How Activists Appropriate and Retool Established Therapeutic Approaches: An Example from The National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)

This workshop on an anti-racist recovery approach at the NAADAC 2022 conference (also presented at previous conferences) is an instructive example of how activists start to co-opt established therapy approaches. See the full workshop description here (from 2020). In this workshop, a reductive and simplistic view of addiction is presented: white supremacy is the cause of addiction. Below is an extract which lays out a Critical Social Justice version of the 12-step recovery programme. Note how the basic principles of this recovery approach is being appropriated for political ends. An established and efficacious treatment (12-step recovery programmes have been extensively researched) is being radically retooled without any research or critique. Having the imprimatur of one of the main addiction professional bodies, this untested treatment approach can now spread.

One comment

  1. Thank you for keeping a watchful eye on these totally divisive and distorted messages. I hope that more people and institutions can maintain the clarity to see the pitfalls and destructive outcomes of such divisiveness.

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