Yes, I am still alive. Doing a lot of thinking, which actually is not as conducive to writing as much as one might expect. In this format, 'thinking out loud' can lead to all kinds of mostly-permanent problems.
The internet has its own 'permanent record.' And, particularly these days, few humans seem to possess the 'mercy gene' which allows for minor foibles to go unpunished. There is a totalitarian mentality these days, perhaps mostly because we are so much more afraid of the world than we were before.
However, that's not what I'm posting today. Rather, a reader of this blog sent me a very interesting article:
Of course, it contains all of the usual bromides... the 12 Steps are too hard, the overall success rate of AA is only 5-8%, etc.
Another bromide is that 'harm reduction is successful with heroin addicts.' That should be rewritten to say that harm reduction is successful at making addicts slightly less of a public nuisance. They are still addicted and are not free. It is like having padded manacles or gentle slavery.
So, a pill is developed that will 'help' reduce the effect of alcohol, thus reduce the amount of drinking.
I swear these folks have never talked to an addict. It isn't about the drinking. Or the using. It is about the suffering.
Sure, the pill may reduce the effect of alcohol, particularly on those alcohol abusers and hard drinkers that get carried away like the way many people lose themselves occasionally at the dinner table. That's not addiction. It is gluttony.
The addict will find a work-around. Sure, he may stop drinking with the pill, but watch his pantry or his computer screen or his bank account... the addiction moves into another activity that releases the endorphins and 'relaxation response' that drinking once did without the pill.
Addicts don't need alcohol to get high. They just need a high, and they can get it lots of ways.
Heck, I've seen raging alcoholics give up their drink overnight and remain on a rage bender for years. yes, there's another pill for that, and soon our friend can take a whole pantry of meds and literally fry his liver doing what the 12 Steps do organically.
Maybe that can be AA's new message-sharing strategy-
The 12 Steps are the Green way to recovery.
Yes, I am kidding.
Sure, the recovery rate in AA is low... because the meetings are open and most people take years to get to a point of willingness. AA is meant for the 'hopeless alcoholic,' not the newbie abuser with plenty of spunk and lots of ambition. Read the histories written by Dick B. and you will see that AA has changed dramatically in that respect.
The 'pill' does not rebuild the relationships broken by addiction, nor does it cure the inner suffering the Steps address.
No pill can replace the healing of repentance and conversion. No pill can make your amends for you. No pill can replace the sense of God's love and mercy.
No pill can make you Sober.