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Old 07-13-2019, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,707 posts, read 41,991,338 times
Reputation: 50640

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John13 View Post
You forgot adherence to a fictional god, I'll assume the Christian god. My understanding is that is their focal point. Without that belief I do not think you are welcome.

Their 12 Step program is littered with that nonsense...
Twelve step programs have opened up the options to diverged from this, at this point, culturally. Every one I've been to (clinical study, not as a participant) has emphasized that "higher power" is to be interpreted however works for the individual. It is no longer necessarily emphasized that whatever guiding force a person leans on must be conceptualized as a Christian deity.

The founders of AA founded it on Christian principles...but this is not necessarily the case in its current incarnation. AA meetings are often hosted in church spaces and other nonprofits, because they tend to have better space-sharing options than traditional rental agreements, and often offer space at a minimal fee, with 12-step groups that use them contributing in other ways besides traditional rent. But the meetings and groups themselves may or may not be Christian in scope, and are generally not affiliated with the entity that houses them (what with the whole "anonymous" concept).

My spouse was the facilities and operations manager for a large church complex, the person who handled space usage agreements with community groups, wrote and maintained usage agreements and contracts with vendors and building partners. Several AA groups used meeting rooms in the complex, and two of them were explicitly atheist, and publicly billed themselves as such. AA has greatly expanded in this sense as it has become apparent and obvious that many addicts who seek help are not Christian and/or do not find treatment modalities and support groups of that nature necessary or effective. It has expanded their outreach to be able to loosen the concept of a "higher power" and expand it to be more inclusive of a wider range of participants. Because AA groups are participant run, those involved can make the calls on what they want the slant of the particular group to be.

At this point, participants are indeed welcome regardless of personal spiritual affiliation or lack thereof.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,707 posts, read 41,991,338 times
Reputation: 50640
...and, again, 12-step programs, like any support group or therapeutic approach, are not the most effective means of addressing addictions for all people. But for those who find therapeutic value from the support of peer group, a mentor and built-in accountability, they can be very meaningful. There isn't any one-size-fits- all approach, though, and what's effective depends greatly on the individual.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,707 posts, read 41,991,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
Answering, “So?” implies that you accept my statement but disagree with it being a problem.

AA as a cult/religion is a problem because medical doctors accept AA as a valid treatment for a scientifically proven disease. What other diseases exist where medical doctors prescribe membership in a cult/religion as the “only” cure?
There are numerous published research studies on the effectiveness and lack of effectiveness of AA and similarly modeled peer-led 12-step programs. Research is far from in universal agreement on the therapeutic value of the approach. Like any, it is highly effective for some, not effective at all for others.

I do not know that medical professionals consider AA the "only cure" for alcohol addiction (indeed, it is generally accepted that addictions are not "cured" as a whole, only behaviorally managed). I do know that they are in agreement that complete abstention, however one achieves that, is the most effective means of addressing addiction.
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:34 PM
 
Location: San Diego
1,175 posts, read 428,136 times
Reputation: 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister 7 View Post
I'm the .00001%. I've had a drinking problem my whole life...99.99999% of the time it's kept under control. I don't really drink currently but may have a glass of wine here or there at a wedding or something. If I actually get "drunk" I make sure to avoid booze for a very long time after the one occurrence.

However, if some traumatic or very stressful event occurs I can't go near it because I will start drinking vodka and just not stop. That's my coping mechanism (I have a chemical imbalance), always has been since I was 15.

Now, with the help of my DH and support system, I can avoid alcohol when those "triggers" occur.

I never went to AA nor rehab, I always dried myself out by myself. Wasn't always easy. I always used to "joke" and say, "There are millionaire doctors, lawyers, etc. that can't dry out without help, so why can't I be paid for it??"

When I say "dried out" I mean it was so bad I needed hospitalization, but I was always able to use benzos to ease the withdrawal and avoid the ER. I've had severe withdrawal with the tiny hallucinations (looks like bugs in your peripheral vision), metal mouth, liver and kidney pains, you name it. I'm lucky I survived the DTs I had, if I didn't have xanax I probably would be dead if I didn't go to the hospital.

