Coffee and smoking notorious at Alcoh...

Coffee and smoking notorious at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

There are 137 comments on the Medical News story from Jul 20, 2008, titled Coffee and smoking notorious at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In it, Medical News reports that:

More than one million Americans currently participate in the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Medical News.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#21 Oct 27, 2009
Headhunter 300M wrote:
<quoted text>
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support this. In fact, it has shown to have a no-better success rate than spontaneous remission (those that simply quit with no treatment or "program", and a higher rate of suicide, hospitalization and re-arrests.
That's not the relevent discussion on this thread, however. Come over to the "AA, Does It Work" thread to discuss this further.
Nope, I am not an alcoholic and have no plans to join AA.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#22 Oct 27, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope, I am not an alcoholic and have no plans to join AA.
I was addressing just candid's post, not yours.

Been good chatting with you.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#23 Oct 27, 2009
Headhunter 300M wrote:
<quoted text>
I was addressing just candid's post, not yours.
Been good chatting with you.
I decided to join the conversation anyway since I do like to chat. JC and I are friends. We have obvious differences, but nevertheless, we like each other. She won't mind. Why do you?

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#24 Oct 27, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
I decided to join the conversation anyway since I do like to chat. JC and I are friends. We have obvious differences, but nevertheless, we like each other. She won't mind. Why do you?
I don't mind at all. I took your reply as though you thought I had directed the comment toward you. I was evidently mistaken.
It's a public forum and we're all free to jump in whenever we want. Sorry for the confusion.
RDL

Victoria, Canada

#25 Nov 9, 2009
I drink coffee every now and then.

I only smoked one pack of cigarettes in my entire life.
mickey

Saint Catharines, Canada

#26 Nov 9, 2009
generalsn1234567 wrote:
Are the zealots now going to prevent alcoholics from seeking help over smoking? AA is a wonderful organization that helped many people for many years. Many alcoholics eventually quit smokming after they quit drinking, but trying to both at once is asking too much. As large as AA is, I'm sure that they have non smoking meeting places in areas where they are desired by the AA members. This is one areas where outsiders have absolutly no business interfering.
Maybe you should investigate your so-called-wonderful-program a little bit more closely. Here is what one of the A.A.W.S. Board of Trustees members discovered about A.A.
However, people exposed to AA are five times as likely to end up binge drinking (Brandsma study) and six times as likely to DIE as those attempting to quit on their own, according to George Vaillant, Harvard professor, researcher, and member of AA's Board of Trustees, when he went about trying to prove that AA works.
In (the) Handbook of alcoholism treatment approaches: Effective alternatives , AA is ranked 38th in efficiency of those methods tested.
George Vaillant of Harvard University, the most famous living physician in addictions, doesn't really believe it's a disease. He points out that the label is problematic because we don't even understand what a disease is. Yet in public he says it is a disease. His reasoning is simple: many addicts refuse to ask for help because of the stigma attached to drug use.
And after discovering all this, he still stayed on the board. A.A. is about money, not its members health and well being.
mickey

Saint Catharines, Canada

#27 Nov 9, 2009
ROHO wrote:
i have not had a drink for either 19 or 20 years, AA saved my life . alcohol was killing me quicker than all the tobacco smoke in the world so why dont all of you holier than thou bastards just keep the skelitons in your closet hidden and leave us drunks alone . it is plain to see that you know nothing about us and your entire life is built around finding fault with others , GET A LIFE !!!
Actually, we are ex-drunks that tried A.A. and we actually got better results quitting on our own. Unfortunately, we were never sworn in at the Legal Bar as bastards, so sorry about your confusion, but we are not lawyers. We actually cleaned out our closets and aired our so-called skeletons in public and we all feel better about them now. As for finding fault with others, you have taken our views far to personal. We are not finding fault with the people in A.A., we are finding fault with the program of A.A. Don;t take life so serious Dude, no matter what you do, you're not going to get out alive. As for getting a life, we have one and we never have to attend meetings, we just stay sober on our own and really enjoy the perks that go along with that.
mickey

Saint Catharines, Canada

#28 Nov 9, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Uhh, AA is supposed to focus on alcohol. Having known some flaming alcoholics, I can say that the sooner the get help, the less time their families will have to suffer from their disease. Alcoholics search for any excuse they can find to avoid treatment. Adding a new dimension to the difficult road of recovery gives one more reason for alcoholics to refuse treatment.
Actually, making the alcoholic responsible for his bad behaviour (i.e. his drinking)instead of giving him an excuse to drink even more because he has some fictitious disease would actually give him more incentive to stop. The alcoholic is the one that picks up the drink and drinks it, therefore, the alcoholic is the only one that can stop picking up the drink. All A.A. teaches is that if you don't pick up a drink, you won't drink. You can do that at home on your own, you don't need to go to meeting for the rest of your life to figure that out.
Spose

Seattle, WA

#29 Nov 9, 2009
Why do some people think that the only truth is AA? There can be no other way to heal yourself?

