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Thread: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

  1. #161
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Thanks. There are a few bad AA groups out there that are not honestly following the spirit of the program, and there are probably more bad Al-Anon groups on that score than there are AA groups. Both the 'bad acts' are pretty rare. A good Al-Anon can be invaluable to help the co-dependent learn and advance as his or her loved one does. Of course alcoholism can rip a family or relationship apart and many of the non-alcoholics bail out rather than tolerate what is an intolerable situation. But many also stick it out and the alcoholism, co-dependent behavior including all the provocation, enabling, hiding it, rescuing, denial etc. become as much a way of life for her as it is for him.

    So he goes to AA--it is HIS problem after all as she sees it--and she sees absolutely no reason she needs Al-anon. But as he begins to regain his life, she is still mired in the old thought patterns and perceptions, the old tapes run, the controlling behaviors stop working well as he gets well. Not only does she sometimes resent that he would do it for the people in AA when he wouldn't do it for her, the relationship becomes more and more uncomfortable for her. It just doesn't 'feel' like she expected it to feel. And eventually she either becomes so out of control he has to leave, or she leaves believing he just isn't the man she married and now it is obvious he never will be.

    Which is why we see so many split up after he stops drinking. It is just one of those whole ugly dynamics that gets caught in the machinery.

    So yes ladies or gentlemen. Whether your loved is still drinking or not, Al-Anon can change both of your lives and your children's for the better.
    Dad's gone now and even though he quit, it was way too late.
    Mix in the meds from the VA and now you have an Alzheimer's patient for the last five years of his life.
    Something our VA and Military Personnel are now having a helluva time dealing with--the drug cocktail of meds and alcohol and cigs etc.

    AA and Al-Anon couldn't help my parents but they helped me a little.
    Though I didn't like being handed a pack of generic cigs and coffee at AA when I had quit cigs.

    My Mom telling me not to come home any more in 1984--the old tough Love thing--that did help.
    But I went back two years ago after 29 years and have to face it again--this time for my Wife--I've always needed a reason--it's just who I am.
    Not to mention the cancer sticks--after 31 years quitting--go figure.
    By the time I get terminally sick, it will be too late for myself.

    I've seen it in my sport of wrestling since I started in junior high at 12-YOA in 1967.
    Why drink if you're not gonna get drunk--but we were only "weekend" alkies back then right?

    College today--I wouldn't be scheduling classes on Fridays--what with all of the 'Thirsty Thursday' bashes.
    And tailgating--quite the American pastime--get sloshed before the game.

    There was a reason for Prohibition--but the problem was far too enormous for our society to deal with.
    What with crooked politicians on down the line.
    From the gutter level boozer to the high lifer.
    And of course the five crime families firmly entrenched from the 1920s on.

    Addiction AND Abuse, I see a clear distinction, are an overwhelming plague on our society, especially with the new designer drugs.
    All each of us can do is stay within and control ourselves--and get whatever help we need--and help others.
    This is why I see so many former addicts/abusers going into the social fields .
    Chemists Have Solutions .

  2. #162
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    One of the best threads I've seen on DP in my 28 months--as so many will benefit without anyone ever knowing it.
    So much heart-breaking info given voluntarily--I hope there is a way to keep the comments in this thread out of ALL other forums.

    You've done a great job in contributing from your professional experience--I still pay for that in RL btw.
    You've done well in redirecting towards positive outcomes and INDIRECTLY doing your job as administrator.
    I thank you for that--this is a thread that needs to stay positive, successful and forward-looking.
    That's all we can control--today, tomorrow, and the plannable future.

    So I'll leave you with Neil Young as I stated to my high school students for decades.
    "The Needle and the Damage Done"
    Simply replace Needle with Alcohol or whatever ills one and there you go.

    Let me also mention I've seen very little if anything on ABUSE versus Addiction.
    I've seen a very clear line between these two in my life experiences .
    Oh and I meant to comment on the abuse versus addiction.

    Many abuse many substances from bacon to sugar to tobacco to cannabis to alcohol et al and can even do serious damage to their health in the process, but they are not addicted. They may miss the substance if they stop, even feel deprived, but there are no withdrawal symptoms, no mental or physical discomfort, no emotional distress. And such people, even if they do get a DUI or get drunk inappropriately or behave badly when drunk, they know what they did and they can proactively not do that again.

    If deprived of the substance, sooner or later, the addict feels uncomfortable, out of sorts, abnormal, anxious, distressed, miserable. Which is why the life of most alcoholics revolves around drinking--thinking about the next drink, planning it, figuring out how to make it happen, talking about it, dreaming about it. He will go to great lengths to prove to his loved ones or associates that he doesn't have a problem--he'll leave half a drink or turn down one as evidence for instance--but he has a game plan for how to make up for that later.

    The binge drinker who is alcoholic is a little more complicated. He can go days or even weeks without drinking, but once he starts drinking that's it. He won't stop until the liquor is gone or he passes out or literally can drink no more. It is commonly said that it isn't the second, third, fourth, tenth drink that gets the alcoholic in trouble--it is that first one.
    Last edited by AlbqOwl; 05-07-15 at 05:09 PM.
    "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

  3. #163
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Oh and I meant to comment on the abuse versus addiction.

