting a coin that day, the healer goes in and provides his services. When not healing, he circulates throughout the town promoting health.healer

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