I have to endorse empowerment. If you take AA logic and apply it to business you will fail. You will believe that you are powerless to get a promotion-you are powerless to have your own business. You are powerless to succeed.

Its obvious to me

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#30 Nov 10, 2009
mickey wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, making the alcoholic responsible for his bad behaviour (i.e. his drinking)instead of giving him an excuse to drink even more because he has some fictitious disease would actually give him more incentive to stop. The alcoholic is the one that picks up the drink and drinks it, therefore, the alcoholic is the only one that can stop picking up the drink. All A.A. teaches is that if you don't pick up a drink, you won't drink. You can do that at home on your own, you don't need to go to meeting for the rest of your life to figure that out.
I applaud you for quitting drinking no matter how you did it.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#31 Nov 10, 2009
Spose wrote:
Why do some people think that the only truth is AA? There can be no other way to heal yourself?
I have to endorse empowerment. If you take AA logic and apply it to business you will fail. You will believe that you are powerless to get a promotion-you are powerless to have your own business. You are powerless to succeed.
Its obvious to me
Not only powerless but also insane...incapable of functioning without the group and "Higher Power".
If one wishes to overcome a problem, they usually need the opposite: self-empowerment and the confidence in self to overcome temptation. No one is going to do it for them.
If only AA was what it tries to present itself as, a community of people encouraging and supporting one another. That is there to a point, but if you don't surrender your mind and follow their practices, one will quickly find themselves frowned upon and labeled "dry-drunk" and such nonsense.
mickey

Peterborough, Canada

#32 Nov 10, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
I applaud you for quitting drinking no matter how you did it.
I appreciate you're support, but I didn't do anything spectacular. Quitting drinking was easy, I just stopped drinking. Finding and fixing the things that were causing me to drink was the hard part, something A.A. doesn't teach you how to do. All A.A. teaches is that you are a victim of a non-existent disease which in turn holds you in denial that you actually have other more serious problems that need to be treated. That is exactly why A.A. only wants you to read A.A. approved literature. Stick with the program, indulged in groupthink,90 meetings in 90 days, don't listen to "Normies" they don't understand us, we're not trained professionals, but we do know everything there is to know about alcoholism, stay away from psychiatrist they will only mess up your mind, oh ya, lets not forget, that new young vulnerable member over there should really sleep with someone older, it will do them a world of good. Gee, maybe I should go back into denial, it sounds like a valid method of treatment to me. I guess I was wrong, A.A. isn't a cult.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#33 Nov 10, 2009
mickey wrote:
<quoted text>I appreciate you're support, but I didn't do anything spectacular. Quitting drinking was easy, I just stopped drinking. Finding and fixing the things that were causing me to drink was the hard part, something A.A. doesn't teach you how to do. All A.A. teaches is that you are a victim of a non-existent disease which in turn holds you in denial that you actually have other more serious problems that need to be treated. That is exactly why A.A. only wants you to read A.A. approved literature. Stick with the program, indulged in groupthink,90 meetings in 90 days, don't listen to "Normies" they don't understand us, we're not trained professionals, but we do know everything there is to know about alcoholism, stay away from psychiatrist they will only mess up your mind, oh ya, lets not forget, that new young vulnerable member over there should really sleep with someone older, it will do them a world of good. Gee, maybe I should go back into denial, it sounds like a valid method of treatment to me. I guess I was wrong, A.A. isn't a cult.
Whatever works for you is great. Whatever works for someone else is equally great.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#34 Nov 10, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Whatever works for you is great. Whatever works for someone else is equally great.
True to a point, but there is no evidence to support the notion that AA "works", and in many cases, it causes people greater harm. Now, if it were strictly voluntary, and people weren't forced to go by the courts (or coerced given the choice of AA vs. lengthy jail-time), and the majority of treatment centers were not advocating the 12-steps as the only means to recovery, then I would be more accepting of this philosophy. Not totally, but more so.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#35 Nov 10, 2009
Headhunter 300M wrote:
<quoted text>
True to a point, but there is no evidence to support the notion that AA "works", and in many cases, it causes people greater harm. Now, if it were strictly voluntary, and people weren't forced to go by the courts (or coerced given the choice of AA vs. lengthy jail-time), and the majority of treatment centers were not advocating the 12-steps as the only means to recovery, then I would be more accepting of this philosophy. Not totally, but more so.
Whatever. Meanwhile, people are different and need different approaches to solving problems. If one is determined to find a way out of a bad situation, he/she should have choices of how to do that. You found what worked for you. I see no reason for railing against a choice that works well for others. It worked for a friend of mine. At the same time, the group psych approach would never work for me if I were struggling with alcohol issues. I simply don't like the "we're all in this together" approach to anything. Others do.
mickey