    Many abuse many substances from bacon to sugar to tobacco to cannabis to alcohol et al and can even do serious damage to their health in the process, but they are not addicted. They may miss the substance if they stop, even feel deprived, but there are no withdrawal symptoms, no mental or physical discomfort, no emotional distress.

    If deprived of the substance, sooner or later, the addict feels uncomfortable, out of sorts, abnormal, anxious, distressed, miserable. Which is why the life of most alcoholics revolves around drinking--thinking about the next drink, planning it, figuring out how to make it happen, talking about it, dreaming about it. He will go to great lengths to prove to his loved ones or associates that he doesn't have a problem--he'll leave half a drink or turn down one as evidence for instance--but he has a game plan for how to make up for that later.

    The binge drinker is a little more complicated. He can go days or even weeks without drinking, but once he starts drinking that's it. He won't stop until the liquor is gone or he passes out or literally can drink no more. It is commonly said that it isn't the second, third, fourth, tenth drink that gets the alcoholic in trouble--it is that first one.
    '
    The binge drinker is certainly an appropriate topic for this thread--has been since I was in college starting in 1971.
    Seems like each new generation has to outdrink and out-stupid the previous ones.
    Which always helped me coming from the late 60s teaching high school--as I still feel we were the most stupid.

    Every time you hear of a bad situation in college or sports, etc.;
    What have you with personal behavior--you can bet alcohol is right around the corner as the excuse.
    Once the person has had too many drinks, very few would deny that alcohol is the ruination of mankind, as my Mom always put it.

    Alcohol is THE gateway drug that continues to be advertised with all its glamour and glory on TV sports events.
    And once the person's guard is down, and they're runnin with the pack, along comes every street drug that's out there .
    Chemists Have Solutions .

  4. #164
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mason66 View Post
    You would think at some point in 30 years they would become strong enough to live their lives without the crutch.
    Lots of posts to respond to, but I think it's a mistake to look at it like a 'crutch' or that those who continue to go to meetings aren't somehow 'strong.'

    Why do people go to church, sometimes two or more times a week, week after week after week for their entire lives? Cause it is a 'crutch'? No, it's because the meetings/services provide something of benefit, and those benefits vary from one person to the next. Often old timers clearly get a sense of fulfillment out of helping others just coming in. Or they are unofficial or official leaders of the group. Or that's where they meet good friends they've cultivated over years. Or they need a reminder of what happens if they think a few drinks won't hurt too much. Etc.

    I do agree with those who object to it being made mandatory. But the problem is the court has a person there that they assume or know has a severe alcohol or drug problem. Nothing will really matter unless/until that person gets THAT problem under control. If they're on drugs and are in front of a judge for stealing to buy drugs, quitting is step one, or the person WILL likely steal again, and it's just a matter of time. So the courts want to require treatment as a condition of parole or a suspended sentence. What are the options? A $10,000 rehab program for 30 days, more for 90 days? Who pays for that? No one. There is no public funding for structured treatment most places. But AA costs the court nothing, doesn't really cost the defendant anything - the donations are voluntary and in any event small - $1 is fine.

    So people aren't getting sentenced to AA because they have a bunch of lobbyists making it happen to fatten the wallets of whoever publishes the big book. It's because AA/NA is the only real option without significant public funding paying for alternatives. Someone develops a similar program that runs on donations of $1 per person per meeting and I'm sure courts would be happy to give the person options. It is sad that there aren't other options. Drugs have shown to work, but if you've got a defendant in front of you with no money, what good is it to sentence them to rehab involving drugs and mental health services if they can't afford it?

  5. #165
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    '
    The binge drinker is certainly an appropriate topic for this thread--has been since I was in college starting in 1971.
    Seems like each new generation has to outdrink and out-stupid the previous ones.
    Which always helped me coming from the late 60s teaching high school--as I still feel we were the most stupid.

    Every time you hear of a bad situation in college or sports, etc.;
    What have you with personal behavior--you can bet alcohol is right around the corner as the excuse.
    Once the person has had too many drinks, very few would deny that alcohol is the ruination of mankind, as my Mom always put it.

    Alcohol is THE gateway drug that continues to be advertised with all its glamour and glory on TV sports events.
    And once the person's guard is down, and they're runnin with the pack, along comes every street drug that's out there .
    That's probably true of the younger generation. I can't say it was ever the case with my loved one or me. Even when he was at the worst of his drinking, the idea of using recreational drugs was abhorrent to him and I was never tempted. But we have other younger friends and family members who did get hooked on multiple substances. And that definitely does complicate things.
    "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

  6. #166
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightrider View Post
    My current girlfriend dragged me to an AA meeting tonight. To be honest, I've never heard so much BS in my entire life. Alcoholism a disease? *Scoff* In my opinion, it's very simple - don't drink and you won't become a drunken ***h***e. More specifically, ever heard of the "steering wheel" concept? Keep your hands on the wheel and don't turn into those convenience store parking lots. It's that simple.

