Study Shows 12-Step Programs A Dozen Steps Short On Success

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When Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs are examined in controlled studies, a new review reports, scientists find no proof that they are superior to any other intervention in reducing alcohol dependence or alcohol-related problems.

The researchers, led by Marica Ferri of the Italian Agency for Public Health in Rome, found little to suggest that 12-step programs reduced the severity of addiction any more than any other intervention. And no data showed that 12-step interventions were any more or any less successful in increasing the number of people who stayed in treatment or reducing the number who relapsed after being sober.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a self-help group that offers emotional support for alcohol abstinence and holds that alcoholism is a spiritual and a medical disease.

In some of the studies reviewed, A.A. was compared with other psychological treatments including cognitive-behavioral therapy, which encourages the conscious identification of high-risk situations for alcohol use; motivational enhancement therapy, based on principles of social and cognitive psychology; and relapse prevention therapy, a variation on the cognitive-behavioral approach. It was also compared with other spiritual and nonspiritual 12-step programs.

One study compared brief advice to attend A.A. meetings to motivational methods for encouraging 12-step involvement. Another evaluated the effectiveness of hospital-based 12-step programs, compared with community-based 12-step efforts.

The paper was published last week in The Cochrane Library, a journal devoted to systematic reviews of health care interventions. In all, the researchers examined eight trials involving 3,417 men and women ages 18 and older.


Atlantic article on "The Irrationality of AA"


Posted by Subnormal on 2006-07-31 03:52:54
The 12 steps are complete bullshit in and of themselves, have you ever looked at exactly what they were?

# We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.

# Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

# Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

# Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

# Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

# Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

# Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

# Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

# Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

# Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

# Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

# Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

it's another way to proselytize people for christianity, it's just christians preying on the weak. as usual.
Posted by Pile on 2006-08-07 15:44:29
Once you admit you are "powerless" what's the point of the rest? If you are truly "powerless" you don't need to join a program, talk to God or do any of that. If there's nothing you can do, then you should just give up right? The whole scheme is illogical.
Sober Guy
Posted by Bruce P. on 2007-09-22 19:52:26
Clearly your thought process is fogged by fear, ignorance, and resentment.
The only bullshit I see on this page is you comments regarding the steps. As far as pegging the steps to Christianity, God bless your stupidity, if you had done any kind of homework, you would note that these spiritual principles are found in ALL religions in ALL parts of the world.
Posted by Pile on 2007-09-22 20:20:35
MY thought process is fogged by fear, ignorance and resentment?

Why is that? Because I disagree with you? You are the one who is ruled by fear and ignorance. Talk about hypocrisy.

And not all religions promote the idea that one must completely submit to a creator. I think you're the one who is ignorant, and even if that was the case, that all religions were similar, it in no way detracts from the argument I'm making, which is absolving oneself of any great ultimate responsibility isn't much motivation to take control of your life.
Pile is just a Pile
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-17 19:22:06
Hello Mr. Pile of shit,

How are you doing today? It sounds like you might have a problem with drinking and that you're powerless over this problem. If I were you I would think about going to a meeting tonight because it just might help you stay sober, either way I will pray for you tonight.

Posted by Enrico_49 on 2008-07-19 12:34:53
The 12-steps are a thinly disguised religious conversion cult, posing as a treatment program for any and all alleged addictions...drugs, alcohol, sex, overeating, overspending, gambling and several other alleged "spiritual diseases", that in reality are poor personal choices.

To the oft pronounced..."its spiritual, not religious", mantra mouthed by all 12-steppers is, in a word, bullshit.

Six of the 12-steps mention God or Him. Every meeting I've ever had the personal misfortune to attend closes with the Lords Prayer, a specifically Christian prayer that has nothing what so ever to do with spirituality, or God as you understand him. And for the steppers who promote the fiction that God or your Higher Power can be anything from a doorknob to a bedpan...please! Read the available history on the 12-steps and its antecedents.

History clearly shows AA as having been birthed by the protestant piety and temperance movements of the mid 1800s that produced The Washingtonians and other religiously inspired total abstinence movements.

AA is an analogue of these former specifically religious, total abstinence groups, and the God they so often refer to is the triune God, and none other. God as they understand him is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...the protestant version, of course.

The protestant piety and temperance movement; whatever else their accomplishments may have been; have brought us two present day problems from their religiously afflicted intentions to intervene in other peoples business. Prohibition, and the rise of organized crime, and today's never ending war on drugs, and poor people...both spectacular successes!

AA and all its other incarnations get by on the uncritical goodwill of an uninformed public that knows nothing of the true nature of addictions, and the non 12-step measures that can be taken to end or reduce them without meetings, moral inventories, and 24 hour reprieves from your higher perpetuity.

What most people fail to realize is the 12-steps are about the perpetuation of the 12-steps...nothing more! Nowhere in their literature is it ever mentioned that you can ever end an addiction to anything. The best you can ever hope to do is switch it to the program.

This, and all their other fallacious assertions clearly don't square with what's presently known scientifically about addiction, and a persons demonstrated ability to end it, or contain the harmful aspects of addiction without needless membership in a religious conversion cult.

In closing, I'm always amazed by the insipid responses 12-steppers make to any perceived attack on their overwrought, overweening, attachment to this disaster of a "self help" program.

As evidenced by a couple of the above examples, so defensive and accusatory...just like their brothers in the fundamentalist/evangelical alternative universe.

Some people like to think for themselves, and take direct action to deal with their afflictions, while others cannot wait to be subsumed by the purveyors of personal powerlessness...seeking the false and detrimental comfort of having a non-existent "spiritual disease" that somehow absolves you of any personal responsibility for your own bad personal choices.

Grow up...addiction is a conscious personal choice that often has tragic outcomes, not an uncontrollable "spiritual disease" cured on a 24 hour basis...decide to stop being a spectator at your own downfall and help yourself.
happy joyous and free
Posted by gratefulgirl on 2008-07-21 15:56:04
AA has saved my life i was a hopeless junkie drunk with neddle in one hand and a bottle in the other i didnt care wether i lived or died. I tried everything detox, rehab, moving across the counrty, jail, back to detox and nothing worked. I found AA and surrendered to my addiction and kept a open mind. I am alive today because of this program and im am truley grateful for that.
AA didn't take away your self control
Posted by Pile on 2008-07-21 20:00:42
AA didn't save your life. You saved your life. If you want to divest credit into some other organization or entity, it's your prerogative, but ultimately it isn't the president of AA that takes the drink or drugs out of your hand, it's you.

For every person who thinks they need an organization or paranormal diety to help them stop an addiction, there are probably a hundred or a thousand people who merely willed themselves into sobriety. The difference between them and people who claim to "need AA" is the difference between a weak and a strong person, a winner and a whiner, someone who addresses their issues head-on, and someone who looks for excuses to avoid taking responsibility for their own lack of self-control.

I have no doubt AA will continue to flourish and it will probably help some people, but only because our society is becoming more and more accustomed to making excuses instead of taking responsibility for things.

