Alcoholism & Alcoholics Anonymous: Willpower or Disease?

I realize that my discussion of alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous groups and personal responsibility may offend some people. All I ask is that you read it with an open mind and consider the ideas presented and the science behind them. If you have a problem with alcoholism, you need to get treatment and take control of your life- just do it the right way.

Alcoholism is a confusing condition, even for those who are intimately familiar with it or perhaps even suffer from it. Organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous claim that alcoholism is a disease and that humans are powerless to deal with it without the assistance of supernatural forces. The generally accepted definition for alcoholism is “people who continue to consume alcoholic beverages even when it negatively affects their health and the health of those around them.” My life has been affected by alcoholism; my mother was an alcoholic and drug addict, though she has been successfully clean and sober for several years. She has said that being free of drugs and alcohol is due to the supernatural assistance of God and God’s earthly messengers (Alcoholics Anonymous). I know many other people who consume alcohol with and without problems and I myself consume alcohol. Based on my observation, experiences and review of scientific studies, I have come to the conclusion that:

Alcoholism is almost NEVER a disease, but is caused by a lack of self control and will power. Alcoholics Anonymous success rate shows it is not as effective a form of treatment as others available.

I know that that is a big statement and a lot of readers probably are angry, but I simply ask you to listen to what I have to say to back up such a strong claim.

My first statement, that alcoholism is almost never a disease but demonstrates a lack of discipline is probably the most controversial idea. The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, even stated that alcoholism is more comparable to a malady than a disease. Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous used the idea that alcoholism is a disease to fight the commonly held belief that obsessive consumption of alcohol can be cessated by willpower alone. Success combating alcohol, according to Alcoholics Anonymous, can only be achieved through absolute abstinence from booze through the power of God. So what makes me say alcoholism is not a disease?

Alcoholism is not a disease. Cancer, HIV, herpes, smallpox and Alzeimers are diseases. Going to a bar and ordering a martini is not a disease. A person must make a conscious decision to go buy alcohol and then lift that glass or bottle of alcohol to their lips and drink. Nor does that fact that it can become habitual make it a disease. The fact that I make picking my nose a habit does not make nose picking a disease. Even the fact that alcohol is a drug and can be physically addicting does not make it a disease. Unless there is a universally recognized mental health condition causing the person to be unable to control their consumption of alcohol (mental retardation, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.), that person can apply their willpower, discipline and self control to simply not drink to excess or not drink at all.

People that I have met who claim to “alcoholics” suffering from “alcoholism” all suffer from a distinct lack of will power in other areas of their lives. Usually alcoholism is not their root problem; their lack of self control is. Learning to discipline oneself is the hardest thing for any human to do, but it is a big part of what makes us human. To blow off your social responsibility and make conscious decisions to do wrong and claim that those decisions are a disease is cowardice. I am a flawed person, but when I consciously make a decision to do wrong, I will take responsibility for it. People who claim to be alcoholics unable to control themselves are the same people who don’t take responsibility when they hurt people.

Since people who refuse to take responsibility for their drinking blame it on a disease, what do these “alcoholics” claim is the cure? Something else that can’t be measured and is off limits to criticism in society- RELIGION. “Alcoholics” have banded together to form a religious cult so they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. This cult is called Alcoholics Anonymous. Although, perhaps cult is the wrong word for a group over two million people strong… I think it has reached the hallowed status of socially accepted Religion.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult of Cowardice

Ok, ok, I am exaggerating when I call Alcoholics Anonymous a cult. Alcoholics Anonymous is a national organization of informal groups that try to get alcoholics to abstain from alcohol consumption. Alcoholics Anonymous bases it’s philosophy on 12 steps rooted in religion. Alcoholics Anonymous twelve steps are listed below:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. Surrendering responsibility for ones own actions is a fundamental act of cowardice.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Claiming that religion can save us from something they don’t want to take responsibility for.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Except for the most basic moral check: Recognizing ones owns action and taking ownership of them.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. By asking God to get rid of your problems, you are saying that it is not your fault… and if you fail again, you couldn’t help it. God just didn’t help out enough.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Finally some responsibility taken.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. SPREAD THE FAITH!!! Just like every other religion, this one holds a clause to propagate it’s own numbers.