    Furthermore, these people (cult members - from my perspective) say that if you don't work the 12 steps, you will either die, go to jail or a mental institution. Guess what? I left AA in a huff over 20 years ago and still am alive, happy and free. Furthermore, all my old AA "friends" are either dead (most of them are dead - young or old at the time I knew them), in prison or in mental hospitals. I have News: AA does not work and is nothing more than a cult! And I'm living proof of that, being that I'm still around - if my niece or another family member ever has any problems with alcohol/drugs, the last thing I'm doing is sending them to AA.

    AA - what a waste of time. I spent two or three years going to them stupid meetings, working the steps, serving on committees, sponsoring others - I found AA at 19 and left at 23 in disgust (haven't been back since until tonight).

    I couldn't take it any longer: When it came my turn to share in the meeting, I said just about everything I just posted. You should have seen the looks on their faces.

    AA - A Big thumbs down and screw those people.
    It is a religion. There are those that need that cult brotherhood in order to find strength because they are weak. Much the same as religion helps people "be kind to others" when that ability is already within them.
    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The Supreme Court can't interpret The Constitution. They don't have that power.

  7. #167
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    Dad's gone now and even though he quit, it was way too late.
    Mix in the meds from the VA and now you have an Alzheimer's patient for the last five years of his life.
    Something our VA and Military Personnel are now having a helluva time dealing with--the drug cocktail of meds and alcohol and cigs etc.

    AA and Al-Anon couldn't help my parents but they helped me a little.
    Though I didn't like being handed a pack of generic cigs and coffee at AA when I had quit cigs.

    My Mom telling me not to come home any more in 1984--the old tough Love thing--that did help.
    But I went back two years ago after 29 years and have to face it again--this time for my Wife--I've always needed a reason--it's just who I am.
    Not to mention the cancer sticks--after 31 years quitting--go figure.
    By the time I get terminally sick, it will be too late for myself.

    I've seen it in my sport of wrestling since I started in junior high at 12-YOA in 1967.
    Why drink if you're not gonna get drunk--but we were only "weekend" alkies back then right?

    College today--I wouldn't be scheduling classes on Fridays--what with all of the 'Thirsty Thursday' bashes.
    And tailgating--quite the American pastime--get sloshed before the game.

    There was a reason for Prohibition--but the problem was far too enormous for our society to deal with.
    What with crooked politicians on down the line.
    From the gutter level boozer to the high lifer.
    And of course the five crime families firmly entrenched from the 1920s on.

    Addiction AND Abuse, I see a clear distinction, are an overwhelming plague on our society, especially with the new designer drugs.
    All each of us can do is stay within and control ourselves--and get whatever help we need--and help others.
    This is why I see so many former addicts/abusers going into the social fields .
    Thanks for sharing....

  8. #168
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    It is a religion. There are those that need that cult brotherhood in order to find strength because they are weak. Much the same as religion helps people "be kind to others" when that ability is already within them.
    Thanks for that enlightening comment. I've got 29 years sobriety...thanks to AA...and I AM AN ATHEIST!

  9. #169
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Lots of posts to respond to, but I think it's a mistake to look at it like a 'crutch' or that those who continue to go to meetings aren't somehow 'strong.'

    Why do people go to church, sometimes two or more times a week, week after week after week for their entire lives? Cause it is a 'crutch'? No, it's because the meetings/services provide something of benefit, and those benefits vary from one person to the next. Often old timers clearly get a sense of fulfillment out of helping others just coming in. Or they are unofficial or official leaders of the group. Or that's where they meet good friends they've cultivated over years. Or they need a reminder of what happens if they think a few drinks won't hurt too much. Etc.

    I do agree with those who object to it being made mandatory. But the problem is the court has a person there that they assume or know has a severe alcohol or drug problem. Nothing will really matter unless/until that person gets THAT problem under control. If they're on drugs and are in front of a judge for stealing to buy drugs, quitting is step one, or the person WILL likely steal again, and it's just a matter of time. So the courts want to require treatment as a condition of parole or a suspended sentence. What are the options? A $10,000 rehab program for 30 days, more for 90 days? Who pays for that? No one. There is no public funding for structured treatment most places. But AA costs the court nothing, doesn't really cost the defendant anything - the donations are voluntary and in any event small - $1 is fine.

    So people aren't getting sentenced to AA because they have a bunch of lobbyists making it happen to fatten the wallets of whoever publishes the big book. It's because AA/NA is the only real option without significant public funding paying for alternatives. Someone develops a similar program that runs on donations of $1 per person per meeting and I'm sure courts would be happy to give the person options. It is sad that there aren't other options. Drugs have shown to work, but if you've got a defendant in front of you with no money, what good is it to sentence them to rehab involving drugs and mental health services if they can't afford it?
    The crutch is "needing" a group in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The Supreme Court can't interpret The Constitution. They don't have that power.

  10. #170
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Removable Mind View Post
    Thanks for that enlightening comment. I've got 29 years sobriety...thanks to AA...and I AM AN ATHEIST!
    No, you have 29 years sobriety thanks to you and your will power. don't give credit to others when it is all you brother. Seriously.
    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The Supreme Court can't interpret The Constitution. They don't have that power.

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