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Alcoholics Anonymous Cults

Do you think 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are cults? Does anyone have any first-hand experience they can share?

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 ---InimicusStultitiae on 12/10/07
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I may not have a clue in regards to the difference between al-anon and AA, but I do have a clue what it means to repent from stinkin' thinkin' to agreeing with God. Show me, if you don't mind, where in the Word of God He calls one of His children an alcoholic. If you can't find one, it is because He doesn't. If He doesn't, then calling yoruself one is disagreement with Him. How can two walk together except they be agreed?
---Stan on 5/20/11

Stan: You have no clue. First of all: Alanon and Alcoholics Anonymous are two different fellowships. Alanon is for the family and friends of alcoholics. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is for the alcoholics in need of recovery.

By admitting that I am Trish, and I am an alcoholic, I am taking the first step every time I say that. The first step is admitting I am powerless over alcohol, and that my life had become unmanageable. Without the 2nd and 3rd steps, I have no way of resisting the temptation to drink. They are the God steps.

You really should study the Life Recovery Bible if you want to talk about AA, and 12 Steps, and the Bible.
---Trish on 5/20/11

If Al-Anon was about the renewing of the mind, the first thing they would do is encourage Christians who drink to believe what God says about them instead of basing their identities upon their behavior the way the world system does. The AA I have always heard about starts folks off by having them confess daily, "I am an alcoholic". That is not the truth as God sees it and continuing to declare themselves as something different than who they are in Christ apart from the behavior is the very reason they never experience true deliverance. The renewing of the mind is about gaining a proper image of God first and then a proper image of yourself because of the finished work of Christ. True mind renewal results in transformation.
---Stan on 5/20/11

Poopsey ... The alcoholic reamins an alcoholic even twenty years after having their last alcoholic drink

That alcoholism is not a sin.

It was sin (excessive drinking) which led to it but the continuing affliction is not.

It is actions that are sinful, illnesses are not sinful
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/20/11

Kathr ... "I have a best friend just like you, who drinks rubbing alcohol, vanila extract and anything she can get her hands on"

Kathr ... your best friend is not just like me.

I think in my life I have been totally drunk once (and that was when my drink was spiked) and on occasions I have had enough alcohol to put me over the limit for driving.

I enjoy the occasional glass of wine with a meal, and a long cool drink at the end of a long hot day walking. That's all

Wherever did you get the idea that I am an alcoholic, just like your friend?
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/20/11

For what it's worth I believe alcoholism is a sin and thus a spiritual problem. Of course the alcoholic becomes addicted to the actual substance and craves the alcohol and the alcohol controls the person. The same as one becomes a slave to sin one becomes a slave to the bottle.

As an example my dad was an alcoholic and quit with sheer willpower. However, he could be considered a dry drunk since his attitudes and bad behavior remained even though less intense.

Even without the alcohol present he still had a problem so the real problem is what is behind all of this that causes a person to become addicted to anything.
---poopsey on 5/20/11

Kathr: Your compassion for people who suffer from alcoholism is so lacking. As for my alcoholism, it began prior to my salvation. I also suffer from bipolar disorder, which creates a problem, as many people, like myself, with dual disorders self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.

It is believers like you that scare people with alcoholism away from the Church, and Christ.

By the way, the 12 Steps are based on Biblical Truth, and are all about renewing the mind. Try studying the Recovery Devotional Bible, or the Life Recovery Bible.
---Trish on 5/20/11

Kathr ... "Here is the base truth, the alcohol (a poison substance having no mind of it's own) has convinced the alcoholic that IT is the solution to problems one has in life"

This is your base misconception.

The alcoholic who recognises his alcoholism is NOT convinced that alcohol is the solution. He is convinced that it is NOT the solution.

That is why he stops drinking ... to release the hold his alcoholism has over him.

That is where AlAnon comes in, with a programme to help with that release.
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/20/11

alan, why do you say I have contempt for the sufferer. You have totally mis-applied anything I have said. I have a best friend just like you, who drinks rubbing alcohol, vanila extract and anything she can get her hands on. These are called binge drinkers and is not motivated by faulty emotions. There are different types of alcoholism.

