Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
06-06-2015, 01:18 AM
Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
Okay, where to begin? I've listened to the podcast for a long time. I find myself in need of advice - secular, rational advice - and figured it was time to check out the forum.

My younger (30yo) brother is an alcoholic. He has been an alcoholic for a long time. He is also a vehement, angry atheist. He recently checked himself into rehab; he has been trying to battle this problem on his own for a long time and failed. Just the fact that he checked himself in is nothing short of a miracle (no-pun intended). The problem is this: the facility he is in, like most other rehab facilities, utilizes the AA/12-step model to help its patients. My brother has only been in there for under one week and is already calling it a "cult". I am attempting to find an alternative program for him that is not rooted in religious, "higher power" garbage but am not having much luck. I found a program called "SMART Recovery" that is secular. However, there are no facilities in my state (Michigan) that uses this program. I can't find any addiction specialist that will admit to being secular. I did order their workbook for him and another book about recovery without God. However, I am worried about him having a support system when he leaves rehab. He lives 2.5 hours away from me and our parents. I have three children and work full-time. My time, as well as my parents, is just not there.

Does anyone know of any other secular recovery programs? Have had any success? Know of any online communities to refer him to? Basically, I am open to any input from anyone on how to proceed. I love my brother and want him to succeed but I know AA will not work for him. Thanks in advance for any help.[/font]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-06-2015, 06:43 AM
Re: Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
If he can deal with AA, it is possible to complete the program with the higher power as yourself. You get willpower from yourself; you ask yourself for forgiveness, etc.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes mecanna's post
06-06-2015, 07:02 AM
RE: Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
I have no experience with thee groups but have heard them recommended

http://www.sossobriety.org/home.html

https://rational.org/index.php?id=1

and a more general list

http://www.addictionrecoveryguide.org/re...nd_secular

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-06-2015, 07:30 AM
RE: Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
While it's true the AA / 12 step recovery plan utilizes the 'higher power' concept one doesn't need to accept this higher power as god. In fact, we know that it is not god but oneself that he or she is actually accessing to get through the recovery process. Call it mind trickery if you will. If your brother has the ability, he should think of the higher power as a higher powered version of himself that it is pushing him. Cool

If he has no other options for secular recovery, this might be a possible suggestion.

**Crickets** -- God
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-06-2015, 09:00 AM
RE: Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
Lifering.org
It looks to be the same as http://www.unhooked.com
Apparently it offets a blog, chat rooms, online meetings, and face-to-face arrangements.
I know nothing about it but only just found it on a search and it looked like something I'd personally check out.
***

Location always seems to be an issue ... so often it's the isolation that fuels self abuse.

It really is self abuse. The 'higher power' so oft bandied about really is the self. Just knowing that, might give your brother another leg up to push well beyond the constraints of his 12 step counterparts.

The issue I have with the 'higher power' is that people really do think it is 'something' outside of their self. When that 'something' doesn't show up or come through - because uh, it's not real - people are left confused and discouraged and alone ... with a self they have been constantly told is a week piece of shit compared to this 'higher power'. What happens when that nonexistent foundation crumbles ...? It is logically set up to fail.

The basic 'device' of the program could be good to learn and aid self control ... but only if one does NOT give that control to something other than the self.

At some point in life one must take responsibility for one's own self and one's own actions. One can not control anyone or anything, one can only control one's self.

Tell your bro that online communities really do offer a goodly amount of feedback and support. For a long time, he'll need to stay far away from people who get fucked up. Hanging with people online is a good way to just stay away from that shit. That shit is THE thing that can sneak in and end up controlling one's own self.
***

Good luck to your brother and your search to help him.

Welcome to the forum. Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kim's post
07-06-2015, 07:04 AM
RE: Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
I spent a month in a 12-step treatment center in the fall of 1987 and it was the best thing I could have done at the time. Getting three meals a day trumped all the lectures by invited AA members. I did not go to AA when I left, but my wife, the Roman Catholic, has been in Al-Anon for 30 years. I just left the entire alcohol business (drinking, treatment, AA) and continued on with my life.

This could all be done with a dude ranch in the middle of Wyoming. The drinkers could actually be paid a little for hard physical labor instead of having to come up with 20, 40 or 60 thousand dollars. Sweating on a ranch instead of listening to a lecture would have been perfect for me.

Even though I am genetically predisposed to substance addiction, I am very lucky to have the capacity to abstain; adding nicotine in 1991 and sugar in 2009 (I do have infrequent treat days without going into a full blown binge session).

If your brother has that capacity to walk away and abstain, I think he will be fine. If not, he might have to endure another round(s) of lectures.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-06-2015, 10:26 AM
RE: Addiction Recovery Ideas for an Atheist
Lance Dodes has a couple of interesting books. One is about debunking programs like AA. The other one is titled "Breaking additction:..." It is based on science and not on 12 steps because there were 12 apostles... It seems it might be a better place for an atheist to start. Best of luck with your brother.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: