Communications of Hossein and Bill (Reply to hossein- Jan 11, 2020)
 
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1/16/2020 12:00:00 AM
     

Communications of Hossein and Bill (Reply to hossein- Jan 11, 2020)

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Topic : Communications of Hossein and Bill
   
I am delighted to hear of the new building for women. In the U.S., special treatment facilities for women and special recovery support groups are increasing in number.
  

 

Jan 11,2019

Dear Hossein,

Regarding the two selves, I think this has implications beyond the personal struggle of those in recovery.  Stigmatized views of persons who have experienced addiction contend that addiction is a function of bad character and that this true bad self is released under the influence of drugs. In other words, they see the addicted self as the true self.  In contrast, those who have been most successful in treating addiction and providing support for people in recovery view the true self as the sober self and that this sober self is corrupted under the influence of drug use. There is that classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which the compassionate Dr. Jeklyll becomes the evil, monstrous Mr. Hyde under the influence of a potion (drug). Much of how addicted people are treated is based on whether society views the true self of such persons as Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. The former view elicits compassion and care, the latter view elicits methods of control and punishment.  I think both of our countries have in the past leaned toward control and punishment (the morality view that you note) and are trying to transition to a more enlightened medical, psychological, and spiritual view. 

In terms of worldview and Jaan, it seems our challenge is to help each person seeking recovery to understand how the best within their character had become so corrupted through the addiction process. I think we do this by helping them understand addiction in greater depth and to rebuild character and identity through the recovery process.  In Congress 60, I think this happens through the guidance of your teachings and through the mutual sharing that takes place within all the Congress 60 gatherings. The message is that one’s most essential character gets hijacked under the influence of drugs and must be rescued by treatment that restores the health of brain and body and rebuilds one’s character and relationships. That is what the DST method and the broader menu of Congress 60 activities provide.

I regret my lack of knowledge of Farsi prevents me from reviewing the teachings that you release each week. I would enjoy these very much. It is also good that these teaching are preserved for the future. I think these might be comparable to what I have done preserving the papers I have written on addiction and recovery on my website. Our teachings will outlast us.

In the U.S., we criminalized addiction through most of the 20th century and intensified this process in the 1980s and 199os resulting in the mass incarceration of thousands of addicted people and the dramatic growth of our prison system. Efforts are underway to change this with many recovery advocacy organizations taking the lead. Here we have a lot of stigma to change before fully enlightened treatment of addiction becomes the norm in U.S. communities. I think what is helping speed a positive trend is the number of people in recovery who are publically identifying themselves as people in recovery and the local anti-stigma education campaigns led by people in recovery. I could not agree with you more that this stigma must be broken.

I am delighted to hear of the new building for women. In the U.S., special treatment facilities for women and special recovery support groups are increasing in number. This has come from the understanding that there are differences for women in the etiology and course of addiction (and its physical and emotional consequences) and unique obstacles to recovery that are best addressed within specialized settings that can address their special needs. The treatment field in the U.S. has been slow in developing this understanding but some progress is now being made.

Please extend my warmest greetings to your family and all members of Congress 60, as well as my best wishes for the new year.

 

Friends and Brothers Forever, 

Bill

 

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