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(6,001 posts)
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 06:21 PM Jan 2015

met a guy with a cool alcoholism program today

First off let me say I had an alcohol problem until about 18 months ago and finally got it under control.It was basically without help and was finally getting the willpower to get it together.

This truck driver I was talking to at the shop today was telling me about a program (I should say a group)he joined that helped him stop drinking after 30 years.Like me he had been busted for DUI and was court ordered into AA,and like me not only was court ordered AA not effective,it had the opposite effect.It made us both resentful and simply made us say screw this I'll show you and in my case just had me stopping at the nearest store after I left my AA meeting to get some beer.

Being told meeting after meeting what a failure you are and that you need to apologize to anyone you ever met and telling your story over and over was wholly ineffective for me and studies show forced AA simply doesn't work.

The program (group) this guy is in doesn't have meetings where you tell people how much you suck,they don't make you swear to a higher power.They only meet as a group once a month and then only to shoot the shit.There is no guilting or shaming or 12 step programs or anything like that.

This programs theory is that alcoholism is as much a habit as a disease.Alcoholism is a disease if you want to call it that...it does change body chemistry,but the theory is that drinking becomes a habit that becomes part of your daily life because that is simply what you get used to as the norm.It becomes habit that you pick up 12 or a fifth on the way to the golf course or on the way to the game or whatever,and the alcohol simply becomes part of your daily life until you don't think about it anymore and just drink as part of your life.

What these guys do is simply give you an avenue to continue your life uninterrupted ...without alcohol.
Their goal is to break the habit part of alcoholism without the preaching part.

They have a website(sorry...didn't get the website....was talking while working)and a meeting place where they have activity boards where you can continue to do the activities in your life that you enjoy with people who aren't drinking,breaking the non thinking habit of grabbing beer or whatever as you do your thing.They do have sponsors and a support group if you feel the need but it isn't required.

He said his local group has about 100 members and they get together to do all the things you have always done but now with other people who don't drink.They go golfing,they go bowling,they have movie nights,they have poker nights,,,they go on fishing outings....you get the idea
They have several members who have gaming rooms with multiple tv's and playstations where they get together and game.Whatever your thing they likely have a member or two who enjoys similar activities

The idea is to break the HABIT of drinking by giving you an avenue to do all the things you enjoy with people who aren't going to be drinking and help you to understand you don't need alcohol to have fun and enjoy life.He said they don't have any rules to follow or steps to take...it is simply a way to give people a network that will let them continue their life uninterrupted...just without alcohol.The idea is to make not drinking fun...not a job.

He says up front it doesn't work unless the person has already decided they want to quit and they can't help anyone who is so far gone they simply no longer function and just sit at home drinking but if the person is ready to quit they have a success rate of almost 50%....MUCH higher by orders of magnitude than forced AA.

Even though I have my drinking under control I'm going to check them out the next time I talk to him....he's one of our regular delivery people...I see him at least twice a week.
Sometimes it is hard keeping it under control when you go out with the buddies when you are the only one not drinking so this could be a nice avenue for me.

It's interesting and even though I have my drinking under control I will likely

24 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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met a guy with a cool alcoholism program today (Original Post) backwoodsbob Jan 2015 OP
My drinking is definately a habit. AngryAmish Jan 2015 #1
with me it is very much habit backwoodsbob Jan 2015 #3
this is called an APG, alternative peer group elehhhhna Jan 2015 #4
That is EXACTLY the phrase he used backwoodsbob Jan 2015 #5
positive peer pressure elehhhhna Jan 2015 #14
Cool 99th_Monkey Jan 2015 #2
Is this empirically validated or studied at all? phil89 Jan 2015 #6
I can;t speak for everyone but for me backwoodsbob Jan 2015 #10
I'm around 7 years off the bottle madokie Jan 2015 #7
Cool! rufus dog Jan 2015 #9
I'm loving being sober madokie Jan 2015 #11
Here is my take rufus dog Jan 2015 #8
Well in a roundabout way you nailed it backwoodsbob Jan 2015 #12
ALL expansive claims of success rates of recovery groups/programs should be taken w/ a grain of salt Warren DeMontague Jan 2015 #13
just keep doing what works. we lost another young man in recovery elehhhhna Jan 2015 #15
Sounds like a good idea. Keep doing whatever is working for you. yardwork Jan 2015 #16
Congratulations!!!!! etherealtruth Jan 2015 #18
Getting sober at 18 shows a real commitment. yardwork Jan 2015 #21
Thank you for your encouraging words etherealtruth Jan 2015 #22
Wishes for continued success ... you are winning a ominous challenge etherealtruth Jan 2015 #17
Glad to hear there are popular alternatives to AA GreatGazoo Jan 2015 #19
Whatever works libodem Jan 2015 #20
I went to an AA meeting once with my sister. nilesobek Jan 2015 #23
Whatever works. NaturalHigh Feb 2015 #24


(25,704 posts)
1. My drinking is definately a habit.
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 06:33 PM
Jan 2015

But for the life of me I really do not understand people who cannot do otherwise pleasurable things without booze. I am a pretty serious golfer and play 40-60 rounds a year. I am not great but competitive. I like golf more than beer. So I drink after the round while telling lies with my friends.

