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Thread: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

  1. #131
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan5 View Post
    Having an addict who recovered in my family I can safely say that there is only one way you recover an addict contrary to what all the sycophants will tell you. Cold turkey. That's the only way to have it work.



    AA and things like it take a bunch of addicts and put them together. The absolute last thing they need. Addicts are weak humans. They empower their addiction by other weak humans making their addiction seem okay. AA meetings are full of rapists and user type people who understand this truth and abuse it. The last place any addict belongs is a place with other addicts. It's the same reason rehab centers full of addicts don't work. You have to cut out the other sick people from that weak persons life.
    As an 'ex'-crack addict, I gotta tell you, you nailed it.

    Addicts are weak...period. I was one and I was and the other addicts I knew were the most pathetically weak people I have ever met. 98% of them were either thief's or INCREDIBLE mooches. Every single one of them wanted to quit and almost every one of them justified their thievery/mooching. When they got together, they just reinforced those feelings with each other.
    The absolute last thing an addict needs is other incredibly weak addicts to tell them how great they are because all that often does is strengthen their belief in what they are doing...which is exactly what CA (cocaine anonymous...AA sister group) did. Everybody was wonderful...no matter what they did. Sure, quitting was the point. But where is the incentive to quit when everyone in your life tells you how wonderful you are (even though you are probably stealing/selling your body to feed your habit)?
    You are not wonderful...you are messed up and you are doing illegal things to get high. You are NOT. A good person.
    Good people do not abandon their children and/or steal just to feed a habit. Good people do not run from their responsibilities and force others to suffer just so they can feel better. Most addicts are NOT good people...but they can be by quitting.

    I knew lots of people that went to CA meetings, claimed to the group that they had quit (when I knew they had not) just so they can 'feel the love'...and then go right back to using.

    The ONLY way to kick a horrible habit is to quit it because you want to badly enough.

    And let's not forget people, outside of physical addictions, the ONLY reason someone is dedicated to something is because they like it. Why else would they do it?
    And that means they can stop whenever they want to. But that is the rub..they have to want to.

    And going to meetings where everyone tells you that you are wonderful (even though deep inside you know you are not acting wonderful) is not the way to quit something for good.

    Most addictions require pain and great discomfort to quit. If the only way you can stop is to have people constantly tell you how wonderful you are, then odds are you are not ready to quit.
    Which is why most people that start a treatment program eventually go back to the addiction.

    You have to want to quit on your own...others cannot make you want to, you have to do it.
    'What kind of sick and twisted toy factory is this?'
    'We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.'
    "Better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool."

  2. #132
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by radioman View Post
    I think AA helps some people quit drinking and stay sober.
    That's a good thing.
    Thumbs up.
    Exactly!

    Whether an alkie finds God, AA, internal fortitude, the fear of negative consequences, or the 3rd moon of Neptune, it's all good!

    Active alcoholism (like many addictions) is a terrible human experience.

    Good to those that find a (non-negative) way to to get out.

  3. #133
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    I went once with a buddy that got a DUI.
    Far from an alcoholic, they made him stand in front of the class and forced him to "admit" that he was.
    Or leave with out credit for the course.
    I was asked to do the same because I came with him, I told them yep. Iam a drinker and when I leave here I am heading to Golden Q to shoot pool and DRINK A BEER OR FIVE.
    Its a scam now that is aligned with MADD and the courts.
    I am sure there are people that benefit from it. Good on them for seeing their drinking as an issue.
    I go weeks without a drink. Don't miss it, don't crave it. But I like a beer a couple times a week and sit with friends at home or at our favorite bar after work.
    That level of drinking calls you a "drunk" by AA standards. Nothing worse than an ex drinker. Other than an ex smoker.

  4. #134
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    This post demonstrates so much ignorance on addiction and recovery, it's hard to know where to start. When you put a group of people together, trying to be in recovery in regards to a certain issue, like addiction, what you often find is that they gather strength from each other. The support group model is well established and well researched as a successful modality for recovery and for assistance with a wide variety of issues. However, it IS important for those in a recovery group to be aiming towards recovery. If they are a group of folks who want to remain active addicts, then of course, the group will have the opposite effect of what is intended. Groups that I run for people who have various issues, MUST want to be in recovery in order to be in the group. Without that criteria, an individual could easily potentially poison the rest of the group.

    No...he is right and you are wrong.

    I was a crack addict and I have known hundreds of people personally who were addicted to everything from booze to heroin...and you are dead wrong and he is dead right.
    And I bet you almost everyone whomI knew that has successfully quit and does not need crutches like AA/CA meetings to stay straight would agree with me.

    Btw, you do realize that many people that go to AA/CA meetings and say they are straight are in fact still using and just go to the meetings to have everyone tell them they are loved so they can continue with their addiction? I knew several myself that did exactly that.

    Good day.


