Monday, July 26, 2010

Passages Malibu: Detox as Vacation, maybe

I've been terribly curious about that obnoxious, loud-mouthed guy in the TV commercials who claims he can CURE alcoholism, but only in Malibu. Hm. He can cure you in Malibu, but not in Detroit or Chattanooga? Now, why is that? Is Malibu crucial to his special, newfangled cure in some intrinsic way?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it is. He can charge you Malibu prices. A dry-out session at Passages will cost you $67,550 a month.

((((coughs)))) You say WHAT?!?!

I repeat, $67,550 a month. And that was the 2008 rate, before the economy tanked.

I started thinking it was a pricey hang-out for rich pill-poppers, when I took note of the placement of the TV commercials. Many of these are conspicuously broadcast during politically-oriented TV programming, such as the Sunday morning talk shows. (Are politicians all on drugs? Are political-junkies more likely to have this problem, or has marketing research shown that viewers of these shows have more money than the majority?) There he is, blustery Chris Prentiss, whom Hyman Roth might have categorized as headstrong, talking loud, saying stupid things. He doesn't believe in the disease concept of addiction, and he won't be so rude as to call you a drunk or a junkie, which are mean, unkind words.

From the Passages website (and click over and have a look at that spread of his):

Our treatment program is not like any other in the world for many reasons. We are not 12-step based, we won’t place you in groups all day that preach the disease concept of addiction, and place degrading labels on you like addict or alcoholic. You’re better than that, and along with being free from addiction; you deserve to be free of the labels as well. For most of you that will be refreshing to hear, for others, maybe not, perhaps you still want to wear the label of addict and alcoholic even after you’re sober, such as they do in the 12-step programs, if this is the case, then we may not be right for you. If you are ready to lose the identity of addict or alcoholic, achieve lasting sobriety, and live a life of health and happiness, then we are right for you.
Uh huh. Just change those nasty, judgmental labels, and you will feel better right from the get-go!

Just like Mel Gibson, who I am sure feels so much better right now, she giggled in mean-spiritedness. Those damn LABELS are the problem!

Let me interrupt here, with my 28 years of sobriety, admittedly dotted with some spotty pill-popping and pot-smoking. I think I qualify to argue with this guy, since I think he is dangerously WRONG. But of course, he is financially RIGHT, isn't he? And I truly don't believe he CARES if he is wrong, dangerously or otherwise, but now I am getting ahead of the story.

If you are an addict, then you are. Period. You can call yourself polka-dotted or you can call yourself a Martian, or you can call yourself not-an-addict, and that does not make these statements real or true, and further, in your heart of hearts, you know it. NOT taking the dreaded LABEL does not mean you are not regarded by EVERYONE ELSE as an alcoholic or addict. Lots of alcoholics/addicts, perhaps even the MAJORITY, never claim the label of "alcoholic", but just ask anyone around them: their families, their employers, their friends. Is so-and-so an alcoholic? And they will tell you, straight up. This is the psychology of the intervention: other people correlate the facts and there is a laundry-list of your offenses, directly related to alcoholism and drug-use. No wiggle room given, when they throw you out of the commune and say, point blank, IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE DRUNK ALL THE TIME. YOU STOLE FROM ME. YOU DISRUPTED MY BIRTHDAY PARTY, etc etc etc. It's hard to listen, but as the offenses pile up, you are forced to hear them. They are true. Everyone else is not "wrong"--while you are the only one in the right; this is not logical. Facts are facts.

Fact: Your life is out of your control, or you wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place. Why are you so concerned about LABELS at a time like this? You cannot keep on passing out and waking up in places like South Dakota or New York City (true stories of mine). Aren't you worried about dying or getting killed? Isn't your LIFE more important than whether you wear some damn LABEL? If it isn't, maybe you don't deserve to have a life, and adios. Stop wasting everyone's time, money and resources. BYE! (Sorry, the hard-ass 12-step sponsor emerges from time to time, even if I haven't been to a meeting in 8 years or something.)

If you are in such dire straits that you are spending close to $70,000 to get clean, you are an addict. Is this really in dispute? Certainly, I never spent money like that, even in the depths of alcoholism. If I HAD, I hope I would have the presence of mind to admit that I was indeed extremely desperate... and I hope everyone understands that DESPERATION is what we are discussing here. People do not spend that kind of money unless they are 1) rich people who want to get their relatives/employers/whoever off their backs in the short run and figure this might do it, or 2) desperate junkies who have tried everything else.

But this makes me very glad I was a poor addict, rather than a rich one (see post here, near the end, for my observations on that phenomenon). In the end, I was homeless, and homelessness makes for a unique sort of desperation, not the desperation of the rich movie-star or business executive... but desperation that concentrates the mind in a certain way that cuts out all the self-aggrandizing, egotistical bullshit. TIME TO DEAL.

I am grateful this happened to me, and I saw clearly. In Alcoholics Anonymous, this is known as a MOMENT OF CLARITY.

Perhaps the Passages people never get one of those. Do they?

I found a very informative article titled Addiction: Buying the Cure at Passages Malibu in LA Weekly, written by Mark Groubert. (There are 199 comments, also worth your time, if this subject interests you as much as it does me.)

The Groubert article is some fascinating reading:
Inside the cavernous main hall — there are two other buildings on the 10-acre facility — are yet more columns, a cascading staircase and a gaggle of pretty young guys and gals. These are the personal assistants. Each client at Passages gets his or her own personal assistant, which is kinda cool when you’ve been hammer-heading (combining Ecstasy and Viagra) for months and need a Himalayan goji-berry cocktail brought quickly to your bedside so you don’t miss the next installment of Intervention on your personal 46-inch plasma TV while waiting for your kick meds to kick in. The 29 comfortable beds here are currently filled with patients who pay $67,550 a month for them. Passages, owned and run by Chris Prentiss and his son Pax, is the most expensive, luxurious and controversial residential drug-treatment center in the world.

The Prentisses are the Holocaust deniers of the addiction-recovery industry. They deny the existence of addiction. They deny the existence of alcoholism. They deny that it is a disease, or that it is incurable.
...
“Doctors and scientists are still treating alcoholism as if it is the problem, when it has nothing at all to do with the problem,” Prentiss tells me. “They might as well be studying scratchism for people who have a chronic itch.” Prentiss insists that one of his major goals is to “see the word alcoholism eliminated from the English language.”
...
Prentiss immediately tells me the I Ching is “the greatest book ever written,” that “it tells the future with 100 percent accuracy.” He tells me he has written more books on the I Ching than any writer in the world. I wonder if that’s true, seeing as how I am currently surrounded by I Ching books written by an author named Wu Wei —titles like I Ching Wisdom and I Ching Life, I Ching Readings, The I Ching Workbook, The I Ching: The Book of Answers. Wu Wei, it turns out, is Prentiss’ pen name. It means “no name.” All his books are self-published under his own imprint, Power Press.
Ah, so Prentiss is a self-styled California GURU too. Why am I not surprised?
Prentiss now tells me how his system of workshops and therapy can actually cure addiction: “Our powerful treatment methods provide total recovery from addiction through intensive individualized therapy. Our fully customized treatment program first discovers and then heals the underlying causes of a person’s addiction using one-on-one therapy.”

Confused by Prentiss’ claims, I later call Dr. Drew Pinsky,
[1] the noted addiction specialist. When I read Prentiss’ statement to Pinsky, he states emphatically, “There’s no evidence that aggressive therapeutic intervention early in the course of addiction does anything but make addicts want to get loaded more.”

Of all his offbeat claims, Prentiss’ “success rate” may be his most outlandish. In an industry where reputable facilities such as the Betty Ford Center and Hazelden wouldn’t dare claim even a 25 percent cure rate, Prentiss sticks to his guns. He looks me square in the eyes and says: “We have an 84.4 percent success rate since we opened our doors in 2001, the highest in the world.”
I really love that .4 that he adds to the high number, really makes it sound scientific.
Prentiss says his cure rate is based on the latest survey involving 700 of his graduates, with whom he keeps in contact through phone calls and alumni gatherings.

I ask him how he could statistically compare someone who left his rehab sober seven years ago with someone who graduates tomorrow having spent 30 days off drugs. In 12-step programs, the person with 30 days sober is considered to be in the infancy of his or her sobriety. Prentiss doesn’t see it that way. Once the car comes off the assembly line, it’s ready to drive.

“It’s easy,” he grins. “They’re both cured.”
Well, there you go.

That well-known "revolving door of detox" we've all heard of in AA? Just old wives tales. One visit to detox, 25 visits, all the same. You're CURED, baby! [2]

The stories of suffering individuals who have spent astronomical amounts of money on this half-baked bullshit [4] are very disturbing and make me wish these folks could file malpractice lawsuits.
Despite the pressure to stay another month, [Passages patient] Billy took part in the talking-stick ceremony after 60 days and some $100,000 of his parents’ money. One of the first things Billy did to celebrate was to smoke two eight balls of crack in a reunion with three other “cured” grads after renting a luxury hotel room on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Combined, the four upscale crack heads had spent more than $300,000 on the Passages cure. The two eight balls, by contrast, cost around 500 bucks.
One fellow named Stuart spent around a quarter million on two stays at Passages, about six years ago. Interestingly, at that time, AA meetings were part of the process!

