Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Monday, March 19, 2012

Superstitions & Logical Fallacies Observed In Group "Therapy"

(1) You're not in "recovery" if you simply stop using drugs. If you're not living your lives by the dictates of a religious character transformation program, which typically involves proclaiming your powerlessness over drugs and handing your soul and will over to a mystical "higher power", you're only a "dry addict" or "dry drunk".

(2) One who surrenders himself to a higher power and religiously attends meeting is "in recovery" - Even in the instance he goes on an occasional drunken bender, "relapse" is claimed to be an inevitable part of the recovery process. Meanwhile, one who is actually succesfull in either using drugs responsibly or abstaining from drug use permanently, unless he perpetually practices the aforementioned recovery doctrine, is still only "dry" or "actively in addiction".

(3) In order to be in recovery, the rest of the addicts life must revolve around acknowledging his chronic disease and struggling not to use drugs, acknowledging that at any moment; unless he continues to worship higher powers, chant mindless slogans, dwell on his character defects and wallow in humility; his disease could catch him off gaurd and force him to use drugs again. In other words, one must become addicted to avoiding drugs by dwelling on his drug use, living each and every day merely to "stay clean". 

(4) Self confidence, self reliance, accountability, intelligence and pride are weaknesses which must be condemned. This type of "stinkin thinkin" fools one into believing in his competence & ability to use drugs moderately & responsibly (as opposed to mindlessly and involuntarily).

(5) Tis better to be a dead-beat, self-absorbed, self-righteous & slogan chanting 12-stepper (i.e. recovery addict) than to live a succesful life while taking pride in ones self confidence, self reliance and intelligence - God forbid our disease takes us off gaurd. Better to live life fearing drugs and lying to ourselves.

(6) Certain drugs simply cannot be used moderately or recreationally like alcohol can. For instance; You are either an "addict" who uses heroin, or a non-addict who doesn't use heroin. In no case, and for no one, does moderation exist with these drugs (as it apparently does for the caffeine and nicotine which are so heavily consumed during group).

(7) We cannot accurately claim that we will not use drugs tomorrow; for we are not even in control of this behavior, which could manifest at any time (unless we "work a program"). The prospect of using drugs (i.e. "relapsing") is conceptualized the same as the prospect of a heart attack, a car accident, or other such untimely occurrence of fate or chance.


  1. Once again, I find the premise proposed here offensive and clearly lacking in any kind of true understanding of addiction and recovery. The above states "relapse" is claimed to be an inevitable part of the recovery process." This is absolutely untrue. Relapse is claimed to be a possible part of the recovery process, if certain basic things are not done. As one of our "mindless slogans" states, "relapse optional, not required!" As to avoidance of accountability, self reliance, intelligence, self confidence and pride - absolutely nothing in 12-step work encourages the above. Part of the recovery process is to develop (previously lacking) accountability, self reliance, self confidence & pride when warranted. How does one determine when these are warranted? By an honest evaluation of the self for positives and negatives. The only area in which one must acknowledge powerlessness is in the ability to use drugs or alcohol and maintain control over the amount used. Recovery leads to a life of freedom without fear, if certain basic principles are utilized. All of the statements above are nothing but opinion from someone who hasn't a clue about the realities of addiction & recovery.

    1. Just about everything in the amorphous concept of "recovery" is subject to differing opinions. I happen to agree with the author that AA/NA discourages critical thinking about addiction. If addiction is truly a disease why so much focus on a moral inventory? Why isn't tobacco addiction treated the same as other drug addictions? Well over half the meeting I've been to have most of the people chugging caffeine-containing coffee and nicotine-containing tobacco, two clearly addictive drugs. Why does AA/NA ignore these addictions?

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