As you can see above, Alcoholics Anonymous groups purposely shunt responsibility for their drinking away from themselves and on to a supernatural being. Once their accountability for what they have done is gone, “alcoholics” can feel better about themselves and what they have done. After all, getting drunk or high and hurting people isn’t my responsibility… My DISEASE made me do it! Right? The obvious flaws in such thinking lead to further harm to the person and society since they still have not taken personal responsibility for their consumption of alcohol.

Below is a video discussing the Alcoholics Anonymous groups and their fundamental problems.

To be fair, here is a video advertisement for Alcoholics Anonymous groups below:

What are some other problems with the success of Alcoholics Anonymous groups?

An internal report done by Alcoholics Anonymous itself in 1989 discovered that of “alcoholics” who attended Alcoholics Anonymous groups for the first time, only 19% stayed for one month and a shockingly low 5% stayed after 12 months. That means that 95% of people who have problems with their alcohol consumption, did not bother sticking with Alcoholics Anonymous groups.

Alcoholics Anonymous groups also have a very significant issue with abuse among their ranks. Alcoholics Anonymous works by pairing a newly joined “alcoholic” with a sober veteran mentor. However, Alcoholics Anonymous uses no criminal screening, restrictions or vetting in determining who get paired with who. As a result, “Thirteenth-stepping” has become a major problem; it is the practice of targeting new Alcoholics Anonymous members for sex and dating. Based on surveys that have shown wide abuse of these relationships, chemical dependency treatment providers now recommend that vulnerable people with histories of sex abuse join single-gender only support groups.

Watch this video interview of Dr. Stanton Peele on the disease theory of alcoholism. He points out fundamental problems with the basic ideas forced down drunks throats by Alcoholics Anonymous groups.

Court Rulings on Alcoholics Anonymous Groups

in 1996, the United States Supreme Court ruled that inmates parolees and probationers cannot be forced to attend religious based programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous groups or others. Forcing prisoners to attend such programs is forcing those same prisoners into a religious cult. Thank God for the separation of Church and State.

Another very important court ruling has found that internal communications between members of Alcoholics Anonymous groups is NOT covered under client, patient or clergy privileges and AA members can be forced to testify against one another in court. Although Alcoholics Anonymous members promise not to share a confidence, the courts do not honor that promise.

Alcohol Calculator: How to tell your Blood Alcohol Content Level:

My criticism of Alcoholics Anonymous groups and their philosophy of not taking responsibility or using self control does not mean that I do not advocate safe and responsible use of alcohol.

When drinking, you should always follow these rules:

  • Do not drink more than you know you can handle.
  • Always take full responsibility for your actions, drunk or sober.
  • Do not mix alcoholic beverages and any other drugs, even caffeine. Doing so can be hazardous for your health.
  • A person who is drunk CANNOT give consent to have sex. You can go to jail if you have sex with someone who is incapacitated because of alcohol intoxication.

Please use the two alcohol calculator charts below as a rule of thumb only. Alcohol affects different people in different ways and having any alcohol in your system when operating a car has the potential to be dangerous.


100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
0 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 ONLY SAFE DRIVING LIMIT
1 .04 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 .02 .02 IMPAIRMENT BEGINS.
2 .08 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 .03 .03
3 .11 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06 .05 .05 DRIVING SKILLS SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED.
4 .15 .12 .11 .09 .08 .08 .07 .06
5 .19 .16 .13 .12 .11 .09 .09 .08 LEGALLY INTOXICATED.
6 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09
7 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11
8 .30 .25 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13
9 .34 .28 .24 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14
10 .38 .31 .27 .23 .21 .19 .17 .16

Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking.
* One drink is equal to 1¼ oz. of 80-proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer, or 4 oz. of table wine.
**ALL states have a .08 BAC per se law
The final one took effect in August of 2005.


