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Mon Jun 10, 2019, 05:03 AM

84 Years Ago Today; Dr Bob takes his last drink; Bob and BillW form Alcoholics Anonymous

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholics_Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid fellowship with the stated purpose of enabling its members to "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety." AA is nonprofessional, self-supporting, and apolitical. Its only membership requirement is a desire to stop drinking. The AA program of recovery is set forth in the Twelve Steps.

AA was founded in Akron, Ohio when in 1935 one alcoholic, Bill Wilson, talked to another alcoholic, Bob Smith, about the nature of alcoholism and a possible solution. With the help of other early members, the book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered From Alcoholism was written in 1939. Its title became the name of the organization and is now usually referred to as "The Big Book". AA's initial Twelve Traditions were introduced in 1946 to help the fellowship be stable and unified while disengaged from "outside issues" and influences.

The Traditions recommend that members remain anonymous in public media, altruistically help other alcoholics, and that AA groups avoid official affiliations with other organizations. They also advise against dogma and coercive hierarchies. Subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous have adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions to their respective primary purposes.

AA membership has since spread internationally "across diverse cultures holding different beliefs and values", including geopolitical areas resistant to grassroots movements. Close to two million people worldwide are estimated to be members of AA as of 2016.

<snip>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous#1935_Dr._Bob_sober

1935 Dr. Bob sober
Silkworth believed Wilson was making a mistake by telling new converts of his "Hot Flash" conversion and trying to apply the Oxford Group's principles. He advised Wilson of the need to deflate the alcoholic. He told Wilson to give them the medical business, and give it to them hard: tell them of the obsession that condemns them to drink and the physical sensitivity that condemns them to go mad or die. He believed that if this message were told to them by another alcoholic, it would break down their ego. Only then could the alcoholic use the other "medicine"—the ethical principles he had picked up from the Oxford Groups.

Subsequently, during a business trip in Akron, Ohio, Wilson was tempted to drink and realized he must talk to another alcoholic to stay sober. He phoned local ministers to ask if they knew any alcoholics. Norman Sheppard directed him to Oxford member Henrietta Seiberling, whose group had been trying to help a desperate alcoholic named Dr. Bob Smith.

While he was a student at Dartmouth College, Smith started drinking heavily and later almost failed to graduate from medical school because of it. He opened a medical practice and married, but his drinking put his business and family life in jeopardy. For 17 years Smith's daily routine was to stay sober until the afternoon, get drunk, sleep, then take sedatives to calm his morning jitters. Seiberling convinced Smith to talk with Wilson, but Smith insisted the meeting be limited to 15 minutes. Smith was so impressed with Wilson's knowledge of alcoholism and ability to share from his own experience, however, that their discussion lasted six hours.

Wilson moved into Bob and Anne Smith's family home. There both men made plans to take their message of recovery on the road. During this period, however, Smith returned to drinking while attending a medical convention. During his stay at the Smith home, Wilson joined Smith and his wife in the Oxford Group's practice of morning guidance sessions with meditations and Bible readings. The Bible's Book of James became an important inspiration for Smith and the alcoholics of the Akron group. Wilson spent a month working with Smith, and Smith became the first alcoholic Wilson brought to sobriety. Smith's last drink was on June 10, 1935 (a beer to steady his hand for surgery), and this is considered by members to be the founding date of AA.

A new program

Dr. Robert Smith's House in Akron

Wilson and Smith sought to develop a simple program to help even the worst alcoholics, along with a more successful approach that empathized with alcoholics yet convinced them of their hopelessness and powerlessness. They believed active alcoholics were in a state of insanity rather than a state of sin, an idea they developed independently of the Oxford Group.[35][36]

To produce a spiritual conversion necessary for sobriety and sanity, alcoholics needed to realize that they couldn't conquer alcoholism by themselves—that surrendering to a higher power and working with another alcoholic were required. Sober alcoholics could show drinking alcoholics that it was possible to enjoy life without alcohol, thus inspiring a spiritual conversion that would help ensure sobriety.

