Alcohol Anonymous may be better than nothing

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Alcohol Anonymous may help some, but…

Alcohol AnonymousAlcohol Anonymous got its dawning at a meeting in 1934 in Ohio, between an entrepreneur named Bill Wilson and a physician, Bob Smith. “Bill W” and “Doctor. Bob,” as they are now known, were alcoholics.

Wilson had achieved teetotalism mostly through his association with a Christian movement. Smith quit drinking after he met Wilson, whose results inspired him.

Determined to assist other problem drinkers, the guys quickly published what has become referred to as “The Big Book,” which defined their viewpoint, concepts, and techniques, including the now renowned Twelve Step program approach.

Alcohol Anonymous was the book’s official inscription and also became the name of the association that developed from it.

The Big Book

In AA, members meet in communities to assist each other accomplish and preserve abstinence from booze. The meetings, which are free and open to anyone serious about quitting drinking, might consist of reading from the Big Book, sharing tales, celebrating participants’ sobriety. In addition to talking about the 12 steps and styles associated with alcoholism.

Participants are urged to “work” the 12-step program, completely incorporating each stage into their lifestyles before proceeding to the next.

AA targets more than problem drinking; members are expected to correct all problems of character and adopt a new lifestyle.

They are told to pass their personal issues to God – this, of course, is a huge problem if you are an alcoholic atheist.

They are to achieve these challenging objectives without specialist assistance. Absolutely no specialists, psychotherapists or doctors can attend AA sessions unless they, too, have drinking issues.

Does Alcohol Anonymous Work?

Most research studies assessing the efficacy of Alcohol Anonymous are not definitive; for the most part, they connect the duration of involvement with effectiveness in quitting drinking but do not show that the program caused that result. Some of the problems stem from the attributes of AA.

For example, No two AA meetings are the same thing – so how can you really say that AA works or it doesn’t?

Even more, about 40 percent of AA members drop out throughout the first yr (although a few may return), increasing the possibility that individuals who remain may be the ones who are most inspired to improve.

Nevertheless, the results of one properly designed examination called Project Match, published in 1998, suggests that AA can help with the shift to soberness for many problem drinkers.

Within this research study, a team of prominent alcoholism analysts randomly designated greater than 900 problem drinkers to receive one of three therapies over 12 weeks.

The 12 Steps

One was an AA-based treatment called 12-step facilitation treatment that includes exposure to a specialist who helps clients work. An initial couple of the 12 steps and encourages them to attend AA sessions.

The other therapies were cognitive behavioral treatment, which educates skills for coping better with situations that typically trigger backsliding, and inspirational enhancement treatment, which is designed to boost inspiration to cease problem drinking.

The AA-based approach seemed to work and measured up positively with the other treatments. In all three communities, participants were sober on roughly 20 percent of days, typically, before therapy started, and the portion of alcohol-free times increased to about 80 percent a yr after therapy ended. What is more, 19percentt of these subjects were teetotallers during the whole 12-month follow-up.

Because the study lacked a cluster of individuals who got no treatment, however, it does not reveal whether any one of the techniques is superior to leaving individuals to attempt to quit drinking by themselves.

Other research proposes that AA is quite a bit better than getting no help.

In 2006 psychotherapist Rudolf H. Moos of the Department of Veterans Affairs released results from a 16-year study of problem alcoholics who had attempted to quit by themselves or who had sought assistance from AA, professional therapists or, sometimes, both.

Of those who attended a minimum of 26 weeks of AA sessions during the first year, 65 percent were sober at the 16-year follow-up, compared with 32 percent of those who did not participate in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Of the people who got therapy for the same period, 55 percent were abstinent versus 37 percent of those who did not see a specialist – an indicator that seeing a specialist is also beneficial.

These findings might not apply to all problem alcoholics or AA courses, however. Since this study was “natural,” that is, an examination of people who picked their route by themselves (instead of as part of the study), the researchers could not control the exact makeup of the meetings or treatments.

Additionally, the abstinence rates reported may apply only to those with less serious alcohol consumption problems, because the scientists selected individuals who looked for assistance for the very first time, omitting others who had done so in the past.

Different research studies have discovered that a combination of specialist treatment and AA yields better results than either approach alone.

While AA on its own is a little hit and miss there does seem to evidence that combining AA with another therapy could boost the results. The whole becomes bigger than the sum of the parts etc.

The Problem With AA

For the functional alcoholic (like I was) Alcohol Anonymous simply was not an option for me. I did not want to stand up in front of a bunch of strangers and label myself ‘an alcoholic’.

I did not want to accept that I was broken and weak-willed

I did not want to accept that I would be forever more a ‘recovering alcoholic’.

This is why I started my own alcohol addiction program. The Stop Drinking Expert method does not place the blame on the person but rather on the addictive drug that caused the problem in the first place.

If you are ready to stop drinking without AA, dangerous medication or expensive rehab. Click here to get started today.


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Craig Beck - The Stop Drinking Expert

About the author: Stop Drinking Expert - Craig Beck ABNLP. ABHYP. DhP. is an internationally renowned, specialist alcohol cessation coach and quit drinking mentor. Using his experience as a former problem drinker, combined with professionals qualifications, accreditations and practice as an addiction therapist, ICF licensed coach, master practitioner of NLP and master hypnotherapist. Independently respected and rated.Not a substitute for professional medical advice

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