I'm not saying AA is useless. I'm saying if people exercised more moderation and self-control, AA would be obsolete, but because they don't, and some people are incapable (it seems) of helping themselves, they need the assistance of others, but AA's program of using a mythological, nonexistent "god" to aid in the process of sobriety causes more harm than good in my opinion. The other aspects of the program are worthwhile, but the supernatural crap can be taken out, as evidenced in numerous scientific studies, and not demonstrate any significant loss of success.

I don't want to sound callous, but let's look at the big picture. We are animals on this planet. We've reached the apex (supposedly) of dominance due to our ability to adapt and overcome, and this is what every living creature (and its ancestors) that is alive on the planet thus far has also managed to do. Yet we are the only creatures who have created convoluted "self-help" programs, designed to save the weak amongst us from what would otherwise be an improvement through natural selection. Think about it. What if some species of fish or monkey started eating some plant that made them sick or incapable of properly functioning? What would happen to them? They'd die off and be replaced by a stronger, more capable creature. But us humans, we have now diverted from this process of natural selection by pandering to the weak, self-destructive and incapable. This would be great if those same organizations that claim to want to help others, don't at the same time foster hatred and contempt for people with differing ideologies. As a result, the whole movement is of questionable value to humanity. Thank about it. We're breeding a new race of humans who give credit to non-existent things for their own deeds, who can't help themselves and need religiously-sponsored entitlement programs to be able to function as normal humans. This is not a good thing. And religion has never been responsible for improving the human condition; that is science's legacy.
Posted by Enrico_49 on 2008-07-22 13:27:01
To Pile: Bravo!

What the 12 -steps has been successful in, beyond even their wildest expectations, is the creation of a nation of "spiritually diseased" victims.

Whats been lost is exactly what once made America great...self efficacy, that former ability to recognize a problem impacting on the quality of your life, and deal with it like a man, with your best interests as the guide to stopping whatever the problem was.

No membership in a religious conversion cult, no self identification as a victim of a non existent disease, and no overarching desire to continue on with this nonsense, as if it were something to be proud of was ever required to end a bad habit.

America, as a country would have never stood a chance if 12 steppers were around at its founding. Perpetual victim hood, and the constant retelling of self serving drink and drug a logs would have insured the inability to fight, and eventual defeat.

As a health care professional, and former addict all I can say is this...addiction at its core level is a personal choice, that often has tragic consequences, and can result in jail or death, but can also be ended.

Addiction, as defined by the 12-steps it is not a disease, there is no known etiology that would correlate with other clearly understood disease processes. The AMA was browbeaten by an AA front group to call alcoholism a disease in the 1950s. And to this day its essentially considered untreatable, after any medical interventions to address withdrawal symptoms, and treatment of secondary disease conditions that arise from abuse.

There is no doubt that abuse of any substance can lead to conditions that are diseases, but these are secondary to abuse of drugs, alcohol, doughnuts, sex...whatever. Any resultant dieases are secondary effects of addiction, not the cause.

There is credible evidence of some ethnic predisposition to alcohol...but calling it a "spiritual disease" [a clinically meaningless term] is an invention of the religiously minded, total abstinence groups, like the Washingtonians and others that came out of the protestant piety movements of the 1850s...and continue on with the 12-steps.

What these groups have indisputably brought us was prohibition, and the organized crime that grew by providing a service, [alcohol] that the vast majority of Americans wanted to be able to use at their discretion.

And their religiously afflicted antecedents have seen fit to wage the so called war on drugs...and poor people, with the same effect and success that prohibition had.

The fact is everyone has the ability to end an addiction if they really want to...or lacking that they can reduce the use of their preferred substance to more tolerable levels.

There is no need to join a religious conversion cult to stop using anything that has impacted your life to the point of being a real problem.

However, all detox wards are infested with 12-step evangelists who tell you in no uncertain've got a disease...their is no cure...but there is a way, the 12-steps...bullshit!

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...if so, than consider the misinformed 12-step evangelists to be driving the steamrollers. Good intentions coupled with bad information and spiritual the final at best unhelpful, and in many cases deadly.

The 12-steps are the problem masquerading as the solution.
Posted by spareman on 2008-11-27 17:04:32
I used to attend AA meetings for five years. I had always had a lingering feeling that the folks attending (sober for years in some cases) were unhappy. That's the bottom line for me and why I quit AA. There are sober people for years who go there, but I honestly would say 95-99% of the people I saw OUTSIDE of the meeting rooms were miserably sober. Don't tell me they didn't work the program, either, because most long-time sobriety requires it. The very few happy folks usually had so many people come to them for sponsorship, it was kind of ridiculous. If the AA folks could set up house at a meeting and never leave, maybe they'd be happy, but not when they go into the world at large.
Age old debate
Posted by Bfree on 2009-01-06 02:00:03
Is alcoholism a disease or simply a willful weakness? Modern medicine says it's treatable, which makes it a disease by definition. At my age I have a hard time excusing those who abuse drugs and alcohol while harming others. And isn't that the key? We lose loved ones to car accidents,airplane crashes(rarely), terrorist attacks(rarely), and just plain unexpected tragedies. But for those of us like me who wait by the phone, expecting that call that your son or daughter is gone, don't care about the philisophical debate about self help programs. Let's face it...people get addicted, some survive, some don't. Do I think there is a cure for that outside of oneself? No, I don't. Do I think chemotherapy can put cancer in remission, I do. Bottom line...Addiction falls between the cracks and if your family is touched, however severely by it, you will ask yourself what you could have done to help. 12 steps? How about a million steps because it is only over when the addict says it is.
Posted by Peter on 2009-03-08 18:49:02
I believe one can be agnostic on a number of issues. A lay mans science is pragmatism. I've been in A.A. 26 years without a drink. I won't say the Lords prayer or talk about God. I'm genrally inclined to agree about much of the commentary reguarding A.A.'s religiosity. I'm saddened by the out bursts posted by people who feel threatened by critisism.
Here's the deal. My desire to drink disapeared while attending meetings. I was a 30 year old bike messenger with a grade school education living in a cold water apt. with no heat. Today I'm 6 mths away from retirement with a full pension. I have an 18 year old daughter who loves me I'm a valued member of my family, my work place and my small group of friends.
Am I miserable at times? Unfortunatley I am. I have in fact never been asked to "sponser" anyone. Oddly none of that bothers me a whole lot. I hope to live another 30 years or sosober and productive, but if I were to drop dead tonight I will go out feeling I have accomplished the things I most needed to get done. Thanks to A.A. and a good deal of hard work.