So what happened?
“When I was there, we did six or seven [A.A.] meetings a week. Two or three in-house and the rest out,” he says. “And they were mandatory. When Chris wrote his book [The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure],that ended. That’s when he decided A.A. was the villain, because he decided he could make a fortune if he just claimed he had found the cure for alcoholism.”

The business executive continues in an upbeat, almost appreciative tone: “Chris has a brilliant scheme that they have cooked up there. He has the perfect sales pitch.” His voice suddenly drops. “I know. I fell into it. It’s a beautiful sales pitch when someone is at the end of their rope.”

When I tell Stuart I couldn’t find any of the success stories Prentiss brags about, he tells me, “People come in there, they fail and nobody can call him on it. He’s got clients with confidentiality agreements to hide behind.”
Stuart believes the word CURE was the marketable innovation, and of course, AA does not believe in cures, so Passages and AA were then at odds. "Chris was having trouble filling the beds, and the minute he changed the message, they filled to the brim. He created a cash machine,” Stuart says.

Stuart is now an AA member, and feels he must expose the 84.4% fib.
“I scraped ex-clients out of seedy hotels, that’s why I have firsthand knowledge. I actually cleaned up the mess. The first thing they would say to me was, ‘Omigod, I relapsed,’ and the second thing was, ‘Please don’t tell anyone at Passages. Chris will be disappointed in me. I must be hopeless.’ They believed the 85 percent cure rate and felt like complete losers.”
I dearly wish this scam could be exposed further. I'd love to stop seeing the extremely pricey commercials for their extremely pricey "cure" every Sunday.

And if these advertisements were about a cure for cancer? Diabetes? Asthma? Eczema even?

Would they be allowed to claim cures on expensive network television?

Don't make me laugh.






~*~

Notes:


[1] In the article, Groubert notes that Dr Pinsky and the Prentisses squared off on Paula Zahn's TV show:
“I think [Prentiss] said it wasn’t a disease,” said Pinsky, somewhat amused. “I don’t know what you can cure other than diseases.”
HAHAHA! Good shot, Doctor!

[2] One of my personal pet peeves is when smokers claim they have quit 10 (or however many) times, so yes, they know how, and of course (wait for it!), they can quit any time they want to!

I always correct them. As an ex-smoker, I cannot restrain myself from pointing out the error: No, you TRIED to quit smoking 10 times, and you failed, or you wouldn't still be smoking.

To me, this is a simple delineation, but I guess it's too difficult for Chris and Pax to understand (or perhaps it's just not in their economic interests to get it).

[3] To be clear, Passages is just one of many elite, resort-type treatment centers for celebrities in the area that specialize in pampering. By contrast, at Betty Ford, even the rich and famous must take out the trash, but no such demeaning work will be required by these swanky resort outfits, which I gather is a major reason they exist.

I know how eye-rollingly humorous it is, when Alice Cooper or Robin Williams or someone comes out of rehab, all starry-eyed about how, wow, I took out my own trash for the first time since I was a kid! But that is part of the process for such people, taking them down off their high-horses and reminding them that they are fallible human beings like everyone else. This is crucial to recovery for a person accustomed to being idolized. Because if you are super-human, you can therefore take super-human amounts of chemicals and endure, right? This is thinking like a drug addict, and puncturing such depraved-thinking is necessary. Taking out the trash and washing dishes is a good place to start.

As we can see from the link, Lindsey Lohan getting perpetually waited-on did nothing for her sobriety.

[4] Hey boys and girls out there, don't forget: Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are FREE. FREE FREE FREE. In the big cities, you can walk to meetings at nearly any time, within minutes. And some of them will have coffee and donuts, and they will be FREE too. (Since they understand addiction intimately, they ASSUME you are poor already, and they are usually right.) Recovery in AA will not cost you a red cent, unless you feel like donating. And donations is what the organization is built on.

Just a friendly reminder, in case you need one. :)

94 comments:

JoJo said...

That detox place makes me ill. I was going to make a snarky Lindsay Lohan crack, but you beat me to it at the end of your post. lol So they deny that alcoholism is a disease? That's messed up. But then again, the people they are catering to are so out of touch with reality that their mission statement caters to those people. Reading the info you posted from their website reminded me a lot of the Scientology flakes.

There's a place in Seattle called Schick Shadel Hospital that does a 10 day inpatient detox program. What they do is give the person as much of their drug/drink of choice that they want, only it's laced with something that makes you vomit. After 10 days of that, people are supposedly cured.

Word verif: Flakeroo (indeed!)

sheila said...

Wow, this dude is a nut. A really high priced one. That's insane. I never heard of him til I read your post, lol. I'm guessing he's mainly on like informercial type things? lol....we're banned from watching them here. And by 'we'...I mean everyone but me, ha ha.

As always, great post.

D. said...

There's a Mencken misquote ju-u-u-ust out of memory's reach. Something about underestimating the American public.

Joan Kelly said...

more later, but yes, to this post.

Cigarette Sally said...

Very true.

Joan Kelly said...

Even though I'm a person for whom 12 step stuff has worked, I don't believe it's the only right way for people who are alcoholics/addicts. Hell, there's too much variation within AA itself (some factions being very cult-like, for instance [yes, Pacific Group, I'm looking at you]) for AA to be some universally straightforward and "correct" solution for any/everybody with substance abuse problems.

That said, though it's not funny to me at all what people go through with this "Cure" guy's robbery, it does make me laugh sometimes when friends of mine in AA are like "oh my god it will be the end of civilization if somebody doesn't stop this guy and his dangerous claims!"

Because my own experience is that yes, alcoholics and addicts are vulnerable and I think it's unethical to lie to them/manipulate them for financial gain when their fucking lives are on the line. However, my experience is also that this "Cure" is not that different from all the other ways alcoholics/addicts will lie to themselves on their own, for free, in order to keep believing they don't have the condition of alcoholism, they just have the condition of not-having-found-the-right-magic-bullet-to-control-it-yet.

So whatshisface gets rich off rich people, that does suck and I say a hearty fuck him for that. But it's also a truly sorrowful reality that one of the main features of alcoholism/addiction is the herculean ability to lie to oneself and avoid anything that might really help so long as there are any other options available at all. The "Cure" is just one more of those options. Evil on the part of the guy who is behind it, yes. But only able to succeed because of choices alcoholics make. Until they make a different choice.

That's my perhaps-too-harsh opinion anyway. I do love that you expose this fucker for what he is, in this post.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Joan, thanks for your comment, loved it.

The Calvinist bent of AA here in the south was pretty rough on me, free spirit that I am (haha), so I hear you. I haven't been to a meeting in a very long time.

The main thing AA is good at is simply teaching you the roadblocks to drinking, the nuts and bolts of how to avoid it, the lies you tell yourself, etc. Example: I was recently on a plane, and found myself idly thinking (when offered a nice shot of Jack Daniels) that "no one would know if I did!" ...and then suddenly remembered a scary AA-relapse story that started in exactly that manner: NO ONE WILL KNOW.

I remembered it all these decades later, I realized, because it was precisely the kind of thing *I* might do.

There is no substitute for this type of wisdom, and the only place you can get it is from people who actually DID IT. They died for our sins! I am so grateful I heard that story... and so many others just like it.

And no, I didn't drink it. :)

Love ya, Joan.

Joan Kelly said...

Love you too, Daisy.

I have a (thankfully for me because it's what I need, not what anyone else needs) different experience with AA than it sounds like you have had.

For me, yes the tools and shared experiences/solutions are great, but I also am just a person who gets something more out of the meetings I go to. But it's after years of finding out that there were oh so many meetings I DIDN'T want to go to, ha.

Mainly it's that there are these women who I feel close to, and share things like hope and anger and ridiculousness with, and I don't know why I need - more than just want or enjoy - these particular experiences in order to stay sober, but for me, it's true that I do. It's bizarre when I think of it, but sublime to be with them and get to love them safely and be loved back, so even though I don't know what gives, I just go with it.

And when there's the odd moment where even these women who I have been lucky enough to find and be with every week, when one of them says something, shall we say, "Calvinist," ha, one of the upsides of me being so me-me-me-ish is that I easily tune shit out and don't take on whatever that shit is. And try to make it known without being obnoxious, at other times, that I am someone who's in those rooms who is anti- the promotion of conformity, submission, hierarchy, control-freakery, etc.

vishal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
davka said...

someone I love has been to Passages several times. They are criminal. They claim to have a cure. All they care about is money and they are greedy as all hell, never helping the poor with their alleged cure. Good post!!

It costs more than 60,000- it's 80,000. But if the cure doesn't work, you get half off the next time!

*shakes head*

Stinkin' said...

After 18 years of relapse and failure using the 12-step method proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous, I was relieved to find Chris Prentiss' book "The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure." The ideas in that book, which I read at a very early point in my current sobriety, gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with developing a personal recovery plan designed to suit my own individual needs. The book is mostly about changing you perspective as far as addiction is concerned, and finding the treatment that will work for you.

