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Beware of “Alternative” Treatment Programs Like Enthusiastic Recovery

Many programs and treatment centers bill themselves as a little less traditional than the standard 12-step model. Many of these programs are supervised by medical and addiction treatment professionals. Other groups, like Enthusiastic Sobriety and its subsidiaries, are run by people who were also once addicted.

Many of these people are in recovery, attend 12-step meetings and work on themselves. What sets Enthusiastic Sobriety apart from these programs is the lack of self-improvement as a goal.

What is Enthusiastic Sobriety?

Enthusiastic Sobriety is a program that first emerged in the 1970s and is run by Bob Meehan, an ex-con. For decades, parents have paid top dollar for his unconventional “drug treatment” program. For the most part, he helps teens get clean and sober off of substances. He does not, however, believe in helping them change their lifestyle or behavior. And he doesn’t care to help them with mental health, either.

Enthusiastic Sobriety teaches its members that rebellion is okay, even “necessary.” Encouraging young participants to “act out” and commit acts of crime enables the most anti-social behavior, depriving them of true recovery. They continue smoking cigarettes or vaping tobacco; they even are allowed to shoplift in groups.

Many groups have formed offshoots of Enthusiastic Sobriety. They may try to fool potential clients. The lack of structure, therapy, or self-improvement goals should be a red flag for anyone looking for addiction treatment.

A Cult-Like Environment

The “treatment” program bonds young people and grooms them into Bob Meehan’s cult-like followers. As the young people continue on their anti-social journey, they begin to enter a cult-like environment.

Bias and hate have also cropped up in treatment centers and groups that bill themselves as Enthusiastic Recovery. Like other organizations, these secrets are used to intimidate and control participants. Teens who have bared their secrets are often victim-blamed or shamed for their gender or sexuality. Some participants have described racism as prevalent as well.

Do Your Research

If you or somebody you love needs help with addiction, make sure you do your homework on the facility. Check with the local Better Business Bureau and ask for references. Make sure to learn more about what type of therapy is available and who conducts it. Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions about treatment plans. You have the right to choose a professional and safe program that meets your needs.