If A.A.'s not for you I'm inclined to think you're not an alchaholic. Allow mw to ask you to refrain from critiqing an experience you have never actually had. Or not. Whatever.
why all this?
Posted by Void_Dweller on 2009-04-06 07:38:05
why all this nonsense discusion about AA? if you dont agree with waste time and energy in writing such statement you can be as smart and intellectual as you are but that is not a clever tool to show that you know more than... in fact instruct yourself with AA literature study the chapters you will find humanity at its best: misery, suffering, anguish, low self steem, dependence, sorrow, hope, change, inspiration, joy, happiness, beauty, as an alcoholic and an adict i can tell you this yes you are right you are the one who gets out of the problem, but say you are drifting out on a vast sea without a flotation device, since the ship sank, you have to look for that lifesaver or raft but you know is there somewere just keep looking and in the lest expected moment bam! there it is, is a complete reprogramming of the hardisk deleting all the junk but you need support and a hand, god is the ultimate force, we are all part of itm so may he bless you and i love you, keep exploring dont close your mind, thats when it gets boring
Posted by Void_Dweller on 2009-04-06 07:46:27
Theory is important but the name of the game is action, that is the main issue with a lot of people that leave, since theres no good will theres no change, dont philosophise and analize it too much, your literaturistic and scholaristic approach wont help you get sober lower that ego, and let go, be part of it all, enyoy the ride!!.
Posted by V.D on 2009-04-06 07:56:22
if you dont agree dont join, dont critizize , respect, accept, your opinion wont change the world!! - sorry for the typos in the first message.
nothing wrong with criticism
Posted by Pile on 2009-04-06 10:06:05
AA takes a lot of government money and resources, and ultimately the statistics show it doesn't work. Those resources could be spent on other programs that have a better track record. People could be directed to more effective programs. It's important to let people know that AA might be a waste of time, or worse.
Posted by V.D on 2009-04-06 16:50:38
hmmmmmmmmmm i love your way of sparking a discussion and getting a little of attention and wich and i have falled into your trap hahahahahahaha lol, go on pile, i encourage you to go to the AA world services offices and send your letters there instead of wasting time in these obscure page, have a nice life and let be god with you, in it you will find the answer to it all...
"We Agnostics"
Posted by JLP on 2009-04-27 19:15:01
To those "without knowledge". "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation". - Herbert Spencer. Page. 184 Alcoholics Anonymous.
catch-all excuse
Posted by Pile on 2009-04-28 00:21:08
Every 'religion' has a convenient portion of their scripture dedicated towards marginalizing anyone critical of their beliefs, regardless of whether or not they know more than the believers themselves about their own doctrine. That's rule number one in brainwashing: convince your victim that anyone critical of your movement "doesn't understand."
Posted by Pile on 2009-04-28 00:24:09
There are alternatives:

Smart Recovery

Secular Sobriety
some passing thoughts...
Posted by NotAlcoholismJustCollege on 2009-07-19 04:32:23
i don't negate the legitimacy of such an approach, what i have issue with is the imposition of this method; as it itself is basically neutral but when imposed so indiscriminately, it gains a very oppressive-like quality, which in fact may foster resistance in some. furthermore, even methods that are effective for some, or for many, are not necessarily appropriate for everyone with such problems, and assuming they will be fitting for all based on their beneficial usage in many is simply an unsound appeal to the majority, or rather assuming that since it ought to be so, it will be so, is another fallacious theory.
when pertaining to professional licensures and boards, such practices requiring enforced beliefs, however beneficial they are assumed to be, usually results in false or simply passive compliance. my main problem included several factors, but to best elucidate my points, i will explain in terms referring to the article:
-number one; the confrontational, hostile interactions deemed necessary to evoke honesty and accountability from addicted clients did not, in my opinion, succeed in this intended purpose but rather only prompted increased efforts at concealing certain motivations. in my judgement, empathic and understanding reception would have much more effectively drawn out open honesty or candor from people
-number two (and this is more of a personal nature); much like Wright's situation, despite my continual requests for a medication change in response to depressive mood states, or declining mood predictability, all such queries regarding medicines were either blatantly ignored or deflected to indicate some 'deficiency' on the part of my spiritual efforts/willingness. upon culmination of the dysphoria and mood instability, the R.A. gave me the phone with which to speak to the counselor on call (this was in the evening) and upon revealing to her my thoughts of depression/sadness/harm to myself, she responded, verbatim, with 'how is your relationship with your higher power?' at no time was the psychiatric or medical aspects addressed, and despite my great emotional distress that evening, i was nonetheless forced to attend the AA meeting at a nearby church, as usual, without exception. it was only when my fellow peers confronted the staff and threatened to take action themselves that the staff actually addressed my situation later that evening and spoke with me regarding this problem. otherwise the staff, as they admitted, would have been both unaware and certainly unequipped.
-number three; to add insult to injury, the next day this blatant unqualification on the part of the staff members was directly deflected to myself, as i was labeled by a certain doctor as being 'unwilling to recover' and 'uncooperative' with the program. this same doctor also denied me the medical attention/medicine changes i had requested for weeks prior to this incident. in doing so, he effectively abdicated himself and the staff of all responsibility and blame, placing such upon me entirely, while conversely attributing all positive outcomes/successes thus far to the former and speaking in such self congratulatory terms so as to create a false sense of my having 'deviated' from the treatment protocol.
furthermore, this pattern of power displacement has proven to be both ubiquitous and pervasive on all levels of the treatment system and the program system itself, in that the program will eagerly assume all credit/success and likewise avidly avoid responsibility or blame for failure, and conversely, the client will have no credit given to him/herself for their own successes but immediately be given the blame for all failures or problems with their treatment. such tactics only augment those already employed by the industry at large, in my opinion. i simply use some personal examples here to better illuminate my points. the reason i did not emerge 'clean' from talbott is because promoting total abstention is oftentimes unrealistic and unresponsive to one's actual needs. there are certainly those who must abstain from their previous habits to further function, but in my case such external imposition of unrealistic, and frankly absurd restrictions did not encourage their extinction but rather encouraged better camouflage of it. as you have seen, i have stopped doing things ON MY OWN, and sometimes that is necessary. even so, such stringent draconian regulations hardly achieve their intended purposes. perhaps this explains why the 12-step treatment model has a recidivism rate of 97%. those who are instilled with desire to/remain clean indefinitely compose 3% of the amount of people entering into something like this. jsut mentioning a number, but wanted to show you what my reading has revealed :)
- Show quoted text -
oh yea...
Posted by NotAlcoholismJustCollege on 2009-07-19 04:33:45
this is the letter i wrote to my rehab center....its intended audience is the staff there. etc :)
Take what you like and leave the rest
Posted by Bob Plant on 2009-10-31 10:01:39
I'm an Atheist on a 12 step program and it works just fine for me. God is a great concept, but too many people think that it's a religious program. I prefer the term "Higher Power" or even "life" itself.
If you don't like it, don't go to meetings! Choose your own path and you won't find any judgement from me. I've got too much happening in my own life to worry about what anyone else gets up to!
Posted by Booze is Awesome... on 2010-01-08 22:13:35
Alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, porn addiction etc, etc, etc, etc...none of these are diseases. Cancer is a disease. Diabetes is a disease. Nobody chooses to put a tumor in their brain; many choose to put a needle in their arm, or 40oz in their stomach. Drug and alcohol abuse is a choice, a behaviour. A disease is involuntary. There's no such thing as involuntary behaviour.
Posted by Laguna Jim on 2010-04-21 01:28:52
...which is why the AMA defines alcoholism as a disease in the DSM's.

