Am I Qualified to Offer Addiction Advice?

I’ve lots of opinions about addiction. It is subject that I feel passionate about, and it is the reason for why I first began blogging six years ago. Addiction is no longer a part of my life today, but it was for two painful decades. I trained and worked as a nurse, and this gave me a different perspective on the problem, but it is my personal experiences of being a drunk that influences my current thinking on the subject. I feel compelled to talk on this topic, but I do sometimes worry that my views could have a negative impact on people in need of help – especially as many of my ideas would be considered unorthodox (or just plain wrong) by experts in the recovery community.

More Than One Path Away from Addiction

My views on addiction have come from personal experiences. I don’t subscribe to the ‘disease model’, and I’m not convinced that the medicalisation of this type of problem is necessarily a good thing. I managed to break away from addiction, and build a wonderful life, by ignoring the advice of the experts. I worry, that for at least some of us, the traditional approaches may do more harm than good – it may also be part of the reason for why addiction problems seem to be on the increase. There is no one treatment for addiction that works for everyone, and none of the current approaches has a high enough success rate to be able to claim any type of monopoly over recovery. There are many paths away from addiction, and this is why I feel it is justifiable for me to add my voice to the mix.

I have faith in people to be able to figure out things for themselves. I provide my opinions, but it is up to the reader to make up their own minds about what I’m saying. I feel it is important for people like me, who decided to go it alone in recovery, to share their experiences. The goal is not to sow doubt in the minds of people who are happy with an approach like Alcoholics Anonymous, but to provide hope to those who would struggle with that approach. There were many people who tried to convince me that my options were to return to AA or die, and they almost had me completely convinced. One of the great things about the internet is that it is now relatively easy for people to access alternative opinions, and this can mean that they never have to feel as hopeless and alone as I once did.

Sharing My Thoughts on Addiction

I respond to the worry that my writing could have a negative impact on some readers by reminding myself that I’m not that important. The readers of this blog are unlikely to be children, so I don’t have to treat them that way. I will continue to share my thoughts on addiction until I run out of things to say, or until I receive a ‘cease and desist’ letter that would have legal power in Thailand 🙂

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