culture and illness

Alec Ramsdell a_ramsdell at
Fri Dec 18 08:52:01 PST 1998

---Doug Henwood <dhenwood at> wrote:
> Alec Ramsdell wrote:
> >My criticism of addiction treatment is that it is too quick to accept
> >the medical model of addiction, before other possible disabling
> >conditions.
> Most addiction treatments have pretty dismal records, don't they?

Yeah, we were told at treatment center that the majority of us would go out again. The treatment center did nothing for me, aside from showing what doesn't work. And simply getting my body clean and keeping me away from access for 30 days.

> rabidly anti-drug Mitch Rosenthal of Phoenix House has refused to let
> anyone study their success rate, which leads one to assume it's very
> AA also has a high recidivism rate, no (not to mention all that
> power" crap)?

That HP crap is unbearable! But here in San Francisco HP calls to mind Hewlett-Packard, perhaps a religion for some.

Does anything work?

Things as atomized as they are, and with an individualist disposition predominating, it's going to be every one for themselves. Right now collective strategies are pretty far off. Though AA does work for a small number of people, it seems.

Legalization and lifting prohibition is a different question. Then patterns of consumption would, one would think (hope?), be different.

I've thought a lot about this, for good reason, since I have no desire to use again, and know I won't. Yes, I know this is dubious coming from the horse's mouth, but at some point it becomes a simple matter.

Has anyone read Gregory Bateson on addiction? I think its in the Ecology of Mind book, though I haven't come across it. What does he say?

-Alec _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free address at

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