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Old 09-21-2017, 02:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have these two books bookmarked on Amazon to read sometime:

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

It seems to me that the neuroscience-informed treatments are now very different than AA.

Back in the nineties when I was in a support group for abuse survivors, it seemed to me the AA ideas had infiltrated support groups of all kinds, and I found this wildly inappropriate. Then I heard about atheists doing addiction therapy without AA ideas at all, which made sense at the time, and they were getting results. I hope to get a chance to read these books when I get a free moment, and find out how neuroscience is adding to the subject.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You find this with a lot of groups around an issue, medical or not, where the 'big kid' gets a pass. Of course with AA they have yet to explain athiests who recovered without using some mealymouthed explanation. Autism Speaks has all kinds of issues and treats autistic children (and their parents) as unable to do anythings rather than supporting their efforts. Then there is the American Cancer Society ... sure I love relay weekend in SL but hate the fact that they are opposed to vaping, a clear reduction of harm thing if there ever was one.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not really addressed is the fact that, despite what the founder of AA says, in the US we generally DO treat addiction as a moral failing. Even the qualified language that AA uses in describing their unverified success rate discounts those who "didn't really try" or other phrases that put the blame on the person with the problem.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think that anyone who is chronically or seriously ill, is considered to have a character defect. I can't count the number of times that I've heard one person tell another that a friend, family member or co-worker had cancer and the VERY FIRST QUESTION is always "oh my, did she/he smoke/drink/over eat"? Doesn't matter what kind of cancer, because over indulgence is what gives you cancer ... doncha know.

Ultimately, YOU, the victim, ARE TO BLAME by some flaw of character, or some indulgence.

Drug and Alcohol addiction are even worse.

The whole AA experience seemed very creepy cult like to me. My father was in it for awhile and we all went to Al anon. It is a support system and for more social people (like my Mom was) it can be at very of helpful. For less social types it's a nightmare. I'm more of a non-social type so it never did much for me except further isolate me as a family member of an alcoholic.
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 09-21-2017, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I remember that article from when it first came out. As I understand it, there are big difficulties with doing proper evidence-based research on self-help groups like AA, and I'm sure it is a great help and support to its members. But I get very uncomfortable with the way it claims to be the only way of dealing with alcoholism. I don't think something as complex as alcohol dependency (which has all sorts of physical, mental and social components) is susceptible to a one-size-fits-all treatment.

For what it's worth, I suffer from depression, and have done for a long time, and made things a lot worse by self-medicating with alcohol until we finally managed to find the right anti-depressants. After that, my desire to drink was greatly reduced, until my partner died.

At that point, I started drowning my sorrows -- very easy when you live on your own -- until my doctor told me that, while she wasn't being judgemental in any way, it was her professional responsibility to warn me that, if I carried on as I was doing, I would probably be dead within eighteen months or so. If that was what I wanted, she said, that was my decision and she wouldn't stand in my way, but if I didn't want to die quite so soon, then I had to do something about it.

That was all it took. From then on, until treatment for throat cancer made drinking alcohol pretty much impossible for me (even drinking the spirit-based liquid morphine during treatment was very painful), I hardly had anything to drink. I just didn't want to any more -- I'd have the odd glass of wine or beer, but I found I far preferred water or decent tea or coffee.

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Old 09-21-2017, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am an alcoholic and AA is just one of the meetings I went to. There are many different programs out there. There is Women for Sobriety , smart recovery, daytox programs.

For me it boiled down to how badly I wanted to stay sober. When I first quit drinking I went to AA meetings and went out after and bought booze. I don't blame AA for that I blame me cause at the time I wasn't ready to quit drinking and didn't want to quit.

When I got to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired, I went to all these different programs and did a daytox program because I was that desperate to stay sober.

For me these programs helped give me tools to learn to cope with life with out picking up a bottle. To quit drinking is really the easy part to learn to cope and carry on without the booze is even harder. And people fail cause they don't have a plan.

I thank god everyday for all these programs cause i got something from each of them.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm all for whatever works for you. AA worked for my cousin who very nearly drank herself to death.

I am not all for cramming any program down everyone's throats as the one and only way, even to the point that courts can order people to attend. This has to stop. There are a hundred articles and books explaining why, I won't repeat it. People need choices when it comes to recovery, not propaganda and forced attendance to one particular program.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For me these programs helped give me tools to learn to cope with life with out picking up a bottle. To quit drinking is really the easy part to learn to cope and carry on without the booze is even harder.


I can't speak first-hand about being a drinker, but I can about living with one who became sober through AA.

First off, we are both atheists and had no problem with the "god stuff". Your Higher Power can be the Spaghetti Monster or just some vague cosmic force, but in either form it can jolt an alcoholic out of the self-centered perspective that tends to accompany alcoholism. Addictions take a lot of time and focus, so long-time addicts tend to have atrophied social skills and coping mechanisms. One of the most important aspects of the AA program is learning how to care for others and at the same time drawing boundaries. Al-Anon was a lifeline for me in learning how to live with an alcoholic without letting her damage my own life.

Granted, my ex-partner had a big incentive to follow the AA program. Given the state of her liver, another drink would probably have killed her. Her sobriety didn't come soon enough to save our relationship, but it probably added another 20 years to her life.

My father, on the other hand, was a dry drunk, and basically all that meant is that he didn't drink any more. But all the personality issues that went along with having been a drinker were still right there.

