If you’ve gone through a rough breakup – or if you anticipate that you and your soon to be ex might fight a lot about the kids, about your property, etc — you probably already feel overwhelmed. But if you or someone in your life suffers from a substance abuse problem – e.g. an addiction to drugs, alcohol, painkillers, etc. – the addiction issue just complicates the story in so many unfortunate ways.
Traditional thinking about addiction is rooted in the 12-step rehab approach. This model — which was developed in late 1920 — offers a bullet point prescription for how to beat different addictions, including addictions to alcohol, pornography, gambling, etc.
Unfortunately, as Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes (and his son Zachary) describe in detail in their book, “The Sober Truth,” the 12-step approach doesn’t work for 90% of the people who engage with the program. In fact, according to Dodes’s research and statistical analyses, AA and its sister programs are about as effective as a placebo. In other words, if you did nothing to treat an addiction, you’d get approximately the same success rate, since around 5% to 10% of addicts spontaneously get over their addictions.
So if someone in your family has gotten addicted to drugs or alcohol, what would Dodes recommend, as an alternative to AA?
Dr. Dodes describes addiction as a compulsion that’s driven by feelings of helplessness. When you feel out of control in your life (due to chaos created by divorce, for instance) you might be more inclined to use drugs as a skewed strategy to regain a sense of control. Dodes points out that addicts often feel better NOT when they drink or do drugs but rather than when they DECIDE to drink or do drugs. The problem is rooted in psychology, not physiology; i.e. addiction is not a disease.
Regardless of how you choose to manage your addiction, you also need help with legal issues regarding your divorce or child custody battle. Call the Toussaint Law Firm, PC right now for a free consultation.