Mississauga, Canada

#36 Nov 10, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Whatever works for you is great. Whatever works for someone else is equally great.
I totally agree with you, we all have a right to make our own choices no matter if they are right or wrong. I am here to voice my opinion on what I found wrong with A.A. and why it didn’t work for me. I try and offer sound studies and opinion formed by professionals in addictions studies. If someone else finds it helpful and opens the door to alternative methods of treatment is there any harm in that?
One of the biggest problems in the addictions field is that the majority of so-called professionals offering treatment offer little more than a recommendation that the addict use a 12-step program. People pay thousands of dollars for something they can get for free. Another problem is that when the medical profession accepted the disease theory, they did it without sound proof and all of them knew it wasn’t true.
So let’s say I believe that if I drink a pint of urine a day it will cure my cancer. Now I go to a Doctor and tell him I have found a cure for cancer and tell him what it is. He now takes my cure and does a study and finds out that is wrong, yet he decides that good money can be made by pushing the theory, so he goes ahead and skews studies and sells the idea. Is that ethically right or is it ethically wrong? The point most of us here are trying to make is that this is exactly what happened when the disease concept was accepted and A.A. was pushed as the only treatment for recovery. Just because someone says they have a disease doesn’t make it true. However, alcoholism is the only disease in the world where the moment you say you have it, you have it. Even more spectacular is the facts that if you say you no longer have the disease of alcoholism, it magically disappears. Explain to me how that works? Explain to me what good that is doing for someone trying to make sense out of their affliction? If I am a welder and I burn myself at work every day, does that make me an all-knowing authority on burn treatment? Just because someone is an alcoholic, it doesn’t make them an authority on the subject. However, A.A. has made Bill Wilson, who was nothing more than a stock speculator the all-knowing authority on alcoholism and the medical communities sanctioned it. How ethical is that?

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#37 Nov 10, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Whatever. Meanwhile, people are different and need different approaches to solving problems. If one is determined to find a way out of a bad situation, he/she should have choices of how to do that. You found what worked for you. I see no reason for railing against a choice that works well for others. It worked for a friend of mine. At the same time, the group psych approach would never work for me if I were struggling with alcohol issues. I simply don't like the "we're all in this together" approach to anything. Others do.
You're overlooking that AA harms people. That's why some of us rail against it. It's difficult to conclude that it helps anyone, when it has a no better success rate than those that simply quit on their own. But for the sake of discussion, if 1 person is helped for every 5 that are harmed, is it still helpful?

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#38 Nov 10, 2009
Headhunter 300M wrote:
<quoted text>
You're overlooking that AA harms people. That's why some of us rail against it. It's difficult to conclude that it helps anyone, when it has a no better success rate than those that simply quit on their own. But for the sake of discussion, if 1 person is helped for every 5 that are harmed, is it still helpful?
Personally, I believe that most addiction treatments, especially the ones that require hospitalization, are a money-grabbing, worthless misuse of insurance and personal funds. However, I am not now or have I ever been in a situation where I needed immediate intervention for addictions, so I have little actual knowledge of what may or may not work. I once asked the drug counselor at my school what the "cure" rate was for a kid after 30 day treatment and a cost of $20,000-$30,000. He said it was about 50% after 6 weeks. The problem was that the success rate after a year dipped to about 4%. That was amazing to me.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#39 Nov 10, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Personally, I believe that most addiction treatments, especially the ones that require hospitalization, are a money-grabbing, worthless misuse of insurance and personal funds. However, I am not now or have I ever been in a situation where I needed immediate intervention for addictions, so I have little actual knowledge of what may or may not work. I once asked the drug counselor at my school what the "cure" rate was for a kid after 30 day treatment and a cost of $20,000-$30,000. He said it was about 50% after 6 weeks. The problem was that the success rate after a year dipped to about 4%. That was amazing to me.
I'm surprised that he was that forthcoming, unless he doesn't agree with traditional 12-step based treatment either. Most addiction counselors that are supportive of it would give a much higher percentage and discount those that "didn't completely give themselves". I'm encouraged that you were given the facts. Hopefully he presents these facts to parents before they shell out that kind of cash, or expect the insurance companies to.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#40 Nov 10, 2009
Headhunter 300M wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm surprised that he was that forthcoming, unless he doesn't agree with traditional 12-step based treatment either. Most addiction counselors that are supportive of it would give a much higher percentage and discount those that "didn't completely give themselves". I'm encouraged that you were given the facts. Hopefully he presents these facts to parents before they shell out that kind of cash, or expect the insurance companies to.
I saw those programs constantly misused with disastrous effects. I had a 16 year old student who shared a six pack of beer with three friends. His dad went berzerk and sentenced him to rehab. The kid was so angry, and he returned with a new pot habit gained courtesy of his fellow inmates at drug rehab. Draconian measures and punishments often have unintended consequences like this. It is one reason that smoking bans are very bad ideas.

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