AA and other 12 Step 'recovery' methods

I am at a place now where I’m questioning this so called sole method of recovery from addiction of any kind, and talking about this with anyone from the program is useless. When a new member of alcoholics anonymous begins to question the program, then they become criticized for allowing “their will to run riot,” and then just become compliant, or quit the program. If they quit the program after this criticism of character from group members, then they are called hopeless alcoholics. If they comply then relapse, they are told that they just aren’t taking the program seriously enough.

I don’t want to rant on this post so I will just leave it open for discussion…

What do you all think of these groups?

December 7, 2012 at 1:04 am
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Alice B (37) (@bronzefish) 5 years ago ago

Sheeple training, that’s what it sounds like to me. Wouldn’t a proper recovery consist of breaking/taking control of your addiction rather than just transferring it to something else?
I’ve managed to overcome drinking on my own, a fair part of that was sheer stubbornness and determination with quite a few relapses along the way. instead of going completely sober I’ve taught myself to stop after one and to not drink anywhere near as often. Being micromanaged and having to do things how someone else dictates that I should has never worked too well for me.

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Dominika (55) (@dominika) 5 years ago ago

the 12 step program works if you do it right. i especially like the 4th step which involves fearless moral inventory. its painful to dig up all your character defects, but its a lot of fun because you learn so much about yourself. its also a really good social circle, when you find the right people within the program. its really hard to find friends after you left all your addict friends where you were just using eachother and NA helps you get back on your feet

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possiblehubris (72) (@possiblehubris) 5 years ago ago

12 step programs are one method and have been successful for thousands and thousands of people. However AA typically has a success rate of anywhere between 5-10% therefore it does not work for many people, in fact the majority.
I do not claim to have answers but addiction is an area that is entrenched in stigma and dogma. There are movements to address drug dependency as psychological issue rather than a disease and an effort to clarify the meaning of addiction.
Read a couple articles from Dr. Lance Dodes blog if you are interested.

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ButternutSquash (75) (@equanimity) 5 years ago ago

“If they comply then relapse, they are told that they just aren’t taking the program seriously enough”.

I don’t agree with this statement at all. I know a great amount of people that have gone through either NA or AA; some have relapsed. Their sponsors never said anything close to that.

Generally speaking, I think 12 Step programs work for some, but not all. Just like anything else. “Keep what you can use and leave the rest”.

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