I found the book at Borders books for $14.99... It was on a shelf right next to the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book which I believe was priced at $13.99.

One thing that I found appealing about Chris Prentiss' approach to recovery is that Chris Prentiss does not expect me to spend every evening of my life in a dirty church basement pissing and moaning about how powerless I supposedly am... He never asked me for a thing beyond the $14.99 price of the book... AA asked me for my will and my life.

It amazes me how resentful AA members can be when someone like Chris Prentiss suggests an alternative approach to addiction recovery. The big book stresses that AA is not the only way to get sober, but as soon as their sacred religious program is challenged in any way they go right into attack mode. It doesn't matter that the alternative approach might actually save a few lives (like mine) To AA members any suggestion that an alternative method to achieve sobriety can be the best approach for some is pure heresy, and it must be quashed immediately. Suppression of information regarding alternative forms of recovery is not uncommon within AA culture... Just go to an AA meeting and tell the kindhearted, loving, and tolerant folks there that you are using drugs like Naltrexone to help you to overcome your addiction. See how quickly their smiles turn to sneers. Watch as they respond in unison, "THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL." Like brainwashed drones for the religion that claims not to be a religion, they set forth to crush or suppress any method other than the supposedly "God given" 12-step program. stinkin-thinkin.com

DaisyDeadhead said...

Stinkin: AA asked me for my will and my life.

Really? They never asked me for that, so I guess we went to different AAs? Or are you just pimping Prentiss's book, as I suspect?

every evening of my life in a dirty church basement

I've been to nice church basements, too, even Episcopalian basements in gleaming suburbs. Synagogues too, in the north. Also: many folks' private homes, lovely conference centers, restaurants, union halls, beautiful historic chapels, those meeting rooms in places like the Marriott... and my favorite: out in the woods, sometimes next to blazing fires. And you ONLY went to dirty basements? (What town is this?)

Sounds like you're a newbie, or maybe a liar.

It amazes me how resentful AA members can be when someone like Chris Prentiss suggests an alternative approach to addiction recovery.

But if alcoholism isn't an illness, as Prentiss steadfastly maintains it is NOT, what exactly are you recovering from?!? (Admittedly, I DO get resentful when presented with ILLOGICAL BULLSHIT such as that, yes.)

Reading a book does not make you sober. You are full of shit.

The big book stresses that AA is not the only way to get sober, but as soon as their sacred religious program is challenged in any way they go right into attack mode.

I haven't been to an AA meeting since 2002. So I am (no longer) hard-core about AA in the least. But I do recognize fast-talking bullshit when I hear it. Hey, I work in RETAIL and I can do it myself. And you are talking shit.

I simply haven't found anything superior that works as well (on anybody), except possibly 1) intense formal psychiatry/therapy, which is financially out of reach for working class people like me (and most addicts, who are broke, since they are addicts, of course) and 2) "one of those storm-trooper religions" (direct quote from a much-admired AA person I used to know; I always liked the terminology) such as fundamentalist Mormons or Baptists or Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. Gung fucking ho. Nothing else will suffice.

The recovery process must be as intense as the addiction process was. It must take up just as much time in the person's life, at least in the beginning. It must TAKE OVER, as the alcohol took over... if you partied for X number of hours a day, then you will need to spend that much time on AA every day (in the beginning), then start cutting back slowly. That doesn't mean sitting in meetings, it also means social gatherings of people in recovery, friendships, phone conversations, etc. which I think are as crucial as the meetings. You have to have constant feedback over a long period, and you can't get that in treatment centers for 28 days, or by reading a book. Sorry, but it's just the truth.

2b continued

DaisyDeadhead said...

I regard AA as peer counseling, a type of informal group therapy. I think having someone to ARGUE WITH YOU (alcoholics love to argue, have you noticed?) and talk you out of ridiculous things you get lodged in your head (particularly in the first 1-2 years), is of dire importance in recovery.

To AA members any suggestion that an alternative method to achieve sobriety can be the best approach for some is pure heresy, and it must be quashed immediately.

Every single one? (((reads back))) Wow, I just named two methods that I think work just as well (a conclusion I reached fairly early on, BTW), so I guess you're wrong, huh? All AA members do not think alike. (Shocking, I know!)

Nobody quashed my heresy immediately; in fact, discussing alternative methods and how/if they work is one of the main topics people like to discuss in social settings. You HAVE been in an AA social setting (not a meeting) haven't you? If not, you have no idea what you are talking about. Because if you only hung around the periphery, that is why it never worked for you.

As I said, you have to go whole-hog. That is how alcoholics do things. Half-measures availed us nothing! ;)

Suppression of information regarding alternative forms of recovery is not uncommon within AA culture.

In the internet age, how exactly does one "suppress" information? As I said, alternative methods are one of the main topics, even here in the Calvinist south... perhaps particularly here, where it is not uncommon for people to "get saved" and then claim they no longer need AA, or never did. And sometimes, it works like a charm... I have a very good friend who hasn't wavered for YEARS. But it usually takes intensity, like a dramatic episode of "getting saved"--another AA joke is that it takes Pentecostals, not Presbyterians!

Just go to an AA meeting and tell the kindhearted, loving, and tolerant folks there that you are using drugs like Naltrexone to help you to overcome your addiction. See how quickly their smiles turn to sneers.

That's probably because "using drugs to overcome addiction" is simply incorrect and usually doesn't work. (PS: "Eating more to lose weight" won't work either.) Replacing one form of addiction for another is what that is. I don't personally care what you do, but yes, some people think rotting your body with MORE drugs is like carrying coals to Newcastle and is the last thing you need.

To me, drug-use in AA is just a sign that the person doing it isn't serious and won't last very long. I refused to sponsor people using drugs (and I was asked many times) since I believed they were simply wasting my time... the 2 times I broke this rule, I turned out to be right and never broke my rule again.

Watch as they respond in unison, "THERE IS NO MAGIC PILL."

There isn't. Sorry, dude.

But can I ask why you are taking drugs if you were supposedly cured simply by reading Prentiss' book? Isn't the idea to finally be free of them?

So: I guess Prentiss's book HAS NOT worked, then.

Like brainwashed drones for the religion that claims not to be a religion, they set forth to crush or suppress any method other than the supposedly "God given" 12-step program.

Let's cut to the chase: how long? I am up to 29 years next month. When you can top that, get back to me. Otherwise, blah blah blah, I've heard it all before. (I sponsored a number of people, you know.)

Next time you relapse, have one on me. :)

Stinkin' said...

“Really? They never asked me for that, so I guess we went to different AAs? Or are you just pimping Prentiss's book, as I suspect?”

I’m not pimping anything. Chris Prentiss’ book opened a door for me in early sobriety. Chris Prentiss’ Ideas made a lot of sense to me, and after years of relapse in AA, Chris Prentiss’ book helped me to believe that it was okay to seek a different path.

This is what I’m talking about when I say, “Suppression of information regarding alternative forms of recovery is not uncommon within AA culture.” You come out of the cage spitting and hissing, making accusations that I’m just marketing a book. You’ll say anything to shut what you perceive as “the opposition” down.

“Sounds like you're a newbie, or maybe a liar.”

Here we go again… Now I’m a liar.

Just to be fair… Only about 75% of the meetings I went to were held in dirty church basements.

Stinkin' said...

“But if alcoholism isn't an illness, as Prentiss steadfastly maintains it is NOT, what exactly are you recovering from?!? (Admittedly, I DO get resentful when presented with ILLOGICAL BULLSHIT such as that, yes.)…”

First off… I’m not Chris Prentiss… Just because I agree with some of the things he has to say does not mean that I am somehow required to submit to, or believe everything that Chris Prentiss has to say. For me, Chris Prentiss’ book opened a door to a few ideas that were new to me, and were also quite helpful in finding a plan that could actually help me to stop drinking and get on with my life.

You can get hung up on the disease concept if you’d like. Personally I don’t think that the word makes much of a difference… Disease… disorder… affliction… whatever you want to call it. Alcoholism can be much worse that a disease if you ask me. Alcoholism affected nearly every feature of my existence.

I do however have a problem with the disease definition, as represented by Alcoholics Anonymous.
In AA members are taught to believe that they have a “spiritual disease.” The only other word that describes such nonsense is “sin” and that’s an inherently religious concept… But AA is not religious… right? To me this is nothing but a bait and switch that AA uses to recruit vulnerable members. Of course AA is religious.

My personal definition of addiction is that addiction is a behavioral disorder with psychological, physiological, and social components.

It’s been quite a while since my last drink, or even any desire to have another, so I like to believe that I am RECOVERED from a behavioral disorder with psychological, physiological, and social components. For a while there I guess I was recovering. Somewhere along the line I stepped free of the land of hopelessness and into a new life of hope. The desire to drink has been completely erased.

Stinkin' said...

“…Reading a book does not make you sober. You are full of shit.”

