Thursday, September 18, 2008

A.A. - Cult or Cure?

Alcoholics Anonymous. Narcotics Anonymous. Cocaine Anonymous. Gambling Anonymous. Over Eaters Anonymous. And on, and on, and on...

A.A. has been touted, since it's inception in 1934, as being The Way to quit drinking. It has since expanded to include all kinds of deviant behaviors. (Telephone Scatologia Anonymous?) Every rehab facility that I know of utilizes the 12 Step model. Every person convicted of any crime related to drug or alcohol use or abuse is court ordered, in some way, to attend some form of A.A. (Anyone who has ever been to a meeting knows what the 'green card' is.) Employers send drinking or drugging employees to A.A. as a requirement for continued employment. Parents send children, children send parents and spouses send each other.

There is no shortage of people in "the rooms" as the meeting places are referred to. If we suspect that someone has a substance abuse problem, the immediate and universal advice is, "You need to go to A.A. - get a sponser, work the steps." Social workers, counselors, doctors, nurses, bosses and shrinks use that phrase without thinking. It's like a safe haven in a storm: when all is hopeless and you don't know what to do... push 'em toward A.A.! The cornerstone of the program is that, "It works if you work it..." and if it doesn't work, well, that just means you're not ready. "The program," A.A. veterens say, "will work for you when you're ready. If you're not ready, that's on you. The program always works." Well, maybe they don't say 'always', but the true believers claim a staggering 80 - 90% success rate. Astonishing? YES! Accurate, well...

(to be continued...)


  1. I wonder if there is a 12 step program for me?
    I have an obsession with finding fall foliage in New England... :-) It's really bad... Yesterday for my fix I went walking in my neighborhood from tree to tree looking for a perfect leaf in color... most that had color were chewed up by bugs.. very disappointing... I need help.. :-)

  2. It works if you work it. But it sucks if you don't.

    One day at a time.

    Let go and let God.

    Trust God, Clean House, and Help Others.