I have always been big on using inferences to explain concepts. So far, I believe that everything in the world is tied to everything else. That the simplest concepts can explain the most complex ideas. This way, I find it easier to understand how some things work without necessarily breaking a sweat. It’s all about finding the right perspective.
Now consider this: for the eight decades and counting that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been in existence, thousands (if not millions) of people have achieved recovery and sobriety from the organization’s support programs. It has also, undoubtedly, kept millions more from misusing and abusing drugs. In addition to other noble avenues (clinics, rehab facilities, etc.) that offer support to people addicted to substances, recovery efforts have had a lasting impact on lives and communities.
These facts make recovery seem all rosy and its methods deadshot in achieving sobriety. Well, now consider the fact that some people take longer than others to achieve sobriety, while others relapse so easily, or simply fail to recover. I have. And I find, by analogy, that a safe learning environment in the classroom agrees with impactful pathways to recovery for addicts.
The general idea behind the concept of a safe learning environment is that a safe and positive environment is going to improve learning tremendously and optimize interactions among learners. This is something that AA groups already recognize. People getting into AA or enrolling for rehab may find opening up or asking questions in their first encounter with others terrifying and intimidating. Admittedly, this problem is well covered by these programs. However, what are the limits of “safety” in such a setting? What many people may gather about safety in recovery include things like: acceptance without judgment, sharing a common problem, privacy, and confidentiality, among other things of that nature. But can safety go beyond these extremities? I believe it can and it should.
I agree definitely that safety in such contexts is effective and essential to successful recovery. But think of the incredible exploits addicts can achieve when the boundary between safety and comfort is blurred and blotted out! Imagine a world where going to the hospital actually means having lots of fun being there! That a visit to the doctor involved so much excitement like going on vacation. Unfortunately, the typical medical and social health care system offers little room for mixing safety with comfort. Most rehabilitation centers and clinics are no different. Like other sectors of society like government, commerce, and religion, their operations seem so mechanical and programmed to function the way they should.
Departing from the mantra no pain, no gain, I believe that recovery should be open to comfort. Administering sobriety through predefined programs and schedules is a killjoy, which quite frankly needs to be rethought. This might even turn out to be the very much-needed solution for people that struggle with constant relapse. I believe it is time rehab organizations and addicts looked towards luxury drug treatment in a new light.
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