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Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery

2022-09-08

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use”

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Stefan Oskar Neff

Word Count: 863

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

Abstract

Stefan Oskar Neff is the SMART Recovery Regional Coordinator for British Columbia. Neff discusses: finding recovery; the main methodologies utilized in recovery systems in Canada; experiences of individuals; helping those in recovery/those circumstances; evidence-based treatment; spirituality or religion; “Higher Power” concept; most tragic story; and a happy ending.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, Japan, Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use, recovery, SMART Recovery, Stefan Oskar Neff.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was the start of the story in finding recovery for you?

Stefan Oskar Neff: The first moment was when my wife was visiting Japan. I was drinking, hiding. She came back from Japan because my wife is Japanese. She said to me, “Why did you have to hide the fact that you needed cash?” I said, “Because I needed cash.” She said, “You know, you can hide. You can lie, to me, and to your family, but you cannot lie to the universe to whatever you want to believe in. You cannot lie to yourself.” At that moment, she said, “I am going to be happy no matter what if you’re in my life or not. I’ll support you in whatever way that I choose to do.” But she said she would be happy no matter. That moment, a light bulb went on in my head. I knew it was my choice and 24 hours later; I made the choice not to ever touch alcohol. That was 6 years ago. I would say that is the starting point. It was when she had shared with me that she was going to be happy no matter what and it was going to be my choice.

Jacobsen: What seem like the main methodologies utilized in recovery systems in Canada?

Neff: I did not use any recovery system in Canada. I used communication by talking about my thoughts and feelings. To answer your question, “None.” So, I have to pass.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals coming into recovery/having those experiences?

Neff: The common theme is one is out of control of the substance use, is they’re losing connection with their family. They are getting – I was getting – tired of hiding, lying, and destroying my life.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals helping those in recovery/those circumstances?

Neff: A common theme – wow, the commonality is so similar to every individual that I’ve seen because I’ve seen thousands over the last four years. The common one is being out of control and that they cannot stop drinking, until they’ve taken responsibility. The common theme is trying to help the out-of-controlness and helping the individual wanting to change and wanting to stop.

Jacobsen: How much does evidence-based treatment play a role in Canadian treatment?

Neff: For one, evidence-based is a large part of the actual healthcare profession, as myself as the regional coordinator for SMART Recovery. For one, SMART Recovery is in every federal corrections institute across Canada going from BC all the way back East. That was implemented as a major program for the corrections institutes. That was done two years ago. That’s a big part, further dual-diagnosis and the addiction aspect of it. That’s large. You’ve got most of the healthcare professions in BC are using evidence-based SMART Recovery with 1-on-1 psychiatric as well as in-treatment, and their own treatment centres as well, as well as a small portion of the recovery centres across British Columbia. It is making a large impact from what I’ve seen over the last 3 years, as well as the Indigenous/First Nations as well. As an individual, I work with the training team with SMART Recovery. So, I see individuals working and training organizations for youth, Indigenous, and also the healthcare profession. So, yes, I’ve seen a large grow over the last 2 or 3 years.

Jacobsen: How much does spirituality or religion play a role in Canadian treatment?

Neff: Canadian treatment? A large part, I don’t know about that aspect. From what I know, it is a large part. I am speculating because I don’t know. What I’ve seen when approaching the recovery aspect of it, recovery centres, yes, I would say, “95 to 99% of it.”

Jacobsen: What is the role of the “Higher Power” concept, or even the concept of God, in some treatment systems in Canada?

Neff: I’ll have to pass on that one.

Jacobsen: What has been the most tragic story known to you?

Neff: The only tragic one is my own. But, with that being said, I had an individual coming to the meetings. Then he left SMART Recovery, and then he woke up one morning. His wife at the time found him; that he’d passed away. That’s the only tragic one I’d seen. I’ve seen other ones as well. Not, for example, personally, because I had a personal connection with this individual in the sense that I was working with him. That’s what I’ve experienced in my own life.

Jacobsen: For a happy ending, what has been the most heartwarming, uplifting story of success in treatment known to you?

Neff: An individual went to treatment for a full year. Then coming to SMART Recovery, before that, the individual was living in a car, homeless, at the brink of, basically, choosing between death and life, and making that choice to live, and then moving to treatment, then joining SMART Recovery for 3 years. Now, she is becoming a social worker and helping others with recovery.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Stefan.

Neff: You’re very welcome.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery. September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery. In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on RecoveryIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on RecoveryIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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