No contempt here at all, only sadness.

But with others, I believe God deals with the ROOT..emotions first, and through that a person looses the desire for alcohol.

If the ROOT of our old man is dealt the death blow of the Cross, he learns through Christ, alcohol has no more power over him.
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

Kathr I have related before the story about my friend, who through excessive indulgence became an alcoholic. She was then clean for several years.

Then one day a "friend" spiked her non-alcoholic dring, and she unknowing drank it.

Immediately the old craving came back ... and she did not know why

Alcoholism is a permanet illness ... that story proves it, There's nothing there about risking a tipple.

Your total lack of understanding about the disease and your contempt for the sufferer ...even though repented and stopped drinking ... shines through

Sadly, though, not like a beacon of hope, but like a searchlight of condemnation
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/20/11

Nail that old man to the CROSS and walk in your NEW Man, renewed IN CHRIST. Having your MIND renewed.
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

Hard to live out when you are not a Believer in Christ.

As I have confessed before, I am a recovering member of NA with 20 years of sobriety. However, I became a believer in Christ only 10 years ago.

I now go to NA meetings only to keep in touch with people. And yes, I can witness to people there. I find people in 12 Step meetings (I go to other fellowships) receptive to the Gospel of Christ because God is talked about in the meetings. Although, their understanding of God is feeble. Their minds and bodies have been wrecked. Healing is needed before tackling emotions and spirit.
---Mark_Eaton on 5/20/11

In this life I have shared classrooms, schoolyards, playgrounds, workplaces, roads, etc, with people from all walks of life and beliefs. From laughter to sadness we shared.
Without mutual respect, how would we had fared?

We are commanded to share our humanity:
Lev.19:33 "And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him."

Luke 16:10 "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."
---Nana on 5/20/11

---or that it is the solution to the problems the alcoholic has in life.
---Trish on 5/19/11

Here is the base truth, the alcohol (a poison substance having no mind of it's own) has convinced the alcoholic that IT is the solution to problems one has in life.

Interesting. I remember believing a pair of shoes telling me it was the solution to my poor self esteem. "Buy me", "buy me" said the shoes, "you will feel better". Yea, for about a day, until I NEEDED another shoe fix, and another and another.

I know Alanon has also duped the victim in believing the program is the solution to controlling the alcoholic, or their own sanity. They just need that daily FIX to get through the day.
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

Trish, yes I know one can die from trying to detox without medical intervention. However who put the alcohol in the body to begin with...You weren't born with it in there, or dies it manufacture in you on it's own, YOU chose to put it there.

Many taking Viagra can die or have a serious problem without medical intervention, but again taking viagra is a choice.

If I swallowed poison and did not get medical intervention I would die too.

If I tied your hands behind your back, (of coarse after detoxing) and duck taped your mouth, or if you chose to have your hands cut off, how then and WHO then would be holding a bottle up for you to drink?
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

Mark_Eaton, you said AA CURES Alcoholism? I'm again confused. Others say it cannot be cured. Alcoholism can be controlled, not cured through AA.

AA controlls the old flesh nature, keeping alive the old man and controlling him through secular humanism.

This puts a Christian in total disobedience to God, the Cross and our command to walk in the spirit so that we do not give way to our old flesh nature. Self cannot ovecome self. However self can be controlled through self tecniques. It's still all SELF. The Spirit of the Life of Christ in you will never manifest through you as long as you live in your self man.

Nail that old man to the CROSS and walk in your NEW Man, renewed IN CHRIST. Having your MIND renewed.
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

Trish and alan, I know the program works. The issue isn't teh program, it saying it has christian roots I have a problem with.

Alohol and drugs open the way to demonic strongholds. The conscience is seered, and that is the brain issue.

When we become saved our conscience has been purged by the Blood of Christ.