But of course, all of you know more than the AMA - or you must believe that the AMA is part of the AA cult, eh?

I've been in AA for 18 years and while it definately suggests you find a higher power to believe in, it is definately not about christianity. In fact, it is a pretty large faux paus to refer to your higher power as Jesus Christ in a meeting - since this might offend others. We keep it general.. "god" or "higher power".

It's great when people from the outside, with no direct personal experience, make all sorts of pronouncements, judgements, and claims about things they know nothing about.

Have a sober day!
Posted by anonymous on 2010-07-18 20:51:07
If I wasnt in a 12-step, id tell you to go get loaded and die asshole. But as I am, Ill pray for you.
Posted by Pile on 2010-07-18 22:42:41
More of that infamous Christian Love(tm)
AA, creator, anger, dogmatism
Posted by Paul on 2010-08-14 11:30:15
First, AA: I can only claim sobriety through AA, since this is the only avenue that allowed for me to remain sober for all these years. It is not the only way. Studies show that it is no more effective than other forms of treatment or even trying on your own. Today, I don't NEED to RELY on AA to keep me sober today. It is having a life that I enjoy that is important
AA, creator, anger, dogmatism
Posted by Paul on 2010-08-14 11:38:55
2) Creator: AA does in fact point to Christianity. It spends a great deal of time trying to convince you that being an atheist or agnostic is unwise and that only the help of a higher power will solve your problems. Shortly after that it tries to convince you of a creator of the universe, a religious idea. In the 12 and 12, Bill uses the St. Francis prayer as a means for practicing step 11. Its' foundations are in the oxford groups (I believe a christian group). The lord's prayer is used at a lot of meetings. Its members are primarily Christian and would have you believe in god. The big book capitalizes God.
AA, creator, anger, dogmatism
Posted by Paul on 2010-08-14 11:44:04
3) Anger: Those in 12 step programs would be wise to not act like bullies and know-it-alls, as I have seen from a few of the people who have posted. It's very reminiscent of extremely "religious" people threatening to harm others due to their unbelief or active role against religion. It's very paradoxical, confusing, and troubling.
AA, creator, anger, dogmatism
Posted by Paul on 2010-08-14 12:01:00
Finally, Dogmatism: AA needs to remain flexible in its practices. Science has discovered and gained many insights about addiction. There is not a consensus among scientists that alcoholism/addiction is, strictly, a disease. There is a biological mechanism that helps to drive behavior, but there is behavior involved, too. It's more complex than "it's just a disease" or "it's just behavior", much like the nature/nurture argument. Soon more medications will be available for addiction and there will be better ways to treat addiction than we have now. AA needs to be able to adopt these new ideas into its system, because there are parts of AA that work. However, I fear that it is becoming too religious, and that its founders are viewed as holy guides, and that the book is infallible. We always need to use reason to direct out decisions, and, unfortunately, I don't think AA can escape from the dogmatic clutches. The big book is outdated and too many people rely on it like Christians rely on the bible. It takes too long to change things in AA (like adding the internet into its tradition about anonymity-such an obvious change that took forever and still is not in effect yet). If it wants to remain a REAL form of treatment, it needs to remain open to outside insights about the very thing it seeks to treat, which as of now, remains questionable, at best. Good luck to all addicts/alcoholics. There is help out there. Don't let dogmatism drive you away. There are good people in the meetings that are just looking for a way to change something that sometimes seems impossible.
Posted by Pile on 2010-08-14 12:25:01
Well said Paul!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-28 12:39:35
This has been very helpful as I don't think a 12 step indoctrination is going to help my condition. I have decided to seek other methods. The Sinclair method sounds promising and appears to be backed by real science. Thanks to all who posted.
Oh my GOD!
Posted by queensny on 2010-11-20 18:50:45
Everyone is right. AA is nothing more than a thinly veiled cult conspiring to....ahh....well to help get your life back on track. But wait! There's a catch. I knew it! The sneaky secret society also suggests that, if you can, you should donate $1 a meeting for costs. And while the poor unsuspecting masses pile into church basements and begin to find a way out of the pain and suffering, the rich fat-cats at the imaginary AA Corporate are taking money baths and lighting their cigars with hundred dollar bills. I just feel horrible for all the unsuspecting wives, husbands, parents and children who have had to watch their loved ones find support through the hard times and live a life based on ethical principals. It must be terrible for them. They are the real victims.
So You Say It's Bullshit?
Posted by Old Timer on 2010-12-16 02:04:25
30 years ago, I had managed to really screw up my life, and nearly drank myself into an early grave (flat lined in a hospital ER). I went to A.A. meetings, learned the steps, and yadda yadda. Now here is a reality check for you guys.
I went to a total of 4, count them
Old Timer Again
Posted by Bullshit eh? on 2010-12-16 02:06:34
30 years ago, I had managed to really screw up my life, and nearly drank myself into an early grave (flat lined in a hospital ER). I went to A.A. meetings, learned the steps, and yadda yadda. Now here is a reality check for you guys.

I went to a total of 4, count them
This thing doe not like to post much does it?
Posted by Ol timer on 2010-12-16 02:12:24
I will try to post it one more time.

30 years ago, I had managed to really screw up my life, and nearly drank myself into an early grave (flat lined in a hospital ER). I went to A.A. meetings, learned the steps, and yadda yadda. Now here is a reality check for you guys.
I went to a total of 4, count them FOUR Meetings.

I could admit that I had a serious problem, and that I was powerless over it. This meant to me that I could not ever ever ever touch it again. (Kinda gets ya once you die once eh?)

I could not get past the 2nd step.

It demands that you will yourself into believing something that has no evidentiary support, or logical veracity. I had a major problem with this.

Belief is a state on mind, not an act of will.
Can we will ourselves into believing that the moon is made of cheese? Or that the continent of Antartica has a population of 500,000? If you can really do this, you are a bigger person than I.

From that point it is the exact same as the Catholic confessional, which is meant to absolve yourself of guilt in your mind.

Then it says to spread the word, pray, blah blah blah.

Addiction is a horrible thing. At first the behavior seemed like it felt good, but after a very short time, it became necessary to do it to feel normal. This is at the heart of addiction. It is not really a disease, nor after the addiction has you in its grips, can it be considered a choice. It is a defect, that cannot be cured, but it can be avoided, and the addiction can be kicked. This is what the 12 steps try to do, but they think that religious conversion is the trick, which after studies came out, it is problematic.

Here I am, 30 years later still sober, and completely in agreement with you. A.A. at its heart is a religious conversion, and it is pure, 100%, prime cut, grade A Bullshit.
Get into a detox, stop freaking drinking, and stay the hell away from it or you are gonna die, go to jail, lose your kids, whatever! Just don
re: Oh My GOD!
Posted by Paul on 2010-12-19 22:29:45

Did you read any of the posts? I don't think anyone is claiming that AA is a cult. My own opinions have to do with the method of AA and its requirement for a belief in something like a supernatural entity in order to remain sober. No medical treatment would ever be allowed to make such an assertion, but we allow this for a mental health issue like addiction. Plus, medical treatments allow for new research to shape them, and AA does not have a system that allows for this type of adjustment.

