The Freedom Model for Addictions: Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap

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 Do you want an addiction – a lifelong diagnosis – or do you want to see yourself as having a habit that you can solve completely? Your answer tells you if The Freedom Model for Addictions is the answer you have been looking for.

The Freedom Model debunks the addiction disease concept as well as the idea that “recovery” is needed after you’ve decided to abstain or moderate your use. Much of the content within the book may surprise you, maybe even shock you. For example:

- Did you know addiction IS NOT a disease?

- Did you know the brain disease theory is not based on sound   science  and is actually a myth?

- Did you know that addictions are habits, just like many other habits, and that as such are quite easy to break once you know the facts?

- Does your gut tell you that treatment is just another money grab from those who are vulnerable, and that something is drastically wrong with the rehab industry as a whole?

If so, you’d be right – rehabs don’t work, and The Freedom Model tells you exactly why and how this Western cultural institution came to gain such power over people’s lives. For those immersed in the 12 step culture or in the rehab culture, this book provides a path out of those institutions, and into a much more empowered state of mind.

Our experience of researching drug and alcohol use and helping thousands with these issues for more than 30 years tells us people desire to be completely free from addiction. They also want to be free from the idea of being “in recovery” just as much. Neither of these options: addiction or recovery – have held great favor with the masses. In fact, the vast majority of people with drug and alcohol problems (more than 90%) don’t go to treatment nor do they enter the subculture of “recovery.” They simply move past their addictions, and they do so without any treatment whatsoever. Did you know that? This is the great untold story in treatment circles, but one we unearth for your benefit. This fact alone demonstrates just how normal it is to break habits that we no longer want in our lives. Let’s face it, people desire freedom; freedom to choose their own direction; freedom to move past habits that have them feeling trapped and in pain; freedom from the addict and alcoholic identity; freedom from the limits of 12 step culture and the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry; freedom to be happier; freedom to move on past the struggles and challenges of life. The Freedom Model guides the reader on this path by offering the opposite of the treatment industry’s empty promises – it offers real freedom!

The Freedom Model is an approach that deconstructs the construct of addiction and recovery and all that surrounds these beliefs. By doing so, you can be completely free to move on in your life without those constructs holding you back and keeping you needlessly trapped in an endless addiction/recovery/addiction cycle. The Freedom Model renders addiction and recovery as completely obsolete and unnecessary in both your personal life and as cultural constructs that keep the masses blind to the solutions that exist within the individual. While The Freedom Model is a book, it is the research and the message contained on those pages that are the real solution to an individual’s struggles with drugs and alcohol.

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About the author

Steven Slate is a Research Fellow of Baldwin Research Institute, whose mission is to research cutting edge drug and alcohol issues, educational methodology, and best practices for drug and alcohol problems and related issues, to guide the drug and alcohol treatment industry and recovery society as a force for change, and to honestly and objectively educate the public as to the effectiveness of treatment and prevention programs with respect to drug and alcohol use. He co-authored The Freedom Model for Addictions, which is the culmination of BRI's decades of research and experience helping people with substance use problems.

Steven came into the field after 5 years of addiction treatment had failed to help him solve his own heroin use problem, and he rejected the teachings of treatment to finally solve his problem. By shedding the "addict" self-image, embracing the fact that he was in control of himself, and recognizing that he could choose to change his substance use habits without a lifetime of meetings, treatments, and relapses, he finally ended his destructive heroin use habit. He's gone on to study addiction, and found that the majority of people said to be addicted get over their problems without any treatment or meetings whatsoever, and that a wide body of research spanning several decades easily disproves the treatment industry's claims of involuntary substance use and a "disease of addiction". 

