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The human race has a long history of being sure of themselves in regards to certain infallible FACTS.

For example, from around 600 BC to Copernicus in the 16th century AD we were CERTAIN that the earth was the center of the solar system (ie…the stars and planets revolve around the earth).

The sun is the center of the solar system despite what the authorities believed for 2100 years.

And of course that same type of thinking lead to our certainty that the earth was flat.


The medical world/healthcare world has fallen into the same type of arrogance and hubris.

The miasmatic theory of disease held that diseases such as cholera, chlamydia and the black death were caused by a miasma (pollution) or a noxious form of “bad air”.

This stuck around until the 1800’s and the rise of germ theory. But until then the medical authorities were certain of the miasma theory.

Similarly, from “Hippocrates onward, the humoral theory was adopted by Greek, Roman and Islamic physicians, and became the most commonly held view of the human body among European physicians until the advent of modern medical research in the 19th century.

The four humours of Hippocratic medicine were black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood” (Berger, 2010).


Stress was thought to cause ulcers with taking antacids the typical medical advice.

In the 1980’s this was proven wrong and more effective treatments were developed.


It wasn’t until the 19th century and Ignez Simmleweis that hand washing before surgery became common for physicians.

Before that physicians never even considered washing their hands and Simmleweis was run out of the profession for suggesting such a thing.


Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) were championed as the solution for depression.

This was based on zero evidence and even the psychiatrist who originally advanced the theory said it was flimsy and weak.

It has been shown to have no merit.

We could go on and on.


Where addiction treatment/recovery and mental health services are concerned; we should learn a lesson from history.

We need to be very cautious.

It is very short-sighted to continue to pursue a course that is generally accepted as “the way”.

Office based services, restrictive groups, one hour a week individual sessions, diagnostic/prescriptive solutions, narrow scope of practitioners, and perhaps most of all “inpatient rehab”.

Even the underlying theories around what constitutes recovery and “success”.

Counting days, abstinence only, symptom free etc..

It all needs to be re-evaluated.


When people speak with certainty on issues that are as intangible as addiction and mental health it is very dangerous.

Also, when people speak about their experience as if it is the universal experience it is very dangerous.

When society accepts people’s opinions, theories and ideas as “facts” we are in a world of hurt.

Our current procedures and our current philosophies related to addiction and mental health have been in place for the last 75 years.


And the result is:

  • 73,000 dead a year from overdose;
  • 45,000 dead per year from suicide;
  • 88,000 dead per year result of chronic alcohol misuse.

Record setting levels of anxiety and depression and loneliness.


America is in a mental health crisis and an addiction crisis and a suicide crisis.

We can’t tear down the system altogether; but we could support and fund some alternatives that run parallel.

Alternatives based on 100% new perspectives.

When do we say that our underlying assumptions were wrong? When do we say the earth is round and not flat?

We will find a new etiology and we will then find a new solution.

Decades from now they will look back and shake their heads and wonder how we could be so certain and so wrong at the same time.

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Source: Recovery Cartel