Posted by gilbert on November 15, 2001, at 0:31:58
In reply to Re: addiction and recovery, posted by galtin on November 12, 2001, at 23:04:35
Well this is very interesting so I thought I would put my 2 cents in since I have been in or around AA since 1979 at the age of 19.
First point I have seen people exit AA and drink again and not have their lives fall apart and I have seen people exit AA and drink again and be dead within a week. So we just don't know how it is going to turn out....nobody really knows if they say they do they are lying or impressing their own beliefs on others however it would be quite a dangerous experiment for sober people to try and I think we figure that out on our own by watching the experiences of others. There is strong scientific evidence that alcoholics process alcohol and create an organic compound which is the addictive element in heroin which atttaches to the dopamine in their brain matter this compound acronym is THIQ. It is the chemical that produces the craving in heroin addicts and this was disovered by doing autopsies on dead homeless drunks in Houston Texas in the 1980's. They assumed they were heroin users.....ooops come to find out they were garden variety drunks. Now this compound THIQ never dissapates even after abstinence, thus the sermon about gettting on the train where you left off. My own experience in and out of AA until 1986 would prove these assumptions correct, but again this is just me. My brother was in AA left and is drinking again and has been doing fine so what gives.
On behalf of Elizabeth's defense in this particular matter.....there is indoctrination into and in AA. There is sayings and quotes used to describe how to succeed such as 90 meetings in 90 days etc. These are almost always used on the newcomer to inform, educate, and let the newcomer know how to have the best chance at success....it is all good intentions however to deny that the cliches, the heirarchy of sponsorship, the literature, the 12 steps, the traditions, the old timers, etc is not idoctrintaion due to it being voluntary is a bit much. The Masons have less indoctrination then AA, they I belive are volunteering as well. The terorist who kill themselves are volunteering as well and I doubt we would sy they have not been indoctrinated into a certain belief system. I think for AA to survive some of this thinking will have to be opened up and changed. After all Bill W. did drop acid to try and relive his depression so the 12 steps were not a cure all for him. When I first got to AA in 1979 my best friend was told to throw out his litium and just work the steps, he ended up in the hospital for 2 months. Times have changed a bit but there still is some ideology spoken at meetings which if followed can be harmfull. These are very vulnerable people looking for help at huge low points in their lives, to dimiss it as a laissez faire volunteer type atmosphere belittles the conditions of most whom arrive at AA......they usually have no other choice, it is not like they can come and go as they please....these are mostly very desperate people willing to hang onto your every word to get some comfort. So yes Elizabeth there is huge indoctrination processes taking place in and around AA wether through repetition of cliches or working the steps or even the seductive shame of a sponsor telling a pidgeon what to do. To say well these people have a choice and this is voluntarily done when people are facing divorce, jail, suicide or plain insanity is not reality, it may be the philosophy behind the fellowship but in my 22 years in and around AA rarely does the philosophy turn into reality.