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Old 01-17-2008, 06:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What "other" programs are there?

I see references on this forum to programs other than AA that an alcoholic can turn to. Presumably these are programs that help a person stop drinking and stay sober.

What programs are these? I've heard of Rational Recovery, but no others. I've lived in large cities the last several years and have not heard of any programs other than AA where you can meet other alcoholics.

I find it difficult to imagine a program that "treats" alcoholism (aside from AA) that results in anything other than being a dry drunk. AA itself seems to be full of more dry drunks than not (including yours truly from time to time). Is there really an alternative to AA?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I dont know of any program with more success than AA myself.

What about AA do you dislike? Maybe a thorough examination may help pinpoint the problem?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here you go Zanthos, this is Carol's list of recovery programs. I think SMART is quite popular, but take a look at the list:


http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-programs.html
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've lived in large cities the last several years and have not heard of any programs other than AA where you can meet other alcoholics.
I have heard of a program where there are like 5 or 6 cities in the world with face to face meetings, but other then AA there is no other face to face recovery programs. I would imagine there are groups that meet to help each other with recovery.

Even though AA saved my butt, for the sake of other alcoholics I wish there was another really big recovery group out there with as good a track record for recovery as AA. I would think that the natural tendancy of people to be competitive would increase long term sobriety both in AA and the other program.

Human nature is to say "My program is better then yours!" I really feel a lot more alcoholics would be sober today if they went to AA and for what ever reason got mad and went to "The other Big Program" and stayed sober just out of spite! Just to where they could say "Hah, I told you AA would not work for me, but "The other Big Program" sure does. Then of course there would be folks going to the other program and for what ever reason got mad and went to AA and stayed sober just to where they could say "Hah, I told you "The other Big Program" would not work for me, but AA sure does.

I really would love to see another recovery program as big and as successfull as AA, the world would be a better place.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What about AA do you dislike? Maybe a thorough examination may help pinpoint the problem?
Oh no. There may be things about AA I don't like, but that's not where I'm coming from here.

My entire recovery centers around AA -- what I've learned in AA, my participation in the fellowship, and practicing in every area of my life (as best I can) the principles of the program.

I'm asking this question because I am truly unaware of alternatives to AA, and I haven't heard of anything that offers the moral and spiritual growth and sense of belonging that I get in AA.

I know we can't force people into AA (although the courts do it all the time and I know a lot of people who never wanted to go to AA who ended up finding a whole new wonderful way of living), but when people suggest there are alternatives to AA, I have to wonder what those alternatives are. And given what I've learned and experienced in AA, I even wonder if a disservice is being done by suggesting another path.

Maybe there are different types of alcoholics. I'm the kind described in the Big Book, and although it took several attempts over a long period of time, I ultimately found that the AA program of recovery fits me like a glove.

Given my own limited and particular experience, it's easy for me to perceive in others who "don't like" AA or for whom AA "doesn't work" the unreformed character defects that give life to the disease of alcoholism. It was only when a lot of people I trusted told me I absolutely had to learn to follow the AA program of recovery -- despite every instinct in every bone of my body that said "No way!" -- if I wanted a shot at a satisfying life without alcohol, did I begin to see that my resistance to AA was an integral part of my disease.

Now that I have a little time, my perspective on AA is that it was offering all along the sense of well-being and comfort in my own skin that I craved my whole life. So I have to wonder -- what are these "other programs" and what do they offer?
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Human nature is to say "My program is better then yours!" I really feel a lot more alcoholics would be sober today if they went to AA and for what ever reason got mad and went to "The other Big Program" and stayed sober just out of spite! Just to where they could say "Hah, I told you AA would not work for me, but "The other Big Program" sure does. Then of course there would be folks going to the other program and for what ever reason got mad and went to AA and stayed sober just to where they could say "Hah, I told you "The other Big Program" would not work for me, but AA sure does.
Well, that would produce a whole boatload of dry drunks!

But I do know what you mean. I think. OK, maybe I don't. Because I can't imagine predicating my recovery on proving anything to anyone.

