Multiple Pathways to Recovery; Yea or Nay?

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Multiple Pathways to Recovery

I’m going to admit this out loud, and don’t judge, but I was one of those people that looked down on other alcoholic/addicts that didn’t follow the program of recovery I followed. Even in my own fellowship I saw people doing workbook versions of the 12 steps instead of following the directions in the Big Book and I judged them.

Big Book Thumpers Anonymous

I went through my Big Book thumping, evangelical phase. I was going to save the recovery community from itself! Do you know what the end result was? I was miserable. Judgment blocked me from my Higher Power.

One day something shifted inside of me. I was painfully self-aware that judgement was going to kill me, and I prayed daily for God to remove it, and then I would go to a meeting and judge people anyway. Then I started saying the set aside prayer in the morning, and before every meeting I attended, and guess want happened? Poof! Judgement gone. Well…. 97.987% gone at least. 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still all about the Big Book. I go to my Big Book studies, share a message of hope that is based on what the Big Book says, and sponsor people through the 12 steps out of that book. But today I don’t concern myself with what other people are doing.

road to recovery sign
Multiple pathways

Outside of my fellowship, I also don’t really care what method of recovery you use, as long as it works for you. People are using dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), SMART recovery, yoga, AA, NA, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), counseling, church, Celebrate Recovery, Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP), Young People in Recovery (YPR)… The list goes on (links to some of these options are on the A2WG Resource Page). Lots of people use a combination of these things. Hey, whatever blows wind up your skirt and gets you passionate about recovery is the right path for you.

Medication Assisted Treatment

medication assisted treatmentRecently President Obama released a statement saying that treatment facilities that didn’t offer MAT as an option, would not be receiving government funding. Ooooo! There were a lot of angry people when that was released. Most treatment options are abstinence-based. So they either provide Medication Assisted Treatment or lose funding. Funding a treatment facility is already a challenge. They are between a rock and a hard place.

This is what I predict:

  1. In the next few years you are going to see a lot more people who are attending AA and NA meetings that are going to be on suboxone, methadone or vivitrol.
  2. People in these 12 step programs are going to flip out or embrace people on MAT.

Honestly, I don’t care what you are on. If you are trying to get sober, GOD BLESS YOU. I’m here for you. In 2014 I saw so many deaths, by overdose, in the recovery community that my mind was forever changed around the MAT issue. I used to think we were selling people short by putting them on a different drug to replace the drug they were addicted to. Now I see MAT as the harm-reduction model that it is. Let’s keep addicts ALIVE and, God willing, they might work their way toward an abstinence based recovery program (or not, whatever).

Now, if you are my sponsee, we are working the 12 steps out of the Big Book so you can recover, and you will probably go to some A2WG events so you can have fun and grow your recovery network. That’s how I roll… 🙂


Discuss It…

Multiple pathways or one way to recover, what are your thoughts? What about people on MAT attending AA/NA meetings? Will you embrace them?


Peace, Love & Sobriety

anonymous me image





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