What is there to gain really of one looses their soul for all eternity, just to learn to live sober in this life.
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

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Kathr: You choose to be blind to the truth about addictions, especially alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease, because it is the body that craves the alcohol, and people have died when they have detoxed off of alcohol without medical intervention. It is an emotional disease, because the alcohol twists the mind of the alcoholic into thinking that the alcoholic can control their drinking, or that it is the solution to the problems the alcoholic has in life.
---Trish on 5/19/11

Kathr ... I have no ide about sexual addiction ... why do you drag in an irrelevsnce?

Alcoholism is known and shown to be a continuiong and permanent medical condition. Medical conditions of the brain are just as much illnesses as medical conditions of the body.

If any treatment is shown to work ... who are you to condemn it?
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/20/11

Mark_Eaton, so you do admit in AA there is no Christ.

No Christ, then NO GOD! No one cam come to God except through Jesus Christ.

And God will never share His Glory with anything that excludes His Son.

So, you admit AA is a secular program (not a medical one Alan)that even athiests can find help and spport.

I'm a little confused here. Do you go in to this secular program and THEN find people to share Christ with?
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

God used Alanon to educate me. The truth will set you free.

My father was on tranquilizeers most of his life, Behavior...the same as that of an alcoholic, ABUSIVE. My mother, addicted to diet pills,behavior, the same as an alcoholic. For the first time i learned the abuse we lived in, was caused by living in a drug household.

Of coarse I married an alcoholic, because I was familiar with abuse. It was all I knew. I remember meeting really nice guys and felt very uncomfortable around anyone NICE to me...I wasn't worthy of that kind of love, and could never receive it.

The first and only LOVE I've ever known is when I got saved. And boy, God had a most difficult time showing me His love, unconditional love.
---kathr4453 on 5/20/11

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Alan, why is the same 12 step program used for sexual addiction?

Is sexual addiction a physical disease, a Meddical problem or spiritual one? If the same cure is for both, then both must be in the same category.

I don't believe diabetes which is also, many CLAIM, in the same category (a chemical imbalance or something)as alcoholism. Can a 12 step program help diabetics?

If it is a medical one, does medicine now use GOD to heal the sick? Since when?
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

Many not saved at all have found help in AA and stopped drinking. My X husband for one, who by the way an atheist.
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

This is my point.

If I need a car repair, I do care there is no Christ in the repair shop.

If I need a prescription, I do not care there is no Christ in the pharmacy.

So it is with AA. I do not care that there is no Christ in AA. The AA program is about curing alcoholism, not making disciples.

I am happy that your family members found Christ and ultimately found sobriety as a result. Many former alcoholics who become Christians end up being "dry drunks" because of their inability to deal with their emotions.
---Mark_Eaton on 5/19/11

Kathr: I do not need the 12 Steps to tell me Jesus is my God. I have no problem sharing with my friends, or the group I go to on Fridays, that Jesus is my God. Friday is our "Came to Believe" meeting, where we talk about how we came to believe in God to get sober.
---Trish on 5/19/11

Kathr ... I am surprised that you have still not grasped the FACT that once a personn is an alcoholic, that is a MEDICAL condition.

It is not solely a spritual illness.

Where in heart surgery is the Cross? Where is it in kidney dialysis, where in mending roken limbs, where in chemotherapy, or in dentistry?
---alan8566_of_UK on 5/19/11

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Nana, yes offering we give our lives to Jesus Christ rather than a program is the HIGHEST Love one can give another..the TRUTH.

I hope you weren't suggesting I wasn't showing love? Your post was confusing.

I shared my first hand experience. Nana, did you share your first hand experience?

I do wonder what the early Church would do and how they handled alcoholism/ sexual addiction among Christians. I think back then it was called sin and drunkenness/immorality. Now we have programs for sin, and not the Cross.

The preaching of the cross is foolishness to unbelievers, but to USWARD who are saved IT IS THE POWER OF GOD!
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

Mark_Eaton, where in the 12 step program is the CROSS. Where is JESUS CHRIST named?

Contempt? Mark_Eaton, my Grandfather was an alcoholic, and so was my husband. My Grandfather became a Christian and preacher. My Grandfather KNEW Jesus Christ and the way of the Cross.

