Alcoholics Anonymous is by far the largest support group for alcoholics in the world and most people who need help to beat alcoholism do attend it at least for a while. AA and the 12 step world has a large number of devoted, evangelical followers that claim it will work for everyone. Unfortunately it does not, and many people have negative experiences in AA. In the past AA has enjoyed uncritical media support but this is changing. Yesterday there was a piece in the Guardian which discussed 13 stepping which is when newcomer are picked up by long-term members for sex, and there have been critical pieces in the Atlantic and on CBS TV.
People are beginning to realise that there are better solutions than the 1930’s AA solution which has not moved with the times and only suits those that wish to work its religious/spiritual steps. The internet has made the exchange of ideas about addiction easier and new groups are growing in momentum. Other solutions such as the Sinclair Method that has a huge success rate as long as the person complies with the instructions, will hopefully be seen as the first choice for alcoholism treatment in the future.
I asked to Jon to join me on this podcast as he has a lot of experience of AA as he was an active and continually sober member for well over a decade before finding he needed a different type of support. He has his own blog https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com and does talks about AA and recovery which are well worth hearing. We talked a bit about the things mentioned in the Guardian piece and then talked in fairly general terms about the good and bad things that we had encountered in AA. We are both grateful for the support we received and feel that AA helped us, but probably not for the reasons that most people claim. We think it was being part of a sober group that was important, rather than God or the 12 steps, and feel that AA has become stuck in the past. We will hopefully do more about this and are planning to go through the steps of AA in podcasts and discuss them.
For more on this article click here: