By Clark Miller

Published March 6, 2020

Updated April 15, 2021



Press release material provided by the White House along with  Administration announcements were swallowed whole and conveyed to the public as if constituting credible, legitimate information related to public health, substance use epidemics, and treatment for substance use problems. media

From the ABC News report:

The White House unveiled on Wednesday, a website aimed at helping Americans locate substance abuse treatment more easily. 
The site includes customizable search options to empower users with greater access to providers and an easier way of selecting the right treatment from about 13,000 state-licensed facilities.


No reports from corporate (or other) media included as critical information

for an American public increasingly trapped, harmed and dying in worsening substance use epidemics the longstanding evidence establishing that the “right treatment from about 13,000 state-licensed facilities” – that is, traditional “treatment”, or treatment as usual (TAU) – in fact comprises an enormously expensive entitlement system funded largely with public healthcare money, that does not provide treatment, instead keeps vulnerable Americans at continuing risk of harm and death.

Rather, the American Media-Medical-Institutional collaboration functioned predictably and exactly as in its creation of the lethal opioid crisis and its protection of lucrative, sham, lethal “treatments” for the crisis it created.

“What we simply need is a a nice bulldozer, so that we could level the entire industry and start from scratch . . . There’s no such thing as an evidence-based rehab. That’s because no matter what you do, the concept of rehab is flawed and unsupported by evidence.” 

– Dr. Mark Willenbring, former director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

The American Media reports on new, more effective searches and links for Americans to the “right treatment” in those “13,000 state-licensed facilities” omitted information about those treatments and how they continue to be sold to a trusting, vulnerable public.

The reports omitted that

empty chairs group


Decades of research on treatment approaches along with understanding of human biology and psychology combine to invalidate the core components of “addiction treatment” in the U.S – medical (disease) model, 12-Step religious subculture, group treatment, and professionals unqualified to practice – explaining a failed treatment system and worsening national substance use epidemic.

The reports omitted that


Critiques and condemnations of these systems and the inadequacy of care provided are longstanding and commonplace: take-downs of a failed addiction treatment industry that is at best ineffective or harmful that have come in a steady stream for years, for example: hereherehere, and herehere, on websites, in books, in feature major media reports, in this ABC news special aired 15 years ago.


The reports omitted that


Community mental health and addictions outpatient treatment programs utilize the same elements that are found in “rehab”, or traditional residential treatment, all predicting at best no benefit, or harm:

Disease model

12-Step, Alcoholics Anonymous orientation

Group modality versus individual therapy

Treatment provided generally by “addiction professionals” unqualified to treat behavioral health conditions – with as little as two years of training – for example Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC), and Chemical Dependency Professionals, (CDP)

The reports omitted the expert critiques and damning exposé provided by this remarkable and buried piece of journalism –

“The Business of Recovery” documents and accurately portrays Treatment as Usual (TAU) provided Americans trapped in substance use epidemics as a criminal scam with oversight provided by medical model and governmental health regulators, no peer-reviewed evidence to support benefit, and normalized in popular culture by the sheen of decency and legitimacy awarded criminal organizations like Hazleton and the Betty Ford Center. Take a look at the trailer:

That is, the media reports omitted that the “treatment” programs vulnerable Americans are linked to at the new website constitute harm-predicting criminal scams. 


The reports omitted that

A runaway national substance use epidemic is not just worsening, but is a lethal crisis  that 

Impacts children as well as adults

Will increasingly overwhelm public health care resources

Has not benefited from or been moderated by $ billions and decades of research under a never-evidenced, fabricated “medical model”, nor by treatment as usual (TAU) that is not treatment at all, nor by “addiction medicine

Alcohol use drinks

The reports omitted that


It’s not just the lack of gains and worsening public health epidemic despite decades and billions in public resources hijacked by the medical model that establishes it as fiction, 

but is invalidated by all relevant lines of evidence and research, including longstanding epidemiological studies, logic, and the nature and course of relapse (explained here with links to primary research and other sources) dismantle and invalidate the disease or “hijacked brain” model of substance use, as being a type of medical condition at all.