90 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240
0 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 ONLY SAFE DRIVING LIMIT
1 .05 .05 .04 .03 .03 .03 .02 .02 .02 IMPAIRMENT BEGINS.
2 .10 .09 .08 .07 .06 .05 .05 .04 .04 DRIVING SKILLS SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED.
3 .15 .14 .11 .11 .09 .08 .07 .06 .06
5 .25 .23 .19 .16 .14 .13 .11 .10 .09
6 .30 .27 .23 .19 .17 .15 .14 .12 .11
7 .35 .32 .27 .23 .20 .18 .16 .14 .13
8 .40 .36 .30 .26 .23 .20 .18 .17 .15
9 .45 .41 .34 .29 .26 .23 .20 .19 .17
10 .51 .45 .38 .32 .28 .25 .23 .21 .19

Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking.
* One drink is equal to 1¼ oz. of 80-proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer, or 4 oz. of table wine.

REMEMBER: Alcohol consumption affects different people in VASTLY different ways. One person could be fully functional after many drinks while another could be incapacitated by just one. BE CAREFUL when consuming alcohol!!!!
Alcoholism demotivational poster

Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

64 thoughts on “Alcoholism & Alcoholics Anonymous: Willpower or Disease?”

  1. to who ever you are i stated drinking at age 10 and and i must say you have no idea whatsoever the concept of aa or a higher power i was introduced to aa in 1972 and did not stay sober but evertime i went to aa i DID STAY SOBER!!!!!!!!!! only when i got away from our concepts and beliefs did i not.. it seems obvious to me that you have no idea what alcoholism is maybe you should do a little more research because when i drink or take a drug there is no such thing as WILL POWER untill i end up in jail phch ward or the hopital and turn things over to A GOD of my understanding do things get better..i havent had a drink or drug for awhile now and its not because of a cult its because of the principle of alcoholics anoymous which are also the same principle this nation was founded on ONE NATION UNDER GOD not some nut like you

  2. As a consequence of attending 4 meetings, two of them with new young female alcoholic and another with a female recovering “user” presumably drugs of some kind, I have elected to blow the whistle on A.A. for its deliberate neglect to act upon the medical needs of such persons. Both individuals are in dire need of medical help by a physician, not groups who are stuck on their past.

    I made this report that Alcoholics Anonymous has many problems that the State of California Drug and Alcohol Department should become aware.

    1) AA does nothing to direct “new members” to appropriate medical personnel or organizations to address their possible withdrawal symptoms if the member is going to go “cold turkey.” In just 4 visits to varied A.A. meetings in the Santa Clara County, I discovered two women, in desperate need of medical attention due to their abuse of alcohol or drugs or both.

    2) AA does not provide any medical information whatsoever about the biological facts concerning alcohol abuse. Thus, it cultivates rationalizations such as “I have an allergy to alcohol” to account for their long time belief that an allergy caused them to drink uncontrollably. There is no such allergic condition, where a human body produces chemicals specific to fight an allergy.

    3) AA is an evangelistic society, not a neutral non-sectarian society. It evangelizes God as an alcoholics redeemer and does not question the idea of a God. It pushes a concept that God is responsible for their recovery, not the individual. For A.A. it is a SUPREME BEING, a higher power, a God, that wants them to do abstain from alcohol consumption, and will give them GRACE, a blessing to do so. God wants this or that for them.

    Instead of supporting members for their reality, they read and recant their old drinking traumas. They compound and relive their past lives as drinkers rather than staying away from trauma.

    4) AA does nothing to promote physical health and well being. Its members are addicts of all kinds, tobacco’s many toxins including the most addictive substance, nicotine, foods, such as sugars, and possibly cannabis, now that allegedly it is legal. Many attendees, at the meetings are disheveled, unshaven, obese in many cases, not all, bruised and some display the signs of bulimia (blackened nail of the third right hand middle finger) – in conjunction with being underweight.

    In conclusion, Family Law, Criminal Drug Diversion and Traffic Criminal Courts that concern itself with DUI offenders are mistaken and ill advised to order offenders into AA as part of the jail diversion program. They are mistaken to believe that Alcoholics Anonymous will provide the necessary group support which alcohol and drug abusers need to examine their motivations for becoming chronic and dependent substance abusers. Most of the drug users I witnessed did not in any way appear to be alcoholic; they offended drugs and in doing so, they were caught by the criminal justice system. That criminal justice system as part punishment, removed their children from them.

