Calling out the outliers

From The Fix:

Does abstinence from booze, coke, heroin and other substances include medications for common mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, even schizophrenia? Many people in recovery—particularly those in 12-step programs—seem to think so. And some, often out of an excess of conviction, attempt to persuade fellow members that “clean and sober” means no Prozac, no Effexor, no Klonopin, no Abilify.

Many? Some?

outlier by explorativeapproach

The article responds to a very real phenomena in the recovering community, but I feel pretty strongly that it greatly inflates the prevalence of it. The people and attitudes described in the article do exist in the recovering community, but they are outliers. (I’d be pretty concerned about use of Klonopin, but the attitudes described are ignorant, exhibit excessive certainty and are out of line with AAs own position on the matter.)

Metro-Detroit has well over 1000 AA meetings and I am aware of one meeting that discourages psychotropic use. I’m also aware of an large meeting in LA that also discourages psychotropic use.

My anecdotal experience is that people in the recovering community talk openly about using psychotropics and use them at pretty high rates.

But we don’t need to rely on anecdotes, research has been conducted on attitudes toward psychotropics among AA members and “no relationship was found regarding the degree of AA-exposure and perceptions of 12-step members’ opinions on psychotropic medication use for emotional problems.”

So…nothing wrong with calling these folks out, but a little context please?

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Filed under Controversies, Mental Health, Mutual Aid, Research

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