The tactics employed by Smith and Wilson to bring about the conversion was first to determine if an individual had a drinking problem. To do this they would first approach the man's wife, and later they would approach the individual directly by going to his home or by inviting him to the Smiths' home. The objective was to get the man to surrender, and the surrender involved a confession of powerlessness and a prayer that said the man believed in a higher power and could be restored to sanity. This process would sometimes take place in the kitchen, or at other times it was at the man's bed with Wilson kneeling on one side of the bed and Smith on the other side. This way the man would be led to admit his defeat. Wilson and Smith believed that until a man had surrendered, he couldn't attend the Oxford meetings. No one was allowed to attend a meeting without being sponsored. Thus a new prospect underwent many visits around the clock with members of the Akron team and undertook many prayer sessions, as well as listening to Dr. Smith cite the medical facts about alcoholism. A new prospect was also put on a special diet of sauerkraut, tomatoes and Karo syrup to reduce his alcoholic cravings. The Smith family home in Akron became a center for alcoholics.

Two realizations came from Wilson's work in Akron. The first was that to remain sober, an alcoholic needed another alcoholic to work with. The second was the concept of the 24 hours—that if the alcoholic could resist the urge to drink by postponing it for one day, one hour, or even one minute, he could remain sober

</snip>



(j/k)


Dr Robert Smith...

44 replies, 2357 views

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply 84 Years Ago Today; Dr Bob takes his last drink; Bob and BillW form Alcoholics Anonymous (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 OP
malaise Jun 2019 #1
marble falls Jun 2019 #14
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #2
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 #4
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #7
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 #9
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #11
tymorial Jun 2019 #13
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #24
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #38
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #40
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #41
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #43
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #44
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #3
tymorial Jun 2019 #12
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #16
murielm99 Jun 2019 #5
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 #6
murielm99 Jun 2019 #8
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 #10
marble falls Jun 2019 #15
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 #17
marble falls Jun 2019 #20
usaf-vet Jun 2019 #18
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 #19
HopeAgain Jun 2019 #22
wendyb-NC Jun 2019 #21
HopeAgain Jun 2019 #23
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 2019 #25
Farmer-Rick Jun 2019 #26
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 2019 #27
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #39
cally Jun 2019 #28
demosincebirth Jun 2019 #29
Cuthbert Allgood Jun 2019 #30
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 2019 #32
demosincebirth Jun 2019 #33
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 2019 #35
demosincebirth Jun 2019 #37
TheBlackAdder Jun 2019 #42
ismnotwasm Jun 2019 #31
demosincebirth Jun 2019 #34
KentuckyWoman Jun 2019 #36

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 05:37 AM

1. Thanks

I did not know the history of AA

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:38 AM

14. Yep, happened in my home town, at the Mayflower Hotel. Henrietta Sieberling was one of ...

richest women in the world.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 05:54 AM

2. That is not Dr. Bob. He passed away in 1950.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:00 AM

4. Yeah, but the Real Dr Bob's rendition of "Prayers For Rain" isn't nearly as good...

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:20 AM

7. DD pulled a fast one on us, Rhiannon.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cure

See band member list, LOL.

KY......

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:24 AM

9. I tried to have a little fun...

She knows I'm a Cure fan.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:14 AM

11. Yep, this guy just wouldn't look right.....

with a Strat or Tele strapped around his neck.......


The real Dr. Bob.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4),
Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37884612

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:37 AM

13. You would think so buy then again.....



Yeah it's not Dr Bob but tell me that guy isnt wrecking it.

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Response to tymorial (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:41 AM

24. Yes, and he must have played most of his life....

to still be that nimble. I'm 71 and wanted to learn to play, but 'ole arthritis has held me back. I was raised up near Nashville and there was an old local saying that "there's 10,000 guitar pickers in Nashville" which probably was true, with a plentiful supply for the numerous studios, radio shows and Grand Ole Opry.

Ironically, in the area where I was raised, playing guitar was quite uncommon but playing piano in church was very common. Guitar playing was far more common in the mountains of east TN and KY, as well as in the western parts where cotton grows.

Fantastic 'ole player and thanks. He would be fun to sit on the porch with and pick and grin!....

