Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

How should I handle this?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I got a DUI in June of 2008. My blood alcohol level was under the limit (0.071), but I failed the field sobriety test. The truth is that I have never had anythign even approaching a drinking problem; I am, in fact, a non-drinker and always have been. I was driving home from my friend's wedding reception where I had a few beers because it was a special occasion. Because I rarely drink, I don't have a tolerance for alcohol, and even the small amount consumed was enough to impair my judgment. So I got arrested. I take it very seriously and I haven't had a drink since.

In the wake of my arrest I was ordered to complete a drug and alcohol assessment for the court. I told them that it was an isolated incident and that I don't have a drinking problem, but they diagnosed me with "alcohol abuse" and recommended three months of treatment. I got a second assessment from a different agency, which provided a diagnosis of "no significant problem" and did not recommend treatment. But the court didn't accept the second assessment, and now I'm forced to comply with the first agency's recommendations under the threat of imprisonment.

I had an intake appointment with the treatment agency the other day and received an information packet about the treatment program. It's the most childish and patronizing bullshit imaginable. It's like a fucking kindergaten class for alcoholics. But what's really infuriating is that all of the activities and assignments assume the existence of an addiction. For example, I have to make a retarded fucking collage that represents aspects of my behavior while practicing my "addiciton." For another, I have to write an essay about how my "addiction" has damaged my work performance and family relationships. It continues along the same lines for twelve weeks of sheer mindlessness.

The requirements are irritating to the degree that I literally feel incapable of participating in the program. I simply refuse to admit to an addiction that I don't have. I almost feel like a coward chickenshit for actually paying these utterly talentless parasites ($1200) instead of telling them to fuck off and accepting a jail sentence instead.

How should I handle the situation? If I refuse to admit to having an addiction, I'm afraid they will tell the court that my "progress" isn't satisfactory and force me to undergo even more mental health extortion. Should I just bite my tounge, grit my teeth and say things that aren't true just to get through the program? Try to find some middle ground? Spit in the counselor's face? (highly tempting)

Edited by cliveandrews
Link to post
Share on other sites
How should I handle the situation? If I refuse to admit to having an addiction, I'm afraid they will tell the court that my "progress" isn't satisfactory and force me to undergo even more mental health extortion. Should I just bite my tounge, grit my teeth and say things that aren't true just to get through the program? Try to find some middle ground? Spit in the counselor's face? (highly tempting)

You're dealing with the law here, meaning force. You are not obligated to do anything that would normally be considered right and moral, like be honest, once force is being exerted upon you. You are not an addict, but they will exert force and punish you with jail time if you won't say it. So, go ahead and spew lies, you don't owe them truth when they'll forcefully hurt you for refusing to lie. If you can't stand the crap they make you do to lie about some addiction you don't have like essays and things, see if anybody else you know might get a kick out of writing some dramatic fake confessionals and junk for you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would use it as an opportunity for extreme hyperbole. At least then its fun. Make up the worst things you can imagine(short of anything illegal) and mock them silently in your head. All the ruined relationships, all the promiscuous sex and adultery, all the times you woke up sleeping with your head propped on a street curb, the jobs you've lost, etc. Then you can go on to talk about all the problems which led you down the path since childhood. It could be great fun. So, id treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cliveandrews: Utterly ignore those who are telling you to have "fun" making up stories to tell in your addiction treatment sessions. You are ensnared in an extremely serious situation, and it is imperative that you do not say, write, or make posterboards about anything that could later be used against you.

In his book Rational Recovery, Jack Trimpey makes some excellent practical suggestions for those sentenced to court-mandated addiction programs. (Mind you, these points are directed at those who really do have drinking or drug problems.) Here is an edited version of a list Trimpey provides on pages 46-51 of his book:

1. Never say you are "an alcoholic" or "an addict" . . . Do not put in writing that you are an "alcoholic" or suffering from "alcoholism," because "alcoholics" are a special class of people discriminated against by courts, insurance companies, and employers, and viewed negatively by the public. Admitting or stating that you are an "alcoholic" is like testing positive for HIV — you can't rid yourself of the stigma, and it invites the most extraordinary kind of discrimination and social institutional abuse.

2. Avoid being referred to agencies that may label you as "alcoholic" in their records.

3. Never say you're out of control, or that your life is unmanageable. [Note: This last is one of the "Twelve Steps" of Alcoholics Anonymous, and many other similar programs. - K.D.]

4. Do not admit that you violated any law under the influence of alcohol or drugs. . . . If you are required to attend AA meetings, remain silent about your past, refuse to do fearless moral inventories, and avoid personal entanglements with a sponsor.

5. Never incriminate yourself if you are asked by an authority figure if you have been drinking. People who ask rarely have your interests at heart, even chemical dependency counselors and other professionals from the addictions field.

[...] 7. Do not reveal highly personal information at AA meetings. Although the meetings are anonymous in the sense that people do not use last names, they are not confidential. . . . One man wrote in a letter, "After my first treatment program through the Veterans Administration, I chose a man for a sponsor who practically blackmailed me with information I had given him by confessing my 'sins.' When he felt I was not complying with the program enough, he made the information public, which caused serious damage in my social life, in my work, and in my personal relationships."

Trimpey also suggests that you discuss your situation with an attorney, and that you seriously consider going to jail if convicted of drunk driving. "Your treatment can follow you for many years," Trimpey writes. "By identifying yourself as an 'alcoholic,' you will be subject to the endless moral and legal authority of the institutional 12-step recovery movement. . . . n today's computerized world, it's easy to get into a government database — and practically impossible to get out."

