Can anyone with recent experience tell me about Rational Recovery?
Part of my job involves referring people to substance abuse treatment and monitoring their compliance. I had a client today ask about RR as an alternative to Narcotics Anonymous.
Now, I’d heard of RR as an alternative to AA and similar groups for people who have trouble with AA’s requirement of belief in a higher power. As an atheist, I was quite happy to look into the availability of RR groups in our area and to advocate (if necessary) for his being allowed to attend RR instead of AA or NA. But when I looked at their website, it wasn’t what I expected. They have apparently stopped using support groups and meetings altogether. Their website seems to devote as much space to criticizing AA-style groups and other treatment methods as it does to talking about addictions. And although much of what they say seems like good, cognitive-based stuff, it is full of words that set off huge alarms in my mind, like “effortlessly” and “guaranteed.” A lot of it seems geared to pressure you into accepting their model, and then when it doesn’t work instantly, getting you to spend large amounts of money on subscriptions and four-day conferences in California.
In other words, it screams “scam.” In fact, it almost screams “cult.”
Is this accurate? Do they really help people get over their addictions? And what happened to the meetings?–They can’t really think people will do better without any support at all!
Is there a group that does what I had thought RR did–provide a rationalist, non-theistic equivalent to the 12 Steps? Or have I fallen victim to a Narconon-type phishing scam, and the real RR has a slightly different name?