“It is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best.”
Dallin H. Oaks

Brad Barber co-hosts The Next Step Podcast, which is based around the Church’s Addiction Recovery Program and addiction in general. He grew up in the Church in southern California, served a mission, and attended Brigham Young University. Brad has seen many friends caught in addiction and became involved with ARP after hearing podcast co-host Jay’s testimony of the program and wondering why there weren’t ARP addiction meetings in his area.

Highlights

6:45 How Brad got involved with ARP and started The Next Step Podcast
12:00 Setting up the ARP program is supposed to start with the stake
12:20 A facilitator who is an addict in recovery should be leading the meetings
12:50 Leaders who have not been through the process do not know what addicts have gone through and addicts can tell
13:30 A sponsor is a person who is in sobriety from addiction
14:55 At first, addicts categorize themselves against each other until they realize everyone’s struggles are the same, but anyone who has experienced addiction can facilitate for others experiencing different types of addiction
15:45 Quote from the intro of the ARP manual (in LDS Tools) about what addiction is
17:00 Some statistics about addictions that go beyond alcohol, drugs, and pornography
18:10 “Atonement Realization Program” because the 12 Steps walk you through the Atonement to improve yourself
18:40 Elder Oaks’ talk, “Good, Better, Best”: Have people been lifted, encouraged, and changed?
20:15 A 12-Step meeting is different than counseling, but ARP is organized under LDS Family Services
20:35 Meetings usually start from the bottom up, where a family member starts a group after discovering the program exists
21:05 The 12 Steps were invented by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930’s
21:40 Good: There are ARP meetings in the stake, and ward leaders are aware of them
22:15 Group leaders are generally not addicts in recovery, and need to be a person who has no judgment toward others
23:50 Brad’s advice to group leaders: Don’t show up dressed like a missionary or pretend to be something you are not
24:45 Better: Passionate group leaders who coordinate with other group leaders
25:25 Invite leaders to go to a meeting and challenge them to not be afraid of what other people might think
27:00 Some do’s and don’ts about attending a meeting:

  • Introduce yourself by first name only
  • Resist the urge to share your testimony

29:50 Better: Have meetings with a varying mix of people at stages of sobriety to help support the participants
30:25 It’s the responsibility of group leaders to find those addicts in recovery and get them to come
30:55 Bishops have a responsibility to help identify those people and connect them to ARP
32:35 It’s the purpose of sponsors to follow-up and that’s how to maintain sobriety
33:30 Spouses also need to understand that sobriety isn’t the end
34:20 Better: Have your bishops attend ARP meetings
35:25 Treat the ARP meetings the same as self-reliance meetings and attend a full 12-week course to really understand the power of these steps
36:30 In ARP, everyone shares their experience instead of listening to an “expert”
37:00 Story: everyone can benefit from learning the 12 Steps
37:50 Better: Persons who have done the 12 Steps are now supporting others
38:05 “What gets you sober won’t keep you sober”
39:50 Best: You have facilitators who have broken anonymity
41:20 Leaders should talk to addicts in recovery and find those who are willing to break anonymity and share
42:00 Fear of breaking anonymity: what happens is the opposite of the fears of judgment
42:40 Best: Have group leaders who share and encourage others to attend
44:30 Best: Spouses and others attending the general ARP meetings
44:45 If you can only have one meeting, have a general ARP meeting
46:00 Spouses attending the meetings is powerful
46:50 12 Step support groups should not be another Sunday School lesson
47:30 Spouses and family members find hope and healing by doing the 12 Steps themselves
49:45 What can we do for youth?

  • 50:00 Mature youth (age 16 and older) can go to a meeting with an adult
  • 51:30 Bishops can go through the 12 Steps with the youth

53:15 The more we learn about what addiction is, the more we can do to help
54:00 There is a spouse/family support guide available online
54:25 What is the right time to send a member to ARP? When they can be honest, feel they are out of control on some level, and are willing to go
56:05 If the ARP meeting turns out to be a lesson instead of a 12 Step meeting, find a different meeting somewhere else
56:55 Step back and encourage them to go even if they can’t admit they’re an addict
57:00 Addicts have usually been lying for a long time
57:30 It’s an issue everywhere and if you can’t see it, you need to look more closely
58:50 If there’s no ARP in your area, go to an AA meeting or something else similar instead, and grow into ARP long-term
59:40 Encourage women to go, even if it’s a mixed-gender meeting: It’s not just a “dude problem”
1:00:45 A lot of people leave the Church because they think they messed up and there’s no way back
1:01:20 Approach it as using God’s owner’s manual for life
1:03:00 There’s a way back
1:03:45 Where to start: Talk about it
1:04:30 Reach out to the nearest facilitator, take action yourself
1:04:50 This is for every type of addiction
1:05:40 Missionaries who understand this before their missions can help even more people

Links

The Addiction Recovery Program
What Every LDS Leader Needs to Understand About the Addiction Recovery Program
The Next Step Podcast
The Next Step Podcast on Facebook