Maybe you feel intimidated by Christians who have found deliverance in Christ alone! And instead of testifying how wonderful AA is, they testify in how wonderful Jesus Christ is. Christ PLUS Nothing.

There is no POWER of the CROSS in AA.

I cannot make it any more simple than that.

Many not saved at all have found help in AA and stopped drinking. My X husband for one, who by the way an atheist.
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

Hat off to Mark Eaton and Trish. You know, the point about the sponsor makes me think of Jesus,

Hebrews 2:18 "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."

"I did bring up Jesus Christ and suggested we all give our lives to HIM rather than the meeting. That did not go over well.."
---kathr4453 on 5/17/11

Who have not the heart and sympathy for his fellow man, his brother, could he have it for God?
I doubt it very much:

1John 4:20 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
---Nana on 5/19/11

Step 3 "Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him."

One must first understand Romans 6 as surrendering your members alive from the dead unto God IN CHRIST and Romans 12:1 & 2 to surrender anything. Anything else, you may have surrendered your lost souls to the enemy!

AA picked up the idea of surrender, but without Christ and without the whole counsel of God.

Surrendering to anyone but the God of the Bible constitutes idolatry. AA is another religion with its own forms of piety, including surrender to a nebulous higher power.

And this is where the comment, Let's give our lives to Alanon came in that night.

I ran and never looked back!
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

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AA is a program designed to help people with alcohol problems, to find a way to get help from God to turn their lives around. They teach us to Trust God, Clean House, and help others. The procees will lead us back to God gently. Pastor Rick Warren in his book Purpose Driven Life. Endorsed the process. Shakespeare once said to thine own self be true and you cannot then be false to any man. The plan must be followed and honestly to restore one back to sanity, and to God. Anyone will become a better person as he follows AA priciples.
---Brian on 5/19/11

I attended AA meetings for decades and have been sober for decades. AA is sometimes okay for socializing, but it is entirely ineffective in getting people sober. If someone wants to get sober and goes to AA, the chances are about one in twenty he will be sober after one year. And if someone wants to get sober and does NOT go to AA, his chances of being sober after one year are still one in twenty. I left AA five years ago, and have had no substance abuse problems at all.
---John.usa on 5/19/11

MRA is a religion of self-improvement and subjective mysticism.
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

Again, you exercise contempt without investigation.

I do not know what MRA is and frankly, I do not care. The lives and beliefs of Bill W. and Dr. Bob were simply that, their beliefs.

The 12 Step programs are about curing addictions using God's help. They are not churches nor do they try to replace faith in God.

12 Step programs fill a hole in the BOC that most Christians do not want to address. Namely, bearing each other burdens.

I can also witness privately to other AAs. It is a great tool for making disciples. We must all relate to God and that is an invitation for witnessing.
---Mark_Eaton on 5/19/11

"MRA is a religion of self-improvement and subjective mysticism. "
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

Even though the above statement is true I do not believe that other people will believe that it is true!
---mima on 5/19/11

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The founders of AA were involved in the Oxford Group movement MRA, but neither Bill Wilson or Bob Smith professed Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord or as the only way to the Father. Neither is there a record of them believing or teaching that the only way of salvation is by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Aside from the words "Christian based," how can it be truly "Christian based" when it is without the cross and without a Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6? Rather than faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified, MRA is a religion of self-improvement and subjective mysticism.
---kathr4453 on 5/19/11

Romans 8 says the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal body by His Spirit that dwells within you. Only something "not alive" needs quickened (given life to). Personally, I have yet to see a dead man pick up a bottle....or even struggle against it. The gospel works effectually in them that BELIEVE and the communcation of your faith is made effectual by the acknowledging of every GOOD THING which is IN you BY Christ Jesus. You can take 12 steps in al-anon or six with Jesus (crucified with, died with, buried with, quickened with, raised with, and seated with).
---Sophia on 5/19/11

I agree with MarkEaton. When I came to Christ, I made the decision to accept Christ's free gift of salvation, and turn my will and my life over to Him daily. That is not self-effort, but surrender.

