Author Topic: Al-anon  (Read 285 times)

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Offline mrandredparis

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Al-anon
« on: August 22, 2019, 08:47:00 AM »
Recently I spent a little over a week with a cousin at her home.  After the time was over I got a mouthful about joining Al-anon because while I was a youth and young man my boss and later friend was an alcoholic. I've read about AA  but there's scant information on Al-anon.  Could anyone please weigh in?

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 09:32:16 AM »
Its my understanding that it is still a 12 step program so it requires faith and it only works for a small number of people. If you are one of those people I say go for it but if you are not you mite seek out a 12 step alternative or direct medical help.

I cant vouch for any of this but I did a quick web search and came up with this

https://www.alcohol.org/alcoholics-anonymous/alternatives-to-the-aa-approach/

Quote
There are several alternatives to the 12-Step AA approach that may work better for some individuals. Five alternatives to AA include:

SMART Recovery: Smart Management and Recovery Training focuses on empowering the individual to sustain recovery.
LifeRing: This secular group provides a healthy network of peers focused on remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol.
Women for Sobriety (WFS): This nonprofit, abstinence-based program is made up of women supporting each other in recovery.
SOS. (Secular Organizations for Sobriety): This nonprofit network is made up of secular recovery-based groups.
Moderation Management (MM): This program is not based on abstinence but instead on learning how to moderate and control problem drinking behaviors.

Also I have noticed some behaviors from some 12 step people. Because of their own recovery they sometimes make accusations that other people mite also need a 12 step program. It becomes a religion. I am of the opinion that nobody can determine alcoholism in another person.

I hope things go well for you and you find the help you are possibly seeking.

Online daniel1948

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 10:34:00 AM »
Recently I spent a little over a week with a cousin at her home.  After the time was over I got a mouthful about joining Al-anon because while I was a youth and young man my boss and later friend was an alcoholic. I've read about AA  but there's scant information on Al-anon.  Could anyone please weigh in?

I concur with what Captain Video says about AA and its spin-off 12-step programs. Roughly half the steps make direct reference to a "higher power" and if you don't believe in any sort of "higher power" those steps have no meaning. These programs are successful for about one out of ten of the people who try them.

This Wikipedia page says that Al-Anon is for families of alcoholics, and believes that alcoholism is a family illness, and the same 12 steps that alcoholics must go through also help family members, because the illness rubs off on them. That sounds like hogwash to me. If you are having problems because of an alcoholic family member, I can see how a support group might be helpful. But telling you that you need a 12-step program because a friend and employer in your youth was an alcoholic sounds to me a lot like a religion.

If you are having emotional issues now because of something that happened in the past, maybe you need help, whether that be professional or a support group. But just having known an alcoholic in your youth does not mean that something rubbed off on you, requiring treatment in a 12-step program, which in any case is singularly ineffective.

As a side note, AA claims to be the only effective treatment for alcoholism. This is patently untrue, and is very damaging, because an alcoholic who believes it and is not helped by AA might then just give up, rather than looking for alternatives.

My advice: Talk to some other friends. Ask them if they think you have a drinking problem. If they do, consider looking for treatment. If not, politely tell your cousin, "No, thank you."
Daniel
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 12:34:17 PM »
If you feel like you have lingering issues you want to process, I’d recommend seeing a therapist trained in CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy).
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline mrandredparis

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 12:43:34 PM »
The last time I drank alcohol was in October of 2017 and then only a sip, I generally don't drink alcohol ever, the last time I got drunk I was 26.  I'm 48 now.  So No, I don't think I have a substance use disorder with alcohol.  I will agree that it seems much like a religion the 12 step program which is based on someone who had a "revelation" under the influence of a psychoactive substance.  Something I would definitely like to steer clear of.

Thank you

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 02:09:03 PM »
I don’t think Al-anon is for alcoholics, though; the idea is to help people deal with the effects of having an alcoholic in their lives. It’s to help you process and move on from the emotional trauma of such a relationship.  If you don’t feel like your life today is negatively affected by this past experience, then I say just go live your life. And if you do feel like you have some post-traumatic issues, see a real therapist to help you work through it, not a deistic self-help group.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Online daniel1948

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 03:40:35 PM »
I don’t think Al-anon is for alcoholics, though; the idea is to help people deal with the effects of having an alcoholic in their lives. It’s to help you process and move on from the emotional trauma of such a relationship.  If you don’t feel like your life today is negatively affected by this past experience, then I say just go live your life. And if you do feel like you have some post-traumatic issues, see a real therapist to help you work through it, not a deistic self-help group.

Agree!
Daniel
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Online John Albert

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Re: Al-anon
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2019, 04:37:50 PM »
It's worth noting that AA, NA, Al-anon, and other 12-step programs are not scientific in their approach or methodology. They don't retain personal membership information or granular attendance data, so there's no way to objectively assess their effectiveness.

12-step programs claim extraordinary success rates, but those data are hinged on a logical fallacy: "It works if you work it." So instead of acknowledging the program's failures and addressing potential shortcomings, their ideology passes all blame on to the individual for failing to "work the steps." The program doesn't fail you, you fail the program. Which is of course total bullshit. 

Which leads to another problem with 12-step programs. Accolades are given to members with long periods of clean time, whereas relapse is treated as a personal failure that sets the recovering addict all the way back to square one with zero clean time. An AA member can have 20 years clean and sober, with 100% weekly attendance and all the little wooden nickels to prove it, and all of the trappings of that progress can be thrown away with one single sip of a beer. So instead of treating relapse as a natural occurrence in the recovery process, the 12-step program leverages public shame and guilt, which often leads to alienation from the program and even more relapse.

Despite my own misgivings about 12-steps, I know several friends who are in AA and doing fine. Since they're staying sober and healthy, I don't believe it's my place to try and dissuade them from the thing they credit with saving their lives. Even despite all the woo, 12-step programs can serve as a vital ad hoc support structure for addicts who don't have one in place.

But if you don't have any significant problems with drugs or alcohol and aren't desperate for a support group, there's no good reason to sign up for one of these things.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 04:48:59 PM by John Albert »