- A.A. relapse rate for alcoholics

A.A. relapse rate for alcoholics




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

A.A. relapse rate for alcoholics

Postby MichalF » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:33 pm

Hi everyone,
I asked the same question on FB group. I wonder your opinion?

Yesterday I had a honor and pleasure to be a speaker at the hometown AA group located in big treatment center. A lot of folks, many of them newcomers. I noticed excitement and emotions among the audience when i said that - according to statistics majority of us in that room would die of aloholism. getting to AA,s room guarantees nothing only taking 12 steps rising our chance rate.

Once I was visiting Czech I attended in Prague English speaking meeting. I met there canadian alkie who told me things arused my curiosity. We discused about declining effectiveness of AA nowadays. This young man said that there is modern approach to program causes decrising numbers of long term sobriety. I dont know if it is true, but he said that in Canada some folks tray to wipe God from the Steps. Is it possible?
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:38 pm

I've had a few discussions w/ my sponsor on this topic. He first came into AA in 1948 -- and after 10 yrs of relapsing, he finally got sober in 1958, and has stayed sober since. He travels extensively all over the world meeting with thousands of AA's and groups annually. He is pretty much convinced that AA is much the same as it has always been in regards to relapse rates. It works for those that do AA and it doesn't work for those that don't.

I got off on a tangent a few years back, using the statistics printed in the Big Book, regarding the rates of those "that made it." And, compared it to what I had observed locally -- and my perception at that time was: that there was a difference.

I no longer hold on to that perception. The numbers published in the book are not reliable for wide-area comparison. They were based upon a few strong groups reporting, and undoubtedly to me, those numbers were inflated, too. (Much like, when Bill wrote the title page for the Big Book -- those that were there, and Bill, later suggested that, "there wasn't actually 100 of us sober at the time -- it was more like 60.") :lol:

Here's my current thoughts on it:

1. It's not AA's job -- to get alcoholics sober and to keep them sober. :shock: That never has been AA's job. AA's job is to 'carry the message." The message of recovery and the plan of recovery is in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. It's the responsibility and the job -- of the alcoholic -- to use the program of recovery. "Trying to carry the message to the alcoholic that still suffers" -- is what keeps ME sober, in addition to cleaning MY house of my emotional baggage and ruins, re-creating my life -- and trusting God, as I do this.

2. Has the message changed? I don't believe the message in the Big Book has changed since 1939 -- HOWEVER the PRESENTATION of the message in the book -- HAS CHANGED.

a. The stories in the back of the book have changed. And, all together, there have been more stories printed. Many of these stories in the back of the book -- are different than the main story in the main section of the book.

b. The most potentially damaging change that I've observed is: In the 2nd Edition of the book -- someone, made a decision, to move the Dr.'s Opinion FROM page 1, of the Big Book. Thus, those that are focusing on "the first 164 pages" as their program of recovery -- are NOT using the "first 172 pages" that were the original Alcoholics Anonymous.

I believe that most all of us, who have stayed sober for a long time, have recognized the importance of "A Good First Step." Without the information in the Dr.'s Opinion -- how... are they going to take a good First Step?

The entire message of the 12 Steps and their therapeudic value & mechanism, as presented in the book -- hinges on the information in The Doctor's Opinion.

c. There is a lot of talk about "those that want to take God out of the Steps". That's nothing new. It's been around since at least 1938. And, AA's have gotten sober and stayed sober -- regardless of their "God" understandings. I know of some AA's that have stayed sober for longer than I have -- that appear to be overtly atheist or agnostic. And, many, that are overtly religious -- in their approach to God. And, many more that are middle of the road, that have stayed sober longer than I have, too.

The principles of the program are not complex. They appear to be:

a. Fully understand what your problem is. (Step 1).
b. Trust God (or Higher Power, that you understand).
c. Clean house -- make restitution for the wreckage in your life and attempt to amend it.
d. Help others. (Active in trying to help other alcoholics). Do this to the point that you recognize that there IS a fellowship of alcoholics growing up around you.... that share the same common interest of staying sober and helping other alcoholics. The easiest way, that I see to do this is: to stay connected w/ the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

That's my take on it. I look forward to hearing and reading the observations of others!

Dallas
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:41 pm

By the way,
according to statistics majority of us in that room would die of aloholism


I wholeheartedly agree with this! Historically, this has been true since man first learned to crush grapes.
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Re: relapse rate

Postby Camel » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:37 pm

MichalF wrote:Hi everyone,
I asked the same question on FB group. I wonder your opinion?

Yesterday I had a honor and pleasure to be a speaker at the hometown AA group located in big treatment center. A lot of folks, many of them newcomers. I noticed excitement and emotions among the audience when i said that - according to statistics majority of us in that room would die of aloholism. getting to AA,s room guarantees nothing only taking 12 steps rising our chance rate.