Trimpey's book is a fascinating and refreshing look at the subject of addiction. I highly recommend it, if for no reason other than his eye-opening exposé of the cult of 12-step addiction treatment.

Please note: This post is not legal advice.

Edited by Kevin Delaney
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just would like to add that what I said is meant assuming the only options are go along with the stupid stuff or get thrown in jail and now have a record for that too. Would you happen to know which can be more damaging, a record for having gone through treatment for a drinking problem or for having gone to jail (and possibly, if it can be seen, that you were sent to jail for alcohol related problems)?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Were the same people that did your assessment the same ones that get the $1200? Or are they in any way related? Seems to me like that could be quite the racket.

You could be honest. Do the stupid exercises and never admit or even hint that you have a problem. When they come after you for your lack of progress you fight back. Gather together a bunch of character witness' and respectable people who have known you for years and have them standing ready to prove your addiction innocence. There is no way someone can prove or even assume addiction from a single noninvasive assessment or the fact of a drunk driving conviction.

I hope the presumption of innocence still exists where you are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

More good stuff.

My entire sentence was 1 year of jail suspended, 2 years probation, a $1100 fine, and three months of drug/alcohol treatment.

When I was in court the other day, there was an attractive 18 year old girl on the docket ahead of me. She was driving drunk with a blood alcohol level of 0.17 (250% of mine), hit somebody, ran, and the cops found alcohol and marijuana in her car. She recieved a sentence was 90 days suspended, no probation, no fine, and a DUI victim's panel.

nice to see the justice system in america working so well...

Edited by cliveandrews
Link to post
Share on other sites

DUIs are not about justice, safety or breaking the law. They're about income. The states/counties need that revenue stream, and pulling people over for DUIs is a big contributor. I've seen people more impaired yelling at kids in the back seat, playing with the radio or talking on the phone or to another passenger in the car, on antihistamines, etc., yet you have one beer and you're deemed an addict, your insurance rates go up (if you're not dropped), you may lose your job, your license and your freedom. It's sick, disgusting and it has to stop.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would use it as an opportunity for extreme hyperbole. At least then its fun. Make up the worst things you can imagine(short of anything illegal) and mock them silently in your head. All the ruined relationships, all the promiscuous sex and adultery, all the times you woke up sleeping with your head propped on a street curb, the jobs you've lost, etc. Then you can go on to talk about all the problems which led you down the path since childhood. It could be great fun. So, id treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

I hope that you're not serious. If anyone took this advice, they'd be lying to themselves, denying that their rights have been violated in such an obvious way. Personally, I would be completely honest. You cannot say "This is wrong" and then lie. You'd be suggesting that they are actually right, and it can be used against you in a legitimate way. Lying would have worse results. If clive's situation is as clear as he says it is (this is an online forum, there's no way we'd know all the details), honesty would do more good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope that you're not serious. If anyone took this advice, they'd be lying to themselves, denying that their rights have been violated in such an obvious way. Personally, I would be completely honest. You cannot say "This is wrong" and then lie. You'd be suggesting that they are actually right, and it can be used against you in a legitimate way. Lying would have worse results. If clive's situation is as clear as he says it is (this is an online forum, there's no way we'd know all the details), honesty would do more good.

Actually I am, but I've had enough experiences with the law to accept that violation of rights is sometimes just a given. A reprehensible one, no doubt, but a given just the same. Sometimes you have to pay unjust fines, do unjust time, and go to unjust classes. Work to change it in your free time if it means a lot too you, but once your in the bureaucratic web, its best to do exactly what they say unless you want to spend a small fortune on a lawyer, and even then...your expending all that effort for a maybe. So i say, make the stupid collage and have a good time. He asked for opinions and thats mine. Please note that I did say to keep his admissions in the legal realm. If he admits he was a bad boy, says he's a changed man and shows up on time for his piss tests he'll float right through. Since he has to anyways, I say suck it up and do the time-as enjoyably as possible, unless your the type who enjoys martyrdom.

He said,

If I refuse to admit to having an addiction, I'm afraid they will tell the court that my "progress" isn't satisfactory and force me to undergo even more mental health extortion.

I take from his statements that he has to admit to it anyways to get through it and that he does not wish to challenge it further in court. If that is not the case, he and everyone else have my most humble apologies.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I would use it as an opportunity for extreme hyperbole. At least then its fun. Make up the worst things you can imagine(short of anything illegal) and mock them silently in your head. All the ruined relationships, all the promiscuous sex and adultery, all the times you woke up sleeping with your head propped on a street curb, the jobs you've lost, etc. Then you can go on to talk about all the problems which led you down the path since childhood. It could be great fun. So, id treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

While that does seem fun, unfortunately our OP is dealing with the government, not an elementary school teacher. What lies he tells the court or agency will be interpreted as truth, and could have consequences concerning his current and/or future punishments (considering the possibility of a future offense). They may think, "this guy is worse than we thought." Furthermore, if he were to come clean and confess that he was simply completing the program and none of his stories were true, this may also be seen in a negative light with the law. They may think, "now we are dealing with an alcoholic and a liar."

On another note, I think it is extremely wise to avoid having oneself labeled as an alcoholic. I think I'll start another thread on this idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...