But as far as there being a place, somewhere, where people can stop drinking and stay sober -- regardless of any kind of psychic change or spiritual awakening kind of thing -- I would agree that it's better that alcoholics not drink even if they merely dry than be active. I had my 3 years of being a dry drunk, and for my body and for other reasons, that was so much better than actively drinking. Only thing is, there was a high probability that I would resume drinking again. Which I did.

I suppose though that the "problem" with AA, if you can call it that, is that it is such a radical solution to the problem. It asks what so many alcoholics (like myself for the longest time) are incapable of doing. Surrender. Following suggestions. Belief in and reliance upon a Power other than oneself. Or even stuff like honesty and responsibility.

Of course, alcoholics like me have a very radical problem, so the radical solution is well suited to it. But I had to reach a point of total and utter desperation before I was capable of even considering taking up such a radical solution. Even if it was what I was looking for all along.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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AA is a very powerful program and it attracts very desperate people. It has been my observation that when these folks get a few days, weeks, and sometimes months they tend to "carry their glad tidings like a club!" This exuberance by relatively new comers tends to sour some prospective members and they clamor for an "alternative."

AA is much like exercise and healthy eating, the process is daunting and very difficult to maintain after the initial euphoria wears off, but if one sticks with it the results are amazing. Just like those diets and exercises there are always "miracle pills" and wacky diets that we so badly want to believe in so that we won't have to do the work.

I know a few folks who began their sober journey in AA and then replace the formal meetings and structure with some particular religious based belief and it seems to work for them, however the only ones that I know personally did all begin with AA.

My younger brother always felt that rehabs and psychologists and or counselors were the answer and has always been a naysayer regarding AA. I noticed in his case that there always seemed to be a thought pattern that "experts" were going to FIX HIM! He has never attained sobriety and in fact is a very physically damaged individual after falling down the stairs drunk three years ago and breaking his back in 5 places including his neck. This concept of a gentler and softer way just seems to come up lacking based on my own observations.

It is each person's choice how the find not only sobriety, but more importantly happiness. I really don't care to "sell" AA to anyone. If other methods worked long term and for large numbers of people then there will be other places for those who don't want AA. I have had some years now, given to me by AA and the people in it. Put me down for a proponent of AA.

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Old 01-17-2008, 09:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I gotta hit some meetings in Upland

Even the oxford groups were having success getting people sober. They eventually imploded (money, property, prestige)

The medical opinion is that alcoholics need to have an entire psychic change, moral psychology - their minds are wired wrong - and they still have not found a way to fix the problem.

AA doesn't keep me sober (I am a member, in good standing).
Meetings don't keep me sober
The Book doesn't keep me sober
My sponsor can't keep me sober

But - mix all this stuff together, and start doing a few spiritual exercises - and all of a sudden my life has been turned upside down and my thoughts have changed. I am the same person, but something has changed. I call this a conscious contact with God - that is what keeps me sober. There are things I have to do on a daily basis to maintain that contact.

But I am part of the softest, easiest way I could have ever imagined. It was there in front of me for years and I just didn't get it. I wasn't ready.

This is just my experience you know....
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I really don't believe that AA has a high recovery rate. I have attended many, many meetings and found that many people continue to struggle with sobriety while in AA. These are just my observations.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I really don't believe that AA has a high recovery rate. I have attended many, many meetings and found that many people continue to struggle with sobriety while in AA. These are just my observations.
You're right. AA does not have a high recovery rate. There is no high recovery rate from alcoholism or addiction.

But maybe the recovery rate via AA is significantly higher than by any other path. And I know for certain that AA offers a form or type of recovery that, for the fraction of people in AA that get there, is consistent with the broadest principles of human health and well-being that I've encountered.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I really don't believe that AA has a high recovery rate. I have attended many, many meetings and found that many people continue to struggle with sobriety while in AA. These are just my observations.
Chances are those people who are struggling are not fully involved in the AA program of recovery. It's a lot more than just going to meetings. There's work to be done.