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 02:34 AM

38. I was not aware of this Bob Smith

Though I think there was another one who sat in front of me in 8th grade English class.

Interesting anniversary, though - which I brought up in my beginners' meeting tonight. I also mentioned that I knew someone who had visited Dr. Bob's house. Around here, it's not unusual for folks to visit the Wilson House in nearby Vermont, but not too many have had the opportunity to visit Dr. Bob's - and this was his day. I've long been the coin orderer for that group (as well as GSR) and I started ordering the Founders' Coins for both of my groups since, given the choice, that's the one that's almost always chosen. We had 3 celebrations there last month - 2 one year and one came back to celebrate his 5th.


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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #38)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 09:07 PM

40. Thanks, Rhiannon and congrats on your recent celebrations.

Makes it all worth while.

Also appreciate the photo of that medallion which I have not seen. All of mine are the simple old style. I wish I had kept notes on all of them because many were presented in far away places where I traveled in my early years such as Wyoming and Oregon. Anytime I let it be known I had an anniversary day near that day, the group would go into celebration mode. Just like when a new-comer is discovered, the meetings go into 1st Step mode!

Have you had the opportunity to read the book "AA Comes of Age"? If not, I highly recommend it to help better understand the roots of AA and all the trials the founders went through early on. Reading it helped reinforce an understanding of how the Traditions came about and taught me to encourage sponsees to embrace those principles.

KY.......... ........

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #40)

Wed Jun 12, 2019, 02:44 AM

41. I first got that particular coin for my sponsor - I always tried to get her a special one

I ended up ordering coins for more than one group and they're only a dime more(!), so those are the ones I always get now because - especially with the beginners' group - every celebration is pretty special. And I always say, as I did to my sponsor, even if you're not at a meeting, with that coin Bill W. and Dr. Bob are always with you.

And I have not read that book, thanks for the recommendation! My favorite book was always "As Bill Sees It," we used to read that at what became my favorite initial meeting and it's easy to find something that relates to just about any issue or topic in that book. But then that group was forced to move to another venue and we ended up at a halfway house where we get a whole different type of group - and though we had boxes of books, they all eventually disappeared.

So it turned into just another discussion meeting until a couple of the guys with a little bit of time suggested the book "Living Sober," just the perfect book for anyone starting out, or anyone else who can certainly identify. And with that book, that particular meeting has become one of our best attended. I went there just tonight and we're back to the beginning, read the second topic, and of course there were some who had never read it before - and it was a good reminder for those who were "coming back" - including me.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #41)

Wed Jun 12, 2019, 03:57 AM

43. LOL, I Love As Bill Sees It. Pages are falling out!

My old ragged copy is sitting here at my desk and has many thousands of miles on it. When I traveled, I would carry it into restaurants in the evenings for my daily "reset". I found I could open it to any page and get something good for the day.

At a glance, a couple of my favorites are pp10 (getting it out in the sunshine) and pp111 (damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness), which were "lightbulb moments" for me. You might also want to review pp153 as to how it relates to posts below in this thread (glad I caught that one 'cause I was ready to fire away). Humility strikes again....

Also got a chuckle about what you said on carrying tokens. I carried at least two or three in my pants pocket while traveling and could always hear them jingle when running through airports, LOL. As you said, a great reminder against temptation.

Agree that Living Sober is perfect for beginners to accompany the Big Book. My next choice that I always had with me is the Twelve and Twelve book, from which I probably learned more than the BB itself.....

Thank goodness for the wealth of AA literature available! You probably get a laugh out of the fact that I paid $3.50 for hard-bound Big Books in 1990. Those days are long-gone.

KY...... ........

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #43)

Wed Jun 12, 2019, 04:35 AM

44. My "As Bill Sees It" is so crammed with bookmarks that I can't find anything, LOL!

I was bummed that we couldn't use that book anymore, but I was really happy to see that the "Living Sober" book has turned out to be so popular. You're right, it's just perfect for the group that we're now getting for that meeting.

