Treatment centers abound, yet their effectiveness is not as great as going to meetings and working an AA program. Why don't treatment centers have a better record?
Blessings, with 29 years in AA, Jai
P.S. Yes, I am going to answer this question myself in a few days!
The question has been closed for the following reason "Question is off-topic or not relevant" by IQ Moderator 30 Dec '13, 18:33
AA successfully employs the model pioneered by Dale Carnegie: Human beings are attracted to a forum where individuals openly share what they've been doing since the last meeting, whether breakthrough, breakdown, or same-old/same-old. We like to see and hear those to whom we can relate, and over time, we approach relating to anyone to whom we see/hear repeatedly.
answered 23 Jun '10, 13:02
I promised long ago that I would answer this question myself, and promptly forgot...I apologize for this!
Bill W. and Dr. Bob were the founders of AA. Bill W. knew he had a terrible problem with alcohol, but just could not stop drinking. He traveled as a salesman, which made it worse. The nights were lonely and empty and he found it hard to keep out of the bars. One night, he was tempted to drink, and he called a minister, asking if he knew of an alcoholic who needed help. Bill did this out of sheer desperation- it was either help somebody else, or drink. The man the minister referred Bill to was Dr. Bob. The two talked for hours, and AA was born.
I will not go into all the details of the growing pains of this fledgling group- you can read these for yourself in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and other books put out by AA. But the key to sobriety seemed to be one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic. Some sort of magical connection is made between alcoholics who share their stories with each other. A person can now get a degree in Alcoholism Treatment without actually being an alcoholic, and these people can and do help. But there is nothing like sharing all the "down and dirty" stuff with another person who has suffered what you have suffered. You would not believe the laughter and even the tears that happen at an AA meeting, especially the laughter.
Now, we do not just sit around and tell stories about the "old days". We call those "drunkalogues". There are special meetings where a particular person is featured who tells his or her story. But most meetings concentrate on working the steps of AA, and trying to conquer our selfish and other negative tendencies that might trigger a relapse.
Yes, AA is spiritual. We believe that it takes a Power greater than ourselves to restore us to sanity. But for newcomers, we just tell them about how alcohol seems to take away any self-control we think we may have, and how it makes our lives totally unmanageable.
The magic of AA is unreproducible. There are other methods for quitting drinking, but AA is by far the champ.
Of course, this is AA from just my point of view, but it works for me.
If you have a problem with alcohol, open your phone book, and call. Help is just around the corner.
Please remember that this is just one opinion of one AA member. Also, remember to respect my anonymity. I felt that sharing this information was important enough to include it on the Inward Quest site. After all, as I said, AA is a spiritual way of life.
Many blessings, Jai
I would imagine because the AA meetings feature local people, more camaraderie, and are led by other attendees. In other words, all attending the AA meetings are "in it together". And these are people you may see while shopping, taking a class, or whatever. I believe that gives more motivation to help each other. Also, there is no profit involved, only the purpose of healing and maintaining sobriety.
At treatment centers, by nature, they must be profit driven. Meetings are led by professional people who may or may not have ever been addicted, so some may not fully understand. Plus you would be attending meetings there, with people from all over the country, whom you would likely never see again.
I would think these are just a few of the reasons AA meetings have good success.
answered 09 Feb '10, 21:16
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