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PDF | Misconceptions about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) abound in spite of (or Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age (AACA), 'Pass It On': The Story of Bill. Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age - Page _ I have great This is the area in the future life of A.A. where we can never be too prudent or too vigilant. AA Comes of Age - Kindle edition by AA World Services Inc. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like.


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B-3 - Bill W. tells how A.A. started, how the Steps and Traditions evolved, and how the A.A. Fellowship grew and spread overseas. Chapter 1. When A.A. "Came of Age". When Bill W. stepped to the podium in Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri, at four o'clock Sunday afternoon, July 3, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. A Brief History of A. A.. by Alcoholics Anonymous. World Service Meet 13 Want to read.

Print Text Size J. His choice of profession seems preordained, as he speaks in fully formed paragraphs, his thoughts organized by topic sentences. He favored gin and whiskey but drank whatever he thought his parents would miss the least. He discovered beer, too, and loved the earthy, bitter taste on his tongue when he took his first cold sip. His drinking increased through college and into law school. He could, and occasionally did, pull back, going cold turkey for weeks at a time.

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But it has taken on new urgency with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which requires all insurers and state Medicaid programs to pay for alcohol- and substance-abuse treatment, extending coverage to 32 million Americans who did not previously have it and providing a higher level of coverage for an additional 30 million. Nowhere in the field of medicine is treatment less grounded in modern science. A report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University compared the current state of addiction medicine to general medicine in the early s, when quacks worked alongside graduates of leading medical schools.

The American Medical Association estimates that out of nearly 1 million doctors in the United States, only identify themselves as addiction specialists. The Columbia report notes that there may be additional doctors who have a subspecialty in addiction. Most treatment providers carry the credential of addiction counselor or substance-abuse counselor, for which many states require little more than a high-school diploma or a GED.

Many counselors are in recovery themselves. It offers a single path to recovery: lifelong abstinence from alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous is famously difficult to study. By necessity, it keeps no records of who attends meetings; members come and go and are, of course, anonymous.

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No conclusive data exist on how well it works. During that time, I encountered disbelief from doctors and psychiatrists every time I mentioned that the Alcoholics Anonymous success rate appears to hover in the single digits. But think about it: How many celebrities can you name who bounced in and out of rehab without ever getting better?

Why do we assume they failed the program, rather than that the program failed them? But it is not enough for everyone. The history of AA is the story of how one approach to treatment took root before other options existed, inscribing itself on the national consciousness and crowding out dozens of newer methods that have since been shown to work better. A meticulous analysis of treatments, published more than a decade ago in The Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches but still considered one of the most comprehensive comparisons, ranks AA 38th out of 48 methods.

At the top of the list are brief interventions by a medical professional; motivational enhancement, a form of counseling that aims to help people see the need to change; and acamprosate, a drug that eases cravings.

An oft-cited study found step facilitation—a form of individual therapy that aims to get the patient to attend AA meetings—as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing.

But that study, called Project Match, was widely criticized for scientific failings, including the lack of a control group. As an organization, Alcoholics Anonymous has no real central authority—each AA meeting functions more or less autonomously—and it declines to take positions on issues beyond the scope of the 12 steps.

But many in AA and the rehab industry insist the 12 steps are the only answer and frown on using the prescription drugs that have been shown to help people reduce their drinking. People with alcohol problems also suffer from higher-than-normal rates of mental-health issues, and research has shown that treating depression and anxiety with medication can reduce drinking. Paul and a former director of treatment and recovery research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told me.

He threw up his hands. Alcoholics Anonymous was originally intended for chronic, severe drinkers—those who may, indeed, be powerless over alcohol—but its program has since been applied much more broadly.

Today, for instance, judges routinely require people to attend meetings after a DUI arrest; fully 12 percent of AA members are there by court order. Whereas AA teaches that alcoholism is a progressive disease that follows an inevitable trajectory, data from a federally funded survey called the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions show that nearly one-fifth of those who have had alcohol dependence go on to drink at low-risk levels with no symptoms of abuse.

The new term replaces the older alcohol abuse and the much more dated alcoholism, which has been out of favor with researchers for decades.

Only about 15 percent of those with alcohol-use disorder are at the severe end of the spectrum. The rest fall somewhere in the mild-to-moderate range, but they have been largely ignored by researchers and clinicians.

Both groups—the hard-core abusers and the more moderate overdrinkers—need more-individualized treatment options. It also costs the country hundreds of billions of dollars in expenses related to health care, criminal justice, motor-vehicle crashes, and lost workplace productivity, according to the CDC.

Have they been proved effective? And for whom—only those at the extreme end of the spectrum?

