In this video I discuss the claim that we should leave addiction recovery to the experts. I don’t agree this statement at all, and I’m not even sure who these experts should be. I suppose by “experts” we are usually talking about professionals with some type of formal training and recognized qualification. The problem with using this standard is that we would have to be sure that this training is sufficient to give those trying to break away from addiction the best possible chance. I don’t believe that this is the case – in fact lots of people are able to end their addiction without the help of these experts. I worry that this urge to demarcate addiction as the territory of certain professionals is happening for the wrong reasons, and it is ultimately doing those looking for help a disservice. It seems clear to me that it is an attempt by special interest groups to corner the market because there is obviously lots of money to be made and prestige to be won.
It took me two decades to break away from my addiction to alcohol. I entered my first treatment program at age nineteen, and I tried many different approaches to recovery. I finally escaped the life of a drunk by getting help at a Thai temple using a treatment that would be considered to be “woo woo” by many experts in the west. All I can say is that it worked for me, and if the option did not exist I might be dead. I’m grateful that the addiction experts are there because they do some good work, but it would be wrong to allow them to call all the shots.
Press play to watch the video – you will find the podcast edition of this episode below.
Here is the podcast: