‘Personal Failure or System Failure’ by William White

System Failure‘In my writings to people seeking recovery from addiction, I have advocated a stance of total personal responsibility:  Recovery by any means necessary under any circumstances.

That position does not alleviate the accountabilities of addiction treatment as a system of care. Each year, more than 13,000 specialized addiction treatment programs in the United States serve between 1.8 and 2.3 million individuals, many of whom are seeking help under external duress.  Those who are the source of such pressure are, as they see it, giving the individual a chance – with potentially grave consequences hanging in the balance.

Accepting the mantra that “Treatment Works,” families, varied treatment referral sources and the treatment industry itself believe that responsibility for any resumption of alcohol and other drug use following service completion rests on the shoulders of the individual and not with the treatment program. 

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On blaming

2007_0118walpole0076‘When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilise, or more water, or less sun.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce.

Blaming has no positive affect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments…

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