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Jason Smith 116 Rep.

I’ve heard people say that the 12 steps have kept them clean and saved their lives. I’ve also heard people call 12-step programs a cult with a very small success rate. Opinions on AA & NA seem to be either one extreme or the other. What is your experience? What are your thoughts on AA and NA and other 12-step programs?

Shelly W. answered ago
    3
    Matt 105 Rep. Ago

    I have a lot of respect for 12-step programs, namely AA and NA, but at the same time I believe it’s dangerous to view these programs in the dogmatic fashion that many members do, along with the medical and judicial communities. I think it works for some people, and has given community and purpose to millions in recovery. At the same time, I think that it’s disturbing that this is the only real program that our judicial system uses, and I find it strange that we still treat a “disease” (i tend to refer to addiction as a “condition”), with the same standards we have since AA was introduced over 80 years ago. What other medical or mental health issues do we still use such antiquated methods to treat?
    It’s a difficult topic.. because no doubt, there are a ton of people that have gained their lives back due to 12-step, at the same time, has this stunted our research or our ability to impliment other forms of treatment that could be just as, if not more effective?
    I tend to think yes.

    Gordon McKendry commented on answer ago
      0
      Shelly W. 20 Rep. Ago

      I’ve heard people say that the 12 steps have kept them clean and saved their lives. I’ve also heard people call 12-step programs a cult with a very small success rate. Opinions on AA & NA seem to be either one extreme or the other. What is your experience? What are your thoughts on AA and NA and other 12-step programs?

      After twenty years of struggling, the program I belong to gave me the life I never dreamed I could live. The small rate of success comes from the inability to do what the program suggests. When you take suggestions and actually do the work- it works!

        0
        Darlene Dawn 40 Rep. Ago

        After drinking and drugging for over 20 years I found AA and NA when I was desperate enough to do something different. There is no down side except that I’ve heard it ruins your drinking and drugging should you choose to go back out. (I have 27 years, one day at a time, and to date have not relapsed.) The up side is that it works if you live it. This is no easy matter. It means living by spiritual principles, which in the beginning were completely foreign to me. Even today there are times when it’s not easy. That’s when I invite Spirit to help me see the situation differently—with spiritual eyes. I still go to meetings on a regular basis, but not daily anymore. A sponsor and especially sponsees keep me on my toes. I found people in the program who were also into metaphysics and joined their discussion groups. I also belong to a spiritual sisterhood of powerful women that is not 12-step or religion based. I’m still growing, learning, and exploring the life that AA and NA gave back to me 27 years ago. Looking back today I call that desperation a gift and mean it. When you find something that works, why stop?

          1
          tazsins 15 Rep. Ago

          I am agreement with the others. I started going to A.A. about 5 years ago. I was still drinking at the time, but I knew I needed to change my ways. After 4 treatment tries, and plenty of A.A. I am clean and sober,(right now). That said, A.A. was not aligned with my thinking. But at the time I did need the community of people in a similar situation as mine. It is said that we have to change the people we hang around with to maintain our sobriety. And I do agree with that. But when I started to make the changes in my friend department, there was no one left. All my friends were drinkers and users. I didn’t hang around sober people. So in the beginning A.A. was a good place for me to start. I was able to see that It was possible to go through the day sober. When I was more rational in my thinking and behaviors I was able to look for alternatives to A.A. I now use several bits and pieces from many sources to help me stay on the straight and narrow. This is the way I can understand myself, and I think that is an important part of reaching my goal. Because if I am just going through the motions of A.A., I am not moving forward. I would say to someone thinking about sobriety, to defiantly try A.A. It is a good start when everything is so confusing for them in the beginning. If it works great, if not try something else. A.A. is not the only game in town.

            1
            Kristie Figueredo 25 Rep. Ago

            I am sober 27 years. I started out going to CA and AA meetings, for me I needed a place to be and be around people who were not using. I was very confused when I came into these meetings and was just looking for acceptance. Back then we all got together and went to movies,dances out to eat and I stayed sober, one day at a time. I have through the years implemented counseling, not sure I ever worked the steps although some of them with counselors however I do not attend meetings anymore find them to be labeling and most of the people I know with the sobriety I have attend maybe one meeting a week if that. I do not feel 12 step programs are the only way, I’ve seen other people use the program as I did and then just move on.

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