If you could show me where I said that reading the book was all I did to get sober I’d like to see it. The fact is, I’ve never said anything of the sort. You are putting words in my mouth.

Since I’ve read the book I’ve explored a number of different approaches to recovery. Early on (for the first 4 months before I actually stopped drinking) I took a drug called naltrexone. I do consider naltrexone to be the miracle pill. It erased any cravings or desires I had to drink. I was able to take it each day before I started drinking, and little by little a pharmacological extinction of cravings occurred. It was like nothing I could have ever imagined. I just didn’t feel like drinking any more. The pill didn’t get me high… There were no side effects beyond a slight case of the jitters a couple of times… Kind of like when you’ve had one too many cups of coffee.

Having overcome my addiction, I was not so naive to assume that all of my problems had been solved overnight. The cravings were gone, but I was still stuck with a huge pile of problems that needed to be solved. I also remembered that Chris Prentiss’ book focused quite a bit on uncovering the root causes… those things in my past that had contributed to my desire to run away from it all. Following the books advice I set out to develop a comprehensive plan to solve my problems, learn to cope better with future problems, and identify those root causes so that I could begin to work on them.

I’m not a wealthy guy, so I got much of my information from various books that I was able to check out of the local library, and the internet was invaluable in finding different perspectives and alternative recovery resources.

Stinkin' said...

I found a vitamin regiment that was actually developed by Abram Hoffer while working with Bill Wilson in the 1950s. I cut a few of the doses by as much as half, as I was a bit afraid of mega-doses, and found it somewhat helpful in relieving neuropathy, and healing some of the damage that pickling myself had caused. I noticed an immediate increase in energy and I believe I was also relieved of some of the emotional highs and lows I’d experienced for most of my life. (not entirely, but enough to make things a bit more comfortable)

I studied SMART Recovery a bit…. Went to a few meetings, and absorbed some of the problem solving and emotional regulation skills they had to offer. I found the philosophies of Dr. Albert Ellis to be something I could relate to, and so I did my best to apply some of these ideas to my every day way of living.

I became involved with another group called LifeRing online. For a while I was the deputy administrator of the LifeRing ning forum. I appreciated LifeRings 3-S philosophy (Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help) and was also pleased to find that some of LifeRings ideas were in alignment with Chris Prentiss’. LifeRing encourages members to develop a personal recovery plan designed to suit their individual needs.

I read a book by Joan Mathews Larson called “Seven Weeks to Sobriety” and found that some of the information regarding alcoholism and hypoglycemia was useful, so I cut way down on sugar and tried to adjust my diet to a healthier way of eating. A focus on nutrition is becoming more and more a part of my plan as time goes on.

I’m a veteran, so I had the good fortune of participating in a program at the local VA that focused on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a philosophy developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan Professor, Department of Psychology Director, Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC) University of Washington. I was amazed at how simple and effective the skills that I learned were. I’d recommend DBT to anyone who has issues with substance abuse. The therapy was designed to treat patients with borderline personality disorder, but in recent years it’s been proving effective in treating all kinds of disorders. The emotion regulation skills are the most effective I’ve ever experienced. DBT is the future of psychology. It’s truly a miracle in the making.

I also used something they call the wheel of life to sort of categorize, or compartmentalize different areas of my life. Then in my own unique way I tried to identify issues in each area, come up with lists or resources that could help me to solve them, and take action to get things done. This actually made problem solving kind of fun.

So, here are a few of the things I did in order to overcome addiction and move on with my life.

Stinkin' said...

I’m a veteran, so I had the good fortune of participating in a program at the local VA that focused on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a philosophy developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan Professor, Department of Psychology Director, Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC) University of Washington. I was amazed at how simple and effective the skills that I learned were. I’d recommend DBT to anyone who has issues with substance abuse. The therapy was designed to treat patients with borderline personality disorder, but in recent years it’s been proving effective in treating all kinds of disorders. The emotion regulation skills are the most effective I’ve ever experienced. DBT is the future of psychology. It’s truly a miracle in the making.

I also used something they call the wheel of life to sort of categorize, or compartmentalize different areas of my life. Then in my own unique way I tried to identify issues in each area, come up with lists or resources that could help me to solve them, and take action to get things done. This actually made problem solving kind of fun.

So, here are a few of the things I did in order to overcome addiction and move on with my life.

Stinkin' said...

“I haven't been to an AA meeting since 2002. So I am (no longer) hard-core about AA in the least. But I do recognize fast-talking bullshit when I hear it. Hey, I work in RETAIL and I can do it myself. And you are talking shit.”

Well, if it’s just a bunch of fast talking bullshit, maybe I should just pack it all in, give up this good life I’ve made for myself, and head back out into the woods with a backpack and a can of Chef-Boy-Ardee. A quart of Caldwell’s Gin should cap it all off, and I can return to the misery that I’ve worked so hard to escape. It is all just a bunch of fast talking bullshit after all…. Right?

“I simply haven't found anything superior that works as well (on anybody), except possibly 1) intense formal psychiatry/therapy, which is financially out of reach for working class people like me (and most addicts, who are broke, since they are addicts, of course) and 2) "one of those storm-trooper religions" (direct quote from a much-admired AA person I used to know; I always liked the terminology) such as fundamentalist Mormons or Baptists or Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. Gung fucking ho. Nothing else will suffice.”

I disagree… My experience was that AA is just a revolving door. Most people fail because faith healing is just bullshit.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Stinkin: I’m not Chris Prentiss

Hmm, interesting you bring up this possibility. Since you say you aren't, I believe you are. :) You wrote his name out three times in one paragraph.

How long without a drink? You missed the salient question.

I don't care, as I said, if you pop pills to a fare-thee-well. What is funny is how you are all fired up and judgmental, just like you accuse AA people of acting. You see that, right? Why is it so important to convince me that you're right?

You're either Chris Prentiss, or you are in trouble. Find a meeting, soon, and get the hell off my blog.

Thanks. I will be deleting all further gibberish.

DaisyDeadhead said...

PS: People who have "moved on" do not spam blogs with 8 comments in a row about how they have "moved on".

Now, move the fuck on, for real this time.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I found where you directed your cult members to my blog, Stinkin/Chris/Todd, whoever you are.

I got into quite a discussion with a real hardcore AA fruitloop over here today…

http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2010/07/passages-malibu-detox-as-vacation-maybe.html

If anyone else would like to join in on the spankathon, I’d love to see you there.

Thanks… Todd


Well, the spankathon now includes Todd's IP address (I hope you realize that anyone who trolls a stranger's blog for over 4 hours is the real fruitloop?)--

Search Engine Phrase
passages malibu horror stories

Search Engine Name Google

Search Engine Host www.google.com

Host Name c-76-24-89-151.hsd1.ma.comcast.net

IP Address 76.24.89.151

Country United States
Region Massachusetts
City South Easton
ISP Comcast Cable

Visit Length 4 hours 51 mins 11 secs
VISITOR SYSTEM SPECS
Browser Firefox 3.6
Operating System Win7


Fucking freak.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaisyDeadhead said...

Anonymous, are you in Atlantic Beach or Jacksonville, FL? Can't tell, I'll need at least one more post to narrow down exactly where you live/work/post from. So please, go ahead, I'm listening. Apologies for deleting your rude, sexist rant! :D

Anonymous' details:

Referrer http://community.stinkin-thinkin.com/groups/crash-this-thread/

Host Name c-69-180-91-129.hsd1.fl.comcast.net

IP Address 69.180.91.129

Country United States
Region Florida
City Atlantic Beach
ISP Comcast Cable

Visit Length 25 mins 26 secs
VISITOR SYSTEM SPECS
Browser Firefox 3.6
Operating System WinXP
Resolution 1024x768
Javascript Enabled
Navigation Path

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaisyDeadhead said...

If yall would go to AA, you could have real lives instead of trolling some old hippie grandma's blog.

Pathetic freaks.

I don't mind the hits though! High traffic is good. But remember, every single IP address (and location) is recorded. Spammers can lose their ISPs. Be forewarned, Comcast Cable assures me (just looked) that they do not allow abuse of their service and have a zero-tolerance policy.

In short, fuck off.

PS: I admit, I was kinda hoping you people were as dumb as my gun-nut troll, who actually posted FROM HIS JOB. (Drug-addled people are known to do stupid things like that, so I was rather hopeful.) *sigh* they don't make trolls like they used to.

bryce said...

d-ima send lil Todd a scaree chain letter

real old school

i *love* veterans

Stinkin' said...

Because of the veiled threat from Bryce on your blog, I have notified the local police.

This post is a formal request for you to remove my personal information from your blog, and to cease and desist any threatening actions or gestures toward either myself or anyone else who you may consider to be associated with me. Thank you for you attention to this matter.

DaisyDeadhead said...

OMG, you are hilarious!

You posted your address, didn't you? Why did you post it? Just delete it, then, I don't care. (???) What's the matter with you, are you WHACK?

I think the cops will find it pretty funny that you posted your own address here, and then get upset that someone might send you mail. Considering all that you have just written here about your umm, various therapeutic interventions, they will likely conclude you aren't the most stable individual in the world.