Sure there are the 3 or so boozy rounds a year, but who wants to get wasted and drive home?
I only do that when I know someone can drive me home.

Years ago I went to Cubs day game with a friend who was addicted to everything. Nice summer day, Cubs were good that year, what is not to like. I had a softball game that night so I was drinking coke. My buddy, who was supposedly on the wagon, white knuckled through 5 innings and bolted. Later on he told me that he got a handle and an 8 ball.



(6,001 posts)
3. with me it is very much habit
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 06:44 PM
Jan 2015

it just became part of what I did without thinking about it.Stopping on the way home from work and grabbing a six was just part of my daily routine.Stopping to grab 12 on the way to the course simply became part of the golf experience.I didn't think...OH MY GOD I NEED A BEER....it just became part of the experience without thinking about it until it just became part of my daily life.

I think it is interesting having what basically amounts to a new set of friends you can do things with where not drinking isn't something you think about....it simply becomes the habit.



(32,076 posts)
4. this is called an APG, alternative peer group
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 06:53 PM
Jan 2015
we have GREAT success with adolecents in recovery here in Houston.

They participate in them and do aa, outpatient, na, whatever, concurrently.

yay for you. You DID find something that works.


(6,001 posts)
5. That is EXACTLY the phrase he used
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 06:58 PM
Jan 2015


He says his group is very active.Someone may post on their site they have a Sunday morning tee time if anyone wants to go and before it is over with they may call and get three or four tee times.
they have Madden tournaments.
They have their own bowling team in a league.
It's interesting



(19,326 posts)
2. Cool
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 06:44 PM
Jan 2015

I've long believed that AA is an obsolete and ineffective motif for quitting and staying sober, for many of the reasons you cite (guilt-tripping, god-talk, etc.) but also because a core believe associated with this program is announcing to the Universe and to yourself that
"I AM AN ALCOHOLIC, PERIOD" <--This is not exactly what i call positive self-talk, as it freeze-frames me forever more as a sicko boozer.

Good luck with your new start, really hope it works for you.



(1,043 posts)
6. Is this empirically validated or studied at all?
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:03 PM
Jan 2015

Sounds a bit like Rational Recovery. Also, I don't understand the wording about alcohol being a daily part of one's life. Most alcoholics don't drink every day, there are different types of drinkers, binge drinkers, etc. Just curious.



(6,001 posts)
10. I can;t speak for everyone but for me
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:14 PM
Jan 2015

and apparently for many problem drinkers by this groups membership.....drinking simply becomes a habit...a part of your life you just accept without thinking about it.
For me it was stop after work and get a beer to take home....then two...after a year or so stopping and getting a six pack just became something I did without even thinking about it.
Going golfing was a grab a beer or two while there thing...then take a twelve pack with me....then after a while it just without thinking about it became an activity I only did with other people who drink.

Drinking simply became a part of my daily routine.I wasn't someone who got up thinking oh god i need a beer or anything....beer simply became something that became a part of my daily activities.

Like I said in my OP...I got it under control about 18 months ago...I just think this is something I would find interesting.After thirty years of having beer as part of my daily experience it can be hard not drinking when all my buddies are.

I think it's interesting


(51,076 posts)
7. I'm around 7 years off the bottle
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:07 PM
Jan 2015

what made me quit was becoming a grand dad. when I found out I was destined to be a grand father I decided I didn't want my grand child to know her grand pa as a drunk so I bought a bottle of my favorite beverage and put it on a knick knack shelf where I could see I had it any time I just couldn't take it and finally a few months ago I noticed it was gone. My wife decided I didn't need that crutch any longer and threw it out. Had to totally completely change friends to do this though. I kinda miss my old friends but not really cause when I do they're plastered and I don't even want to be around them. After about three days I knew I was home free. it was a habit more than a physical thing for me. Anyways I'm loving my sobriety and no way will I ever go back to being the drunk I once was. I love my grand daughter and thank her for giving me the courage to do what I wanted to do to begin with.


rufus dog

(8,419 posts)
9. Cool!
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:10 PM
Jan 2015

I also pondered the good times I had pounding beers with the boys, then pondered the good times I had not pounding beers. You know what, I didn't have any less good times, just was never the one in the story doing stupid shit.


(51,076 posts)
11. I'm loving being sober
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:19 PM
Jan 2015

I drank so long that when I quit reality was like a high in itself

I'm happy for you too RF
it truly is a good feeling getting a monkey off ones back


rufus dog

(8,419 posts)
8. Here is my take
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:07 PM
Jan 2015

I agree with you on the habit part. But in my opinion it is not true for all. A year ago I went to a support group where the strongly pushed AA. Some guys in there were drug addicts, porn addicts, and alcohol addicts. After a few nights it hit me, some of these guys would get up and HAVE to have a drink. In my case it was a choice, and a habit. I explained that it wasn't meant to be disparaging, they truly had to fight it where as in my case I only needed to decide not to have a beer. I don't drink and drive, thus no DUI, I simple chose to pick up a six pack and sit on my ass. Bad friggen choice to do all the time. As for golf, never have one while playing, hard enough to get a decent score, let alone dealing with a buzz.