    It seemed that one woman after the other stood up and addressed the AA group as if speaking to a Judge in Court, pleading that “the program works.” and then more to the issue about hoping to get a job.

    Alcoholics Anonymous is not a psychology group; it is a religious group pushing – without tolerance – religious dogma, not ideas or philosophy but intolerance.

    At the conclusion of one meeting where I attempted to make contact with a young woman with serious alcohol toxicity symptoms, and advise her to seek a doctor, the other members, female in Palo Alto, an affluent group, obstructed me from doing so.

    A “member” attacked me verbally for stating that I was a Buddhist, with years of training, and that Buddhists do not believe in God, a god or any gods. I stated a refrain of a Buddhist Teacher who was hired by George Lucas in the Stars Wars Trilogy. The phrase was “the force is with you.” Mr. Lucas changed it and other Tibetan words, to MAY THE FORCE be with you. I make no claim to enlightenment, but I do not want to say the Lords prayer twice in a meeting, when I am not a Christian. Outside after ridiculing me, she told me not to come back.

    I called the A.A. NY Office to report the above but they were hostile to me. They refused 1) to identify themselves 2) to listen to me that they as an organization violate the Ralph and Unruh Act which prohibits discrimination based on religion and by hostile acts committed by an AA “member” against a person, me, of another “faith.” The woman who verbally attacked me, stated that I should not come back, and then struck at my face, her raised-middle finger after I stated that this AA group violated the law.

    A.A. shields itself as a no organization – organization. It colors itself as a gray quasi organization in order to not regulate, and has evolved into a purely, sectarian, group think organization. It believes that its policies of anonymity immunizes itself against scrutiny, evaluation, change or review by outside agencies that rely upon it as a tool to prevent “relapses” or to enforce alcohol abstinence.

    In this regard, I am a whistle blower. That is my role and general function. I am proud to be a Buddhist, it was not easy for me to be a Buddhist, but being Buddhist means, I take responsibility for everything, though others may hurt and injure me intentionally, how I proceed after injury, insult, obstruction, delay, or loss determines my connection to my spirituality.

    The relief KEY in Buddhism, that allows the spirit to flow, is the belief that everything is impermanent. all of it, and that you can never separate the bad from the good. Good and bad are continuous.

    The other thing Buddhism instructed me about is groups and cults, and that a group is a dangerous thing because it can go along operating with sets of delusions, and without reference to individual’s identities, needs and their perceptions, which in fact conflict.

    A group can go to a friendly neutral happy, cheery, cooperative meeting type to a nasty back stabbing, friction and fur flying everywhere, gossip mongers, quickly if rules of conduct are not established.

    Buddhists could never become communists, it is not a collective religion, essentially everyone is on their own but it helps to meditate with others just like exercising together.

  3. The belief that “alcoholism” is a dark hole of magnetized addiction that originates in genes is wrong.

    The “tendency” towards alcohol abuse and dependency is polygenetic, more than one gene, not just a gene from a Dad or two genes, one from Dad another from Mom.

    You know in Europe, drinking is alcoholic. In Germany, men drink at the dinner table in a restaurant, soused from many large – very large glasses of beer – more than a 6 pack, in 2 hours max, while eating and smoking at the table coughing, near their kids. All of Europe drinks daily.

    It is cultural. Two glasses a day of wine totaling 13 oz, 4 times a week is defined as maintaining alcoholism if you are a woman.

    America just does not know how or processes alcohol differently. In Japan, though, workers start work intoxicated and barely are able to stand, because they drank the entire night before together.

  4. Who cares how people become sober as long as they do. If only a few are successful with AA that is a blessing (can I say that) for them. I think there seems to be alot of anger towards those who do not follow a more structured so called scientific approach to becoming sober. I think different strokes for different folks would work well here. May be the author should lighten up a little.

