Reading About Recovery

I read and then re-read Mark Groubert’s account of his stay at Impact [“Hardcore Recovery,” June 27-July 3]. I had more than one reaction to the article. The first was that it was an amusing caricature of a remarkable treatment center that has saved the lives of countless men and women. The second was that his scope was limited to a very narrow view of the clients, and I can only say that I am sorry that Groubert was not able to stay longer so that he could experience the treatment services the clients are offered throughout the week.

I want to emphasize that the episode of public shaming referenced by Stephen Levy-Mazin must be a misquote. Black Tuesday, as it is sometimes called, can be a sad day for clients who are not responding to treatment, but Impact does not deal in humiliation at any time.

So, yes, Groubert got it right, as far as he went. I just wish he had gone further. He was like a doctor who did an autopsy. He got to the bones and the blood. He just didn’t find the heart and the soul. My fear is that there might be someone out there we need to help who could be scared away by reading this article.

Arlene PhilpottDirector of Development, Impact Drug Alcohol Treatment Center

I went through Impact in June 2005, and yes, I did think that the program was hard, and that everyone was picking on me. Now, three years later, I am still clean and living my life as a better mom, daughter, sister and friend. Thanks to Impact, I learned how to do all these things. … I’ve never gone to jail, or ever been arrested, so hopefully I will never be placed behind bars, after having learned everything that I did from Impact.

Posted on Thursday, June 26 by Christa

I get the impression that all of the former employees railing against Passages [“Rehab City: Buying the Cure,” June 27-July 3] were fired. If the place is the joke they describe, why did they have to be forced to leave? I don’t think I’ve read one account of anyone resigning.

Posted on Sunday, July 6 by Puzzled

I worked in the Passages administration for two years. I resigned, yes, resigned, as soon as I possibly could. I want to applaud Mr. Groubert for catching all of the nuances of Passages and writing about them so brilliantly. … There is a lot of magical thinking at the core of the Passages Philosophy which doesn’t serve real recovery. But magically, what it does do is get you to fork over 67,000 bucks for someone you love. Thank you for writing this article.

Posted on Monday, July 7 by former employee

Can we stop squabbling like children and bitching about what amounts to a business to help people help themselves get sober and stay that way? Who has the best success rates, who costs X amount of $$ and who believes there is a “cure” for what is or is not a “disease” and all that other BS is not as important as the main goal of sobriety for those who seek it …If you are seeking help, relief or cessation from your personal poison, the results you get from any method or program are only as good as YOU make them.

Posted on Monday, July 7 by Dena

I found Mark Groubert’s “Rehab City: Buying The Cure” and “Hardcore Recovery” [June 27-July 3] very interesting. However, what I would like to point out is the enormous psychological complexity underlying addiction difficulties of all types. Since the folks in professional rehab themselves admit that the failure rate with drug and alcohol addictions is at least 75 percent, this strongly suggests that our current assumptions about the nature of these problems and therefore the approaches to treatment following from them are significantly faulty. To this end I would highly recommend as a start the work of a professional who has labored in the area of addictions for many years: Lance Dodes and his very informative book The Heart of Addiction.

Michael C. Braun, Ph.D.Psychology professor, El Camino College

For every person you say passages didnt help i can find 5 people that say it did. Passages saved my life. … I had so much sober fun while figuring shit out, it was an amazing experience.

Posted on Monday, July 7 by zach

Puzzled, the reason your current employees have not commented is because we’re afraid of being fired. Don’t think for a minute that we disagree with comments from ex-employees, alumni and the writer. It’s true, most were unjustly fired and they’re angry. They have every right. Most of the comments have been negative. Doesn’t this tell you anything?

Posted on Sunday, July 6 by not puzzled

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