This will make a great blog post, so please, do it. I can't wait!

Love and peace, Todd.

Stinkin' said...

That wasn't posted by me and you know it.

Again... This is a formal request for you to remove ALL of my personal information from your blog.

This concludes any direct correspondence between us.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Todd, your "spankathon" sounds like a threat too, you know?

How would I know your address? Are you tripping?

Please, go run to the police and tell them, as a strapping young veteran, that some grandma with arthritis you threatened to SPANK (and whose blog you stalked for several hours straight), is threatening you... and her gay cousin is going to send you a love letter and embarrass you. Please, go ahead. I wanna see what happens with this.

Namaste.

Anonymous said...

Daisy,
you realize you mentioned AA in the Assange post?

I think it's interesting that this trolling happens during the Assange discussion.

Just sayin.

bryce said...

o noes :(

it's all over between us todd !

DaisyDeadhead said...

Announcement to all trolls/cultists from "stinkin thinkin" (real accurate name, at least): I will be deleting any further trolling and threats. I do not want any more hits from your site; they are now into the hundreds. YOU are stalking and harassing me, I did not come looking for you and I did not post YOUR name here, you did. You posted MY link on your site, called it "crash this thread" and named it a "spankathon".. YOU DID.

Take responsibility for your actions... oh wait, if you could do THAT, you wouldn't be so upset with me in the first place, now would you?

GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE PLEASE.

As stated previously, if you need to call the cops to have them teach you how to delete your own comment, go ahead. If you need to call cops on me for "threatening you"--even though you initially came here to harass and stalk me-- go ahead. Please do all of this and stop threatening me with it. You will not post here again, or *I* will contact your ISPs for harassment and show them this thread. GO AWAY. GO AWAY. GO AWAY.

Any further comments or threats will be evidence of stalking. Take your sicko SPANKATHON elsewhere.

BTW, Anonymous, I noticed that. I assume someone upset with my post about Assange put them onto me. And they don't even have the guts to admit that. (Why come after me suddenly 6 months after I write a post? Interesting timing indeed.)

GO. AWAY. NOW. CEASE. DESIST.

I have deleted a good 20-30 of their sick-ass posts so far. Deranged and evil. Perverse.

To all of you: Please enter recovery, any recovery, by anybody, anywhere, NOW, SOON. You need help.

Yes, please DO call the cops. I think I might need them myself.

Stinkin' said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stinkin' said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaisyDeadhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaisyDeadhead said...

Domain name: stinkin-thinkin.com

Registrant Contact:
Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Whois Agent ()

Fax:
PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
C/O stinkin-thinkin.com
Bellevue, WA 98007
US

Administrative Contact:
Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Whois Agent ()
+1.4252740657
Fax: +1.4259744730
PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
C/O stinkin-thinkin.com
Bellevue, WA 98007
US

Technical Contact:
Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
Whois Agent ()
+1.4252740657
Fax: +1.4259744730
PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
C/O stinkin-thinkin.com
Bellevue, WA 98007
US

Status: Locked

Name Servers:
ns803.hostgator.com
ns804.hostgator.com

Creation date: 01 Apr 2010 23:54:00

Stinkin' said...

Oh no! Someone is requesting that you should remove the personal information that you've maliciously posted on your blog! It's a violation of human rights!!!! Call the United Nations!!!!


This is just the beginning... little raindrops before the storm.

Stinkin' said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24th_Infantry_Division_%28United_States%29

Stinkin' said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ralph the wonder dog said...

DD, the A.A. thing is a ruse. This is a right-wing, pro-military veteran who is after you for what you wrote about Assange. That's why it happened right after you wrote it and not in July. The A.A. excuse is bullshit. They are attacking a lot of small blogs like yours. Stay strong. Whatever you do, don't cave.

Having his information is the only thing that is keeping him from taking out your blog totally. They are very powerful and single-minded as you can see. They took my blog out earlier in the week.

They won't rest until they run the fucking world. Abu Ghraib is right.

Ralph the wonder dog said...

That was a reference to his soldier friends and was a threat. Storm as in storm troopers. You've got him. Don't delete any thing else he writes except the spam. The spam record you send to his isp.
Even if you delete it's in your cache.

My co blogger is running his IP to see if it matches the trolls we got at our blog.

Stay strong gurl!

DaisyDeadhead said...

Ralph, I figured as much. Thank you for confirming it, though.

I know a few stormtroopers myself. ;)

bryce said...

i have a question

how could daisy get yr address 2 post with out yr consent ? enquiring minds want 2 know !

glad u found jesus

DaisyDeadhead said...

Bryce, did you change your phone number again? Did you finally get the iphone? or are you still using that tacky-ass tracphone?

Reply: Yeah, I covered my bases, and guy from Blogger Help said to copy it his info and delete, so likely will. I hate doing it though. I'm having fun! He will be all over me if I delete, according to Ralph.

If I delete, and he is shown to be an authentic right wing troll, it won't stop him. (IP doesn't match Ralph's invaders from Tuesday) Ralph says don't delete, you say delete, Blogger Help says delete. Mr Daisy says turn the computer off ... Ohhh whats a mother to do.

Blogger Help guy says no question I was targeted by this group, and I can file a webhost complaint about that. He showed me how to do it. Google is good! Yes, taking over the world, but nonetheless helpful.

Please advise. See, times like this, wish I was still a Christian and/or going to AA, LOL. Obedience is far easier in situations such as this.

Ralph, returned email.

Answer your PHONE DUDE, mailbox full, mailbox full, how many guys did you meet down at Hilton Head anyway??? LOL :P

DaisyDeadhead said...

Apologies Todd, apparently, I WAS mistaken. Promptly admitting it, nyah nyah.

The person who posted your info was on AOL and has a static IP. Ralph thought he had it but then it changed again at the next login. (Not sure I understand how that works, but that's what he said.) Anyway, this could not have been you, since I have your IP and that isn't it, unless you were literally jumping from one computer to another within like 3 minutes (which I suppose is possible but highly unlikely). I do apologize for assuming it you posted it. You initially approached me with such arrogance and hostility, I didn't believe anything you said. (People who like to pick fights usually don't get the benefit of the doubt.)

First login -- 172.128.0.12
Hostname: ac80000c.ipt.aol.com
ISP: America Online
Organization: America Online
Proxy: None detected
Assignment: Dynamic IP

Second login (this person is still logged into my site, BTW, possibly yours too?): 64.12.138.200
The second login changed to:
Hostname: imr-m06.mx.aol.com

You can see how I would think it was two different people on first scanning Sitemeter. Statcounter showed it to be the same person, though. Not sure I understand about static IPs. (?) I thought the root numbers stayed the same, but apparently they don't. Or (Ralph says), could be two different computers (work and home) but still using AOL. (?) I have no idea how AOL works. Anyway, you should probably scan your sitemeter and keep an eye on all AOL lurkers/members.

Since this was done without your consent and it has been proven to me, I have removed your info. However, you might want to be careful posting it on a site that hostile lurkers have access to. I AM aware of how wacko AA people can be also, so you don't have to explain that one to me either. (note: I no longer consider myself an AA member OR a Christian, thank you very much. So you can stop lying about me too. Thanks.)

Information has been removed.

bryce said...

*now* whose mail box is full ?

Stinkin' said...

Thank you for removing that Daisy.

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

The book, "The alcoholism and addiction cure" does nothing but advertise and explain the Passages Malibu philosophy. I know cause I was dumb enough to buy and read it! It never actually tells you how to "cure" your addiction, but rather tells you in more ways than one how it's caused and tells you how to find the right therapists to put together a treatment yourself and of course it tells you many times that you can conveniently get the treatment with all the different therapists you need at Passages Malibu. The book is a scam.

Passages Litigation said...

NOTICE: If you feel that you were deceived by Passages Malibu or another treatment center like it, you may have legal recourse. If a facility advertises something that is false, it can be held civilly liable. If a facility uses treatments that are not supported by the medical evidence and/or science, it can be held civilly liable. If a facility utilized lies, told untruths, or promoted half-truths to entice you to admit yourself voluntarily, it can be held civilly liable.

Should you feel that you may have a claim in this regard or any related regard, you need to call a lawyer who is qualified and experienced in handling multi-state malpractice, medical abuse, medical fraud, and false advertising claims. The Pinkerton Law Firm, PLLC is one law firm that can handle these cases.

Passages Litigation

Octavius said...

been to 12 rehabs, twice at the best in the world (ahem...somewhere in minn) and have looked at this place. thank you for your blog. It has saved me a ton of dough. Im just looking for some direction. What is keeping me from sobriety? Again thank you for saving me almost 100k. (yeah its almost there) I guess ill just have to turn that corner and accept what i dont want to have to accept. also i love the legal disclaimer at the end. I wish I owned a pharm company, cause i would spend a lot of time on finding the "pill" for addiction. Now THAT would be bigger than viagra (no pun intended)

Anonymous said...

Are they talking about the malibu passages? Consulting my therapist on where to go.

davka said...