His critical refutation of the brain disease model of addiction has appeared in textbooks published by McGraw Hill and Greenhaven press, and has since been confirmed by several internationally recognized addictions researchers, academics, and neuroscientists. His TEDx Talk "Our Relationship With Addiction" can be found online, and he appeared in the 12 Step exposé documentary "The 13th Step." His website is a popular source of alternative theories of addiction and research demonstrating that all substance use is fully voluntary behavior, that addiction treatment can be harmful, and that so-called addicts and alcoholics are more likely to resolve their problems without addiction treatment. His work is committed first to respecting the autonomy and right to self-determination of all substance users, denouncing myths about substance use, denouncing attempts to coerce and scare substance users into quitting, and finally presenting the facts that empower substance users to make choices that decrease their difficulties with drugs and alcohol.   

Mark W. Scheeren co-founded Baldwin Research Institute, Inc. (BRI) and the Freedom Model Retreats, the first non-12 step model for drug and alcohol problems in America. As a BRI Research Fellow, he is the co-author of the revolutionary book, The Freedom Model for Addictions. Mark is the only addictions researcher in the world to have studied individuals with substance use issues by living with the study subjects for a period of twelve years. "This was the only way to truly understand the issues concerning this population, and to build solutions that actually promoted success. This effort created the knowledge base for the foundation of The Freedom Model for Addictions, that being: free-will, autonomy and the Positive Drive Principle." As a noted 12 step historian, Mr. Scheeren is an expert on the falsity of the disease concept and the failings of the 12 step paradigm as a whole. Mark is well known in alcohol and drug research circles for his courageous and outspoken public service campaigns: "Treatment Doesn't Work!" and "Addiction Treatment Doesn't Help Addicts, It Creates Them!" Mark is also known for his fearlessness in saying provocative and controversial things as a means to create debate in the addiction field:

"The disease concept of addiction is the greatest lie ever told to the American Public in the last 100 years." 

"When we posted, 'Treatment Doesn't Work!' on our website for the first time in the late nineties, two things happened: we received more hate mail than in all the years previously combined, and our non-12 step retreats filled up in less than 30 days. Both were fantastic indicators that we were saying the right thing!" 

"There are three types of AA members: those who are the gurus and never leave; those who believe and follow the gurus, and are in and out; and those who leave for good. Only the last group is a success of AA." 

Mark is also a naturalist and his other hobbies include reading, hiking, boxing, and big-game hunting. Mark lives with his beautiful wife of 17 years, Danielle, and has three wonderful children: Austin, Gabrielle, and Joey. 

Michelle L. Dunbar is the Executive Director of Baldwin Research Institute and the Freedom Model Retreats, the first residential non-12 step model for addiction help. Michelle was first thrust into the addiction recovery world as a young child. At the time she learned from family members, who were immersed in the 12 step culture, about the alleged supernatural powers of alcohol and drugs. As a result of these beliefs, she struggled with alcohol and drugs succumbing to the disease rhetoric in her teens. Thankfully, Michelle was blessed with an inquisitive mind and a skeptic's heart. By 1990, then in her early twenties, these personal attributes proved to be a compass that guided her out of heavy substance use completely. She learned never to take anything at face value and was heard frequently saying, "Let's look at the data." This attitude and hunger for the truth pushed her past the addict/alcoholic self image, and provided a firm platform for her to research and find how best to help those struggling. Her primary goal is to spread the truth that addiction is not a disease and that people can and do move past their addictions completely. 

Michelle has worked helping substance users and their families for nearly 30 years. In her free time she enjoys reading, walking, and watching her beloved NY Yankees. Michelle lives with her best friend and husband of 25 years, Bob. Together they raised three boys and are now just beginning to experience the joys of having an empty nest. 

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Additional Information

BRI Publishing
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Published on
Nov 20, 2017
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Psychology / Education & Training
Psychology / Research & Methodology
Self-Help / Substance Abuse & Addictions / General
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Eligible for Family Library

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With every possible choice we must identify early and treat early all types of addiction. Then support the maintenance of recovery in everyone.

Chemical Dependency Family Intervention needs to be commonplace and the media needs to focus on Recovery.

Part of the problem is the adult attitudes are pro early drinking in adolescents and some even drink with their children and think nothing of it.

