Alcoholics Anonymous - Why I Left AA

May 2, 2023

Whether you’ve been in recovery for a few weeks, months, years, or decades, there comes a point when you need to ask yourself if AA is still right for you.

If it isn’t, you have the right to leave. It’s not a sign of relapse; it’s a signal that you are ready to try a different path.

Why I Left AA

Founded in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a self-help group with a 12-step program. The steps encourage people to accept their alcoholism and find a way to cope with it.

Its philosophy is based on a recognition that alcoholism is a disease and not a moral failure. It’s been around for over 80 years and has a large following worldwide.

But researchers have debunked some central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective.

Ultimately, I think that the AA philosophy is outdated. It makes no distinction between thoughts and feelings – a key aspect of cognitive behavioural therapy, which is arguably a more up-to-date form of mental health technology.

1. It’s a Cult

AA is often compared to a cult because of its single-minded ideology that binds members together. Individuals who disagree with the cult’s beliefs are likely to be shunned and punished.

The cult also instills a sense of guilt and fear in its followers, which makes it difficult to leave or to buck the rules. This fear can be incredibly damaging to the recovery process.

This is especially true when a person has lost faith in their own ability to get sober. The guilt and fear of failure can lead to a self-sabotage that could lead to a return to alcoholism.

2. It’s Not Effective

Alcoholics Anonymous, the most popular treatment in the United States, has been debunked by researchers. Central tenets of its 12-step program have been discredited, and dozens of other therapies are more effective at addressing a wide range of problems associated with alcohol abuse. Ultimately, AA doesn’t work.

To understand why, consider what it’s like to be an alcoholic. Many alcoholics struggle with low self-esteem and anxiety, and alcohol helps them cope. When they attend meetings, alcoholics can share their stories and find comfort from the support of others who have experienced similar struggles. They also learn about the Twelve Steps and how to implement them. This social support network helps alcoholics develop skills to cope with cravings and urges, as well as practical tips for living sober.

3. It’s Not Safe

Aside from the aforementioned cochrane award for the most effective, the most efficient way to get help for a problem drinker is by attending a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The organization’s slogan is “commit to change; you can.” In addition to offering social interaction, AA is also known for its innovative programs and a host of other services. Aside from the obvious meetings, many groups provide free or low-cost sober living housing and counseling services to their members.

AA is not for everyone, but it can be a life-changing experience for those who commit to it. The organization is free and open to everyone, but only those with a drinking problem may attend meetings or become members. This is because AA’s best-kept secret is its single-minded focus on helping alcoholics and their loved ones.

4. It’s Not for Everyone

Aa is a social support group for people who have problems with drinking. It is not a faith-based organisation and is open to everyone, regardless of their religion or agnosticism. Its success is based on the fact that members share their own experiences with problem drinking and offer help and advice to others who are trying to change. The members of AA also help each other to stay sober and give each other emotional support and encouragement.

Aa is a 12-step program, and members are required to attend meetings and follow the steps. In some areas, courts require that groups sign court slips to prove they have attended a meeting, but this is not a part of AA’s procedure. It is up to each group to decide if they want to cooperate with the courts.

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