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Or also those in the vast, long-overlooked middle? For a glimpse of how treatment works elsewhere, I traveled to Finland, a country that shares with the United States a history of prohibition inspired by the American temperance movement, the Finns outlawed alcohol from to and a culture of heavy drinking. I met with Sinclair in Helsinki in early July. He was battling late-stage prostate cancer, and his thick white hair was cropped short in preparation for chemotherapy.

Sinclair expected that after several weeks without booze, the rats would lose their desire for it. Instead, when he gave them alcohol again, they went on week-long benders, drinking far more than they ever had before—more, he says, than any rat had ever been shown to drink.

Sinclair called this the alcohol-deprivation effect, and his laboratory results, which have since been confirmed by many other studies, suggested a fundamental flaw in abstinence-based treatment: going cold turkey only intensifies cravings.

This discovery helped explain why relapses are common. Sinclair published his findings in a handful of journals and in the early s moved to Finland, drawn by the chance to work in what he considered the best alcohol-research lab in the world, complete with special rats that had been bred to prefer alcohol to water.

He spent the next decade researching alcohol and the brain. Sinclair came to believe that people develop drinking problems through a chemical process: each time they drink, the endorphins released in the brain strengthen certain synapses.

The stronger these synapses grow, the more likely the person is to think about, and eventually crave, alcohol—until almost anything can trigger a thirst for booze, and drinking becomes compulsive. To test this hypothesis, he administered opioid antagonists—drugs that block opiate receptors—to the specially bred alcohol-loving rats. He found that if the rats took the medication each time they were given alcohol, they gradually drank less and less.

He published his findings in peer-reviewed journals beginning in the s. Subsequent studies found that an opioid antagonist called naltrexone was safe and effective for humans, and Sinclair began working with clinicians in Finland.

He suggested prescribing naltrexone for patients to take an hour before drinking. As their cravings subsided, they could then learn to control their consumption. Numerous clinical trials have confirmed that the method is effective, and in Sinclair published a paper in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism reporting a 78 percent success rate in helping patients reduce their drinking to about 10 drinks a week.

Some stopped drinking entirely. I visited one of three private treatment centers, called the Contral Clinics, that Sinclair co-founded in Finland. In the past 18 years, more than 5, Finns have gone to the Contral Clinics for help with a drinking problem. Seventy-five percent of them have had success reducing their consumption to a safe level. He poured coffee and showed me around the clinic, in downtown Helsinki.

The most common course of treatment involves six months of cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented form of therapy, with a clinical psychologist.

Treatment typically also includes a physical exam, blood work, and a prescription for naltrexone or nalmefene, a newer opioid antagonist approved in more than two dozen countries. When I asked how much all of this cost, Keski-Pukkila looked uneasy. When I told Keski-Pukkila this, his eyes grew wide.

I listed some of the treatments offered at top-of-the-line rehab centers: equine therapy, art therapy, mindfulness mazes in the desert. As I researched this article, I wondered what it would be like to try naltrexone, which the U. Food and Drug Administration approved for alcohol-abuse treatment in I asked my doctor whether he would write me a prescription.

B-3 - Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age

Not surprisingly, he shook his head no. I ordered some naltrexone online and received a foil-wrapped package of 10 pills about a week later. Dan Saelinger The first night, I took a pill at An hour later, I sipped a glass of wine and felt almost nothing—no calming effect, none of the warm contentment that usually signals the end of my workday and the beginning of a relaxing evening. I finished the glass and poured a second.

By the end of dinner, I looked up to see that I had barely touched it. I had never found wine so uninteresting. Was this a placebo effect? But so it went. On the third night, at a restaurant where my husband and I split a bottle of wine, the waitress came to refill his glass twice; mine, not once. That had never happened before, except when I was pregnant. At the end of 10 days, I found I no longer looked forward to a glass of wine with dinner.

Interestingly, I also found myself feeling full much quicker than normal, and I lost two pounds.

A.A. Comes of Age

Tears came to my eyes. It was tremendously emotional. Bill made it very dramatic, as he physically stepped down from the stage. I like to kid about that: So astounding were the growth and accomplishments of Alcoholics Anonymous in the first 20 years and so bright the future - as representatives of medicine, religion and the press heaped paeans of praise on the Fellowship during the Convention -that this occasion seemed a pinnacle in A. In , there were 7, A.

Louis to exchange experiences. By , footholds had been established in Cleveland, in the Midwest and in Greenwich, Connecticut, in the east, followed closely by Upper Montclair, New Jersey. As new groups formed in New York City, their members carried the A. In the same way, recovered drunks from Akron and Cleveland pioneered A. Little Rock and Los Angeles showed that an A. For detailed history of the spread and growth of A. Meanwhile, in the early 's, A.