    Again, I am not saying AA/CA serves no purpose. But claiming this is the best way to help addicts is completely wrong.
    It is nothing more then a crutch.
    The only proper way to end your addiction is to get away from those who use and just quit. It is never easy...but nothing truly worthwhile ever is.

    That is how I quit. I moved away to a place where I knew no addicts and I spent six months staying straight and being around 'normal' people. When I returned, I no longer associated with addicts and have stayed clean ever since (that was in 2002).
    If I went to Cocaine Annonymous meetings, I guarantee you I would eventually start again because all I would here about is all these stories about people feeling great on crack. Because all they do is sit around telling everyone else about their 'war' stories of how they got high for days and how great the stuff was and blah blah.
    That is the last thing I want to hear.
    Last edited by DA60; 05-05-15 at 01:20 PM.
    'What kind of sick and twisted toy factory is this?'
    'We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.'
    "Better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool."

  5. #135
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    No...he is right and you are wrong.

    I was a crack addict and I have known hundreds of people personally who were addicted to everything from booze to heroin...and you are dead wrong and he is dead right.
    And I bet you almost everyone whomI knew that has successfully quit and does not need crutches like AA/CA meetings to stay straight would agree with me.

    Btw, you do realize that many people that go to AA/CA meetings and say they are straight are in fact still using and just go to the meetings to have everyone tell them they are loved so they can continue with their addiction? I knew several myself that did exactly that.

    Good day.
    It seems like you're attempting to present this as a bifurcated dichotomy, when it's not.

    AA does not guarantee sobriety, nor is AA the only way.

    But it does work for some people, and that's the important thing here.

    Different things work for different addicts, and when fighting such a strong enemy with a human life at stake, it's good to have every weapon available to use as required.

    Addiction recovery is not a 'one size fits all' - it's as varied as the addicted individuals themselves.

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    This post demonstrates so much ignorance on addiction and recovery, it's hard to know where to start. When you put a group of people together, trying to be in recovery in regards to a certain issue, like addiction, what you often find is that they gather strength from each other. The support group model is well established and well researched as a successful modality for recovery and for assistance with a wide variety of issues. However, it IS important for those in a recovery group to be aiming towards recovery. If they are a group of folks who want to remain active addicts, then of course, the group will have the opposite effect of what is intended. Groups that I run for people who have various issues, MUST want to be in recovery in order to be in the group. Without that criteria, an individual could easily potentially poison the rest of the group.
    So be what YOU want them to be, or be kicked to the curb.

  7. #137
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan5 View Post
    Having an addict who recovered in my family I can safely say that there is only one way you recover an addict contrary to what all the sycophants will tell you. Cold turkey. That's the only way to have it work.

    AA and things like it take a bunch of addicts and put them together. The absolute last thing they need. Addicts are weak humans. They empower their addiction by other weak humans making their addiction seem okay. AA meetings are full of rapists and user type people who understand this truth and abuse it. The last place any addict belongs is a place with other addicts. It's the same reason rehab centers full of addicts don't work. You have to cut out the other sick people from that weak persons life.
    You don't pick a non-alcoholic to be your sponsor. You pick another drunk, just one that has learned to live productively without drinking. This is the guy or gal that you can't fool, can't lie to with impunity, can't manipulate, can't bamboozle. This person has been through it all, has seen everything, has done it, understands it, and won't buy your rationalizations, explanation, or defenses. He or she understands the addict far better than the addict understand himself yet. And he gently but effectively brings the addict into honesty which is the ONLY way anybody ever gets sober or breaks the power of addiction or codependency.

    Likewise the Al-anon sponsor needs to be somebody who has been through it all, has seen everything, has done it, understands it, and won't buy a lot of bull**** when he or she hears it.

    But for those who can't handle the truth yet, it sure makes them mad. So they walk out of the meetings and declare them bull**** et al.

    Some get the program more easily than others. The less sick, i.e. the sooner into the addiction a person hits a bottom and is able to reach out for help, the more likely he or she is to get the program quickly. I have one dear friend, recently departed, who went through detox and formal treatment including AA meetings seven times!!!! before it finally took. But he finally did manage to get clean and sober, became one of the best sponsors and counselors imaginable, and lived magnificently for many years before he died. I have seen women sit angry and defensive in Al-anon meetings for months, sometimes as much as six months to a year, before one day something struck a responsive chord. The light came on. And they got it. And it changed their life for the better forever.

    There is a remarkable sameness about the dynamics within the addictions while each person is going to be his/her own person with his/her own story and each person responds a little differently.

    But AA has helped hundreds of thousands of people. I believe it will help anybody who really wants that kind of help and is capable of getting the program.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  8. #138
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    It seems like you're attempting to present this as a bifurcated dichotomy, when it's not.

    AA does not guarantee sobriety, nor is AA the only way.

    But it does work for some people, and that's the important thing here.

    Different things work for different addicts, and when fighting such a strong enemy with a human life at stake, it's good to have every weapon available to use as required.

