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I am against abuse in addiction recovery meetings. That is why I cannot in good conscience ethically support professional recommendation of Alcoholics Anonymous [AA].
If going AA feels like it’s driving you crazy, you’re not alone.
I am not an alcoholic, and most people exposed to AA do not fit the criteria. [Yet if you ARE honestly struggling in a life/death situation please see a MEDICAL doctor- go HERE now you’ll thank me later- the damaging effects of addictions are real, just like with cigarette smoking.] When I began this blog in 2013, it was grassroots. Doors were shut on the idea anything other than 12-Steps should be promoted on blogs. Now, it’s downright trendy. My blog is a dinosaur by these stadndards. Life goes on- I do and have kept up with other things- here is my main art & design/writing site including all my non 12-step criticism projects since the 1990s.
Like many, AA was presented to me as a specialized support group alternative to therapy. My first exposure to it was when I was 21 years old in 2003 on and off through 2012. It was recommended by professionals. During AA I needed professional help to deal with AA meetings. Despite my concerns about the psychological damage of the literature, I had the audacity to complain AA was incompatible with professional psychotherapy. Whereas psychotherapy is rooted in a motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral, patient-oriented, individualized treatment methods with respect for one’s family history, background and religious beliefs- AA was the opposite. The best thing I ever did was quit AA.
Instead of staying silent, I decided to speak up and share the truth about Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Step methods. This blog will educate the reader about how the steps are ineffective, induce depression, and increase drinking problems. I offer constructive criticism about how AA can improve. I also mention the secular alternatives to AA meetings. But ultimately, the most effective method for treating a drinking problem is to avoid dependence on any support group, whether it’s religious or not. 75% of addicted persons recover without ANY recovery program at all. So if you are currently one of the many people coerced into 12 Step programs, I will be updating my links on how to fight forced mandatory religious meetings on here.
AA is: Misogynistic. Racist. Cult-like adherence to pseudo-religious dogma.
Thanks to pages like this- AA has a voluntary set of rules. The majority of meetings pay no mind to “voluntary” rules regarding membership safety— including sexual harassment. I blame this on the most read books in 12 Step treatment: Alcoholics Anonymous’ 1939 Big Book and The Twelve Steps and The Twelve Traditions (or 12&12). In the former, women are not the alcoholics but the wives expected to stay with abusive alcoholic husbands. In the 12×12, rape is considered an act of lust.
The books perpetuate sexism and misogyny. There’s even a nickname for sexual harassment and preying on newcomers: “The 13th Step.” The main belief of AA is learned powerlessness, or helplessness. That’s antithetical to therapy based in positive psychology. It is a negative-reinforcer. They won’t tell you in AA to seek professional help for your “drinking problem” but I will. You can’t depend on AA to have all the answers, the only answer in AA and that is it.
AA is entrenched in healthcare (treatment facilities often take insurance and Medicaid even though those monies supposedly don’t include teaching patients to use 12 steps). AA is entrenched in the justice system, where judges use attendance as bargaining chips for sentencing.
Professionals do not run AA. No one is trained. AA attracts lawless people as well as recruits from inside prisons. You never know what you’re gonna get.
Too many people are not aware of what Alcoholics Anonymous is. It isn’t ran by medical professionals and it isn’t funded by the US Government. AA says it is SPIRITUAL, NOT RELIGIOUS, but the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th Circuit Courts have ruled that AA is religious or a religion. The Department of Justice deems all 12 Step programs religious and they cannot be funded by the DOJ in part or in whole.
Alcoholics Anonymous, unlike professional led group therapy, is ran by untrained laypeople, who are not screened with background checks. AA secretaries, chairpersons, and sponsors can be anyone; Many US Courts send violent and sexual offenders to the widely available, free, and ungoverned 12 Step meetings. This has ended in tragedy, where children are molested and people have been attacked or murdered by AA members they met at AA meetings.
Shockingly, 75% of US Treatment Centers heavily rely on 12 Step education as the bulk of their rehab program, which means they are charging patients hundreds and thousands of dollars- as well as insurance companies- for a program that is available for free. Despite AA’s 5% success record, the typical prescription for drinking problems continues to be recommendations to 12 Step meetings and 12 Step rehab. More shockingly, nobody seems to care about AA’s lack of success, the higher risk of binge drinking after AA attendance, and AA’s religiousness.
Only Step One mentions alcohol: “Admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.” YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS.
Thank you for visiting my page and be sure to like the Such Unfortunates page on Facebook, too. *Edit 2021: If any facts have changed the past decade please let me know. This page is not my full-time job.