Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jun 2011
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Times Colonist
Author: Andre Serzisko, Times Colonist, Addictions Counsellor


Different Addiction Steps Valid

After almost 18 years in the addictions field, I am still hearing the
same old antiquated arguments from all sides of this debate. Harm
reduction versus abstinence, disease versus learned behaviour,
residential versus day programs, private versus public and the list
goes on.

The series on addiction has featured private sector addiction services
criticizing public treatment services and VIHA higher-ups giving lip
service to the necessity of a full spectrum of care while eliminating
prevention and residential services on the island.

Members of the abstinence community attack harm reduction initiatives
while supporting Overeaters Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous - both
harm reduction groups that focus on ending our problem behaviour, not
on abstaining from food or sex.

Harm reduction supporters criticize abstinence based initiatives
because they feel that they promote the notion of relapse being a failure.

Secular groups attack the 12-step community for being too

Enough is enough! We seem to care more about our perspective being
right then allowing the person with a problem to make that decision.

There are many perspectives on the causes and treatment of addiction
and no one perspective is any more true or false than the next.
Everyone is different and approaches change in different ways; one
perspective and one treatment cannot serve all people.

We need to embrace and work with these differences, not fight them.
The more we polarize and engage in this debate the further we get away
from providing a consistent and gapless service delivery system where
the focus is on the person and families needing help .

Andre Serzisko

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.