  5. AA is not a religious affiliation. It becomes a spiritual way to deal with life which is completely different from what an alcoholic in active addiction is used to living. The old way of thinking and acting didn’t work so to get sober and stay that way you must find a new way to think and act. When we are “out there” we tend to think that we are invinsible, almost God-like. If we are blessed enough to find AA we find out that yes, there is a God, and WE are NOT IT. As far as taking responsibility for our actions go, we absolutely do! Thats why we do a fourth step which is designed for us to find our part in how we hurt others and why we drank. Then it step five we tell another person all the things that WE did wrong.We ask for God to remove our shortcomings because if we don’t change the way we think and behave we are headed for relapse.In step eight we make amends to everyone that we hurt while drinking. We continue to make amends by not drinking again a day at a time.And in step twelve we carry the message of how we got sober to others and hope that they get it. I didn’t go through each and every step. I don’t think it would matter anyway. Alcohol is only a SYMPTOM of what is really wrong with an alcoholic. I know that when I began to drink alcoholically, I did it because I became obsessed with the confidence that alcohol gave me. I had never experienced confidence before. Now thanks to my higher power and AA, I have learned through the twelve steps that I can live and wonderful life sober.I share my experience with others because I know what it’s like for that shit to have you under it’s thumb. There are a lot of things that I don’t understand, but I try to keep an open mind. If you are not an alcoholic, if you have never experienced the phenomenon of craving, or the addict voice that tells you, “this time will be different. You can have one,” only to find yourself lying in an alley beat-up with no recollection of it, please don’t judge. Scientist can’t even explain it, so what the hell could you possibly know? You will be in my prayers.

  6. The view of AA as an ‘alibi club’ is clever, and anyone with an aversion to AA and it’s message would be tempted to see it in that light. My own experiences with AA don’t support that view, I don’t see a cult of victimhood there, I see people courageously facing up to and taking ownership of the terrible things they’ve done. If some AAs have misunderstood the concepts of powerless and unmanageablity and taken refuge behind their faulty reasoning, that doesn’t negate or devalue the message when it’s applied correctly.

    The bad that we have done to ourselves and others during our drinking ‘careers’ are completed things. We can’t change anything about them, they happened, and all we can do now is learn to live with them. We do that by facing up to them, accepting the consequences, and making amends as best as we can, and then we MOVE ON. What really offends people, whether this is about AA, or treatment, or pschoanalysis, is the idea that a rapist or a murderer or whoever, can reach a place in their life and in their thought processes where they have accepted what they’ve done and sought to forgive themselves for it. We naturally tend to want bad people to suffer terribly for their wrongs until the ends of their lives.

    Of course, in AA, like in society generally, most of us aren’t rapists and murderers. The majority of us are/were self centred, irresponsible and uncaring people, and this is underlying psychological condition which the AA program treats, and of which our drinking is the most obvious and problematic symptom.

    And dude, seriously, to raise the spectre of sexual predation in our little ‘cult’ is specious in the extreme. Sexual exploitation is a human nature problem, not an AA problem, and it happens wherever human beings gather and organize, whether that organization is a worldwide church or a local Rotary club. You compromise your credibility when you include it, your argument takes on a shrillness and tends towards irrelevance. Unfortunately, some who would benefit from what AA has to say to them will be deterred by the insinuations you make.

    So, go, and sin no more ! God bless, and the best of luck with whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish here.

  7. Well your statement about us alcoholics thsat we banded together so we don’t take resposibilty for our actions, you are wrong there as, then you state in step 8 that we made a list of persons we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them all, you say finally some responsibility taken. I have done things when I blacked out and have no memory of what happened and have made amends to them, I don’t go to AA to make amends, I go to AA so I don’t pick up another drink and black out again and then maybe kill somebody being a drunk driver. I cannot drink because once I start I cannot stop til I black out or pass out and i don’t want anyone to be hurt because of my drinking. I must continue to go to AA for the rest of my life, God willing, should I take another drink.

