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Thread: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by WCH View Post
    When you've lost your soul to addiction, who better to return it to you than God? Like you said, science can't do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo allstar View Post
    I think you're confused, this isn't a CT thread. Do have any links of said " cooked"'numbers??
    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo allstar View Post
    The Atlantic?..
    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    No one is compelled to seek parole, the prisoner sought parole knowing that a religious program was the requirement.
    No experimental studies demonstrate the effectiveness of 12-Step programs. They're no different than any of the other 'rehab' industry tricks that celebrities check into like upscale hotels. It was invented in 1938 and has not changed since, which is quite unlike most other psychological, psychiatric or medical procedures. It's further compounded by those in the industry like Alcoholics Anonymous (the most famous) refusing to allow their internal statics to be released to the public or reviewed by independent researchers.

    They're a scam.
    Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programmes for alcohol dependence.
    Ferri M, Amato L, Davoli M.

    BACKGROUND: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international organization of recovering alcoholics that offers emotional support through self-help groups and a model of abstinence for people recovering from alcohol dependence, using a 12-step approach. Although it is the most common, AA is not the only 12-step intervention available there are other 12-step approaches (labelled Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF)).

    OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of AA or TSF programmes compared to other psychosocial interventions in reducing alcohol intake, achieving abstinence, maintaining abstinence, improving the quality of life of affected people and their families, and reducing alcohol associated accidents and health problems.

    SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Specialized Register of Trials of the Cochrane Group on Drugs and Alcohol, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE from 1966, EMBASE from 1980, CINAHL from 1982, PsychINFO from 1967. Searches were updated in February 2005. We also inspected lists of references for relevant studies.

    SELECTION CRITERIA: Studies involving adults (<18) of both genders with alcohol dependence attending on a voluntary or coerced basis AA or TSF programmes comparing no treatment, other psychological interventions, 12-step variants.

    DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: One reviewer (MF) assessed studies for inclusion and extracted data using a pre-defined data extraction form. Studies were evaluated for methodological quality and discussed by all reviewers.

    MAIN RESULTS: Eight trials involving 3417 people were included. AA may help patients to accept treatment and keep patients in treatment more than alternative treatments, though the evidence for this is from one small study that combined AA with other interventions and should not be regarded as conclusive. Other studies reported similar retention rates regardless of treatment group. Three studies compared AA combined with other interventions against other treatments and found few differences in the amount of drinks and percentage of drinking days. Severity of addiction and drinking consequence did not seem to be differentially influenced by TSF versus comparison treatment interventions, and no conclusive differences in treatment drop out rates were reported. Included studies did not allow a conclusive assessment of the effect of TSF in promoting complete abstinence.

    AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems. One large study focused on the prognostic factors associated with interventions that were assumed to be successful rather than on the effectiveness of interventions themselves, so more efficacy studies are needed.
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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    And you think that's justification? You think the state gets to mandate religion because it's "voluntary?" (and by "voluntary," you mean "do this or we keep you in prison longer")

    You would flip your **** so badly if the program were Islamic and you know it.
    its non denominational you can even claim your "higher power" is mother earth, im sure there are a few atheist that would admit that the earth/nature/the universe/physics is a power greater than themselves

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrepresented View Post
    Because only religious people should be given the opportunity for early parole and substance abuse treatment?
    Yup

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Conversion therapy isn't successful. It's abuse. Abuse isn't therapy, so it's not successful therapy.
    Since AA is less successful than conversation therapy then it must be abuse also

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    while I agree that his freedom of not being religious were violated by jailing him further for not joining a religiously based 12 step program. But the money that is now given to him is ridiculous. Unless he was almost murdered or seriously hurt in those extra 100 days of jail, there is no need for such an excessive monetary reward for this person. I personally would think that a financial compensation of between 10 and 20 thousand would have been more than enough.
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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Well since there are no gods or souls, and we DO have better ways to treat addiction than religious hoodoo, that's basically the opposite of what I said. I asked why our courts and government still rely on this religious program, that works no better than no program at all, instead of using a better, scientific approach.
    Full disclosure, I've been to many AA meetings over many years and for me it's a useful program for lots of reasons. I don't think it should be a condition of anything - if you're there by force, e.g. as a condition of parole, the chances of it making a real difference is zero and it might very well do some harm. I'll also add that stereotypes about what AA is or isn't are likely to be wrong. In my area we have maybe 40 different meetings and they are all different with completely different personalities and focuses. More than anything, an AA meeting is a self help group and a good way to meet people going through a life threatening problem and helping each other get through it. It's not a cult or a place for religious zealotry - at least I have seen NONE of that over many years.