Alcohol can be the worst poison known to man.
Ding! Whenever I went to the ER and they were able to get my DT's under control, I always asked the physician for a script of Adivan because I knew that "crawling out of my skin" feeling wasn't going to go away magically. Back then I was able to get 30 Adivan's but because of the crackdown of Dr's over prescribing meds it went down to 15. Hey it was better than nothing and I was able to slowly come back to life. And then once I was back on my feet and feeling just fine, I would do it all over again. Its a nasty, vicious cycle that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
223 posts, read 120,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
There are numerous published research studies on the effectiveness and lack of effectiveness of AA and similarly modeled peer-led 12-step programs. Research is far from in universal agreement on the therapeutic value of the approach. Like any, it is highly effective for some, not effective at all for others.

I do not know that medical professionals consider AA the "only cure" for alcohol addiction (indeed, it is generally accepted that addictions are not "cured" as a whole, only behaviorally managed). I do know that they are in agreement that complete abstention, however one achieves that, is the most effective means of addressing addiction.
It would be foolish to consider AA 100 percent of your rehabilitation. It is not a rehab center. It is a place where drunks help other drunks. And are surprisingly successful. While some people find AA and its Blue Book effective, others think the tenets are dated and somewhat silly ... but go to meetings anyway. Take the parts that work for you, leave the rest. AA is a tool. Versatile and flexible. And it should be one of the tools in your toolbox as you take on this massive project in your life.

I remember one veteran at my old blue-collar meeting who used to say, "AA has nothing to do with my sobriety. I come here for the drama and the socializing." Without personal responsibility and resolve, AA can't do much for you. If you choose the path of sobriety, AA meetings can provide plenty of comfort, guidance and companionship along the way.
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,030 posts, read 569,187 times
Reputation: 1533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert&Ripley View Post
Ding! Whenever I went to the ER and they were able to get my DT's under control, I always asked the physician for a script of Adivan because I knew that "crawling out of my skin" feeling wasn't going to go away magically. Back then I was able to get 30 Adivan's but because of the crackdown of Dr's over prescribing meds it went down to 15. Hey it was better than nothing and I was able to slowly come back to life. And then once I was back on my feet and feeling just fine, I would do it all over again. Its a nasty, vicious cycle that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Exact same here, I've been through it well more than once. I wish I never had a sip of alcohol of puff of weed in my entire life, or a pill.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,030 posts, read 569,187 times
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What helps me is never having hard liquor in the house. I would never ask my spouse to deprive himself of alcohol (he's not an alcoholic, but does drink moderately), but I do ask him to stick to wine and never buy vodka.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,669 posts, read 3,715,391 times
Reputation: 8711
My last drink was on the evening of January 8, 1992 - 27 and a half years ago. I haven't had a drink since. AA's track record isn't great, but neither is that of other approaches to sobriety. Most people are going to relapse a few times before they quit. What AA provides is a social network to support your sobriety and something other than drinking to take up your time. If going to meetings and "working" the steps works for someone and keeps them sober, fine. Whatever works. I went to AA meetings for the first year of sobriety, but that was it for me. There are a lot of AA fundamentalists who look at the Big Book as though it were scripture, and view relapses as evidence that the person wasn't "really" working the steps. Contrary to what some at AA meetings will say, not everyone has to go to AA to succeed. I do think having a social network is important - I get mine through church rather than AA meetings.

Some people can moderate their drinking - I don't believe that I would be moderate if I started drinking again. So I abstain completely - I will however cook with alcohol occasionally. But that doesn't mean everyone who has a problem with alcohol can or should do the same. You have to come to know yourself and your limitations - and monitor your responses to a situation. If you're feeling uncomfortable in a location with alcohol or at a party, leave. Find healthier ways to relax and have fun, and stop hanging out with drinking buddies - and understand that someone who would try to talk you into "just one" is not a friend. If you relapse, pick yourself up and keep going. If you have a problem with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. make sure you get treatment and let them know you have a problem with alcohol. And most of all: don't B.S. yourself about your drinking. No excuses. I've made sure my friends all know that I don't drink but I'm OK with their doing so. That's about the extent of what I've taken away from 27 years of sobriety.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
1,030 posts, read 569,187 times
Reputation: 1533
I've never tried AA but every alcoholic I know who has says it's ineffective and/or depressing.

I don't know one person who says it works for them.

Not saying it doesn't work, just saying what I've heard.

I personally don't feel 12 step thing would work for me.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:52 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,333 posts, read 4,891,329 times
Reputation: 21744
In our PC and feel good society, alcoholism has been now referred to as a disease. Give me a break. People have the choice of whether they will take that first drink and whether they are going to have 6 beers and a shot of whiskey. Especially if there is an alcohol problem in your family. People with MS, ALS, cancer, etc. have a legitimate disease that they have no control over.
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