Friday, August 19, 2011

When Republicans Can't Stop Drinking Chateau Latour Wines

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Alcoholics Anonymous. 4th Ed. New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001.

This is the basic text for Alcoholics Anonymous members. Over 20 million copies in all editions and formats have been printed (circa 2001).

An alcoholic is considered a very sick person. Alcoholics find fellowship through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) where the only membership criteria is a sincere desire to stop drinking alcohol. The initial tenets of AA were most of the tenets of the Oxford Group (a religious movement in the 1920s and 1930s that believed that giving oneself to God would allow a sinner to convert away from sin), namely one should make a personal moral inventory, confess any defects in one’s personality, make restitution to people who’ve been harmed, become helpful to others, and become dependent upon God.

Dr. William Silkworth argued that spirituality could replace the hopeless feeling felt by many alcoholics. Alcoholics could help other alcoholics overcome their feelings of hopelessness.

The medical advice provided in this book is from the 1930s. (See Carlton Erickson book for medical information as of 2007). The body and mind of an alcoholic is abnormal. The body is allergic to alcohol. People allergic to alcohol can never safely use it. An alcoholic craves alcohol repeatedly. AA believes alcoholism is not solvable with just mental control and psychological techniques.

People allergic to alcohol are seen as a separate class from others. Allergic types lose their self-reliance when becoming alcoholics. They need a greater power than themselves to overcome their reliance on alcohol.

A psychic change can transform a person to easily control using alcohol. Yet alcoholism is not seen as a problem exclusively resolved from mental control. The craving for alcohol is stronger than one’s mental control.

Total abstinence is required for an alcoholic. An alcoholic can never drink again or the alcoholic will likely relapse into alcoholic behavior.

The real life experiences of alcoholics are presented. Some gradually drank increasing amounts of alcohol daily until they could no longer concentrate on their work and on their families. They found faith in God, creating a greater power than their own, that ended their destructive alcoholic behavior.

Many AA members find that former problem drinkers better empathize with their struggles and thoughts than do psychiatrists. Moderate drinkers often do not understand what heavy drinkers face, as the moderate drinkers can’t identify what heavy drinkers go through.

Many alcoholics won’t admit to being alcoholic. Many will resolve to stop drinking and later resume drinking. Alcoholics find they can’t stop drinking on their own.

The book urges agnostics to consider the possibility of God or some universal spirit whose powers are greater than their own. Everyone has their own concept of God, and one need not belong to any religion in order to join AA.

The book claims the AA plan works and those who fail at the plan do so because they aren’t honest with themselves, yet it is not their fault as they were this way at birth.

The AA plan is in 12 steps: 1.) admit to yourself (an alcoholic) that you lack the ability o overcome your destructive alcoholism, 2.) accept that a greater power is required to overcome this destructive behavior, 3.) turn yourself over to the concept of God, 4.) make a moral inventory of yourself, 5.) confess to God your wrongdoings, 6.) believe that God can remove the character defects you have, 7.) ask God to remove these defects, 8.) recall all people your alcoholism has harmed. 9.) make amends to those you’ve harmed, unless doing so would injure someone else, 10.) keep an updated personal inventory, 11.) pray to God to obtain what you need to know to improve your life, and 12.) achieve a spiritual awakening as to what to do and then take those steps.

Open discussions with other alcoholics is encouraged. AA members should help each other and should develop fellowships with others and with God.

Many stories of alcoholism describe how their drinking led them to lose control of their lives. Committing themselves to God and to AA helped them lead better lives.

AA discussion should never involve business deals. AA may work with hospitals and health care institutions. AA will never make an endorsement or affiliation. AA operates on voluntary contributions.


Post a Comment

<< Home