That particular group actually meets twice a week, as I said it was a literature meeting that used to meet elsewhere, but since the move (which probably nobody but me will remember), it's turned into a beginners' meeting. Tuesday is now "Living Sober" and Thursday is the same as it always was, a Step Meeting using the "12 and 12." As you can imagine, that's been tough, saving up for more books (those have gotten expensive!) and very few members who just got out of rehab and have yet to find a sponsor are conversant with The Steps.

But then we found a hero! There's a guy with longtime sobriety who began coming to the Monday meeting there. He's originally from downstate, is a retired Teamster who relocated "up north" and began showing up because - as another long timer I know from District told me - he needed sponsees to really work his program. He wasn't excited about the discussion meeting, always says to "look for meetings where they read from the literature!" and he's been leading the Step Meeting!

And the guys there really like him. I like him! He's very plain speaking about the program, is full of stories from his experiences and he's entertaining as well as quite knowledgeable. And he and I share a sobriety date - except his is 1976!! So we've gone through The Steps, we read it and he shares and then we discuss them. It's kinda tough for brand new people, but his explanations really have helped. And we've gone through the entire "12 and 12," including The Traditions. There are other Step Meetings, but not that many that focus on The Traditions, so I appreciated what he had to say especially.

The only thing is, now that we've gone through the whole book - he hung in there for several months - he's taking time off from that obligation to build his daughter a house near him "up north." So last week we started over with Step 1 which wasn't too bad, but I'm not sure how it'll go. His knowledge really made that meeting. I sure hope that he comes back after his construction is done since he's certainly missed.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:00 AM

3. A visit to Dr. Bob's house is a special treat and a pilgrimage for those of us....

that have benefited from this wonderful Program.

Anyone interested in the crazy story of how AA was born and evolved should get a copy of the AA-published book "AA Comes of Age". It really is a fun read and demonstrates how humans in desperation really can work out their differences and do the right thing.

The two founders had radically different backgrounds and personalities (Wall Street broker and a proctologist) and that may be why AA survived all these years, giving them a broad perspective to design a program that works for most anyone.

KY...........

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:30 AM

12. I have never been to dr Bob's house but I have attended retreats in east dorset

At the Wilson House. AA saved me. I still go to meetings. I still speak. I moved a year ago and I miss my home meeting. I found a new one that I like but I miss those guys. They were all blue collar and construction guys. I came across the group doing my 90/90. Best group of guys I have ever met. I was so sad to leave them and my sponsor.

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Response to tymorial (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:55 AM

16. If you get the chance, go there on an off day in the off season.

You might just get a private tour like I did. The guy showed me all of Dr. Bob's liquor hiding places and we sat at the kitchen table and had some excellent coffee.

I actually started traveling not long after my hospitalization and made my 90/90 on the road (missed one day 'cause I was on airplanes). I got my hands on some AA nation-wide meeting directories and called ahead each day.

I'm sort of retired from meetings right now due to health problems but after almost 30-years, the Program is with me every day and I probably will return. It is indeed a way of life!

Like you, my best meetings were in the most humble parts of the towns I visited, as well as here at home. My home group for years was a men's group consisting mostly of factory and construction workers that met in a grungy basement in an old AA house. Lots of tears and lots of hugs and tons of coffee, LOL.

It is uniquely sad to lose friends in AA because of the emotional bonds we form (much like family), but they always bring back fond memories that help with our future days. I've had some sponsees die and that was hard, but a hard lesson learned too.

Best of luck, thanks for sharing and keep coming back!...... .......

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:18 AM

5. I remember seeing a movie on TV about

The founding of AA. It was, "My Name is Bill W.," and starred James Woods and James Garner.

I was impressed by the movie.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097939/

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:20 AM

6. I've seen it too. Good movie!

...but James Woods is a dick in real life.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:21 AM

8. Yes, James Woods is a dick.

Garner was a Democrat, and a loyal one. I imagine they had to leave politics far behind while they worked on that movie.