    But I've thought about the question you pose - why AA - quite a bit and the only answer that makes sense to me is the obvious, which is it's free to the state. There is literally no cost for a judge to require "treatment" then punt that treatment to a room full of well meaning unpaid volunteers who meet at a local church or clubhouse and provide a bit of literature and some coffee. The average donation is $1 or $2 and it's not a problem for someone who contributes nothing. The space is donated, and the coffee is cheap. And everyone can feel good about trying to "help" alcoholics and addicts and then shift the blame back to the addicted when the "treatment program" didn't work for them.

    Bottom line is real treatment with real medical care and qualified counselors costs HUGE money and at least in my area, there is no desire to spend even one dollar to treat low life addicts, who just need a bit of self control, goes the theory, to change their life around. So they punt to AA which isn't really intended to be a place for forced conversion to a sober life. These people, most of them, DO need real treatment, but they won't get it without a huge public investment, which is unlikely IMO.

    But, yeah, it's stupid for courts to require AA as a condition of parole, and I'm happy to see them get slapped down for it.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    I'll also add that stereotypes about what AA is or isn't are likely to be wrong. In my area we have maybe 40 different meetings and they are all different with completely different personalities and focuses. More than anything, an AA meeting is a self help group and a good way to meet people going through a life threatening problem and helping each other get through it. It's not a cult or a place for religious zealotry - at least I have seen NONE of that over many years.
    I'm well aware that it would vary from group to group. My scout troop, for example, was definitely not anti gay.

    Bottom line is real treatment with real medical care and qualified counselors costs HUGE money and at least in my area, there is no desire to spend even one dollar to treat low life addicts, who just need a bit of self control, goes the theory, to change their life around. So they punt to AA which isn't really intended to be a place for forced conversion to a sober life. These people, most of them, DO need real treatment, but they won't get it without a huge public investment, which is unlikely IMO.
    This is an excellent point. And it shows the problematic attitude that our society takes with addiction. We treat it like a moral failing, rather than a medical problem. Until society changes its position, we'll continue to fail to treat it appropriately.
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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    No one is compelled to seek parole, the prisoner sought parole knowing that a religious program was the requirement.
    This is a mixed bag. The prisoner, of course, was gaming the system in order to get early parole. On the other hand, there should be programs for those who object to religious programs on religious grounds, and nobody should be coerced into any kind of religious program.

    Therefore, I believe that the decision was correct, but that the inmate was given too much of an award, due to his knowing in advance what the conditions were for his parole, and then accepting them. He should get some amount, though, because informing him that the only way he could get parole was by participating in a religious program is coercion, and a violation of the separation of church and state.
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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by WCH View Post
    When you've lost your soul to addiction, who better to return it to you than God? Like you said, science can't do it.
    ... At no point did he say that science can't do it. He said science surely has better treatment methods than AA. As someone who has tried AAA, AA, psychological counseling and medical treatment, I'd said that a one size fits all program simply doesn't work. Different minds need different approaches. I've met people who had no need for the religious part of AA, and yet went anyways because they enjoyed the communal aspect of it. Likewise, there are people like myself where counseling (psychological and religious) simply isn't enough and the mind needs to be occupied with other things (in my case, exercise and work). There are a third group of people who need scientific advances like methadone in conjunction with religious counseling. Overcoming addiction isn't a "let's try this and see if it works", it's a whole bunch of treatments put together to fit the individual in question.

    So yes, he's right in so much as saying that people shouldn't only rely on non-scientific treatments. AAA is useless to a heroin/meth addict. Scientific treatments alone are useless for someone who drinks because of depression. In the end, it boils down to an inexact science of finding out what a person best responds to and how to benefit them using other treatments that are available.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 10-16-14 at 01:21 AM.
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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    This is a mixed bag. The prisoner, of course, was gaming the system in order to get early parole. On the other hand, there should be programs for those who object to religious programs on religious grounds, and nobody should be coerced into any kind of religious program.

    Therefore, I believe that the decision was correct, but that the inmate was given too much of an award, due to his knowing in advance what the conditions were for his parole, and then accepting them. He should get some amount, though, because informing him that the only way he could get parole was by participating in a religious program is coercion, and a violation of the separation of church and state.
    Separation of church and state is just a phrase coined by an atheist. It is not in the constitution so it can not be violated. The first amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" AA doesnt require a religion only a higher power, you can still be an atheist and believe that something is more powerful than yourself.

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