Friday, March 8, 2013

Government Takeover of 12 Step Programs--coming soon

I have long been a member and supporter of Faces & Voices of Recovery--their main message when they began was to get the faces of people in recovery out into the open so the general public could KNOW we do recover. This was in contrast to the "anonymous" programs that keep members in the shadows by their tradition of staying anonymous at the level of press radio and film. I am in recovery and although I publicly state I am in recovery  I never mention the specific 12 step programs programs I attend in order to honor this tradition. This way I could advocate for recovery and remain anonymous with specific programs and follow traditions.

I believe the traditions have worked very well for keeping Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous  Cocaine AnonymousChemically Dependent Anonymous, and many others from taking positions on issues--have "spokespeople" that end up drunk and in the media--and have the government or other organizations from telling us how to "help" people in recovery by giving us money. The 12 step programs don't take money form the government or outsiders so we don't take orders from them.

Now it looks like Faces and Voices of Recovery: is going a bit too far in saying that peer support (mainly 12 step groups)--need to become a part of the new health care legislation in order to get funded for helping people get to our groups. Am I reading this wrong? Join Together reports:

Recovery groups should advocate for inclusion of peer recovery support services as part of essential health benefits that will be covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to Faces & Voices of Recovery. Peer recovery support services are delivered by individuals who have “lived experience” with addiction and recovery.
Faces & Voices of Recovery, an advocacy group, has produced an issue brief that explains how recovery advocates can support inclusion of these non-clinical services that help people achieve long-term recovery from addiction.
I download the brief from Faces & Voices--and it seems that is what they are saying:

As states are deciding what their EHB will look like, they will be looking at a range of services, including peer recovery support services. If they are included in the EHB, people will have access to these critical services and they will be covered by insurance or Medicaid. Also, organizations that provide PRSS will be reimbursed for providing those services.

What is going on here???? Is Faces and Voices of Recovery advocating for a government takeover of 12 step programs? That's what I read here. Please someone, prove me wrong. If the providers (ie 12 step groups) should take money for services--we would put our very success in at risk. Or worse--are they saying we should start "fake" anonymous peer groups that take money from government running of the success of the real groups--siphoning prospective members from government health care--members who would normally find the real groups?

It's not clear and I'm not happy about bureaucratizing the 12 step programs in any way. Can someone help me here?
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