Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Health
 Alcoholics Anonymous
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  09:24:23  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Been reading about Rational Recovery at http://www.rational.org and am wondering if you all have remarks about whether or not AA is a cult and whether or not most drug and alcohol "treatment" is quackery.

"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn



Edited by - gorgo on 01/14/2002 09:29:12

Edited by - gorgo on 03/20/2002 10:46:50

Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  09:34:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
Positive Atheism also has quite a bit on AA. I don't know about quackery, but AA is based on religious faith. One of the 13 points is belief in a higher power and it's ability to help you recover. Many atheists who won't accept this view are affected adversely by this. Both in AA and by whomever sent them, including the prisons and courts.

There is no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've known. Sagan
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  11:33:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
That's where I heard about RR. Interesting stuff. Seems like AA does more harm than good.

quote:

Positive Atheism also has quite a bit on AA. I don't know about quackery, but AA is based on religious faith. One of the 13 points is belief in a higher power and it's ability to help you recover. Many atheists who won't accept this view are affected adversely by this. Both in AA and by whomever sent them, including the prisons and courts.



"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
Go to Top of Page

Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  13:11:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
AA is a scam, if not a cult. It's success rate is laughable.

Check out http://www.skepdic.com/sat.html for a good essay on the matter.


Be sure to check out the reader comments section.
------------

Sum Ergo Cogito

Edited by - tokyodreamer on 01/14/2002 13:24:33
Go to Top of Page

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  13:39:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I did an AA trip in 1978. I stayed dry for some 17 years. I now drink, but moderatly.

AA, or any sort of a re-hab, only works if a person 'makes the decision'. It is entirly up to the individual.

I think AA is beneficial as a support group, but there is no cure for alcoholism.

f

The more I learn about people, the better I like rattlesnakes.
Go to Top of Page

Tokyodreamer
SFN Regular

USA
1447 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  13:57:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tokyodreamer a Private Message
quote:

there is no cure for alcoholism.


Could you expand on why you think this? Is it a brain disorder? A mental illness? Why is there no cure, and how would we know if there isn't?

------------

Sum Ergo Cogito
Go to Top of Page

Donnie B.
Skeptic Friend

417 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  14:30:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Donnie B. a Private Message
filthy:

If you can now drink moderately, doesn't that make you the same as non-alcoholics? That is, are you not cured?

Or were you never actually an alcoholic?

Or are you disputing the popular notion that an alcoholic cannot drink *at all* without going off the deep end?


-- Donnie B.

Brian: "No, no! You have to think for yourselves!" Crowd: "Yes! We have to think for ourselves!"
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  15:28:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
That is a good article with good links. Thanks. Just noticed I added an apostrophe. Alcoholics, not alcoholic's.

quote:

AA is a scam, if not a cult. It's success rate is laughable.

Check out http://www.skepdic.com/sat.html for a good essay on the matter.





"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
Go to Top of Page

digz
New Member

6 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  16:20:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send digz a Private Message
after checking the sites posted ,, i could see no real evidence against AA itself ,the disease controversy mostly arose from agencys trying to get and keep insurance coverage of treatment. the AA book has a section responding to agnostics, its leans towards the religious faith path to recovery but also allows for other idea's.
as far as that rational recovery site ,, its not anew idea ,, but it makes me wonder how it can give animate power to a substance and then deny the power of an "idea/faith in something." by the way i have nothing against anything that works for any individual.

Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  17:12:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
You'll also see no real evidence for AA. By their own records 95% drop out in the first year and half of those that stay in stay sober for five years. That doesn't mean that others weren't helped, but where is the evidence?

quote:

after checking the sites posted ,, i could see no real evidence against AA itself ,the disease controversy mostly arose from agencys trying to get and keep insurance coverage of treatment. the AA book has a section responding to agnostics, its leans towards the religious faith path to recovery but also allows for other idea's.
as far as that rational recovery site ,, its not anew idea ,, but it makes me wonder how it can give animate power to a substance and then deny the power of an "idea/faith in something." by the way i have nothing against anything that works for any individual.





"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
Go to Top of Page

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  17:35:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I think alcoholism is, up to a point, at least, as much of a mental disorder, as a physical diease, although there are many physical effects directly related to it (liver and brain cell damage, weight gain, and so forth). Physically, going off alcohol can have withdrawl symptoms fully as bad as from other, more infamous drugs, although I had little more than discomfort and a desire for some Jack D. I was in the VA hospital when I did the AA thing. But I didn't follow up after I got out. I had 'made the decision'. There were others that were unable to do it. These guys were a lot farther 'gone' than I and I doubt that a large percentage of them stayed dry for any length of time. Many of them were doing an AA recap.

The biggest problem I had was a fear (groundless) that I'd be unable to sleep if I wasn't at least half drunk.

Currently, I feel that I'm treading a dangerous path. It would be all too easy to drink the whole, damned bottle as soon as I got home from the package store. So, I have a little before I go to bed. At a party at the biker bar, I limit myself to only a couple of beers. I monitor the wnole thing.

And, I have a big glass of red wine with supper, for my heart, ya see.

I believe that over all, the AA is beneficial. I haven't kept track, but at the time, AA was the only game in town for a desperate lush. All other programs were a waste of time and money, and I heard about some that were an outright rip-off. The VA thought highly enough of it that it was brought into the hospitals, and the groups were large - many VN Vets.

