Overcoming the Junkyard Blues

ALL you ever hear about drug rehabilitation is the wonderful forms of treatment each facility is selling. You never hear whether they have a healthy success rate, because most treatment facilities don't have anywhere near what would be termed a success rate. The successes they do attest to can be taken lightly.

Few treatment centers follow up on their clients for any significant length of time. They may see the client again, but only when he or she reenters the facility because of a relapse.

If the cars built by big automakers like General Motors or Ford were continuously in for repairs, do you think these companies would make this fact known to the public?

Of course not! They would continue selling mass-produced cars and make more money in the process as people brought them back in for parts and repairs. This type of logic is part of our economy and present-day drug rehabilitation is no different in its approach.

As far as the cold, unthinking, unfeeling economy goes, it must be fed and it doesn't care what it eats. However, it just might choke on all the addicts getting stuck in its craw.

Cars cannot return to talk about the thousands of dollars of repairs they underwent in garages. Cars don't speak of running well one day and stalling out the next. Cars can only be used and abused by the economy until they no longer serve their purpose. They are then abandoned alongside some dark road, imprisoned in junkyards, or die by meltdown to be resurrected once again. There is a way, however, that a car can be brought back to life without being just an economic tool.

Someone who understands cars may see beauty under the rust and begin a labor of love. He will take the junked or abandoned car into his garage and start its restoration. Others with similar devotion and understanding may work by his side.

Depending on the car's condition and the effort put into the restoration, it may eventually appear and run better than when it first hit the road. And often it is valued more.

Now that the car is clean and shiny, the restorers will try to make sure it stays in good shape. They will check on it daily. If it appears to be in some kind of trouble, through love and understanding they will see to it that the car maintains the quality of its restoration. They do not want to see it back in the junkyard because a piece of them will go with it.

I'm a recovering drug addict. I am that car. I was restored back to a better way of life by those who love and understand: addicts who were restored by addicts.

We do not need nor do we want expensive, professional intervention. We want to take the junked and abandoned people who break down through drugs and are briefly repaired by clinics into our own garages - self-help fellowships like Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous.

Then, please leave us alone so that we can restore one another in anonymity.

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