Remember that movie Garner did with Jack Lemon, "My Fellow Americans?" Warner said he had to play the Democratic President. He said his wife would kill him if he played a Republican.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 06:36 AM

10. James Garner - a Hollywood GEM!



...and I jonesed for his Firebird when I was a kid!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:45 AM

15. A couple pf more photos for you ...

Henrietta Sieberling's home:



The Mayflower Hotel in Akron:

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Response to marble falls (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:56 AM

17. That house is gorgeous!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:13 AM

20. That house is amazing ...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UZ3QWzuoG2U/UBLSgsYFMsI/AAAAAAAAAdw/cS13Bu07-Ww/s1600/Stan+Hywet+Aerial+View.jpg

Ms Seiberling's father-in-law was FA Seiberling, the founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Seiberling Tire and Rubber, her grandson was John F. Seiberling, a Democratic Congressman and very involved with impeaching Nixon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Seiberling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Buckler_Seiberling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Seiberling
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Hywet_Hall_and_Gardens

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:04 AM

18. I have a very close friend who had a serious drinking problem. Several DUIs in his pass.

He lost at least one if not two parents to alcohol-related diseases. For years we watch him continue to drink.

He tried twice to quit by seeking treatment in one of the nationally known mid-western private treatment centers. Both times he completed the prescribed stay at in-house clinics but soon returned to drinking.

Then ~25 years ago something in his life triggered a decision to quit. This time he chose AA. Now 25+ years later he has been sober. He has spent years as a leader (if that is the right term) in the local meetings.

Anyone that knows him will tell you that AA managed to end his addiction where two private expensive clinic stays failed.

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Response to usaf-vet (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:06 AM

19. Many friends, and my SO, have been saved by AA...

I'm glad to hear your friend was helped by it as well!

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Response to usaf-vet (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:24 AM

22. Trusted Servant

That's the term we use and one reason why it is such a special program.

Thanks for the nod to the program that saved my life over 10 years ago.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:23 AM

21. Thank you, for posting.

AA has been and continues to be a beacon, for many people who over use of alcohol, and/or other substances, to the point of deep hopelessness, and loss.
They are 2 giants , of the 20th Century in my perspective, They were people of their times, in terms of their perspectives and vernacular, but, they stayed on their message that to stay sober, they had to help those out there who still suffered.


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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 08:25 AM

23. Happy Founders Day! nt

Last edited Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:34 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:19 AM

25. It's fascinating to me that AA has such a hold on addiction science and medicine -- and it's a

harmful one, IMO, as AA has not kept up with new understandings of use, abuse and addiction.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/

Alcoholics Anonymous has more than 2 million members worldwide, and the structure and support it offers have helped many people. But it is not enough for everyone. The history of AA is the story of how one approach to treatment took root before other options existed, inscribing itself on the national consciousness and crowding out dozens of newer methods that have since been shown to work better.

(snip)

People with alcohol problems also suffer from higher-than-normal rates of mental-health issues, and research has shown that treating depression and anxiety with medication can reduce drinking. But AA is not equipped to address these issues—it is a support group whose leaders lack professional training—and some meetings are more accepting than others of the idea that members may need therapy and/or medication in addition to the group’s help.

AA truisms have so infiltrated our culture that many people believe heavy drinkers cannot recover before they “hit bottom.” Researchers I’ve talked with say that’s akin to offering antidepressants only to those who have attempted suicide, or prescribing insulin only after a patient has lapsed into a diabetic coma. “You might as well tell a guy who weighs 250 pounds and has untreated hypertension and cholesterol of 300, ‘Don’t exercise, keep eating fast food, and we’ll give you a triple bypass when you have a heart attack,’ ” Mark Willenbring, a psychiatrist in St. Paul and a former director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told me. He threw up his hands. “Absurd.”

Part of the problem is our one-size-fits-all approach. Alcoholics Anonymous was originally intended for chronic, severe drinkers—those who may, indeed, be powerless over alcohol—but its program has since been applied much more broadly. Today, for instance, judges routinely require people to attend meetings after a DUI arrest; fully 12 percent of AA members are there by court order.

We once thought about drinking problems in binary terms—you either had control or you didn’t; you were an alcoholic or you weren’t—but experts now describe a spectrum. An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol-use disorder, as the DSM-5, the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, calls it. (The new term replaces the older alcohol abuse and the much more dated alcoholism, which has been out of favor with researchers for decades.) Only about 15 percent of those with alcohol-use disorder are at the severe end of the spectrum. The rest fall somewhere in the mild-to-moderate range, but they have been largely ignored by researchers and clinicians. Both groups—the hard-core abusers and the more moderate overdrinkers—need more-individualized treatment options.


