Multiple Styles of Recovery for African Americans

By pinguino k CC BY 2.0

By pinguino k CC BY 2.0

Key Words: Blacks/African Americans, Men, Addictions, Substance use disorders, Addict

A popular television commercial advertising addictions treatment ends with the phrase, "You can't beat addiction on your own. No one can!" The commercial then displays an 800 number for you to call if you need help. The idea that everyone needs to go to a treatment center to begin recovery is untrue. Solo recovery is the most common pathway of recovery, particularly for individuals who are in the early stages of addiction and individuals who have a great deal of recovery capital. That is internal and external assets that they can bring to bear on their recovery. Examples include success before addiction; a good education; highly employable; positive family support; and they live in a community that supports recovery, etc.

The idea that there is only one way to recover was very popular in the 1980's when clients were called "addicts" and the one solution to address the addiction was a 28 day stay in a hospital. Much has changed! We now know that persons seeking recovery have multiple ways of initiating recovery. In an article entitled multiple styles of recovery for African American Men, the authors highlight multiple styles of recovery including treatment-assisted recovery; medication-assisted recovery; 12 step recovery; harm reduction; temporary drug substitution; religious pathways; cultural pathways and quantum change, sudden overnight transformation. This was the pathway of recovery for actor Samuel L. Jackson.

When Jackson was in treatment for crack addiction, he received a phone call from movie director Spike Lee, who invited him to play the role of a "crack addict" in the movie Jungle Fever. Jackson dropped out of treatment to play a role that he qualified for in the real world. In one scene in the film, Jackson is shot and killed by his father. He stated, "When I heard the sound of the gun, it killed the active addict in me." Jackson is in long-term recovery. To learn more about multiple styles of recovery for African American Men click here.