Once I was visiting Czech I attended in Prague English speaking meeting. I met there canadian alkie who told me things arused my curiosity. We discused about declining effectiveness of AA nowadays. This young man said that there is modern approach to program causes decrising numbers of long term sobriety. I dont know if it is true, but he said that in Canada some folks tray to wipe God from the Steps. Is it possible?


Hey MichalF,

I've learned to not converse much with some of the "intellectuals", in AA. I've seen some too smart to get this Program, but never one too dumb. Matter of fact, I've never met a stupid drunk! Nothing needs to be taken away, and nothing needs to be added to the 12 Steps, IMHO. Personally, I found God in AA. My program won't work without God. Read the first 4 paragraphs on Page 55, "We Agnostics", in the Big Book. Glad you're here! Keep coming back!

Hub
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Postby DiggerinVA » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:30 pm

This a subject that puzzles me to no end.

I agree with Dallas on the Doctors opinion. Understanding the disease is important to the surrender that is required for the first 3 steps. The more complete the better (IMHO).

One other point is I go to meetings and hear all of these things you should do. I watch people sit there and listen to these statements then puzzle over them. Well most just disappear or hang around and are miserable. The willingness to just keep things simple. Just follow the Steps and all of the rest of the issues will sort themselves out.

So the real question I believe would be how many in AA actually work the program. Oh and it really does not take along time to work it. I suspect that the dragging it out increases the failure rate.
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Postby Camel » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:36 am

[quote="DiggerinVA"]This a subject that puzzles me to no end.

I agree with Dallas on the Doctors opinion. Understanding the disease is important to the surrender that is required for the first 3 steps. The more complete the better (IMHO).

One other point is I go to meetings and hear all of these things you should do. I watch people sit there and listen to these statements then puzzle over them. Well most just disappear or hang around and are miserable. The willingness to just keep things simple. Just follow the Steps and all of the rest of the issues will sort themselves out.

So the real question I believe would be how many in AA actually work the program. Oh and it really does not take along time to work it. I suspect that the dragging it out increases the failure rate.[/quote]

Years ago, I once asked an Old Timer how he did it. He told me that he just watched me. I thought, "What an arrogant SOB." But he was right. I probably bought a lot of sober days for a lot of drunks because I refused to surrender to the Steps. Delay is dangerous, and rebellion may be fatal. I am so thankful God let me live long enough to surrender. I have helped carry so many to the grave who had the same opportunity I've had, but just would not, or could not do it. I don't know the answer. I'm just thankful I'm sober today, and don't have that rotten taste in my mouth, and that horrible sickness upon me.

Hub
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:50 pm

Local meetings in my area are often reading pg 83-84 The Promises... to newcomers. I said, "What's up w/ that?" The reply was: "We've got to give them hope, first." That's BS.... :lol: The Chapter on Working With Others -- The Dr.'s Opinion, and Chapter 3... (and time tested experience) shows just the opposite. Alcoholics do not get sober over the prospect of promises... they get sober as a result of comprehending and understanding their hopelessness -- which is the only thing that will motivate them to take the actions necessary to find a Power Greater than their Hopelessness. At one recent meeting that I attended, they read the Promises and didn't even read Chapter 5, How it Works! :lol:


If we would stick w/ the format and suggestions in the Big Book we would be much more effective. The Big Book tells us How to Carry the Message, what to say, when to say it -- BEFORE we even begin to talk about the solution -- let alone some 9th Step promises... that are presented in such a way as "Oh, just turn your life over to God, go to meetings and don't drink and these promises will come true for you!" :lol:
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Postby sparklek » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:16 am

I agree Dallas. When I was new it was fear that made me willing. I knew I was doomed. Bills Story and More About Alcoholism came to life in my last drunk.

Conversely, when I came to meetings I started getting hope. Some of this too soon (warning: my opinion) created a tremendous pink cloud that gave me a feeling of fantasy. EVERYTHING would be great if I just followed these Steps.

How disapoointed was I when REAL life showed up!

Now I am not saying every meeting or AA meeting gives this illusion but I do think some do. I thought these were the "winners." I followed them. Some are sober today and some are not.

The truth is, I believe everything stated in our literature: that I can LEARN to live happily and usefully whole. That's all I get and that is AWESOME :)

Everything else I think I am going to "get" is a fantasy that I am creating.
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Postby Toast » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:41 pm

Eventually all alcoholics stop drinking, its just that AA let's them do it before they die! 8)

Think the problem with most folks is the sober life gets to good and they cant find time to do meetings. That or they start looking down their noses at drunk's in meeting's and dont want to mix with 'that sort'. :?

This new way of life is easy when we have our backs to the wall and nothing going for us but once our lives fill up some folks try and take the credit for it themselves and forget where they came from, until they end up back there! :(

Reminds me of the time my boss had to write a reference for someone who left the company under a cloud. He wrote' works extremely well when cornered like a rat!' :lol:

Love,light,laughter! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:16 pm

I believe that all problems can be traced back to their roots in a First Step problem. "They only thought" that they had taken the First Step.
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