This is simply not true for it implies that these programs “work.” The data (what little real data there is) shows conclusively that they (for the vast majority) do not. Anecdotes about your uncle who got clean on AA aside, it is largely an ineffective waste of resources and time. Don’t get me wrong I am so very happy for the 1–5% (probably extremely generous) of people who have success with this approach but I truly feel sorry for the 95%+ for whom these programs offer no help, and in many cases, exacerbate the problem. The medical approaches like suboxone fair slightly better, though they are only a little better. That said I still classify them as far superior for two big reasons 1. They are supervised by actual medical doctors with real training and 2. They provide data and outcomes that can be measured and reported. Let’s send AA and NA to the dustbin of history where they belong and stop talking about them as if they are a real and effective option for addicts when they clearly are not.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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