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Sunday, September 03, 2006

What is Alcoholics Anonymous or AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is also called the 12-Step Program but there are others that have come about in response to A.A.'s initial popularity.

A.A. is one of the largest self-help groups in the world, boasting over 2 million members in 150 countrie. Members believe that alcoholism is a progressive illness that can never be cured but, much like cancer, can be stopped in its tracks. Many A.A. members think that the illness represents the combination of a physical sensitivity to alcohol and a mental compulsion to drink, which willpower itself is not strong enough to overcome. Other 12-step recovery programs combine A.A. meetings with secular treatments ranging from psychotherapy to acupuncture.

A.A. members espouse that if you are an alcoholic, you'll never be able to control your drinking, so you can either let your habits worsen and bear the consequences, or abstain and develop a sober, positive lifestyle. There has been little to no documented research on the success rates of A.A. and other 12-step programs, but much anecdotal evidence (including testimony from millions of alcoholics in recovery) point to its effectiveness for many chronic alcohol abusers.



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