Brain scans

The reports omitted that


Belief in the invalidated fiction of substance use as a medical condition, a disease

– a belief instilled in Americans essentially universally by a compromised, complaint media and every time established treatment is provided including in those “13,000 state-licensed facilities” – is a key predictor of relapse, in fact the act of a medical visit or receiving medical advice for a substance use problem predicts harm, predicts increased risk of the problem continuing.


And the reports omitted that


In a relationship and combination that can only be described as bizarre, the medical industry’s fictional “brain disease” model – driving treatment and use of public healthcare funds for decades – has been coupled almost universally in “treatment” programs with a dominant “treatment model” that relies on the 50-year-old, very odd prescriptions and practice of a religious subculture, those practices invalidated by decades of research.

For a “disease of the brain”.

The 12 steps

The two systems – medical and 12-Step religious subculture – are fundamentally natural allies, partners, supporting each other and providing, in effect, referrals, and each providing demonstrably false hope for Americans trapped in lethal substance use epidemics: one the false hope of a magical Higher Power and odd religious prescriptions providing benefit for a lethal behavioral disorder, the other the falsified and false hope of magic potions as treatment for a behavioral, psychosocial condition.

In precisely the same ways that abdication of critical thought, professional responsibility to do no harm, and of evidential and ethical reasoning led to creation by the medical industry of the predictable, avoidable, and lethal Opioid Crisis, – TAU for problem substance use in the U.S. has been driven by fabricated “knowledge” and evidence-free medical understanding that predicts failed treatment outcomes and harm.

And driven by the cooperation of a compromised, impotent American watchdog press along for the ride.


This assault against public health remains a tragic, criminal scam

that exists partly as a way to perpetuate a massive entitlement system providing employment to individuals who are not qualified to provide validated treatment for substance use problems, but are often or generally aligned with and able and willing to recite and convey the empty and countertherapeutic  (= predicting harm) platitudes of the religious programming of AA and The 12 Steps and to encourage or compel participation by patients in the religious subculture meetings. Individuals, that is, who are willing to practice unethically in ways that predict harm.

smoking group

They became integrated in a substance use treatment industry historically infused with the culture, values, and managers and staff aligned with and involved in 12-Step religious culture, and were awarded positions largely by virtue of their allegiance to that subculture.

With 12-Step religious subculture constructed as a type of “treatment”, the lucrative, criminal, for-profit treatment industry can pay next-to-nothing for staff salaries, to individuals entirely unqualified to treat the complex, life-threatening conditions, generally in group treatment settings boosting billable services per staff member, and with no predicted benefit for clients, instead predicted perpetuation of problem substance use and epidemics.

Those 13,000 state-licensed facilities providing “the right treatment”

are literally functioning as an expensive entitlement program supporting individuals without the training or background to treat complex, life-threatening behavioral health conditions, instead securing careers in “addiction treatment” thanks to control of those programs from their infiltration by a religious subculture and medical industry displacing evidence-based therapies with their useful lies, myths, and countertherapeutic prescriptions and practices.


Adults sitting at an AA meeting

While more and more Americans die in worsening substance use epidemics.

And public healthcare funds help pay for the sham “treatments”.

And America’s watchdog press brands and normalizes the criminal scam as “treatment”.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.”

– Pierre Bourdieu  Outline of a Theory of Practice (1972)

In Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice, heterodoxy is dissent, challenge to what “goes without saying” – the accepted, constructed doxa, “knowledge”, reality, that goes without saying precisely because it “comes without saying”, without real scrutiny, untested, unquestioned. The function of doxa is not knowledge or truth or promotion of the collective good, but to protect and serve the interests of those with the power, the cultural capital, to create it.

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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