  8. It is not at all “specious” to raise the subject of sexual expolitation in AA. This is a very legitimate concern, given the anonymity and lack of accountability within AA. In the UK, Alcoholics Anonymous admitted in 2000, in a memo sent to all its meetings and susequently leaked to the press, that AA had “the potential to become a breeding ground for predatory behaviour”. See below for the relevant article about this in the Guardian newspaper:
    More recently in the USA there was newspaper and media coverage of a scandal involving the Midtown AA group in Washington:

    The above are just two of the most widely-publicised instances of the press drawing attention to cause for concern that AA may not be the safe haven vulnerable people seeking help are encouraged to think it is. There are many more individual cases of serious crimes, including murder, rape and fraud with an AA connection reported in newspapers on an almost daily basis.

  9. I agree with much of what you say, but do not agree with the court ruling and blog’s comments below:

    Court Rulings on Alcoholics Anonymous Groups in 1996, the United States Supreme Court
    ruled that inmates parolees and probationers cannot be forced to attend religious based
    programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous groups or others. Forcing prisoners to attend such
    programs is forcing those same prisoners into a religious cult. Thank God for the separation
    of Church and State.

    There seems to be a real confusion in our society between”religion” and “spirituality”. Religion is described as “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion”
    “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

    ” Higher Power” (a word coined by AA) is a spiritual-based concept and is defined as: “of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature” or “of or pertaining to spirits or to spiritualists; supernatural or spiritualistic.”

    AA asks that you seek a higher power. This does not mean you have to become a Buddhist, Christian, Jew, and many in the group are highly against organized religion. It means you look for something outside yourself, spiritual or higher power, for help. You could make the bamboo plant in your back yard, your dog, or a feather your higher power for that matter (although one might question your sanity).

    While one could say that AA is somewhat of a religion in that it follows the definition above of “usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs”, it does not really fall under a true religious body governed by a church.

    Nor does it attempt to explain “the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe”. It attempts to explain alcoholism as a disease, which I HIGHLY disagree with (as do you). But it is not attempting in any way, shape or fashion how the universe was created.

  10. Hey there Ariel Reuter!
    Are you really an expert on AA, European Culture, Buddhism, genetics, US law etc? You obviously think you are. I think not!

  11. One of his therapeutic journeys lead him to Trabuco College in California, and the friendship of the college’s founder, Aldous Huxley. The author of Brave New World and The Doors of Perception introduced Wilson to LSD-25. The drug rocked Wilson’s world. He thought of it as something of a miracle substance and continued taking it well into the ‘60s. As he approached his 70th birthday, he developed a plan to have LSD distributed at all AA meetings nationwide. The plan was eventually quashed by more rational voices, and a few years later the Federal government made the point moot by making the drug illegal. (That Wilson’s plan was shot down is probably fortunate. LSD is a beautiful thing, but nothing sounds more horrifying to me than a roomful of chain-smoking, frightened, needy drunks tripping their heads off in the basement of the local Y.)

  12. Well at least he didn’t drink, as that is AA’s motto, try to carryn the message to the lcoholic that still suffers, there will be no dicussion of drugs going on here, Kind of like Dr. Bob strung out of opiates.

  13. New members away from a drink are usualy very hostile…against anyone who is trying to help..been there..a.a.has been my only option in staying away from a drink….I am a greatfull alchaholic without a drink…

  14. yep, your right thirteenth stepping is out there.Started aa in Feb of 2010, but went back out on june and met a guy at a bar we’ll call ray who claimed to be an alcoholic and i told him i had been to meetings. we went home and screwed. later on he moved in with me, lied to me, had another life in lorain, and screwed with a couple of other women when we got into a fight. we just recently got back together and went to an aa meeting, his home group, and on the way there he says, im not going to listen to any aa member tell me how to live my life and that i should not take everything they say as truth. he does a good act when it comes to aa and it seems that his friends assist in this behavior.