Also, regarding Kathr's comments: AA and Alanon meetings are not the program. The 12 Steps are the program. Unless I work the steps with my sponsor, I don't stay sober. I tried staying sober without completing the steps, and it did not work. Confession, repentance and amends are all Biblically based concepts. The Steps of AA are Biblically based.
---Trish on 5/19/11

\\"We made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him"? Sounds like Salvation to me. Feels like Salvation to me.\\
---Mark_Eaton on 5/18/11

That doesn't sound like "salvation" to me, it sounds like self effort.
---James_L on 5/18/11

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That did not go over well..
---kathr4453 on 5/17/11

I doubt that you worked the Steps in Al-Anon. If you had worked them, you would have a much different opinion. Going to meetings is NOT the AA program, working the Steps is the AA program.

What exactly is wrong with Step 3 which says "We made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him"? Sounds like Salvation to me. Feels like Salvation to me.

We AA's face this kind of contempt only from Christians. Contempt without investigation. Another word for it is ARROGANCE or PRIDE.

My question to all Christians who have contempt for AA is this: when exactly do you obey James 5:16 and confess your sins to each other?
---Mark_Eaton on 5/18/11

The difference between AA and Jesus is that Jesus can completely deliver you while AA DOES not! With Jesus you do not have to keep going to meetings!
---Anthony on 2/22/11

I completely agree with Anthony.

As one who attended Alanon, I can tell you it was short and sweet. One night, a man suggested we give our lives to Alanon.

What I saw was people as addicted to the meetings their spouse was to drugs or alcohol.

Most could not get through a day without attending a meeting. These people looked like zombies, believing they had to attend daily meetings to survive the abuse, or go nuts.

I did bring up Jesus Christ and suggested we all give our lives to HIM rather than the meeting. That did not go over well..
---kathr4453 on 5/17/11

Recall the Christian origins of AA in Evangelists, Salvation Army, YMCA, Rescue Missions, Christian Endeavor. And early A.A. was a Christian fellowship - certainly not a "cult."
---Dick_B. on 4/29/11

I worked for a while in an in-patient alcohol detox unit within a Catholic general hospital. When patients were able, they attended AA meetings there on the unit.

AA does not teach a religion other than that everyone must rely upon a "higher power"...and that can be anything you want. It may be, and for many is, Jesus Christ. For some new participants, this is an unfamiliar concept. And they will question others about their "higher power". It's an ideal opportunity to explain the gospel.

I saw many who first placed their trust in Jesus because of AA. All twelve steps re-enforce biblical principles, though non-Christian members probably don't recognize this. AA itself do not endorse any specific faith.
---Donna66 on 2/23/11

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The difference between AA and Jesus is that Jesus can completely deliver you while AA DOES not! With Jesus you do not have to keep going to meetings!
---Anthony on 2/22/11

Spoken by someone with no experience with AA/NA/GA/DA/SA.

I am a recovering drug addict who has worked with both NA and AA. I have 20 years sobriety and have since placed my faith in Jesus.

These programs are based upon God being your higher power. You surrender control of your addiction to your Higher Power. Only your Higher Power can restore you to sanity. Only your Higher Power can perform the work in you. Your Higher Power does the spritual and psychological work in you while you do the work of going through the 12 steps.
---Mark_Eaton on 2/23/11

\\With Jesus you do not have to keep going to meetings!
---Anthony on 2/22/11\\

St. Paul told members of one church to "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

This, basically, is what 12 step groups do.
---Cluny on 2/23/11

The difference between AA and Jesus is that Jesus can completely deliver you while AA DOES not! With Jesus you do not have to keep going to meetings!
---Anthony on 2/22/11

They help and support addicts in abstaining from alcohol and drugs, therefore they are good organizations. The thing is, they are not Christian organizations, now if Christ Almighty was added to their support groups, and the people called upon him and prayed to him for everlasting deliverance, then they would be completely free and not believe that they are still called "addicts" eventhough they have not partaken of any alcohol or drug for years. For whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.
---Eloy on 2/23/11

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Alcoholics Anonymous is an outgrowth of a Christian Evangelical movement called the Oxford Group (not to be confused with the High Church Anglican Oxford Movement).
---Cluny on 2/23/11

I am astounded at how unChristian your blog sounds.

