Am a raging alcoholic. spent the last 13 months in AA. Went through a rehab facility. Haven't had a drink in 407 days. Had to work really hard at it. Was never (NEVER) discouraged from seeking multiple solutions in any AA group. Only part of this article I disagree with. Meetings are a part of my solution. Not the whole.
Edit: 408 days
I know AA gets a lot of hate from Reddit---and some of it is truly deserved---but there are a LOT of people who benefit from it, and especially from the "global-ness" of it: I have an alcoholic friend who was on a business trip in Seattle, started having severe cravings, and went online and found the nearest AA meeting. He was thousands of miles from home and literally knew no one, and was able to find a community within minutes. That's an increidbly powerful tool for an addict/problem drinker to have.
I think what turns people off is that our courts and hospitals have made it the "go-to" treatment, when the truth is, different approaches are going to work for different people. Yes, it may not be a great fit for an atheist, but if you religious/spiritual/a believe in god, it can be a good fit.
Like most things, you have to find what works.
It does work for some people, and it's free, and available in a *lot* of places.
In the absence of properly funded public health stuff, this is what you get.
Recovering alchoholic here. Basically do whatever works. If it makes you not drink for that one hour that's progress. It never worked for me but you do you booboo.
I’m avowed atheist and member of AA. This characterization could not be more radically off base.
Say whatever you want about AA, their sister program NA (Narcotics Anonymous) saved my uncle from a certain death in the middle of his suicide attempt. I don't care what kind of divine intervention it was or from where it came, 17 years ago it gave me back my uncle and he's been living a clean and productive life ever since. So, I guess my takeaway from all this is; I'm glad there are dozens of treatment programs available for anyone struggling with addiction. In my mind, a bigger net catches more fish. If you or someone you know is in the throes of an addiction, please, for the sake of those who love you and for your own self, pick one and try to get clean. If it doesn't work, try the next one. And keep trying until one sticks. You're worth it. Your life is worth it. The people who love you are worth it.
It's a common saying in AA and related groups that they are not for people who need them or even people who want them, but they are for people who do the work. AA was never meant for people with "drinking issues", court ordered attendees, etc. It's a program for people who have demonstrated repeatedly that they have lost the ability to control their drinking (or whatever behavior) with the tools they have at that point in their lives and are finally willing to admit they don't have the answers. When people, including journalists, write about the "success rates" of an *anonymous* program, designed for people who have exhausted all other means of controlling their behavior, it tells me they don't understand what they're talking about to begin with.
I don't like the programs' bias toward religious beliefs but the programs help and continue to help many people. They're free, widely available and let people get some help without risking being identified as an insurance or employment risk. If there are better options, espouse those but don't trash what is working for folks.