What is Rational Recovery?

Rational Recovery is a Sacramento- based company established in 1986 by Jack Trimpey. Rational Recovery does not foster or encourage a specific value or religious belief system. Instead, it supports independent recovery through the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT).

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Rational Recovery and AVRT serves those addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex and pornography, as well as other addictive substances and behaviors.

Unlike other programs such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery is not used in the social services industry, prisons, or by social service employees. The organization has worked to ensure that it remains an independent provider.

What is the “Addictive Voice"?

According to Rational Recovery, the “addictive voice" is responsible for people using and wanting to use. When addicts are able to recognize the addictive voice, understand what actions that voice encourages, and ignore the addictive voice, they will no longer be an addict. They will quit using.

Addicts who use Rational Recovery do not attend group meetings, engage with a sponsor, enter treatment facilities, or meet with rehabilitation specialists. Rational Recovery program asserts that Addictive Voice Recognition Technique is incompatible with groups, and that any person introduced to AVRT in a group setting, especially through social services, is not receiving the true AVRT program.

According to Rational Recovery, “Recovery is not a process, but an event" because they believe that addiction is not a disease. Recovery is completely up to the addict, and can happen only if it is independent of outside forces; the decision to abstain from the addictive substance or activity is the recovery and is totally in the hands of the addict.

Rational Recovery also works with families. The organization encourages families to make addicted loved ones choose between the addiction and “family membership." Families must insist on total abstinence from the addictive behavior or substance in order to be part of the family.

Through Rational Recovery, families are not seen as enablers of the addiction, and they are not encouraged to hold interventions for those who are addicted. Instead, families hold the addict responsible for her or his actions, making it clear that they expect the addict to make the rational decision for abstinence.

How is Rational Recovery Different from Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery?

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and SMART Recovery are all used throughout the social services and legal fields to treat drug and alcohol abuse. All three programs work under the belief that group therapy ensures that addicts remain responsible; it is through these groups that addicts maintain their sobriety.

Rational Recovery believes that groups enable addicts to feel self-doubt, and that self-doubt is part of the “addictive voice" that encourages the addictive behavior. By perpetuating the feeling of self-doubt, addicts are constantly reminded that they are addicts and encouraged to see themselves as having a disease or unable to escape addiction.

Because Rational Recovery refuses to see addiction as a disease and sees it instead as a decision made by each addict, the group mentality of codependency and reliance is discouraged.