There are many ways out of the spiral of addiction. I do not mean to suggest that the AA/NA model of total abstinence cannot work. In fact it has been a life saver for some. I am just so dispirited by the influence that the AA/NA model has had over public consciousness and the scientific and corporate community on this issue for so long.
They have been so sold on a system of beliefs, and it is a belief system, that actual real scientific and medical information has been ignored and/or willfully distorted. Suffering addicts have paid the price for this, sometimes with their lives. Thankfully I think that is beginning to change, though the pace of change is much to slow for my liking. As an example in corporate America today if you ask for help from your company’s employee assistance program (EAP), you are still more than likely forced into rehab. In rehab you are than almost always told that AA/NA is your only hope. If if you do not totally buy into their approach and philosophy your livelihood is at risk.
I know that many people object to AA/NA on religious grounds. I agree that religion plays much to prominent a role in their system. That said, I would be willing to overlook it if was ultimatelyy effective. Unfortunately, this has been shown again and again to not be the case. AA/NA as mostly practiced today has tried to make at least some show of supporting medical science. They suggest you should visit a doctor for a physical but if any doctor has the nerve to suggest you try a medication they still react with hysteria and denial.
Anabuse, baclofen, suboxone, even anti-anxiety/depression medications that have proven effective in actual scientifically valid trials, are still viewed with suspicion and hostility by the vast majority of the “anonymous” community. You are weak if you “need” any substance to stay sober. I speak from actual experience with these matters. I hold AA/NA directly responsible for the death of my wife and they almost killed me too.
It takes all of my willpower to speak as measuredly as I have in this piece about them. I really want to tell them all to die slowly and rot in hell. However, as a scientist and rational person I am compelled to not do so. I am willing to concede that some very few persons might have been helped by AA/NA but I will never accept their philosophy as legitimate or appropriate. Like leeches and phrenology, AA/NA should be condemned for the pseudoscience it is and relegated to the dustbin of history.