True, but right now this alternative is just speculative in most cities.There is no reason that an organization that does not have a Christian agenda could not do the same thing.
Doing the program correctly requires quite a bit of "self analyzation." Just as an example, making amends isn't "escaping." Neither is the process of the "searching and fearless inventory" or discussing that with another person. Again, no problem that it doesn't work for you but you're not being fair to the program either.And to those that say they 'need' these organizations? I say that you have not looked at yourself hard enough if you say that. Because the reason you do these things is within you. And until you understand that reason, you will never truly be free of your addiction.
Unfortunately, addicts usually like the easy way out (no insult intended - I did/do it too), so doing something as long and hard as true self-analyzation is not something that comes easy to addicted people. Escaping is their thing, not self-reflecting.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
Second, if it's a "crutch" so what? Obviously those who attend even 1 meeting voluntarily have tried to quit 'on their own' and failed. If they're not manly enough to white knuckle it and need some help. what's the problem? It's sort of the general attitude in this country on mental health in general - if you need some help, you're not "strong" or something. It's a wrong headed way to look at it IMO. Yes, some people cannot just white knuckle an addiction that actually is potentially fatal if self treated. Withdrawal is a medical event that requires medical supervision, and getting over the physical addiction that makes quitting a medical event is damn hard and some people do need help. They're not some kind of failed human being because of it. Some people need the support of others, and often those who attend AA do not have support anywhere else.
I'm still going to meetings and have told those people in AA what I posted here. They understand - even laughed.
If I own an apology here, though, I apologize. I was wrong what I said in that OP (didn't know it then - but know it now).
For more info, please see my thread *My parents and I* in the self help/advice forum
For many people AA is the only method that has worked after years of trying other methods and institutions. It is not for everybody. I doubt it works very often for people who are not prepared to make the required commitment and sacrifices.
Maybe alcoholism was not a disease for you, but it is for other people. Hardcore users have intense withdrawal symptoms. The long term damage from drinking to the liver and other organs can causes blood problems that cause brain damage and changes to the brain that make quitting difficult. Some people literally drink themselves to death.
I do not support sentencing people to attend AA specifically. It is based on religion, so forced attendance is a first amendment violation. Also, it is not the best method for everyone.