Federal Court Ruling

Recently, the drug rehab industry was set straight about whether or not the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were religiously oriented and therefore faith based. A federal judge ruled an inmate, who was a devout atheist, could not be required to complete a rehab program that was based on the 12 steps. What this means, of course, is 99% of the drug rehabs in America are religiously oriented. And it does raise the question of separation of church and state when it comes to state and federal funding for 12 step based programs. Drug rehab should be about treatment and learning to live a clean and sober lifestyle, not about religion. Forcing drug addicts and alcoholics to take a big dose of religion, as the primary solution to their problem, might be why their rate of success is so low.

In a very interesting case, a judge recently ruled that an atheist, who was ordered to complete rehab, as a part of his parole agreement, cannot be forced to do it in a 12 step facility. Here is a link to the article . Say whatever you want about the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, they are based on faith and building a relationship with a power greater than yourself, usually referred to as G-O-D. Non 12 step based rehab programs, have understood this point all along. Treatment for drug and or alcohol abuse should be about therapy and learning how to live without using, and not promote religion as the solution to a clinical problem.

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