In almost every AA meeting I have gone to, we say the Lord's Prayer. And this is in Hollywood, California! AA is a God-centered program that is the only place I have ever seen true character change happen. 12 step programs are the most amazing, God-inspired program on earth, and we say the Lord's Prayer after every meeting.

I believe many "Christians" don't realize that Christ is the root of hte word Christianity because the vowel sounds are different.

God is love and 12 step programs help more people than you can ever know. I am sober 16 years by the grace of God.
---Lydia_Cornell on 2/22/11

Obviously we have not all had the same experience with A.A. or Alanon. This just goes to show that meeting vary depending on who is running them and who attends them. My experience at Alanon and the experiences of 2 friends and one relative at A.A. have been that the others present did not want anyone to speak of God or Jesus and they certainly wanted NO PRAYER except the Serenity Prayer. No doubt some meetings are better than ours were.
---RitaH on 1/14/08

Trish9863: "Jesus is my higher power." Your statement transcends 12, 13, etc., steps. Reminds me of Paul's explanation to the Greeks on Mars Hill about the unknown God they worshipped. Good for you!

A recovered by the blood of Jesus alcoholic, I've been born-again & sober since 1974 without AA. Receiving Jesus is the "ultimate step" leading to healing sobriety.

God bless & keep you.
---WARC182 on 1/14/08

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Andrea: You hit the nail on the head. Amen and amen. Thank you.
---Trish9863 on 1/8/08

there are good reasons you don't have to worry about 12-step groups being a cult.
1) there's no money involved
2) no one gets famous
3) they do a lot of praying and who knows that God doesn't use a Christian fighting an addiction to minister to the lost that go to AA
get over your doctrines - God wants addicts delivered - the church isn't getting the job done.
There is more integrity taught and kept in a 12-step group then in most any church
---Andrea on 1/8/08

Hi Catherine, loved your response and hope you still see this, your response was soooooo refreshing! :) God bless ya sister :)
---Mary on 12/30/07

I wouldn't think that these self-help programs were cults. We do not have to go around thinking that everything is a "CULT". I mean, we are all a little tilt, but we do not have to be that much tilt. Have a good day.
---catherine on 12/19/07

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If i did not know better i would think we were talking about curing Alcoholism with Exorcisim.
---john_morgan on 12/19/07

It is true that the guy who put together the Orange Papers is abrasive. But he does tell the truth. The stats he uses are AA's own, taken from its triennial member surveys. AA's success rate is about five percent, the same as for people who want to get sober on their own, or in church, or some other way.
---InimicusStultitiae on 12/12/07

RitaH ... I know you would not pour scorn ... I was not talking of you!
---alan_of_UK on 12/11/07

Statistics regarding drug and alcohol addiction are not always trustworthy. For one thing, nobody can know exactly how many people go to an AA meeting in one location and never come back, but go to a meeting at another location and continue for years. This is due to the confidentiality issue. And there is no way that anyone can keep statistics on whether or not someome is staying sober/straight. It is just not possible. Most rehab stats are presented so that the facility looks credible.
---Susie on 12/11/07

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In #2:AA, as with all groups, has the potential for failure, at the individual group level. I have attended AA groups that are run by fanatical Nazi types. I have also attended some terrific meetings where recovery and hope are paramount to the discussions. Just as any other recovery model has its potential for failure, AA also has some level of failure.
---Trish9863 on 12/11/07

In #3: The problem with recovery and failure is that there are MANY variables to relapse, not just the program of recovery. I was a chronic relapser. I am dually diagnosed, and have other issues that make recovery more challenging. Most patients who are dually diagnosed have difficulty maintaining long term sobriety, as I have worked with many professionally in a treatment center. The goal is to shorten the relapses and prolong the periods of sobriety.
---Trish9863 on 12/11/07

