[December 30, 2021] The destruction that alcohol can wrought upon the human body and mind is telling from the lives destroyed. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship where people come together to solve their drinking problems.1 That’s it … simple mission and a reasonable success rate with a program that works.
A good childhood friend often gives me advice on my leadership blog. He said it was best not to write about Alcoholics Anonymous because it scares people. It scares them, he said, because there is a “religious bent” to their program. For today, I’m ignoring his advice and stepping right into it.
Here’s what I like about AA. There are no requirements to participate. Anyone can join who wants to do something about their alcohol problem. Those involved in AA have the single purpose to help alcoholics achieve sobriety; no hidden agendas, no fees, no games … just people helping people.
Don’t let me mislead the reader. The AA program is not easy. In fact, it’s hard, very hard to get off alcohol and stay off. Many drift back to drinking and do so for many reasons. The program doesn’t work for everyone. The claimed success rate is about 75%.
There are 12 steps or set of principles (link here), that when practiced as a way of life, can help the sufferer recover from alcoholism. The book Alcoholics Anonymous (link here) describes the recovery program through stories written by the co-founders and members who found recovery in AA. I recommend the book, which is free (or you can purchase a copy).
I would be remiss if I did not note a long-brewing controversy over AA’s faith-based program and debate over AA’s success rate. Some claim that some of the tenants of the 12-step program have been rejected by science. True enough, the program does not work for everyone. An article (link here) at The Atlantic does a good job of describing the controversy.
AA has been helping alcoholics recover for more than 80 years. As their website says, AA’s recovery program is built on the simple foundation of one alcoholic sharing with another. If your drinking is out of control, AA can help.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” at Amazon (link here).