(6,001 posts)
12. Well in a roundabout way you nailed it
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:25 PM
Jan 2015

Like I said in the OP he said up front this isn't the place for hardcore alcoholics who can't function without alcohol.....this is more about people like me who suddenly realize they have made alcohol a part of their daily lives and just want to not drink anymore.
It's simply a way to give you a new network where you are comfortable not drinking until not drinking becomes your habit.
Like I said in the OP,he told me they aren't a place to help hardcore alcoholics who can't function without a drink.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
13. ALL expansive claims of success rates of recovery groups/programs should be taken w/ a grain of salt
Fri Jan 30, 2015, 07:25 PM
Jan 2015

And that includes the claims of 12 step/AA advocates. In general, statistical studies (while hard to come by) generally put long-term sobriety success rates for all methods, including the 12 steps as well as "quitting on your own", at a ceiling of about 10% or so.

So I'd be surpised if ANY group had come up with some new, "magical" formula that gets alcoholics a 50% recovery rate.

Bottom line is, one size does not necessarily fit all and people seeking sobriety should know that. For some people AA and the 12 steps are a good fit, for others Rational Recovery and for others secular groups like SOS or LSR. Other people DO work it out on their own, not everyone needs a 'group'.

I think it's great any time any person or group of people find other avenues to enjoy life instead of existing in the rut that is active addiction to something like alcohol. Also I supect that you'd find that many groups- be they AA or secular groups- do develop or try to develop enjoyable activities amongst themselves... the idea that long-term sober people aren't out having fun isn't borne out, in my experience. The people who haven't figured out how to have fun generally don't stay sober.



(32,076 posts)
15. just keep doing what works. we lost another young man in recovery
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 09:31 AM
Jan 2015

(20) to suicide yesterday. Devastating.


(62,449 posts)
16. Sounds like a good idea. Keep doing whatever is working for you.
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 09:55 AM
Jan 2015

I will have fifteen years sober this April. AA worked for me in the early years. Like you, my drinking was mostly due to a bad habit. I'd tried to quit on my own and failed. Picking up a white chip in AA gave me the reason I needed not to go back and have to pick up another one. I just never drank again, and after awhile I changed my habits.


(22,165 posts)
18. Congratulations!!!!!
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 10:13 AM
Jan 2015

Your story and others give me great hope (my 18.5 year old is an alcoholic, was in treatment and has been sober for 1.5 years .... you truly give me great hope)


(62,449 posts)
21. Getting sober at 18 shows a real commitment.
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 08:56 PM
Jan 2015

I was 40 before I admitted to myself that I had a drinking problem and couldn't quit on my own.

Your son or daughter has made a real commitment. I know several highly successful professionals who got sober in their teens. They're middle-aged now and never went back to using.


(22,165 posts)
17. Wishes for continued success ... you are winning a ominous challenge
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 10:10 AM
Jan 2015

what you are doing is working ... wishes for a long sober life.


(3,937 posts)
19. Glad to hear there are popular alternatives to AA
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 10:17 AM
Jan 2015

My ex struggled with alcohol and that was my first exposure to AA. It seems like somehow AA became the one-size-fits-all go-to for alcoholism without any validation or tracking of its results. Seemed like a lot of faith based stuff, a lot of focus on shaming and guilt and a big emphasis on sitting in a room telling and listening to stories (that will allegedly be kept in confidence by all in the room -- yeah sure). I am distrustful of any treatment that can't or doesn't quantify its results. The old saying "you can't manage what you can't measure" comes to mind.

They call alcoholism a disease but if any other disease affected 28% of the population there would be more pressure and effort to find an effective treatment or cure. I can't imagine people saying "oh you have cancer? well first shame on you for your moral failings. Obviously you haven't put enough faith in God and need to sit in a church basement and talk about how you got cancer." !?

Alcoholism is too easy and too common not to have more options for those who struggle with it. One size does not fit all and we as a society should have a better grip on what works versus what is a waste of time.


(19,288 posts)
20. Whatever works
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 10:21 AM
Jan 2015

It's fabulous to have a viable alternative . Nobody wants to feel judged or be lectured to.

My dad was an atheist and managed to work the program for 30 years. I think he used the power of the group as his higher power. He may have liked this more cerebral approach better. It would have appealed to his intellect.


(1,423 posts)
23. I went to an AA meeting once with my sister.
Sat Jan 31, 2015, 09:53 PM
Jan 2015

I was informed by a young woman that she was being forced to go by the court. She said she didn't care what the court said. She was not going to quit drinking or doing meth. She was only there because she had to.

I was also told that AA meetings were a great place for men to prey on vulnerable woman and that it was the go-to place to score some oxys or pills of any kind.

I drink quite a bit but am hesitant to try AA after that. Thanks for the thread backwoodsbob.


(12,778 posts)
24. Whatever works.
Sun Feb 1, 2015, 05:20 AM
Feb 2015

I have an uncle who quit in AA. Other people haven't been as successful. If it works, great, go with it.

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