In #4 I do not believe it is appropriate to trash any particular program of recovery, because you do not have hard scientific evidence that AA does not work. My research, done in graduate school, showed that participation in a support group helps ensure long term sobriety in most people with an addiction problem.
---Trish9863 on 12/11/07

Rita: In all my 18 years in AA, I have never been treated poorly when I share that Jesus is my higher power.
---Trish9863 on 12/11/07

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In: Your Orange Paper website sounds like an anti 12 step crusade. I saw no title of any article that would give me your statistics. In fact, I read an article which stated it is impossible to get statistics on the suicide rate of AA members.
---Trish9863 on 12/11/07

Alan I would never pour scorn on anyone who is genuinely helped by AA (or relatives and friends who are helped by Alanon) but it is a fact that some groups are more helpful than others. The term higher power is not used in the way that the founders of AA intended. People can say that "Mickey Mouse is my higher power" and that's fine but if someone says "Jesus is my higher power" it is they who are scorned and told "You mustn't bring your religious beliefs here."
---RitaH on 12/11/07

Trish9863, you can do a Google search for Orange Papers for the stats. I also draw from my own experience, watching people come and go in AA, having attended 6000-7000 meetings over a 40-year period.
---InimicusStultitiae on 12/11/07

Many of my closest Christian friends do not attend AA/NA although they completed the rehab program where I used to work. Their main reason for not attending those meetings is that they are treated badly if they even try to say that their Higher Power is Jesus Christ. I have known dozens of people in recovery who actively attended these meetings who died of overdose of drugs and alcohol.
---Susie on 12/10/07

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Inimicus, what research shows those stats? My studies have shown different statistics.
---Trish9863 on 12/10/07

Rita, you got that right! AA meetings are an addiction for many. A lot of that is also manipulation by fear, telling people they will get drunk if they don't go to meetings, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
---InimicusStultitiae on 12/10/07

The biggest problem with AA is that it is a miserable failure in getting people sober, as 95 percent of those who go there drop out within a year. Fifty percent drop out after their first meeting, they find it so weird.
---InimicusStultitiae on 12/10/07

InimicusStultitiae ... Maybe that was because they had been exposed to the scorn that is shown by many Christians (including some here) for anyone who finds that AA helps
---alan_of_UK on 12/10/07

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I suppose it could be substitute for relying on the Holy Spirit, leaning not on our own understanding, but God's.
AA is church for most people that attend and as Trish said, your God can be anything you want it to be.
---Chad on 12/10/07

Perhaps whether or not an alcoholic believes in God depends on which part of the country you live in.People in the midwest seem to believe in God more.I did notice when I lived in FL.for 3 years people believed strongly in God.I think in the East and North they believe less.
---shirley on 12/10/07

I would not describe them as cults but I would say that it is possible to swap one addiction for another by attending. Some groups are much better than others but it is possible to become addicted to attending meetings to the point where you cannot miss one and sometimes flit from one venue to another so that you can go EVERY day. I know someone who does this and has for many years.
---RitaH on 12/10/07

I've been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for close to 25 years. Today, I'm a licensed chemical dependency counselor and use the 12-steps of AA as the basis of recovery. We need God to restore us! Where did you even get the idea that AA was a cult? You will see more love in an AA meeting that is most church services. They don't just talk about doing something....they do it!!
---Annie on 12/10/07

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Shirley, that is interesting. The majority of people who went to 12-step meetings I attended were indifferent or hostile to Christianity.
---InimicusStultitiae on 12/10/07

They are not cults. I have been a member of AA for over 18 years. They do not worship anything, and they do not try to brainwash you into believing anything other than to stop drinking with the help of whomever you call God.
---Trish9863 on 12/10/07

They are definetly not cults.My alcoholic husband stayed sober over 8 years before he died with the help of AA.They refer to the higher power all the time.To my hb and me that is Jesus Christ and everyone who attended the meetings that we did thought the same.Almost all of the main speakers were leaders in their churches and said with the help of God and AA they stayed sober.
---shirley on 12/10/07

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