People, of course, do get better through AA, and there are good reasons for this (i.e, the fellowship with others like yourself, the re-arrangement of priorities in life, and the changing of the perception of self). These are, possibly, necessary for recovery from addiction, but the point is that AA has the reputation for the best way to get and stay sober, and that may not be the case for everyone. Plus, there is little evidence (save anecdotal) to back it up.

Too often I see this attitude shown by QUEENSNY from members of AA (being a member myself for EIGHT YEARS) when AA is questioned. This defensiveness makes it hard to have a realistic conversation about the nature of AA and breeds dogmatism (meaning that members feel they cannot and should not question AA ways and those that do are harming AA and/or are ungrateful). This, I pose, needs to be changed in order for AA to NOT become so rigid and help MORE people than it currently does.

Good luck
AA descended from nazis
Posted by desb on 2010-12-24 15:09:44
AA comes from Oxford Society in England. The Oxford Society was affiliated with the nazis in Germany.

AA does way more harm than good. Trust me, I've been there.
Another excerpt from this same article
Posted by Paul on 2011-01-15 12:18:30
Here is some other info from the article that started this whole thing. You should read it for yourself.

-A member of the staff of the general service office of Alcoholics Anonymous said the organization did not comment on published studies of the program, but some experts objected to the methods and conclusions of the review.

Let's try that again
Posted by Paul on 2011-01-15 12:19:56
A member of the staff of the general service office of Alcoholics Anonymous said the organization did not comment on published studies of the program, but some experts objected to the methods and conclusions of the review.
One more time
Posted by Paul on 2011-01-15 12:22:00
A member of the staff of the general service office of Alcoholics Anonymous said the organization did not comment on published studies of the program, but some experts objected to the methods and conclusions of the review.

In my own words
Posted by Paul on 2011-01-15 12:42:05
Never mind. It's not posting correctly. Read the article. Here's the gist. The author of this NY Times article quoted at the top of this page states that previous research has shown AA's effectiveness [I did my own research here (when comparing people who attend AA and those that don't as well as showing a dose-response relationship with more AA meetings increasing the likely-hood that a person stays sober)]. Second, some experts in this article claim that the research cited in the NY Times article doesn't take into account personal choice versus being forced to go. People that attend AA know that this is a vital issue. People who are forced to go generally aren't that receptive to AA. But, this may simply reflect the increased motivation to seek help and not necessarily the effectiveness of AA. AA works for some people, and those in AA claim that it doesn't work for others due to the PERSON not the PROGRAM. This is one way AA sets itself up as infallible. Plus, AA won't even comment on research done about its OWN program? This is not an outside issue. It is concerning AA. This is another example of AA's inflexibility. Maybe we should focus on creating a treatment program that helps people even if they haven't hit "rock bottom" and one that will continue to evolve based off of valid research.
Life Saver
Posted by KSB on 2011-02-27 22:15:26
It's a matter of perception. If you wake up one day from a life long drunken stupor...having no real social, emotional, spiritual & employment will be thankful there are unselfish people to help guide you on the road to your new found journey. A higher power is needed, but there is not any taking advantage of the You don't pay money as if you are at the local country club, drinking & golfing it up! It is a design for living for those that need it. If you are invited by the court system, your perception may be skewed... It has saved my life now for 5 years!
re:life saver
Posted by Paul on 2011-04-06 18:17:25
A higher power is needed....

If this is in the broad sense that a group of people with experience of success in sobriety can be a higher power, then maybe. But the idea that a supernatural agent is needed to help fix a physical ailment like alcoholism is problematic at the least. But, you just hit on something. If people are in a position to receive help and it's from other people who they can put their trust in (namely those that are alcoholic like them and have found a solution), then it may work. However, what if we offered another form of treatment (CBT or therapy) to these same people who are in a position to receive help? Wouldn't those same people get better? Isn't it partially a matter of personal frustration with old methods and receptivity to something new?

It is a design for living for those that need it....

If this was true more people would be sober today.
Posted by anonymous on 2011-04-15 00:42:01
I agree with much of your argument about AA being ineffective but you kind of come off as an asshole in some of your points... especially the one about natural selection - I hate it when people use that argument - it is elitist, insensitive, and illogical (yes, we are animals, but as highly developed animals, maybe there is a reason we have a highly developed sense of compassion for others?)