Daisy, a million kudos to you! Hell yes. Passages people are vigilant about trolling the internet to try and censor any and all criticism of their mega-billion-dollars-a-year business. Stink is a troll, plain and simple and he works for Passages. There are many people beginning to wake up to how criminal they are in claiming to have a cure. My ex went back to Passages for the millionth time recently and was so happy to see several other people he has gotten to know well during his repeat stints. They have no fucking cure. And claiming to have a CURE means you are claiming there is a disease. Shame on Passages Malibu. Also, besides advertising their snake-oil cure, they also love to brag about how their rich as hell clients don't have to humiliate themselves by cleaning toilets like they have to at *other* rehabs. How horrible- cleaning toilets! Well, then, who IS cleaning the toilets up there at Passages Malibu? Oh, right- the working class Mexican people they hire. I've been there and it was disgusting to see rich white people sitting around being served and pampered by people of color. So, don't dare teach these rich addicts responsibility and how to clean up after themselves- the poor will do it for them. Oh snap, that's the road to healing for sure. Pah-lease. I hope they fall into the sea. Yeah, I'm angry- they stole nearly a million dollars from someone I loved and filled his mind with useless new agey bullshit instead of holding him accountable and challenging him in any way. It's all about reinforcing the rich addict's ideas of entitlement and luxury as if everything should be as easy as possible, for a select few, that is.

Anonymous said...

Hey Davka, I clicked on your link and it went to your blog. What's deer girl medicine?

kimert said...

just had to see how the 12 steppers were taking the no disease cocept. just as i suspected - shaking like scared little bunnies. it takes serious guts to admit that addiction is not a disease because then you have to take responsibility for yourself. the thing is, when you are able to do that, you will be a happy person, not a scared bunny. you won't need another so-called "addiction" like aa to make it day by day. the cure is within you - not anywhere else.

Chris said...

AA is not the solution either. In its 70+ year history, it has only a 3% success rate. While that 3% represents thousands of people, it leaves the 97% representing millions. Of course if a person fails in AA, they blame the person by saying they didn't work the system. I believe AA needs a psychologist or psychaitrist mentor to aid. AA may be a part of a whole but it is not the whole part.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Okay, so where did you get that 3% figure? Please post a direct link to the stats and information about where these stats came from. Was this some particular sociological alcoholism-study that singled out AA? I know of none. Who are we counting, people who went to treatment centers? (I never did, so was I counted? Not counted?) People who went to meetings? How could you possibly count them all? How many meetings before you qualify?

Self-described anonymous people are very hard to count... in short, I think you pulled that figure right out of your ass, so you don't sound any more credible than those you criticize.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Daisy for taking the heat. Let me help you out. I am 23 years Sober. Lived in Malibu for 27 years and watched the rise of "Malibu Rehabs". I was present at the creation of Passages. I first met Pax Prentiss at his last 12 Step Sober Living where he asked me to help him and his Dad set Passages Up. They basically took our ideas ( I introduced them to several well known Recovery Specialists) had a few lunches with Chris and Pax and then they kicked all of us out the door without so much as a thank you and Chris came up with "the cure". The local Malibu 12 step fellowship often gets newcomers who've spent time at Passages come in to meetings and some of them stay. I have sponsored a few graduates myself one of whom spent close to $500,000(!!!) Dollars for an 8 month stay. We all know they're fooling folks but hey in my view sometimes you need to spend every dollar you have so that you can hit a real bottom...That is The True Tao of recovery. :) All Chris and Pax are doing is piling on Karma by exploiting the suffering of others and as you may know Whatever you put out to the universe you get back. :) It looks like the wheel is turning back around.

Brock said...

I have been to passages before. I have been clean and sober since. It was may of 2008. I agrre the cost are pretty crazy. I also believe that you will not get the one on one attention that you need in a rehab anywhere else in the world. I have been to 8 other rehabs before and and with in months have relapse. I have been to aa rehabs and aa like old grouchy people like you who have such a funneled belief system. I have been to a God based rehab, I have been to a pill popping rehab where pillare the cure, and Ive been to a holistic approach rehab. I have learned a great deal from all of them. I am not rich, I dont have money coming out of my ears, in which it is quite the opposite and if you only knew what kinda hell i had to go through to get to the point where I am now, it is a miracle. Im glad if aa works for you. or something else wrks for someone else. Its a great program and if i ever screwed up again I would go right back to that place. We go by the phrase (its perfect) meaning no matter what happens it was meant to happen for a better purpose and will help to benefit you in the long run. I beleive in God, Jesus Christ my savior, and even though this isnt an aa or god based rehab it only workd deep on your underlying issues and how to deal with those underlying issues. The only reason why i Used in my life because there was something going on that was wrong in my life that I decided to use again. My biggest beleif is my aftercare program. Istill attend aa meetings 3x a week and im not to involved in it but i can tell it helps a little, i see a psych and attend church regularly. allof hese are different aspects of recovey and I use a little of each for my recovery. Passages has been my savior to living life and I would go bankrupt if I had to al over again o get the help I did fom chris and pax an the rest of the staff! There is no price on life. As of right now I am working on putting the same type rehabs in places like detroit, and down south as well. Dont be mad at it. If your mad it just means it wouldnt work for you and thats ok. Do what works for you! Everybody put a smile on your faces. geez

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a cool place.

Anonymous said...

ive been there n done that, expensive as hell, might work 4 some but not 4 me. the owner is a quack who likes to tell you how many books he has published as of yet, an egomaniac who thinks he is clever and his words are the word of, well his. straight garbage. 2 hour class where he babbles on about, shit i still dont know. plus expensive vitamins through a moronic doctor, dont get me started on this clown. last but definitely not last or least, the son is a business man, not 2 say he wasnt an adict, not sure, but an arrogant clown in my opinion. is he a doctor? nope, but likes 2 sound like one, just comes to work acouple days a week, acouple hours, sitting behind a big ass desk. p.s. F. Passages

Anonymous said...

I ran across this blog from the daughter of a former Passages Malibu client. It's one of the saddest things I've ever read.

http://annieneugebauer.com/2011/12/19/passages-malibu-alcohol-rehab-and-drug-addiction-treatment-blue-cross-blue-shield-anthem-medical-insurance/

Cincinnati said...

Passages Malibu is wonderful and helps many, many people. I highly recommend and I have personally known several people that were given a new lease on life - All Thanks to Passages.

Henry Vinson
Washington DC

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot. A sad excuse for a deadhead.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Anon, but at least I am not so cowardly I leave anonymous comments. ;)

Peggy said...

I read this with interest, because my ex-husband killed himself a few weeks after "taking the cure" at Passages. He drank the day he got home from his 30 days.

I am not a fan of Passages! Four years later, his kids are still trying to deal with the fallout, as they will be for the rest of their lives.

One of the cruelest things was when an employee of Passages told a family member that my ex was "beyond help". That was after they accepted his $$$ and assured his children of their 85% cure rate, of course.

We will never know if a 12 step program could have saved him, but Alanon did save me. I spent 8 years attending weekly meetings in several different cities and also did a little reading about the program.

For the record, AA was never meant to be a religious program. One of the founding fathers was an atheist, which is why they referred to "a higher power" rather than God. That was a compromise made so that AA could help every person.

I realize that most meetings have religious overtones and even pray, but anyone can start a meeting of like-minded people anywhere - any time. That is the beauty of AA!!

Anonymous said...

You guys on both sides of the equation sound like such nut cases it's not even funny.

There is no one-stop shop for curing alcoholism or any other addiction. The fact that someone has come up with an alternate approach and has become vilified is hilarious in my opinion.

The cost of going to almost ANY intense rehab clinic is in the 10's of thousands. On top of that they have a book that costs about $5.

Try reading it and make your own judgement. If you don't like it, go try another approach. Stop crying like little wimps.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Anon, or should I say, Pax Prentiss? Thanks for your nasty comment.

I wondered who was hitting my blog from Malibu. I am honored!

I take personal credit for the fact that your blustery dad is no longer in the ads, and he has thrust YOU on us instead. Sorry to inform you, but your commercials are not nearly as entertaining as your father's.

Give him my regards. I'm sure he is too busy spending oodles of cash to make commercials now anyway.

You give yourself away by pimping daddy's book.

Pax/Anon: The cost of going to almost ANY intense rehab clinic is in the 10's of thousands.

When I entered AA 30 years ago, many treatments centers were absolutely free, run by state and local govts, before they were gutted by Republicans. The attack on poor, disabled and addicted people by the conservatives, had the effect of putting a (largely unreachable) price tag on detox and rehab... but it didn't used to be that way.

The fact that you don't seem to know the history of the recovery movement, means I don't have to take you seriously.

Now Pax, get some money from daddy, hop in your Mercedes, pop some pills, and run along.

Alexa Lee said...