All people should look at their own relationship with alcohol and other drugs. There is a responsible adult mature way to approach alcohol when people are 21 years old.

Those people who are in recovery with alcoholism or addiction do live a productive happy life. The people who are still drinking/drugging along with all their: family/friends who are addicted to them are in desperate need of help. As a society we need to recognize this. We need not sensationalize on the negative, but instead repeatedly showcase those who are healthy recovering families and also families who are healthy and do not have alcoholism/addiction in their family background.

Make an effort to read this book and take action to call a Chemical Dependency Family Interventionist and learn about the family disease of Chemical Dependency. Recovery for the whole family is possible.

So many people will do anything to get their alcoholic/addict help they think, but when you ask them to take a look at themselves and their interaction with their alcoholic/addict many times they say, Well maybe, I dont know or I will definitely think about that. Later they will do nothing.

A Chemical Dependency Family Intervention takes courage. This courage energizes when children who were originally filled with fear, confront their addicted parents and are supported by their aunts, uncles and cousins. The family promises to take care of them while their parents are receiving treatment.

Courage is when a husband confronts his alcoholic wife with love and believes that recovery is possible even while major dysfunction within the family with the children exists.

Will any of you have that courage to follow through and accomplish an intervention? Perhaps, you will after you read this book and start talking to one another.

The key ingredients are forgiveness, love, and persistence along with courage. You may have none of these ingredients, but you can get them so that you can have a possible serene life with your sober family member and your family working on their own recovery road. Beyond your wildest dreams. (A saying from AA)
This so called "life" is a journey and it doesn't matter who you are—you are special and unique with something to offer and enjoy, period. The obstacles and detours the roads present are not any easier in one car or another; it just boils down to how you navigate your way through and around them.

One of McGuirk's key principles centers on the concept of State, i.e. your state of mind, how you feel. State is the emotional fuel you want to fill up on--the things or experiences that make you feel good. Most people have been fueling up the wrong way their entire life and their state is not what it ought to be. They fill up on poor quality emotions then spend their lives trying to escape important things because they can't find a way to derive pleasure from them. One of the worst things people fill up on is alcohol and drugs—sure it helps temporarily, but it doesn't take long before they're coughing and sputtering on the exit ramp and nothing works for them any more—they're feeling guilty, unfulfilled, empty.

Fueling up the right way is what successful people do—they fill up with it first thing in the morning, every day of their lives. They create their own happiness because they know that by feeling great, it will be easier to attain the abundance and success they really want.

For the millions of people fueled on desperation, broken down and in need of repair, Under Construction is a shop. It is the place to learn how to give yourself a tune-up. McGuirk provides all the tools you need to keep from struggling on the road, but ultimately, it's your shop—you are the mechanic. If you're ready and willing to turn your world around and start really enjoying your life journey, Under Construction is the perfect guide. Quit pushing your rusting old car around and start taking laps in the winner's circle—with McGuirk navigating, you CAN do it!
The Freedom Model for the Family is an approach for families dealing with a loved one who is struggling from addiction. It was written by the authors of The Freedom Model for Addictions and uses the same principles in a way that families can apply them. 

Addiction is not a disease, and it's definitely not a "family disease". Treating it like one has led us to the crisis we're seeing today. 

Treatment plays both sides of the fence. It labels addiction a disease, but then advises families to implement “tough love” and cut the substance user off. Can you imagine screaming at your son suffering from cancer that you're done with him and will no longer support him due to his cancer? Can you imagine oncologists advocating that families cut off their loved one with cancer? No one would ever do that, yet it happens around the country every day regarding "addiction." It is time for a solution that lets go of the disease mythology while not demanding you abandon your loved one or coerce them into disease-based treatment. There is a better way… 

Finally, we now know what addiction is and what it is not, we know why people struggle, and we know how best to help them and their families. There’s a viable solution that has helped thousands of people to put addiction and substance use problems behind them for good. Based on three decades of research and experience helping substance users and their families, The Freedom Model for Addictions and The Freedom Model for the Family is nothing short of revolutionary.
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