If you want to be persuasive, gather some statistics and present them in a more scientific way - but yes I do agree with your main premise.
to those who trully know
Posted by iiiscorpio67 on 2011-05-23 00:53:54
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
12-step is a cult and very destructive
Posted by John Pascale on 2011-11-16 11:16:51
I have been a heroin addict for about 6 years I've also mixed with cocaine those were my two problems drugs I started out in a 5-day detox than did a 30 day 12-step program relapsed a month after I got out because of poor personal choices of friends and basically was my fault after that I decided I needed to be in more groups so I did just that and all they ever did was tell me that I was powerless I would always be an addict and that I can't go a bar or club or basically do anything that didn't involve a meeting or a sponsor because I had a "disease" I went to groups for 10 years and it was like being in a cult of brainwashed and truly sad people talking their higher powers and how terrible their addictions where placing a bunch of formal addicts and new recovering addicts in a room to trade war stories-bad idea plus it can teach you new ways to use and also new people to use with I was told methadone treatment was just replacing one addiction with another and that it would probably kill me guess what all of it was bullshit none of you are powerless you do not have a disease that's not what an addiction is it's a compulsive disorder caused by continually using drugs and there is a way to stop GET HELP go to a doctor if your experiencing withdrawals go to methadone clinic if your an alcoholic than there are also other thing besides doing a cult like that becomes an entire new addiction in itself what happens if you can't get to a meeting or you just simply can't get through the withdrawal period well basically there are alot of options and god isn't gonna make you sober you have to do it yourself to ever fully recover I have been clean for about 6 years I spent two of them on a methadone program and it worked great I never had a craving or a withdrawal symptom ever again and they didn't tell me I had a "disease" or I was powerless and didn't make me feel worthless like the 12-step people did they made me feel confident and powerful that I could get off all drugs and be cured of my addiction the addiction to heroin will stay with my memory always because I always have to remember and remind myself to stay clean but that's about all I have to along with a few positive reinforcement activities and hobbies like fishing,video games,etc whatever works for the individual finding things you love or even rediscover some that you've lost will give you far more confidence than some deluded disguised cult will exercise is great too besides making people feel that they are somehow worse than the general population and need to do the "steps" which your constantly pressured to do being bothered by an annoying sponsor constantly bugging me to go to meeting 60-80 miles away when there are perfectly good ones two miles away the 12-step program was very destructive to my personality my parents hated the way i acted and thought my life was being taken over by these groups my mom loves the way I am now I'm energetic off all drugs and with no help from them people there are other methods that work far better there's nothing wrong with trying methadone or suboxone for opiates nothing wrong with medicine for alcohol either they are designed to stop you from using and doctors know way way way more than any god obsessed person can know they have real knowledge and don't rely on some "higher power" to do everything for them addictions can be stopped it's all up to the user not god with that said I'm gonna go for a run and then play some xenosaga my favorite ps2 game good luck everyone who is recovering you can fully recover believe in yourself not a higher power because you are the higher power it's within yourself
It's not a disease people wake up
Posted by John Pascale on 2011-11-16 13:46:26
Just because you can treat it with a medicine does not mean it is a disease a disease by definition is caused by a pathogen we treat mental disorders with medicine and they not called disease's addiction is a disorder and a choice when you go to a meth clinic or a detox to get off alcohol or go on alcohol medicine your treating a behavior a disease is something you have almost no control over people who have cancer or other real disease's don't go to meetings and say hi my name is mary and I'm a cancer patient the cancer took my life over and now I'm giving myself to god hoping he will restore my T cells to normal levels so why the hell would a heroin addict do that no the best thing to do is find the best way for you and your level of addiction to get through the withdrawals methadone subutex, or cold turkey whatever you are the most comfortable with giving yourself to god and all that bs is nonsense nobody who has a disease does that and the word is taken out of context and it's religion in disguised you guys want to know the figures of success it's only 5% and if you want them to tell you the figures of success they probably won't return your call they are full of shit and very stupid even if addiction was a disease there not going about treating it the right way wd's can be deadly regardless of what ignorant people said I was going thru heroin wd's and I had 2 seizures on the second day if I didn't get to the hospital to be revived I'd be a vegetable they recommended I go to a suboxone or methadone clinic and get some help and not try to do the hard way because the hard way for some people can be deadly especially with benzoz and alch heroin not so much I was a special case but imagine if I tried tough it out and didn't take the doctors advice I'd be dead that's how AA and NA are destructive the strength and health of people they always want you to do the cold turkey approach to everything and alot of people have lives and jobs and families to take care of and don't have 1 year to be depressed and sick they need relief and sobriety now and that's what a real treatment offers relief which is probably what the addict was seeking when they began using drugs get it sometimes life suck's and ppl need somewhere to turn and nobody in drug recovery should be in constant pain and discomfort because someone tells them that there replacing an addiction with another that's a myth because they'd be addicted anyway and probably don't have much to loose methadone only made my life better I've never mixed it or abused it and I was able to get off it very easily about two weeks of mild withdrawals that video games movies and some good fresh veggies fruits and exercise helped me come to a full recovery and complete normalcy within a month of tapering with minimal suffering and insomnia ask a cold turkey advocate how long they were sick for it can last for years even after the main physical wd's are gone waves of suicidal depression hit ppl more often than not because your brain chemicals and neurotransmitters become used up that's what the god damn medicine was made for to help with the impossible withdrawal period it doesn't get me high at all I feel good everyday because I'm always happy and never sick
yes I'm posting again
Posted by John Pascale on 2011-11-16 13:58:05
Saying that higher power is needed is so stupid it's an opinion and not a fact because none of us really know if the higher power even exists I didn't use a higher power I became the higher power and did it myself I didn't blame anyone but myself I didn't tell myself it's disease blah blah god help me I got off my ass started finding diff treatment options I found methadone to be the most effective least wd's for me but for other people that may be different methdadone isn't for every addict just like say nictotine patches aren't for every smoker trying to quit people need to start doing things for themselves and stop trying to trick religion into the courts and churches because your breaking the constitution that says you can believe what you want but keep it to yourself nobody ever does that and saying a higher power is needed may be the case for you but don't force it on other people I understand that you want to help people and share your joy of sobriety with them I want to do the same unfortunately when I talk about methadone and how great it worked for me I get alot of bullshit especially from 12 step ppl saying I'm gonna relapse I've been clean for 6 years 4 of them with no methadone and I have a beautiful family that I'd never give up drugs for forcing your ideas on other people is f*cked up and stupid keep your higher power's to yourself and don't try to persuade people who are already weak and vulnerable states that they are powerless and have no control over themselves they already thought that their wholes lives what they need to do is take control and if they believe in a higher power share it with their peers who also believe in the same thing but don't say it's needed because that's your opinion and not alot of other ppl think that
Informative page! Glad I found it on Google
Posted by Barry on 2012-01-04 02:01:13
I've been clean for a little over 4 years. On the one hand I am very thankful for the help I have recieved from the 12 step programs of NA and AA and on the other hand I am getting sick of the God bull shit that is pushed at meetings. I can relate to a lot that I have heard on this forum and if you can't keep going back and then maybe one day you will. I can especially relate a lot to the last post. My drug of choice was MJ and I was pretty miserable my first year clean and mostly all I did was make a lot of meetings. I still like going to meetings but I am so sick of the God bs and members at the AA group have hit me with the black ball for blaspheming the god bs. It is sad I wish I had some friends my age. It is f-ed up that the 12 steps take advantage of ppl that have received the Gift Of Desperation and tell them they have to become dependent on god. However if it werent for the 12 meetings I really don't know and can't say that I would be clean and able to think clearly enough to disagree with all this bs that is pushed at meetings. Quite the paradox! What is there left to do? I wish I knew.
still on the fence...
Posted by Lorraine on 2012-02-08 19:14:50
I agree with the above post. I was also addicted to MJ, and I quit nine months ago. I've managed to stay clean and I've been to meetings but I don't fully take the program seriously, as far as meeting attendance, stepwork, sponsorship, etc. I did start to adapt the "higher power" concept to my liking and have found it useful, but I won't believe in what other people tell me to believe. Don't want to. I'm Agnostic. The meetings give me emotional support, mostly, but I wish I could just have better skills in making friends elsewhere. I'll try to practice that!
Posted by change one addiction to another on 2012-04-29 17:26:46
What about the federal government spending our hard earned tax dollars into lucrative programs that fail about 96% of the time. Tell me people who run our country are not addicts themselves? I know "let the people take back our country" and save our Constitutional rights as free individuals that have freeom of angency not angency of freedom or the loss of freedom forced down though brutial dictatorship. Send everyone in Congress and the Judical system through the "Dave Ramsey's Crash Course in out of controll spending" and mabey a 3 step program saving our Boarders.Language and Culture "kick ass" plan sponcered by Savage mabey people would not need to be self medacated as much. "Think about it"!!
Re: tea party weenie
Posted by anony-mouse on 2012-07-17 10:15:47
Tea party people need more education. Take a look at his spelling and grammar... Oh, also check out his 'teachers'" Dave Ramsey, Savage, probably Hannity, Beck, and Rush mixed in there as well. These guys are all entertainers. Go back to school and get your GED. Try living in the real world for a little while. Maybe move to a city and meet some new people?
some positive truths about AA
Posted by T. Total on 2012-08-24 03:28:46
I'm 11 months sober with the help of an outpatient rehab program and AA. I can tell you that churches do not run AA meetings: they rent or donate space to them. Nobody in AA is getting rich from AA. Contributions cover coffee, rent, etc, and some money goes to the central office to help publish newsletters and books and such. AA has very few paid employees. There is no central authority in AA: each group runs itself. There's nobody in the cental office sent around to make sure that groups are doing things "right." There's nobody in AA who makes "referrals" to treatment programs. AA is run at a grassroots level by its own members. And "membership" is simply showing up, you don't get a card or have to pay a fee or anything of the sort. If some idiot in AA tells you that you're doing things wrong, you are free to ignore him or her. AA isn't exempt from having assholes, and the people who whine about how upset they are about some thing or other said in a meeting or by another person in AA are expecting AA to be full of perfect people. It ain't. The higher power that is mentioned is "God AS YOU UNDERSTAND HIM," meaning that you can have any conception of a higher power that you choose. The AA big book does say for agnostics and atheists that you might choose to call it "an unsuspected inner resource" rather than an external higher power. There are a couple of acronyms that you can use for GOD: "group of drunks" and "good orderly direction." Personally, I'm an agnostic, but I don't have trouble with the mentions of God--I just think about that previously unsuspected inner resource I have, in combination with the loving support of the other members of AA--and that is my higher power. It's true that some people are overtly religious, but others aren't...AA isn't homogenous. In the end, the first step is that you recognize that you are powerless over alcohol. To me that means that once I've taken a drink, I'm no longer in control, and that is definitely not how alcohol affects non-alcoholics. AA's point is that you need to let go of the notion that you alone can control your drinking--because if you've made it into an AA meeting, you're clearly struggling with controlling it--and look for help elsewhere, to something outside yourself. And as a support group for alcoholics who strive to be sober, AA is hard to beat. AA is also about finding another way to live: owning up to your past misdeeds and faults, and working towards living an honest life. And finally, the last of the 12 steps is about giving back to the community by practicing integrity in all your affairs. And yes, if you so desire, by working with other alcoholics, helping them get clean and sober. And by living that better life, and reaping the rewards, the goal is that you don't feel the need to drink, and can find other ways both to cope with your problems and celebrate your successes. Summing it all up, you stop drinking, clean house, and give back. You don't have to believe in a just have to be willing to reach out to get help from outside your own head.
insanity defined
Posted by in and out over 30 years on 2012-09-08 20:38:18
i tried golf (not for me) is golf a bad game? some people are happy in 12 step programs. so now they say just as many people quit without a.a. as people who quit in a.a. (not too many).i know people who go to a.a. sober many years who just use step go or do not go. but if this issue makes you angry u have been brainwashed (cult) or your self esteem has been hurt because in a.a. you are not a WINNER! good to know golf is not the only game in town.
Just myself
Posted by Gigi on 2012-09-30 00:49:40
God as I understand HIM??? HUh? What? Well how nice for people that thinks GOD IS A WOMAN! What if your god is your heart? Well, that just crushes the "something outside of myself". . .