I think it all comes down to one thing. Is the person truly ready to do whatever it takes to stay sober. I have noticed the methods of both the 12 steps and the program stink worked are all based around self awareness. I have been in the AA program from about 2 years. And I have had multiple relapses. It wasnt because the 12 steps were wrong, or because of the people or places. It was because I was not completely willing and finished with my drug use. I did not reach a point of hopelessness, that I believe people who wish to recover need to hit. the twelve steps were originally 6. to bring up stinks previous comments. the addmittance of powerlessness are not to bring you down. it is more becoming aware of and fully accepting what life has become because of drugs and alcohol. I have not worked all 12 steps. But I can tell you that I am very open minded and have not been pressured into thinking a certain way by AA's. People in AA share about themselves and what they do to stay sober. Its not preaching. It's sort of what people are doing on here. People are trying to share thier experience and others are getting angered at their opinion. all in all it doesnt matter. as long as We stay sober Life is Dandy. Love you guys :D

Anonymous said...

Im a recovering addict. I too am so sick of the Passages commercials. Ive been clen three months now, out of my third treatment center for two. My latest was Bayshore in Destin Fla. It was holistic and not 12 step. Ive done faith based, 12 step and now the holistic approach. Bayshore was expensive to me at 20k but well worth it. I digress 12 steps work for some and not for others. I always wanted to get loaded after attending a meeting. I still take some of the principals from 12 steps but just cant follow it all. The only "right" way is the way that works for you. Just dont see the point in arguing back and forth. One day at a time

ANDY MARSHALL said...

There are different kinds of treatment centers such as residential rehabilitation, outpatient and inpatient centers. People who are addicted can benefit greatly by spending time at a Drug Treatment Center.

Anonymous said...

either stinkin is chris or pax prentiss or it is someone paid by them there remarkes ofend

Anonymous said...

Who cares? And not just to you...If AA works for you, yay!!! If Passages or the owner's book works for you, yay!!! I don't care. Whatever gives an addict a new and better life, then be happy. All programs have chronic relapsers. All programs have zealots. If a drug addict/alcoholic stops using/drinking then let's just all rejoice.

Anonymous said...

I know these posts are old, however, many so called AA'ers are violating traditions on this blog. Also, let's not forget--attraction rather than promotion.

seth lackey said...

Remember this.......we know nrothing for sure. Science is always evolving ., and doctos "practice" medicine. A 12 step may be good for some but not a healer. Passages is a great option. . Its a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not buying it. Alcoholics Anonymous has a 4% success rate, total. FOUR PERCENT. Out of 100 persons going to A.A., FOUR OF THEM will EVENTUALLY stop drinking. This article seemed more like a teardown of Prentiss than an investigation into the treatment methods. You did nothing but ask questions that would make him look bad, and spin it with your snark, meanwhile trying to make yourself look like the good guy because you were once an AA member/sponsor.

A.A. can't boast a success rate, either. You're comparing apples to apples, and that wasn't your intent. You failed, sir.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Alcoholics Anonymous has a 4% success rate, total. FOUR PERCENT.

Anon, please link to your source for the 4% statistic; sounds apocryphal ... as I asked earlier in the thread, how exactly does one conduct a survey of a totally-anonymous group with NO active membership lists?

I have never been surveyed and (in 31 years/several metro areas) don't know a single other person who has. This makes me skeptical of ANY stats whatsoever.

If you have a source for these figures, please link to them and provide an account of their methodology. I'd like to know the criteria being used, considering we are talking about an anonymous group in which a 'member' may describe a person like me (31 years but hasn't been to a meeting in a dozen years or so) or a person who went to only a couple of meetings. What standard did they use for membership? As you know "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking"--one does not even have to call themselves an alcoholic to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. What standard did they use to define alcoholism in the first place--just someone's word for it or whether they attended some kind of treatment or detox unit? (I never went to detox--so was I counted or not?) What difference in stats is there between people who did and did not go to detox? I have always wondered and have hunted for these and similar AA stats many times, so I am very interested in whatever data you have been able to locate. In my observation, it has been nearly impossible to conduct such surveys.

Thus, I am plenty skeptical that you can back up your assertion... since as we also see:

You failed, sir.

-- you can't even be bothered to pay attention to names/genders. (Much less read the comments that have already addressed this point upthread.)

I doubt rigorous scientific methods mean much to you either.

Anonymous said...

He's an addict. Always will be. Perhaps he's gone 13 years without using, but he's still an addict.

I hate his ads. They totally promote that addiction is not an illness or a disease. Money-hungry.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but there is no cure for addiction. Period. AA is so cult like and fake as are rehabs. You either want to stop and do or you continue to use. And yes I'm and addict who stopped ALL BY MYSELF

Daisy Deadhead said...

Anon: I'm sorry but there is no cure for addiction. Period. AA is so cult like and fake as are rehabs. You either want to stop and do or you continue to use. And yes I'm and addict who stopped ALL BY MYSELF.

Bullshit. Nobody does anything by themselves in this world... you had people who cared about you, didn't you?

As Gloria Steinem used to say, just because you aren't sick, lets not close all the hospitals.

Some of us are simply not as wonderful as you obviously are. We admit we need help. People like you, who ridicule those of us who admit this 'weakness', are addiction-apologist assholes. You are as much to blame for stigmatizing alcoholism as the preachers are.

PS: And how long do you have? From the bravado, I'd guess about 2 yrs, if that. Talk to me in about 3 decades. :) I am here for the long haul, not an election season.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on this blog when i was researchinh passages. I am not an addict (other than cigarettes) but have seen the horrifying destruction of addiction in some of my closest fam. i love how passionate all of you are because it means that people really can recover but i am sad to see the fighting. i have watched family go through many different types of treatment and have seen both failure and success. but at the end of it all if what they did helped ridiculing it probably isn't a good idea. do i think passages is a scam? Kind of. but just because sombody supports it doesn't mean they are the owner or whoever. whatever works is what matters. the one life saved is what matters. i just don't see why everyone had to fight. put out unbiased, factual info and then just let it be.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Anon, the "fighting" is over the fact of people like Chris and Pax Prentiss exploiting and getting rich off of our desperation and fear ... and then actually leaving us worse off (and significantly poorer) than we were before. That is immoral and wrong.

Whatever you say about AA, its free.

Editorial note: Something I wrote recently about how AA changed in the late 90s, which may interest readers of this thread.

PS: there is no such thing as "unbiased, factual info"--everything has an agenda and all info has a point of view. Objectivity is a myth.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with 12 step programs, but they do have value in giving people a forum to hear and discuss things they have (or are) experiencing. What Pax Prentiss does is despicable, however. Snake oil salesman preying on disadvantaged people (emotionally and spiritually, that is, since no one disadvantaged financially could afford a stay at Passages). He is dangerous, and I liked the comparison to doctors claiming they could cure cancer. He should be stopped.
Having said that, I do take issue with a few things that you say. So you are the absolute authority on recovery, then? If someone doesn't agree with you then you delete their posts? I have always thought it was weak that addicts hide behind the "disease" EXCUSE. Cancer is a disease. AIDS is a disease. Addiction is an affliction, certainly. But disease? It SICKENS me to hear that term in reference to addiction. Have some responsibility for your actions. Own what you do. You're (we're) an addict because YOU (we) USE. Not because you came down with a "disease." It's denying any responsibility for your actions. No one that claims they have a disease when they mean ADDICTION has any credibility whatsoever. Another way to shift the blame is all it is. I'm sure you'll delete my post too, because I don't BOW TO YOU as some kind of recovery deity, and I take issue with the excuse you use (disease). It's an excuse to call addiction a disease. Gives things like leprosy and leukemia a bad name.

Daisy Deadhead said...

So you are the absolute authority on recovery, then?

On this blog, yes, I am. And this is where you are.

Like they say, GYODB.

If someone doesn't agree with you then you delete their posts?

Of course not. (ROFL--I guess you haven't been reading any other posts/threads but this one?) I have one rule, posted above: do not insult me. If you can't get through a post without doing that, you're out. (And sometimes I leave up insults if they make good points that haven't been made yet in the thread... OR if they are entertaining enough.) The only deleted posts in this thread have been EXTREMELY insulting and/or rather insane babbling, naming names, etc. Some of the names are celebs who could sue me, or I wouldn't worry about it.
Google analytics informs me this thread has been viewed 24,147 times, so being sued IS something I recently started worrying about.

I have always thought it was weak that addicts hide behind the "disease" EXCUSE.

Have you ever heard of Robert Sapolsky? He thinks its likely that in a few generations, we will all have DNA-results and several different labels already-applied to us, like it or not. There is already a gene discovered that points to whether addiction is "likely" in the person who possesses it. This would point to a definite genetic propensity.

2b continued

Daisy Deadhead said...

reply to anon continued

Anon: Cancer is a disease. AIDS is a disease. Addiction is an affliction, certainly. But disease? It SICKENS me to hear that term in reference to addiction.

Some cancer is hereditary, some is induced by things like smoking. Is bi-polar disorder a disease? There is a Dx called "secondary manic depression"/"secondary bipolar disorder" (that I was diagnosed with many eons ago) that is similarly "induced"--in this case by drug abuse. In that sense, alcoholism would be a disease. Many researchers believe all "true" primary alcoholism (that is, not "secondary" or situational alcoholism, as a depressive response) is an attempt to self-medicate mental disease. Since addiction is stigmatized (due to our nation's pesky puritan roots) we have very little research to go on... we are almost at stone-age level in our understanding of what addiction is. (This is also due to the success of the alcohol/tobacco lobbies, of course.)

