Horror Stories
True Tales of Misery, Betrayal and Abuse in NA, AA and 12-Step Treatment

Rebecca Fransway
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This book is here courtesy of See Sharp Press and Rebecca Fransway, Ed.

27. Barney
Yes, I Am in Jail

People need to know about the corruption of our legal system. From where I sit, in jail, it is obvious. It seems that almost no one from the drug court program goes to jail unless they get new charges. All the addicts want drug court; they all know that drug court is very tolerant of drug use. Ask anyone here: How do drug courts reduce recidivism? The prisoners will probably tell you: Because if you say you are powerless, they won't violate you for a dirty urine analysis.

These guys really do fake it 'til they make it. They all think that they are getting one over on the system by conning their way through treatment. But it is still damned obvious that 12-step treatment is having its intended effect -- the addicts keep coming back, and everyone else keeps getting paid.

Don't let attorneys and judges bullshit you. They all know AA is crap and that it is keeping people addicted. Those assholes in alt.recovery.aa -- who do they think they are fooling? They get on the net and try to act like all is well. All the while the local membership is a revolving relapse club.

Meanwhile, my P.O. is asking that I serve an unheard-of six months, in spite of the fact that I am clean and sober, and was clean and sober well before they sent me to jail (on a marijuana charge). That doesn't matter though. What matters is that while I faithfully attended treatment and consistently turned in "clean" urine samples, I refused to work the 12 steps. Others with similar charges who say what the counselors want them to say stay free, even though they turn in "dirty" urine samples; the counselors don't turn them in because they're supposedly trying to "work a good program" and I'm sitting in jail -- on the recommendation of my counselor.

Yes, I could have gone along with 12-step treatment and got a reduced sentence, probably with no jail time at all. But if my next probation officer wanted me to, I would have had to attend AA meetings afterward, probably for years. This is a really sick nightmare. I am sitting in a drug-infested jail, in the middle of a drug-infested state.

The folks here are interested in alternative methods of recovery. I have a copy here of Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction. There is a waiting list of guys who want to read it. To these guys, 12-step treatment is only a way to get out of jail. Most of these people do not know anyone who has kicked an addiction using the 12 steps. The sad part is that many are under what I call the AA spell -- they believe they are helpless over their addictions, and this becomes a self-filling prophecy. They really do keep coming back.