Amongst those I know who are actively involved in AA (sponsor - sponsees - steps - commitments - 12 twelve work - carry the message - meetings) - most of them (probably 99%) are sober today. Very few active alcoholics would be doing these things.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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AA has a very low recovery rate. It is ESTIMATED (since no records are kept), as low as 3% to 5% of those coming into AA are still sober 5 years later. That is very low; however it seems to be higher than anything else that I have been made aware of to date.

The people that I know with long term sobriety, and there are many, in AA are happy, joyous and free. You can deem a program a success if only 1 in 1000 is sober for several years if that 1 is you!!

AA is a success in my book.

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Old 01-17-2008, 10:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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In my opinion there is no "one size fits all" program.

There are many other recovery programs out there, but to this day our doctors remain uneducated about them. It is up to us to inform them.

Women in my program have 20+ years of recovery, some have just found us and have only a few days.

I encourage everyone to look into all the other programs out there, AA included, and find the one that speaks to their heart.

If someone tells you that theirs is the only way to sobriety.......run like heck.

Thousands of people get sober using many ways, we tend to forget that when we are "sticking up" for the one we use.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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In my opinion there is no "one size fits all" program.

There are many other recovery programs out there, but to this day our doctors remain uneducated about them. It is up to us to inform them.

Women in my program have 20+ years of recovery, some have just found us and have only a few days.

I encourage everyone to look into all the other programs out there, AA included, and find the one that speaks to their heart.

If someone tells you that theirs is the only way to sobriety.......run like heck.

Thousands of people get sober using many ways, we tend to forget that when we are "sticking up" for the one we use.
This is exactly the kind of reference to other programs I'm referring to.

"Many other programs"..."all the other programs"..."many ways".

Could you please name some of these other programs? Perhaps I could explore some of them. How can anyone become educated about them if no one says what they are?
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Here you go:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-programs.html
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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51Anna, put a link up in her post, there are others that are not listed. Not sure what they are as I tend to be happy in my own program.

I would encourage everyone to look for themselves.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I really don't believe that AA has a high recovery rate. I have attended many, many meetings and found that many people continue to struggle with sobriety while in AA. These are just my observations.
Just out of curiosity, is there any recovery program that does not have people in it who struggle with sobriety? One can find fault with any program. The bottom line is there are many different recovery programs out there. None have a higher success rate than AA although some may be equal to it. There are many out there that are just after your money. There are some out there that make the outrageous claim they are a cure. Regardless. There is no one size fits all program of recovery. It is up to the individual to decide what one they are willing to put the work into.

AA happens to be the program that works for me. I did try others prior to AA. They did not work for me. But that does not mean they will not work for someone else nor does that mean that they have a bad success rate. I can not base that on my personal success or failure within that program. The difference for me was AA was a program that I could apply to every aspect of my life, just as I did my drinking. It is also a program that helped me release the guilt, resentment, and shame that helped keep me drinking. It is a program that has taught me how to not only treat myself but others. It is a program that has allowed me to be happy, joyous, and free. I am grateful for it as it literally saved my life.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Great Post Nadm,

I feel much the same way about my program.

We need not get defensive when others find their own way, I am sure my program isn't for every woman, they must find what works for them and work it.
It's all about sobriety and recovery, not who is the best, has the most, yells the loudest.
I wish all those who are still in the misery of drinking to find what will give them the tools to begin to really live.

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Old 01-17-2008, 11:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The thing is when someone keeps relapsing in AA they are told that they are not "working the program." It's like the "program" is perfect. The truth is the "program" may not fit the person. These folks who are "constitutionally incapable of being honest" are rarely told that there are other recovery methods.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Zanthos -

This is a provocative thread - thank you....

and you know -*I* don't know of that many others with any mentionable 'success' rate, either.

I do know individuals who got sober themselves, and are doing well ...
I know others who do their best to manipulate their chosen recovery method something of their own design...

I think this is very interesting.
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