I myself, support AA. Who can say, I might need to 'make the decision' again and a little help would be nice.

f

The more I learn about people, the better I like rattlesnakes.
Go to Top of Page

dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  17:38:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
Good article from 1/7/02 on this subject.

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=12167

"Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy." [Carl Sagan]
Go to Top of Page

Dr Shari
Skeptic Friend

135 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  20:42:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dr Shari a Private Message
As an MD I have seen people who are Alcoholics and people who abuse alcohol and they are not the same thing so if you send someone who abuses alcohol to AA they are not "cured" when they quit they are just not abusing it anymore.
Alcoholics may never stop using. They cannot unless they substitute it with another addiction. Many just trade their addiction from alcohol to going to AA. This is true of addicts and NA. Is being an alcoholic or addict worse then being unable to live your life without having something to replace such as AA or NA? In truth I am not sure.
AA and NA have this hold on their members that makes me uneasy. They tell these people that they cannot live a normal life without them. AA/NA becomes a religion and uses the term Higher Power to draw this group of people into their cult in much the same way as cults bring in other disenfranchised individuals. I am not saying AA/NA does not have its place but unlike them I believe you can stop addiction through other methods just as well.

Go to Top of Page

PhDreamer
SFN Regular

USA
925 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  21:19:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit PhDreamer's Homepage Send PhDreamer a Private Message
quote:

As an MD I have seen people who are Alcoholics and people who abuse alcohol and they are not the same thing so if you send someone who abuses alcohol to AA they are not "cured" when they quit they are just not abusing it anymore.
Alcoholics may never stop using. They cannot unless they substitute it with another addiction. Many just trade their addiction from alcohol to going to AA. This is true of addicts and NA. Is being an alcoholic or addict worse then being unable to live your life without having something to replace such as AA or NA? In truth I am not sure.
AA and NA have this hold on their members that makes me uneasy. They tell these people that they cannot live a normal life without them. AA/NA becomes a religion and uses the term Higher Power to draw this group of people into their cult in much the same way as cults bring in other disenfranchised individuals. I am not saying AA/NA does not have its place but unlike them I believe you can stop addiction through other methods just as well.



I tend to agree with all of this. A few things I think tend to characterize addiction:

1) Physical addictions are much easier to overcome than psychological addictions.
2) Psychological addiction seems to have a bell-curve distribution. Most people are only moderately addictive and it usually takes some other mildly traumatic event to trigger, rather than just the intial presence of the substance itself.
3) Psychological addictions are not substance-specific.

The problem with my dichotomy is that physical and psychological addictions are often hard to untangle. The cigarette smoker may at first enjoy, and become psychologically addicted to the momentary high but the damage he does to his acetylcholine receptor sites reduces their effectiveness to the point that the nicotine is needed to even maintain a normal level of acetylcholine activity.


Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things. - Silent Bob
Go to Top of Page

Snake
SFN Addict

USA
2511 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2002 :  21:22:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Snake's Homepage  Send Snake an ICQ Message  Send Snake a Yahoo! Message Send Snake a Private Message
quote:

quote:

there is no cure for alcoholism.


Could you expand on why you think this? Is it a brain disorder? A mental illness? Why is there no cure, and how would we know if there isn't?


I think it depends on what one thinks an alcoholic is. I think I live with one. Others might not. I know when my friend has had a drink and I no longer can carry on a logicl conversation with him. I could see that others might not notice and think nothing is 'wrong'. In his case it is a phsyical change, mental or biological, I don't know but it's there. Can he stop? It would be nice, for me but he doesn't think it's a problem for him. Sure, all he does is go to sleep. That's his life. If that's what one wants from life, fine. I think part of the definition is If it's a problem in YOUR life.
Many years ago when I was going to AA (American Atheists) meetings someone there was trying to start an AA(Alcoholics Annyomous) group that didn't emphasize a higher power. Don't know what happened with it. I did go once to an Alonon group, it was one that was supposed to also not stress god but I still found it hard to accept that higher power thing. Even though they kept saying it didn't have to be god.
Cult? I don't think so if one doesn't become dependent on them to help you. But as a support group, to know you are not alone, to learn how to cope, well if one needs that, then I don't see anything wrong with it.

Rap Crap is to music what Paint by Numbers is to art.
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2002 :  05:13:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Just some thoughts for discussion, please don't think I'm making pronouncements from above, these are just things I've read and am repeating them for the sake of discussion.

There is no such thing as an "alcoholic" there are just people who drink more than is healthy. What they need to do is decide to drink or not to drink. If they decide to drink, fine they need to live with the consequences. If they don't they need to understand that the voice in their head that tells them to drink has to be ignored.

There are no "physical" addictions. Alcohol is not insulin. No one "needs" a cigarette. Certainly, the poisons that we take affect our body and our body changes because of them. In people that don't take care of themselves withdrawing from alcohol can even be deadly, but no one needs it to be healthy, so there is no "physical" addiction.

AA will tell you that the people who kicked the habit on their own weren't really alcoholics. AA will tell you that AA works "if you work it" which tells me that those people who quit with AA decided to quit and quit regardless of what AA did. AA did nothing but take the credit and probably screw some people up worse.

"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.16 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000