alcohol and other isms

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Posted by humanist on July 01, 2015 at 13:33:07

Regarding AA?NA there are many things that are disturbing to me:
1) It states that is is not a religious program, but both cornerstone books go on to describe the steps and finding God as what makes it work. The bait is that you can choose your own God or use the group, but the switch is, that sooner or later you are expected to come around to finding God. Sure, with leeway, but the basic message is that you cannot stay sober without lifetime meetings and complete abstinence. Most people don't count coffee, green tea, etc as drugs).
2) A growing number of attendees are referred from the court system and many of those don't just have a substance abuse problem but histories of pedophilia, rape, domestic violence etc. the 12 seep programs can sign off on their attendance and the court doesn't have to pay anything for it but members are not told who is there for what. I have seen meetings first hand where a pedophile, baby raper attended but only a few people knew it. His anonymity was protected by the group rather then warning women with small children that there was a pedophile in their midst. Meanwhile, the children often traipsed around the property where the meeting was held without supervision, including going to the bathroom by themselves.
Going on 12 step calls is encouraged by many and for the eager volunteers can be a disaster waiting to happen, has happened in some cases.
3.) I do not believe that most people who are referred to or seek out help are hopeless drunks/addicts, but rather, I see them as people who need building up of self esteem, therapy, tailored treatment (for some, moderation, for others harm reduction and i am not talking coffee or cigarettes.) The idea that you can never drink like a "normal" person or just drink socially is absurd for many. The insistence that any use means "humbling yourself" and taking a new chip, starting over even when a minor "slip" has occurred, is the reason many who "slip" decide to go over that niagara falls of indulgence in a destructive way, thinking, "I've thrown away my sobriety so I may as well go all out". That is very dangerous and leads to many fatal overdoses.
4) There are secular programs for people who do not want any religion and they tend to be for a period of time rather than encouraging lifetime attendance and support of them. These would include SMART Recovery and Life Ring.
I think AA and NA can be very damaging to people recovering from drinking/drugging related to trauma/ PTSD.
It seems like America is a society where different programs, whether recovery or business models, and everyone MUST do them or else. Phew.
So for anyone that loves their AA/NA group, this post is not for you.

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