    Addiction recovery is not a 'one size fits all' - it's as varied as the addicted individuals themselves.
    No, it is one size fits all.

    AA/CA are crutches. If the only reason you do not drink/get high is because of AA/CA meetings, then you have not quit anything.

    I was an addict...there is only one way to properly quit an addiction...STOP doing it and STOP associating with those who do.

    Sure, AA/CA are a crutch that helps people. But that is like saying that blood pressure pills fix hypertension. No...they don't. They just mask the problem and reduce the risks of a heart attack/stroke. But the underlying problem remains.
    AA/CA does not usually fix the underlying cause of the addiction (if it did, you would not need to go to meetings, would you?), it just is a crutch (a blood pressure pill) that helps reduce the chances of you drinking. But it does not fix the underlying problem.

    And 9 times out of 10, the underlying problem is the people involved are acting weakly. Until you face your demons, quit on your own and be strong only then have you defeated your addiction.

    AA/CA cannot do that for you...you HAVE to do it yourself.


    Now, I have never been to an AA meeting, but I did go to numerous CA (Cocaine Annonymous - their sister organization) meetings. And you will probably never meet a more pathetic group of thieves, con artists, low rent prostitutes and flat out mooches in your life. And you are seriously telling me that the best way to end an addiction to cocaine/crack is to hang out with this lot? Or to get as far away from them as possible?
    Last edited by DA60; 05-05-15 at 01:51 PM.
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    'We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.'
    "Better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool."

  9. #139
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    You don't pick a non-alcoholic to be your sponsor. You pick another drunk, just one that has learned to live productively without drinking. This is the guy or gal that you can't fool, can't lie to with impunity, can't manipulate, can't bamboozle. This person has been through it all, has seen everything, has done it, understands it, and won't buy your rationalizations, explanation, or defenses. He or she understands the addict far better than the addict understand himself yet. And he gently but effectively brings the addict into honesty which is the ONLY way anybody ever gets sober or breaks the power of addiction or codependency.
    You display a great deal of insight.

    Yes - brutal honesty is the only way to place active addiction into recovery.

    And it's a powerful tool for success & happiness in life, I also believe.

  10. #140
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Agreed. There is no "cure", there are only "treatments". You are right... most addicts remain active and no treatment really helps. But AA is one of the more successful ones out there. It certainly isn't for everyone, and there are people who do very well without it. But, as you said, slamming AA makes no sense, since it does have some effectiveness.
    Except that AA is not "one of the more successful ones out there." It is, however, the most well-known and the most culturally ingrained. While the anonymity of the program makes it difficult to measure its effectiveness, there are many scientifically-sound studies on various treatment approaches that give us a fairly accurate measure of where it ranks.


    Best estimates of AA's effectiveness come in around 5-10%. When you factor in a "spontaneous remission" rate of 5%, that leaves AA with a success rate of 0-5%.

    George Vaillant is a Havard doctor that also sat on the AA Board of Directors. He clearly was pro-AA, and had a vested interest in seeing the organization succeed. He was, however, quite disappointed when his own research showed a success rate of 0%. In fact, AA was shown to be harmful in some instances.

    In Dr. Vaillant's own words:

    But then came the rub. Fueled by our enthusiasm, I and the director, William Clark, tried to prove our efficacy. Our clinic followed up our first 100 detoxification patients, the Clinic sample described in Chapter 3, every year for the next 8 years. ...

    Table 8.1 shows our treatment results. After initial discharge, only five patients in the Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease.. In table 8.1, the outcomes for the Clinic sample patients are contrasted with two-year follow-ups of four treatment programs that analyzed their data in a comparable way and admitted patients similar to ours. The Clinic sample results are also contrasted with three studies of equal duration that purported to offer no formal treatment. Although the treatment populations differ, the studies are roughly comparable; in hopes of averaging out major sampling differences, the studies are pooled. Costello (1975), Emrick (1975), and Hill and Blane (1967) have reviewed many more disparate two-year outcome studies and have noted roughly similar proportions of significantly improved and unimproved alcoholics. Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.

    In A Controlled Experiment on the Use of Court Probation for Drunk Arrests, a study conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Brandsma and his colleagues concluded offenders sent to AA for several months were binge drinking at a rate 5 times higher than offenders that received no treatment at all, and 9 times higher than offenders that received RBT (rational behavior therapy).

    In Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches: Effective Alternatives, 48 treatment modalities were compared. 12-Step facilitation and Alcoholics Anonymous ranked 37 and 38, respectively. Other treatments that outperformed AA included acupuncture, hypnosis, psychedelic medications, and exercise. Even attention placebo fared better.

    Behavior Therapy Associates LLC


    The first two studies I mentioned, along with many others, can be found here:

    The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment

    While I recognize the author of the second link is no fan of AA, his research is meticulously cited/sourced, and he refers almost exclusively to randomized longitudinal controlled studies.

    **Apologies! It seems I have to split post!**

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