Steven Slate, coauthor of the book The Freedom Model for Addiction, joins in this discussion to share his story and how a different approach helped him through heroin addiction.
Steven’s story is quite remarkable, he attended the St. Jude retreat, now called the Freedom Model retreat, where the message was you are in control of yourself and you are choosing your addiction. After five years of struggle this was the model that got him off drugs. The program stressed the idea that he didn’t have a disease. In Steven’s words the St. Judes approach was, “Why don’t you see if you can be happier without them, and if it works out great. If it doesn’t work out you can go back to them. Treatment robs people of the chance to make a discovery”.
Steven argues that addiction is a choice rather than a disease. He believes addiction is essentially the process of habit forming. Steven is quick to point out this is not a moral issue. He doesn’t believe people who use are bad.
What we Discuss with Steven:
- Steven compares treatment to conspicuous consumption, pointing out you have to show a willingness to go through the motions.
- We debate whether addiction is a disease or a choice.
- Steven shares his thoughts on the correlation between addiction and mental illness.
- We talk about the ACE scores and Steven shares his thoughts on how trauma ties into addiction.
- Steven and I discuss the difference between pleasure and happiness.
Be sure to take a look at Steven’s Facebook for more on his thoughts on addiction and the Freedom Model. Please send this message along to anyone who might be able to benefit from it. If you enjoy the show we’d greatly appreciate if you’d share the episode on social media as it really helps to build our following. Also, you can join our discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at ODMovement.
Some announcements: We’ll be wrapping up the first season of the OD Movement podcast next week. We have one more episode coming out before shifting focus from bringing guests onto our podcast to guesting on other shows. So while I’ll be stepping away from producing my own new content for the next couple of months, I’ll still be actively sharing the content I’m being featured on.
In addition, I want to tell you about a nonprofit called Hope Not Handcuffs. An initiative aimed at bringing law enforcement and community organizations together in an effort to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce dependency with heroin, prescription drugs, and alcohol.
Here’s how it works, a person struggling with any drug addiction can come to any of the participating police agencies, or go online, and ask for help. They will be greeted with support, compassion and respect. If accepted into the program, the individual will be guided through a brief intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. If a person is uninsured or has Medicaid, we will work directly with the local Office of Substance Abuse Services for placement. Similarly, if they have private insurance, we will provide them with treatment options covered by their plan. The team will work to get them into treatment as soon as possible.
If you or anybody you know might benefit from this program, please check out familiesagainstnarcotics.org or reach out to me directly. Last but not least I want to thank you, dear listener, for tuning in and your support. This project has been the greatest experience of my life. Above all, it wouldn’t be possible without listeners like you.