What if you believe that we all are god??? What if you think god is not a HIM, but a sexless engery?? Huuuuummmm? Him?? Take the HIM out of all of the 12 steps. IN fact, take G-D out of all steps. It is not needed!

Makes me pissed off when these group of drunks and the MEN that made AA, only think of MEN in Power and ONLY think of a sky daddy. And this stuff about "put your trust in a bed pan" if you don't believe in a sky daddy? Please. What the F?

God I'm so sick of God/HIm, God/HIm. It's all bs. Just get in the driver seat of your life and stop drinking. I was drinking back in 2003, for about 1 or 2 months everyday straight. I'd drink two drinks or three drinks a DAY. Then one day, I said "Hm, I don't have $2K to fix the car, I can't drive anywhere. I have no job, I have no undemployment! I was working and since I drove my car home without stopping to get motor oil, it was MY fault that I blew out the oil pan! But..... hmmmmm....I'm drinking. I have alcohol in the pantry. Do I REALLY want to live like this? Drinking everyday, sleeping in until 10am. Do I really want to live like this?"

My answer to myself was "NO" No boy sky daddy told me this. I told myself this. I didn't need a GOD to tell me this.

Get out of AA and take responsiblity and stop giving your power away. And don't think for one minute that you stopping AA meetings you will "oh my god, you will start drinking again" You are stronger than you think you are. The AA likes to make you feel guilty.

The Bible is MORE positive! I'm not a Chrisitan anymore, but I used to be. AA is some twisted religion crap. Read Phil 4:8 I think it is. Whatsoever things are positive, whatsoever things give praise, whatsoever things are lovely, THINK ON THOSE THINGS. Where does it say 'Think of all the people you wronged? I have read the bible over and over again about once every 9 months (I was a born again Christian for 20 years) and not ONE PLACE does the Bible say "Make a list of all that you wronged".

Don't focus on your wrongs. That will drive anyone down! God, that will drive me to drink just by thinking of all the wrong things I've done in life. No. Instead of write down ALL of the things you done GOOD. Write down all of the things you accomplished in the last 5 years! Did you graduate high school? Get your GED? Did you learn how to drive? pass a driver test? Fix a tire? help someone in need? Volunteer? Did you get a B.S. degree? Did you go for one day without drinking? Did you shower this morning? Did you make your bed ? did you get dressed today?? Those small things COUNT!!! When you are done with your 5 year list, take a look at it. And then see how it makes you feel inside. Notice if you have a smile on your face.

Write down the simple things - Everything. I promise you, you will feel better than writing down "Everyone you wronged and writing down everything you'd done wrong". Look at the Bible. Even GOD does not treat "his childen" like AA does!!!

It's time to take god out of it and realize that we humans ARE powerful people. It is like saying "due to my depression and having a brain disease I can't help it that I turn my depression outward into anger". What kind of bs is that? My depression is NOT a brain disease and it is NOT an excuse to say "I can't help my anger, it is not my fault". Don't make your drinking and excuse to say "I can't help it".