Have some responsibility for your actions. Own what you do.

Huh? I try to study as much as I can... if you are so smart, why am I having to explain all these BASICS to you? (Addictionology 101? You should be well-beyond that if you are so "responsible". *cough*)

How about *you* study about what you purport to know so much about, BEFORE you post? Take responsibility for knowing something about your subject before preaching to one who has studied the subject for 31 years.

You're (we're) an addict because YOU (we) USE. Not because you came down with a "disease."

Do you actually believe in "free will"--like a Baptist? You need to read some books, dude. Free Will is old school (giggle).

I am an addict because I have certain genes and was also raised in a certain home that plied me with alcohol when I was still a child and didn't realize the risks (neither did those providing me with it, of course, since alcohol was part and parcel of their daily lives) and I grew up in a particular culture that romanticizes alcohol. In addition, I grew as a baby-boomer in the 70s, when different states of mind were similarly romanticized as the Final Frontier. (As one who greatly enjoyed psychedelics, not sure I entirely disagree with that last one.)

It's denying any responsibility for your actions.

I was 3 years old the first time my family gave me alcohol. And I still remember it (very bad sign) and immediately wanted more. No, I do not take responsibility for growing up in an alcoholic family that considered alcohol the answer to most dilemmas, including colds, emotional upset/disappointments, menstrual cramps and bad appetite, to name a few. I grew up thinking drinking was perfectly fine, and I was drinking regularly (with familial blessing) by the time I was 12. I do not think this was CHOSEN by me any more than which religion I was raised in, was CHOSEN by me. Bullshit.

2b continued

Please do not think that because something is true for YOU, that it is true for everyone. No, we all didn't drink due to thoughtful bourgeois middle class CHOICE, as you obviously did. (PS: I didn't choose Christianity either, it was foisted one me)

No one that claims they have a disease when they mean ADDICTION has any credibility whatsoever. Another way to shift the blame is all it is

Whatever. If you still believe in "free will"--I suggest you read Steven Pinker and some of those people.

2 b continued.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Final installment, reply to anon:

Anon: I'm sure you'll delete my post too, because I don't BOW TO YOU as some kind of recovery deity,

Um, okay. (?) You seem like the agitated one here, not me. (?)

Are you the same anon as above? I don't even know if I am talking to the same person! How about you TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for naming yourself, instead of hiding behind cowardly "anon". :)

and I take issue with the excuse you use (disease). It's an excuse to call addiction a disease. Gives things like leprosy and leukemia a bad name.

Did you know that leprosy and leukemia also can be genetic, in that some populations seem to have built-in immunity and others have added susceptibilities?

There are few human traits that have NO genetic basis.

Again, check out Robert Sapolsky on YouTube, and listen to his lectures, he is really interesting.

Mellow out, and happy Thanksgiving.

Malibu puts rehab centers on notic said...

By Melissa Caskey on June 21, 2013

MALIBU — City officials are gearing up for a major crackdown on drug and alcohol treatment centers in Malibu, many of which they claim operate with little scrutiny from the state and a brazen disregard for local law, all in the name of increasing head counts and maximizing profits.

In a letter recently submitted to the state’s Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), the office of Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin cites a 2007 complaint by City Hall accusing Passages Malibu, a rehab center which charges customers up to $90,000 per month, of providing false information to the state and sidestepping city regulations to get additional facilities licensed. The letter asks why the complaint was never acted upon.

“No evidence of a final determination by the ADP on this issue can be presently located, despite attempts to contact the ADP,” Hogin’s office wrote.

The complaint alleged that Passages, which bills itself as the “world’s most luxurious rehab center”, tacked on addresses to several pool houses and guest houses, in violation of city law, and obtained state licensing to use the structures as five- or six-person rehab dwellings.

“To obtain an address designation, a formal procedure must be completed, which is generally initiated by a request from the property owner. Passages never requested the address designations from the city, as required,” the City Attorney’s Office wrote to the ADP. “Further, guesthouses and pool houses are ineligible for address designations because these structures may not be used as a dwelling [under Malibu Municipal Code].”

The problem was first brought to the ADP’s attention in October 2007 when city officials demanded any licensed pool house and guesthouse dwellings have their licenses revoked. But the ADP failed to make a “final determination” on the case, according to documents obtained from Hogin’s office, with the last correspondence taking place in June 2008. The June 2008 letter came from Hogin’s office and was never answered by the ADP.

Located on Meadows Court in central Malibu, Passages runs eight state-licensed five- or six-bed facilities in the Sycamore neighborhood, according to a list last updated May 15 by the ADP.

Malibu puts rehab centers on notice said...

Some of those licenses were “obtained through misrepresentation,” according to City Hall, with Passages designating pool houses and guesthouses with addresses such as “6390 B” and “6428 B.”

“The state has an obligation to license within the parameters of the law, and the law does not allow service providers to create these addresses,” Hogin said in an interview with The Malibu Times.

With Passages setting up facilities in unlawful places like guest houses, Hogin maintains the rehab center has come to define the Sycamore neighborhood. The end result is a contradiction to what the centers are intended to be, Hogin said.

“A group home is supposed to nestle into the residential community,” Hogin said. “When these homes becomes such big businesses, they’re defining the character of the neighborhood. It’s like setting up a hospital in the middle of a neighborhood.”

Officials from the ADP did not respond to multiple requests from The Malibu Times for comment to speak specifically on the Passages case.

In a brief statement, ADP spokeswoman Carol Sloane said it is not part of the state’s job to enforce municipal law.

“There currently is no statute authorizing ADP to revoke a facility’s license based on noncompliance with local zoning laws. ADP has authority to enforce violations of state licensing laws and regulations,” Sloane wrote in an e-mail. “Before licenses are approved and issued, ADP staff conduct on-site inspections of each facility.”

Passages Malibu declined multiple requests for comment.

“If you have to publish a story with Passages’ comment, then it is what it is,” said a Passages representative who declined to be named.

The licensing issue is not unique to Passages, according to city officials, but may also be rampant in the dozens of other rehab facilities in Malibu.

“We’re looking at them all,” City Attorney Christi Hogin said. “It’s not a Passages problem, per se. I think it’s a state licensing issue. But we need to have our code enforcement collect better evidence.”

The complaint against Passages is just the tipping point in a much larger battle fronted by City Councilman Lou La Monte and Mayor Joan House, who believe action needs to be taken by state lawmakers, not just the ADP.

“New legislation needs to be looked at because when you abuse the law, that’s when you get into trouble,” La Monte said. “The concept of the residential rehab is not a bad concept — if you follow the law.”

La Monte said he and House plan on meeting with elected state representatives sometime in July, including State Sen. Fran Pavley and Assemblyman Richard Bloom, who represent Malibu.

“This is a $100-million industry operating in the city of Malibu,” La Monte said.

“When rehab facilities that are supposed to be in a residential area don’t obey the law, they have the ability to overwhelm the infrastructure and ultimately they start these clusterings and pretty soon they destroy neighborhoods,” La Monte said “I think it’s gotten to that point on Meadows Court.”



editor@smdp.com



This story first appeared in The Malibu Times.


Anonymous said...

Just sent mail to Passages Malibu and let them know that the phrase
"I was an addict once but not any more" is misleading and a downright lie. I told them that "Once an addict,always an addict is not true. Anyone can become a RECOVERING ADDICT, but they're still an addict and can relapse, just like an alcoholic. If they think they're "cured" one drink or one joint will prove this commercial wrong!

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear; AA is not supported solely by donations. World Services would have shut down decades ago if not for the revenue generated by its publishing business.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Just passed 27,000 views on this post. Amazing. Most of the yahoo and google queries seem to be about the price to attend PASSAGES MALIBU, which I featured at the very beginning of the post... they pointedly leave the price OUT of the commercial.

Since writing this piece, obnoxious Chris Prentiss is now gone from the ads, and his wholesome-appearing son Pax Prentiss is doing all the talking. (PS: for you non-Catholics, Pax is Latin for PEACE... doncha love them subliminal messages!) Again, Pax is specific on the fact that PASSAGES is *not* a 12-step program and that he "used to be an addict, now I'm not"...

Wish they could be sued for that hogwash. There are some legal links in this thread if anyone thinks they have a case.

Right after the New Year, I got several hundred hits on this post; far more than when I first wrote it. Their commercials have obviously made them very popular. I really hope their nasty karma catches up with them.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Currently there is a rumor going around that Pax Prentiss is dead. I can't confirm it (and I personally highly doubt the rumor; someone is obviously having a bit of fun!), but hits on this post have now reached 28,200 and climbing.

Damn.

So is Pax dead or not? (And why are so many people in such a hurry to believe he is?)

Beth said...

This guy and his program are both bullshit & i left him a comment on his email & let him know how i felt, & tgat i hope someone shuts him & his lies down! One day at a time! Thats what works!♥