Is Alcoholics Anonymous Effective?

One of the questions many people ask before starting any alcohol rehab program Is Alcoholics Anonymous effective? After all, there are probably the most widely recognized organization in combating alcohol abuse and providing alcohol rehab services.

The answer to deciding “Is Alcoholics Anonymous Effective?” is solely dependent on each individual. What works for some may not work for others. To help you decide, let’s take a look at how Alcoholics Anonymous works:

1. You attend regular meetings with others who have the desire to stop drinking: There are no membership fees or dues to pay – the only requirement to join Alcoholics Anonymous is the desire to stop drinking. They don’t care about who you are, where you came from, or anything else to “label you” – they only want to help. You don’t even have to quit drinking in order to attend meetings.

2. Alcoholics Anonymous follows a spiritually guided program for alcohol rehab, which follows these 12 “steps” in becoming sober:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

If reading this list of 12 steps makes you roll your eyes, chances are the answer to “Is Alcoholics Anonymous Effective?” for you will be no.

3. Alcoholics Anonymous does not provide medical treatment: For a severely addicted alcoholic, it is best to be under a physician’s care during the withdrawal period. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be fatal in some cases so it is best if you do not “go it alone” in quitting if you are physically dependent on alcohol.

Based on this information, you can decide if attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting might be right for you. There is certainly nothing you risk to lose by visiting one or learning more about how the process works. Going to Alcoholics Anonymous is most likely better than receiving no treatment at all. It can also be done in conjunction with other treatments for alcohol rehab.

However, if you are not spiritually inclined, interested in group meetings, or are physically dependent on alcohol, you should carefully consider the other alcohol rehab treatment options available, such as in-patient therapy or individual counseling which may be more successful alternatives for alcohol rehab.

What do you think? Is Alcoholics Anonymous Effective? Feel free to share your experiences or viewpoints  in the comments below.

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