RECOVERING COUNSELORS & THE ADDICTIONS FIELD : Where have we been & what does the future hold? Chuck Adcock, LCSW, CSAC Jimmy Christmas, LCSW Maryann “Mimi” Cox, LCSW, TEP Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies July 20, 2010 Williamsburg, VA WELCOME Our plan for today
Where have we been & what does the future hold?
Chuck Adcock, LCSW, CSAC
Jimmy Christmas, LCSW
Maryann “Mimi” Cox, LCSW, TEP
Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies
July 20, 2010
(1746 – 1813)
Singing hymns outside a saloon in aid of the temperance movement
The turf wars between mental health & chemical dependency have a long
history. Heads of insane asylums did not want to have the inebriates there,
Because it would damage the reputation of their facilities. Heads of
Inebriate treatment facilities did not want to send their inebriates there
Because Insane asylums Frequently treated patients with free & liberal use of whiskey,
opium & other Drugs, which could not be administered to the alcoholic patient.
Towards the end of the 19th century, recovered inebriates frequently worked within
inebriate homes and asylums as personal attendants. The practice evolved out of
observations of the benefit of mutual support provided among patients in treatment.
Restricted the use of opiates & cocaine to legitimate medical purposes.
Access went from open to access regulated by physicians. Physician’s prescriptions for the use of opiates had to be in continually lowering doses.
In 1919 morphine maintenance was made illegal by the Fed (the Webb decision).
Motivation for such regulation was greatly influenced by tax revenue as opposed to
the practice of medicine.
The Harrison is the prelude to the War On Drugs declared by Ronald Reagan decades later.
This act was largely superseded by the
Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
of the modern alcoholism movement were often hidden
behind masks of personal discretion or AA anonymity.
Marty Mann- recovery advocate who had a vision of a national organization
& a national campaign to educate the public about alcoholism. She founded
the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism, known today as
the National Council on Alcoholism. She greatly influenced public policy
regarding alcoholism & public opinions.
R. Brinkley Smithers- father was one of the founders of IBM. Smithers
Chartered the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation, which provided the
Resources for the bridge between the rise of alcoholism movement in the
1940s & the government’s significant entrance into the arena in the 1970s.
provided funds for the 1961 move the Center of Alcohol Studies from
Yale to Rutgers.
responsibilities as an AA member & his/her status &
responsibilities as a professional alcoholism counselor
The Minnesota Model legitimized the involvement of professional disciplines in the treatment of alcoholism. “No self-respecting professional in their right mind
wanted to work with alcoholics.” By the time these same figures ended their careers, work with alcoholics had become a legitimate professional specialty in psychiatry, psychology, social work & counseling.
The Minnesota paved the way for legitimizing the use of non-professional
recovering persons as staff.
In 1960. E. M. Jellineck’s
The Disease Concept of
Alcoholism was published.
The Hughes Act(1970) - The Comprehensive Alcoholism Prevention & Treatment Act.
Senator Hughes was a publicly declared recovering alcoholic.
Created a national system of addiction treatment for the first time.
developed accreditation standards providing entry into the
mainstream health-care system.
What we often look like right
before JCAHO arrives!
Professionals who worked in the addictions field in the 1960s & 1970s were an
There was great debate at this time as to who was better suited to work with
alcoholics & addicts – professionally trained individuals who could manage the
complex nature of the disorder or those who had struggled with the disease them-
The coming of age of addiction treatment agencies- and of addiction counseling as a distinct discipline-
Much of the stigma associated with alcoholism. The public came to
View the alcoholic as a sick person & there was broad public support
For legislation to create a national network for addiction treatment.
The VA hospitals were treating alcoholics.
The next shift was from Skid Row to the house next door. The 1980s saw
Many public & notable announcing their entry into recovery. During the
Late 1970s & early 1980s, twelve step recovery became something of a fad.
Addiction recovery had gone from the shameful to the “chic”. Between
1978 – 1985, twelve step recovery became nothing short of a phenomenon of
American pop culture. Like other such phenomena, it was popularized,
commodified and commercialized.
The explosion in adaptations of the AA program to problems other than
societies come about as alternatives to AA.
One of the first was Women for Sobriety (WFS), founded by
Jean Kirkpatrick. WFS was created out of the idea that addiction
& recovery for women was fundamentally different for women.
Women did not need ego deflation as AA espoused; they needed
ego inflation. She suggested a focus on empowerment rather than
powerlessness & surrender.
Sobriety (SOS) was founded by James Christopher in 1985.
If one imagined support groups that operate much like AA, but
without references to Higher Power, God or prayer, one would
be very close to the SOS milieu.
There are approximately 75 SOS meetings in the USA currently.
By Jack Trimpey in 1986. RR provides a non-religious, non-spiritual
Approach to alcoholism recovery. There is emphasis on the use of reason
And rational self-interest to solve alcohol-related problems. RR groups have
a professional sponsor- usually a RET therapist- and are viewed as being
needed for only a limited period of time.
How many recovering counselors have intervened on clients
2. If that doesn’t work, see number 1.
I learned too late that this was the very worst thing I could have done.
I was all the time expending the very strength I so much needed for the
Restoration of my shattered system.
Luther Benson, 1896
One of the first peer support individuals
One must be careful in carrying a light to the community
to not leave one’s own home in darkness.
-Advice from a wise father on his son’s decision to
pursue a career in addiction counseling.
Additional clinical training & degrees will be necessary to remain in the field-
full mental health skills will be required. A very favorable employment outlook.
Mentors are needed in the field. We need mentors to help (e.g., with the business
aspects) & we also need to be willing to provide such mentorship to others. Use our
sponsorship skills to manifest this. Let’s not limit ourselves.
Universal health care- what’s ahead? Network yourself to include PCPs.
Recovery oriented systems- use of peer support networks & community.
Exploration of non-traditional approaches to addiction & recovery. Harm reduction,
motivational interviewing, recovery coaches.
Chuck Adcock. LCSW
Family Counseling Centers for Recovery
Jimmy Christmas, LCSW
River City Comprehensive Counseling Services
Maryann “Mimi” Cox, LCSW