  15. I totally agree with your statements, yes I’m angry for losing my wife to AA but she wouldn’t listen when I warned her that she was being brainwashed into believing that she was helpless in front of her DESEASE. AA was just a means to use the support from older members in order to make herself feel better and now she has crossed the dreaded 13th step and has converted to total christianity. I believe that AA may be good for a person looking for a way to start the process of stopping to drink but not a solution. WILLPOWER and the strong desire to stop WITH the help of people from time to time is still the best option. Quit drugs and smoking without the help of any meds. Even went to see what AA was but turned that down pretty quick when I heard the phrase ,”You have accepted that you are powerless”. Not for me

  16. Hmm. I have a been a sober member of AA for 7 years after drinking away fellowships, relationships and a clean driving record. I must say that many of the things that bug you about AA, bug me as well. I choose to only occasionally try to address these problems within the organization. That top 10 video was especially cathartic. I think, however, many organizations develop corruption, and cult-like overtones while still being helpful organizations- that this is not a black a white issue. Do I wish AA was more secular? Sure. Do I wish that the all or nothing thinking (if you don’t go to meetings then you die!) is a bit counter productive? Yep. But, thankfully, the rooms are big, and there are many of them. I have learned a bit of humility, and at my weekly meeting, I get a chance to help someone, even if only to listen to their crazy stories for the nth time. I really appreciate the article, and I hope there will be in the future less dogmatic forms of group therapy to help us all make informed, choices about using substances and the aftermath of long-term compulsive behaviors. Until then, I will stay in AA, and try not to focus on the annoying parts but rather on the opportunities to help others.

  17. The alcoholic experiences fear on a different level than his fellow man. When we drink we generally we drink to get drunk and like the effects produced eventhough it can be harmful and we have personal experience and evidence of this. When 8-9 people at work said they liked you and you did a good job….that one that either said your were a sorry ass or nothing at all is the one we will focus on. Overly concerned with me, whats gonna happen to me, what about me, what about mine…envy jealousy self-pitty resentment. FEAR….DRIVEN by 100 forms and self dellusion.

    If mental illness is considered a disease (schizophrenia, clinical depression, bipolar etc) THE ALCOHOLIC IS AN EXTREME case of self will run riot. We blame others for our F’d up lives rather than taking responsibility or we blame our selves for everything. I never had a drinking problem…i drank just fine. Others had a problem with my drinking. Besides…its not about just drinking…its but a symptom of an underlying malady…a spiritual sickness that nothing else can stop but drugs and alcohol (for awhile) more so than psych drugs and psychotherapy.

  18. I read with interest the content of your article and yes, I do support what you are saying. I have been a member of AA for some time but the format and dogma of meetings has not sat well with me for some time. My life isn’t unmanageable now-I’m not hungover in the morning and I’ve not created chaos the previous evening because I choose not to have a drink. no divine spirit has lifted the desire to drink from me-I have done that. If I drink to excess, I know what will happen. If I don’t drink, I know what will happen. I have worked continuosly through my recovery, have not blamed anyone else (socially or spiritually) for my alcoholism and get tired of listening to people asking for their character defects to be removed- some very psychologically disturbed people who really need help not god.

  19. im just plain old addicted to alcohol…i try and quit, but alcohol haunts me all day and night. I know I need to…Ive tried AA..but I didnt like what they were tellin me…..seemed like assholes to me. I know I have a problem, but I dont know where else to go…I have been able to go a week or 2 without a drink..but every night I go crazy….I sit there, sober…..alone. feels like theres point…but i know im gonna die this way….it feels like my mind is crazy when its sober, i cant handle it. seems like alcohol centers me, and makes me normal again….but i know that its bullshit, and sounds dumb…alcoholism has made me lose my fiancée, and all of my friends. And I know I need to quit….but the addiction is overpowering. Its all I think about. Ive even tried distracting myself wth hobbies. bllaaa blaa….doesnt matter….whiskey is on my mind….24-7, i dont even remember how this all began…but i agree that AA is bullshit. I willingly joined, kept an open mind….but, they werent my kind of people, I guess. I guess no one is my type of person. I feel like a ghost. I dont even exist. I just drink. never sleep. I try an help myself, but the thoughts are always there….alcohol is me. I dont even eat food. it all tastes gross, and makes me sick. The whiskey soothes my stomach, and makes me feel good again. Makes angels sing when its going down, it feels. I like the cheap stuff. The expensive stuff tastes disgusting to me. I like “Old Thompson”. I like the taste, and the way it makes me. I wish it was illegal…its killing me

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