I find the scientific evidence in the articles really enlightening when it comes to dealing with cravings, but I'm more impressed when they mix that with the counseling because no matter what the article says, this is not just a medical issue. Complex problems require complex solutions, and until recently AA was the only game in town that at least tried to cover all those bases: drinking, plus what the drinking had done to their life, to their family, to all the people around them and how to grapple with the guilt that comes from being a human wrecking ball.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had a substance abuse problem, and I belonged to NA for almost a year before I grew weary of their preachiness and "give it to God" idea. That's harder for an atheist than giving up drugs or drink.

But I found SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety), which unpinned the religious mantra from the idea of taking personal responsibility and did away with all the praying stuff. Then I was in the company of like-minded individuals, found a sponsor and I've been 15 years sober, now.

I did it myself, with the help of a wonderful sponsor and a group of newfound friends who shared my struggles. I think the latter was far more important than my prayers.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm probably not the best person since I stopped drinking as a crutch on my own, I just woke up one day, realized my problems were not any better from trying to drink them away, and in fact were even worse, and stopped. I -do- drink on occassion, maybe 2 drinks a month, or in six months; I like beer, wine and the harder stuff, not for the buzz, but for flavours, and for the sometime relief from pain. But I do not drink when I'm depressed, angry or anything else.

Then again, apparently the addictive gene skipped my dad's branch and only hit his half brother's family. I just had an abuse problem, not alcoholism.

Oh, and some drug use, but again, the only stuff I really liked was pot and shrooms, and that wasn't any hard to quit than the heavier stuff I tried and decided I really didn't like.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Try some psilocybin mushrooms for addiction.
Trust me, it'll help you see through your addiction, and realize how silly it is, also your ego.
And you'll never want to be inebriated after that experience.
Google, "psilocybin to treat addiction".
There's scientific research being done on it, but it's difficult because the gub'mint is deathly afraid of people tripping in the woods while listening to their favorite music.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I grew up with AA, my brother quit drinking with their help.

Kara, in Seattle they had a separate atheists' meeting in Seattle I went to in the 80's with a friend; so at least there is some nominal attempt at addressing that though I don't know the details on how it works.

For myself, AA doesn't work and if I had to rely on them to be sober I wouldn't be. It's always struck me as cultish, and it is annoying the way that the 12-step model has been shoe-horned into other places where it doesn't necessarily apply.

I've been sober for 15 and a half years, mostly with the support of my best friend. No help from -or need for- AA.

I'm glad to see people questioning AA as a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Try some psilocybin mushrooms for addiction.
Trust me, it'll help you see through your addiction, and realize how silly it is, also your ego.
I did try it. But it became obvious that taking one drug to quit another drug wasn't the answer.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I did try it. But it became obvious that taking one drug to quit another drug wasn't the answer.
Yeah, but you don't want to, nor have the desire, to do mushrooms over and over and over again.
Once will suffice.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah, but you don't want to, nor have the desire, to do mushrooms over and over and over again.
Once will suffice.
I think it was more like 30 or 40
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think it was more like 30 or 40
Good times.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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When I woke up the second day of the same hangover, that's when I walked away from alcohol.

Hell I even stopped tokin for 15 years because of the adverse effect THC has on Troy. Well... now it's legal in OR and there are these nifty pens and stuff and well... yeah 2 years ago I started back up.

I sleep so much better now than I did for those 15 years.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by io Kukulcan View Post
Try some psilocybin mushrooms for addiction.
Trust me, it'll help you see through your addiction, and realize how silly it is, also your ego.
And you'll never want to be inebriated after that experience.
Google, "psilocybin to treat addiction".
There's scientific research being done on it, but it's difficult because the gub'mint is deathly afraid of people tripping in the woods while listening to their favorite music.
does wonders for suicidal thoughts - killed my depression for 6 months.

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Yeah, but you don't want to, nor have the desire, to do mushrooms over and over and over again.
Once will suffice.
Only got to do them once - would probably do them again if they were legal and available. Technically medical marijuana is legal in florida, but don't think they have actually implemented it yet, and besides, most doctors won't even give it for specific ailments on the list of the amendment [like glaucoma]. Luckily cbd is legal everywhere.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Also if anyone is reading this thread and you are struggling yourself with this or have to deal with a family member and not sure where to turn or get info there is a really great forum I used a lot in my early days. And i still go there.

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/

There is all kinds of stuff on different programs, support if you need it, success stories, also a section of the forum is there for family or friends of alcoholics and addicts. It is very well moderated and minimal trolls.

So if you are struggling you don't have to do it alone .
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm so glad I can't stand the taste of alcohol.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:00 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm so glad I can't stand the taste of alcohol.

It's just as well. Nondrinking was one of the good things I got from being LDS although I would never encourage someone to join it. But it's an alcohol free social network and that's part of why my grandparents joined it. That wasn't so easy to come by in the Fifties and joining a fundamentalist church instead just wasn't who they were.

For me there was probably a window where it would have been possible to learn how to drink and by the time I left the church I was past it. Now my system simply can't handle it, like a lot of things, so I don't even try.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:19 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm so glad I can't stand the taste of alcohol.
Me either. I did go to occasional parties in college but usually I can not see the appeal of it. Given that it is contraindicated with my meds though I guess it is just as well. When I am in some social situation that involves alchohol I just have hard cider.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Here's some interesting information:

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