If you can't help yourself and if you are powerless, then no god can help you, and going to AA is meaningless.
We do not engage in public controversy
Posted by AA Member on 2012-10-07 20:26:30
To All the AA members out there. We do not engage in outside controversy.
good article
Posted by pacific ramses on 2012-12-28 23:19:36
well stated sir. thank you for shedding light on the darkness. 12 steps to nowhere. i gave up drink and drugs for 17 years without meetings or dogma. as groucho marx said, i wouldn't want to join a group that would have me as a member.
There is no "controversy" about the "disease concept"
Posted by Alex Adieu on 2013-01-21 13:38:52
I don't know why people don't simply see the obvious point that alcohol is a dangerous addictive substance. There, that ends all controversy. Easy to believe, no more being "powerless" over alcohol(aside from the normal addictive process), no more "I'm special and unique, I have a disease unlike the normies" type of mumbo jumbo. If people use alcohol in very small doses, they don't get addicted. Binge drinking develops into "alcoholism". Obviously if a person has history with alcohol addiction, if they go back to it as many do it will progress and get worse(sounds the same as Nicotine, Cocaine, Meth, etc etc). Use meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy, works like a champ to eliminate the addiction, no god required. AA in my life, good riddance.
one other thing...
Posted by Alex Adieu on 2013-01-21 13:51:40
Before anyone jumps all over me for what I said "If people use alcohol in very small doses, they don't get addicted". I'm not talking about people who have history trying to "control" it, that would be like me suggesting to a former Nicotine addict to have a smoke once in a while, that's obviously not going to work because mind altering substances make changes to brain chemistry. People who have never been addicted using alcohol in small doses(glass of wine with their meal) probably won't get addicted to it. Still playing with fire. Alcohol is simply a dangerous substance. Buying into the "disease concept" mumbo jumbo ignores this point as the "problem" is not the substance but the user. Not saying that the user doesn't have a problem with it, but the substance is the REAL problem. Keep it out of the body, treat the mind, meditate, change ones beliefs, etc etc. Besides, how many people who have been sober 18 plus years who go back out there? After all they think to themselves "if I can stay sober for 18 years I must not be an alcoholic" and they end up committing suicide or drinking themselves to death. A person has to "accept" IE:get brainwashed into accepting a concept like the "disease concept" which makes some sense, but is still semantics and ego smashing. So it is hard to accept, in other words today the person may be an alcoholic and tomorrow they may not. If a person simply called a spade a spade and acknowledged the one thing the booze industry and the recovery industry(both multi BILLION dollar industries don't want ANYONE to do as they would lose money if we did), to simply acknowledge that alcohol is dangerous and addictive. If that person who had been sober 18 plus years recognized that fact, that fact doesn't change. Meth is just as addictive today as it will be 20 years from now. New data may debunk the "disease concept". I may not accept it tomorrow. Why not throw out an idea that sits in shifting sand and cling to firm bedrock? Throw out the "disease concept" as old rubbish and acknowledge the obvious.
Dishonest title of your article
Posted by yourbs on 2013-06-23 10:49:27
The title of your article suggests that the study shows that AA is "not successful" and yet the study itself states that AA is NO LESS SUCCESSFUL than other treatments. One big difference is that AA doesn't charge money and fill the pockets of slimy "treatment professionals" and big pharma like the other methods do. This is just one more example of 12 Step bashing with inaccurate information by people who want an excuse to keep using drugs. AA is no more of a threat than your local church group helping to feed homeless people. If you don't want the free food, then f*ck off.
Totally honest to me
Posted by BadChurch on 2013-06-23 10:58:02
Churches take money out of the community that could be used for MORE EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS since statistics show AA is NOT EFFECTIVE.
Dishonest title of your article
Posted by yourbs on 2013-06-23 13:56:29
The title of your article suggests that the study shows that AA is "not successful" and yet the study itself states that AA is NO LESS SUCCESSFUL than other treatments. One big difference is that AA doesn't charge money and fill the pockets of slimy "treatment professionals" and big pharma like the other methods do. This is just one more example of 12 Step bashing with inaccurate information by people who want an excuse to keep using drugs. AA is no more of a threat than your local church group helping to feed homeless people. If you don't want the free food, then f*ck off.
Yourbs is a moron
Posted by Yourbs is a moron on 2013-06-23 13:57:52
You didn't read the article did you, you stupid f*cking moron?

It says AA is no less successful than NOT DOING ANYTHING!
Its not the steps that save you
Posted by anonymousch on 2013-07-08 09:10:00
It the social group, encouragement, and reinforcement of the consequences that AA provides. I was a compulsive person who drank and did everything impulsively.

I need to build self control and needed motivation to maintain it. AA is nothing more than a good reminder of the consequences of your behavior. Also, I hated AA and knew that if I got another DUI I would have get a lobotomy and join the cult to reduce a jail sentence from 1 year to about 2 weeks.

You have a choice, join an insane psychotic cult and go to jail, or stop. AA meetings in themselves are enough motivation to stop. I attend just to realize what I do not want to have to become a full member of the cult. I also attend RR, but go to AA because there are more meetings. People at AA will tell you how you will fail, but ignore them, and do everything in your power stop.

Alcoholism is a choice, made difficult because addicts enjoy it so much. In the end, you have to come to the realization that the costs outweigh the benefits.
on my own
Posted by martin on 2014-02-08 10:31:19
I was a junkie with a bottle in one hand and a needle in the other, I simply had enough and quit. No ridiculous 12 steps because I was never powerless over alcohol or drugs.
Fan of Pile, people that agree with him/her, and martin.
Posted by a cured and pissed off former heroin user on 2014-12-05 00:43:54
I like Pile. And those who have agreed with him. I am an atheist and a firm believer in accountability. I chose to start, and I chose to stop. Nobody pops out of a womb with a shot of tequila or a line prepared neatly in front of them. It is a choice. I wish there was a way to private message because I'd love to talk to people on here who agree on the notion that AA/NA/any other 12 step group is bullshit. In response to martin, you're damn right you were never powerless over substances. Rationality trumps pseudoscience and general bullshit 100%.
it's the social aspects...
Posted by Seaport on 2014-12-26 09:33:57
of AA that might be helpful. Being around a lot of sober people instead of a lot of lushes at the bar likely promotes staying sober. The 12 steps are just a weird, pseudo religious addendum left over from the 1930's, when people still took that Scheiße seriously.
It's pretty clear
Posted by Mike on 2015-02-28 23:25:57
That most people here have little to no experience in 12 step meetings, or at best, went a few times and never gave it a chance. They didn't like some of the language used or didn't like a prayer or two, and then decided to completely denounce the entire program. Or worse, they only read this one article, and concluded that AA doesn't work, while ignoring the thousands of people (religious and non-religious) who have gotten and stayed sober through AA.
Posted by Pile on 2015-02-28 23:36:57
If it works for you, good, but the statistics show it isn't nearly as effective a program as most people believe, and that's worth noting. In fact, it's not a very effective program at all. It certainly has helped some people, but if AA were a dishwashing detergent, it would probably not clean your dishes more than 1/3rd the time.
Posted by Brandon on 2016-05-24 03:27:44
The disease of addiction is more than just a problem with drugs, its the obsession, compulsion, and self centered routines that addicts/alcoholics have. The drugs were just a major symptom. Honestly, I think every motherf*cker here is an addict/alcoholic they just havent gotten into drugs yet. Having a higher power isnt that hard if youre not religious like myself, my higher power is the program. If you havent had the experience of addiction, you shouldnt even have a vote as to whether or not we have self-funding programs like these, theres nobody getting rich off this shit and if there was id like to f*cking know where. All the money donated just goes to pay rent, literature, keytags/chips, and coffee and the rest goes to area so we can have conventions and more than likely we wont have enough so some people will generously donate for them. The steps are there so you can figure out who you are and what you need to change about yourself, its not about submitting to a cult.


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