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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:40 AM

26. There is very little actual evidence that AA works.

Because it is anonymous, there are no recidivism rates or even success rates. All there really is is anecdotal evidence.

And I find the religious crap they offer to be ridiculous and offensive. I feel really sorry for any atheist who has a drinking problem. They get this crap shoved down their throats while they are trying to find help. How many atheist continued drinking because they couldn't find any counseling that wasn't religious based? It's not end all and be all people like to imagine.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:42 AM

27. Exactly.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 02:50 AM

39. I've found that it all depends on the meeting - and my attitude.

At one of my first meetings, a long timer did me the favor of highlighting a few passages in the book I brought with me and I immediately said "I'm not religious." And he asked "Are you open minded?" As a liberal, of course I am. So I continued going to meetings, met my sponsor at my second one - and she told me what to do. Some people I've met embrace religion, but many more do not. I've taken to heart the slogan "Take what you want and leave the rest," so AA has worked for me. If religion works for some people, who am I to judge? As long as something works. My sponsor was Jewish - and she understood exactly where I was coming from. At the meetings she led, we said the Responsibility Declaration rather than the Serenity Prayer. I may be a liberal atheist, but I've been sober for 10 years as of last April thanks to my sponsor and AA.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 09:51 AM

28. The article cites research that does not include many other studies

That show group support and peer support are critical to quitting drinking. The mental health description ignores AA published pamphlets discussing the need for outside treatment and medication for many members. Plus, the idea of hitting bottom no longer means what you describe. While true in the beginning that the first members of AA had hit a very low bottom, since AA establishment and new understanding that is no longer true. AA is now seeing many new members that are young but no longer want to suffer from their disease.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 11:40 AM

29. Say what you may - I owe my life to AA. I was dying when

I was rescued by two guys from AA. That was forty years ago. I still attend meetings every so often just to touch base and see old friends.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #29)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 11:44 AM

30. I am very glad that that worked for you.

But n=1 does not mean that it actually works. People who didn't wear seatbelts were saved in a crash because they were thrown from the vehicle. That doesn't mean people shouldn't wear seatbelts.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #29)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 01:02 PM

32. It definitely works for some people. But not many. I'm glad it worked for you, truly.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #32)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:22 PM

33. It works if you get honest with yourself.

“Many are incapable of being honest with themselves they seemed to have been born that way. They are the unfortunate ones.”

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #33)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 10:13 PM

35. That is a very convenient way of looking at things.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #35)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 02:02 AM

37. Not convenient - to some, it's a matter of life or death

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #25)


Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 12:01 PM

31. I work in transplant

I’ve also been sober many years because of AA, and you’ll have to take my word for this—I was bad.

That being said, AA “works” for a lot of people. There are very few other workable, affordable options, as it’s basically a form of free therapy. I have taken care of any number of liver transplant patients who stopped drinking and using on their own, and did not need “community recovery” as it’s called. In our transplant program, If your liver disease is due to alcohol or drug abuse, it’s a requirement that you attend community recovery programs and prove that you did so.

I hate the AA works/AA doesn’t work/AA is a cult-religion/no it isn’t/ back and forth arguments and I usually don’t involve myself, but I do want to say this. I don’t give a shit HOW someone gets sober, on their own, through AA, through therapy, through religion, through sheer will power. I just care that they do.

There are drugs for addiction coming down the pike, other therapies, but the abstinence based approach, so that one’s addiction isn’t “triggered” seems to be the best way thus far.

As I type this, I’m working, I’m a dialysis nurse today. My patients are very ill, and I value the ones who put themselves into that illness through their own behavior no less than others. Addiction is ugly. It ruins lives, it costs billions, there is no current cure.

Liver failure is one of the ugliest ways to die there is.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 07:24 PM

34. Well said!

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2019, 10:17 PM

36. K and r. I miss you, Dad.

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