Should Addicts Be Forced Into 12-Step Rehab Programs? No

As a response to the original post “Should Addicts Be Forced Into 12-Step Rehab Programs?”
Author: Trevor Butterworth – URL:

For some persons the remedy should be merely prescribed; in the case of others, it should be forced down their throats.” — Seneca: Letter 27 – On the Good which Abides


NO REMEDIES have to be forced down the throat of HUMANS unless the case involves an emergency situation (e.g., activated charcoal administered through a nasogastric tube in a patient seriously intoxicated with organophosphates).

Treatments have to be sought by a patient willing to receive medical treatment for their condition (e.g., drug addiction).

Prescriptions (pharmacological or non-pharmacological) must be discussed with the patient.

Forced interventions such as forced psychiatric therapy (used sometimes to addict patients) is considered as torture by governmental (e.g, United Nations) and non-profit organizations (e.g., Mad in America). I also name It as torture: red or blue pill?

Let’s review the evidence about forced psychiatric treatment.

Ramirez, Jorge H (2015): Forced Psychiatric Treatment PubMed Database. figshare.

There is no sufficient evidence to support 12-Step rehab programs as a safe and effective intervention for the treatment of addictions. Furthermore, the evidence supporting the use of forced treatments (i.e., coercion) is very limited.

There is also insufficient evidence supporting the routine use of drug testing (e.g., phosphatidylethanol – PEth).

Ramirez, Jorge H; Langan, Michael (2014): Drug testing database. figshare.

“AA is Faith-Based, Not Evidence-Based” – Agreed.

No reason to force addicts into12-step rehab programs, it’s the same situation that forced psychiatric treatments: I name It as torture.

  7 comments for “Should Addicts Be Forced Into 12-Step Rehab Programs? No

  1. January 8, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    The argument is often advanced that without coercion there is insufficient incentive to enter treatment and, within a medical paradigm, not wanting to enter treatment is considered a symptom of the disease. Moreover, the greater the denial of the disease is considered directly proportional to the severity of the disease. Although both of these may be true in the throes of an acute addiction, the chronic relapsing brain disease with lifelong abstinence and 12-step recovery model is being used to coerce treatment on those who do not need it as “denial” can be present. according to these folks, long after the drugs and alcohol are gone.

  2. January 19, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Reblogged this on Disrupted Physician.

  3. Relinquished Reversal
    January 19, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I am really tired of the AA and 12 step program being forced down the throats of addicts. There must be a better way to address the issue of addiction.This is clearly not it. We can do better.

  4. January 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Has anybody considered the consequences to voluntary participants? I.e. – should voluntary participants in AA programs be forced to attempt to integrate those that are coerced into attending?

  5. January 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Aa members should be forced to attend smart recovery meetings or some other alternative so they open their eyes a bit to the simplistic illogicality of parts of their program.
    For example “no one understands electricity” as it says in the big book. (Or something like that) – hello, there are a few people who might disagree, like electricians!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: