Well… It’s good to hear from an insider that it happens all the time! :-/
Two Hope House employees were arrested and charged with raping clients last week. In response to these articles, I came across a chemical dependency services worker claiming that this is very normal in the chemical dependency field. This is not surprising; there have been two movies detailing serious ethical concerns (PDF) about the industry in just this last year: The 13th Step and The Business of Recovery. It’s even more complicated, she says, because “addicts are con artists”, suggesting that any ‘mutual’ sex between an addict and a professional is the “addict’s” own plot to destroy the professional. The New York State Supreme Court seems to agree with this view that an OASAS worker accused of serial sexual misconduct is probably an innocent victim of clients’ and co-workers’ symptomatic behavior.
But anybody looking at the laws and her reasoning behind why this woman said it’s pretty normal to have sex with a client — they “go to meetings together” and have “that bond” and it’s “mutual” — would say that it’s insane that someone who’s worked in this field for a long time would have never even heard of the idea that this is illegal, or that it is her duty to be concerned about it.
It would seem pretty crazy, unless, of course, they knew that Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services employees traditionally lack required basic social work training and education, and that OASAS likes it that way. That being the case, it’s not much of a stretch to think that organizations accredited by OASAS, like Hope House, would have a pretty low bar for training of employees.
You can sign the petition to make health workers aware of the problems with the culture of Alcoholics Anonymous.