This is rich! Even with indications of the drug Baclofen for drug and alcohol addiction, AA member and representitive ‘Paul’ of YAIG Intergroup states he thinks “NOTHING” can replace the 12 step program. ‘Billy’ of YAIG Intergroup also states alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease.
I thought Bill W. said AA was not the only way to sobriety. Yet this is what AA has evolved into. Anything that threatens AA, loyalists of the group will try and talk down any other way of gaining sobriety. Also AA members are not to speak about alcohol reform etc. Looks like Billy and Paul broke the traditions.
A SHOT AT REDEMPTION
Some experts call tiny pill a miracle drug for addicts
By Jordan Uhl
Damion Thomas said he has been in trouble for most of his life.
Drinking. Drugs. Rehabilitation programs. Slip-ups. More drugs. More trouble. Heroin.
“I lost everything. I haven’t seen my child in two years. My house, my car, my job. I lost trust in my family, my wife. I lost my pride, self-respect,” said the 36-year-old graduate of Community Corrections Association, a Youngstown-based alternative rehabilitation program.
Thomas, who has been serving a two-year sentence for trafficking heroin, said one little white pill that he takes three times every day is what is going to keep him straight for good this time.
In September 2011, Thomas and other inmates of CCA were offered a shot at redemption in the form of a pill some are calling a miracle drug. Baclofen, a muscle relaxant commonly used to treat spasms, is finding its way into substance-abuse recovery programs.
Supporters, such as CCA Director Rick Billak, claim the drug cures addiction by suppressing cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Thomas says that the pill is giving him back his life.
“I’m tired of this lifestyle. I’ve been in trouble for the past 32 years,” Thomas said. “I want to be a productive citizen again.”
Billak said CCA gave the drug to 56 of its residents who asked for it. He said it is being administered on a voluntary basis. There have been 11 relapses among the 56 participants — an 82 percent success rate, Billak said.
The fact that Baclofen promises addiction recovery is part of the reason why those who support such treatment programs as Alcoholics Anonymous are skeptical.
Alcoholics Anonymous and others, who believe in a 12-step program, say there is no cure for alcoholism or drug addiction.
“We’ve got alcoholism over here. It’s a disease. Is that a cure for disease?” said “Billy,” a representative at Youngstown Area Inter Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. Billy refused to give his name because members of AA take a vow of anonymity.
While AA officials question Baclofen, Billak has his own concerns about the effectiveness of AA.
“The only thing that bothers me about AA is because it’s anonymous, you can’t establish its effectiveness,” Billak said. “It’d be nice if they could do a blind study on the effectiveness of AA and release its results.”
However, Billak said many of CCA’s clients attend AA meetings for support, and couple it with their Baclofen treatment.
“While in [the program] they’re also in our other treatment elements within our facility. We use cognitive behavioral therapy,” Billak said.