From Toronto, it spread to the Ontario towns, and from Vancouver, B. The first French-speaking A. For detailed history of spread and growth of A. Bill was able to state proudly at the St. Louis convention that "A.

In other countries, the message was carried by traveling members, or by a sober member in the U. Most of the "beachheads" were lone members or struggling groups. However, on a trip to Europe in , Bill and Lois had seen at first hand, that A. The Service Structure adopted in St.

Louis was to prove the key to A. For detailed history of the spread and growth in other countries around the world, see Chapter An important feature of the St. Louis Convention was the get-together of lone members from remote outposts and ships at sea.

Accustomed to relying heavily on the Big Book and on letters from "Headquarters" and fellow loners, they were overjoyed to share in the big celebration. In other workshops, there was a lively swapping of experience on how best to help the still—suffering alcoholics in hospitals and prisons—a work well under way in many parts of the U. Intergroup offices which were providing vital services in many cities, were represented by workers who gathered in St. Louis to discuss their mutual problems.

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

The Convention afforded an opportunity for membership at large to get to know their trustees, as well as "Headquarters" and A. Grapevine staff. Repeatedly in his talks over the three days, Bill acknowledged the enormous debt the struggling Fellowship owed to the non—alcoholic trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation. Formed in , the Foundation had helped guide A. Among non—alcoholic trustees, who constituted a majority, those present in St.

Louis included Leonard Harrison, "long-time Chairman of the Alcoholic Foundation during the uncertain period of our adolescence;" Archibald Roosevelt, that "exuberant and genial man," Treasurer of the Board; and as mentioned earlier, "Dr. Jack" Norris and Bernard Smith, Chairman. Other non-alcoholic Trustees, who did not make it to St. In a session called "Presenting the Headquarters Staff," the convention-goers met the manager, Hank G.

Marian F. Similarly, an A. Grapevine session showed the monthly magazine enjoyed a circulation of 40, Editor Don C. Louise S. Contributing to the feeling of enthusiasm and accomplishment that pervaded the Convention was the flood of favorable press attention A.

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Ralph B. The Convention generated far more coverage in the press than any other previous A. Bill was quick to emphasize that far from being "ballyhoo" or "promotion" contrary to our Traditions, this was the same kind of help we had given Jack Alexander. Not much Twelfth Step work ever could have been done until the sick ones and their families had been reached and persuaded A.

The press. Eisenhower, President of the United States. With Bill W. Nevertheless, her approval was important to Bill all his life, so having her at this epochal convention, to hear him speak and witness the adulation heaped upon him, was for Bill, "the icing on the cake.

This meeting marked the end of the five-year trial period for the Conference. The members had already adopted the permanent charter when they assembled on the stage in Kiel Auditorium on Sunday. Louis Convention. Bill spun once again the tale of the Big Book's precarious - well-nigh miraculous beginnings, and noted that about , copies of the first edition had now been sold.

It was dramatic and very moving to us who knew what an effort of Bill's this was, over a lot of opposition. One of the members who opposed the idea, the influential and controversial Father P. Dennis Manders, non-alcoholic bookkeeper in , left the steaming-hot registration area to attend the ceremony.

And than a roar of approval went up from the audience. Tears came to my eyes. It was tremendously emotional. Bill made it very dramatic, as he physically stepped down from the stage. I like to kid about that: he didn't finish that last step until twelve years later. In , there were 7, A. Louis to exchange experiences.

By , footholds had been established in Cleveland, in the Midwest and in Greenwich, Connecticut, in the east, followed closely by Upper Montclair, New Jersey. As new groups formed in New York City, their members carried the A. In the same way, recovered drunks from Akron and Cleveland pioneered A.

Download AA Comes of Age AA World Services Inc Download file

Little Rock and Los Angeles showed that an A. For detailed history of the spread and growth of A. Meanwhile, in the early 's, A. From Toronto, it spread to the Ontario towns, and from Vancouver, B. The first French-speaking A. For detailed history of spread and growth of A.

Bill was able to state proudly at the St. Louis convention that "A. In other countries, the message was carried by traveling members, or by a sober member in the U. Most of the "beachheads" were lone members or struggling groups. However, on a trip to Europe in , Bill and Lois had seen at first hand, that A. The Service Structure adopted in St. Louis was to prove the key to A. For detailed history of the spread and growth in other countries around the world, see Chapter An important feature of the St.

Louis Convention was the get-together of lone members from remote outposts and ships at sea.

Accustomed to relying heavily on the Big Book and on letters from "Headquarters" and fellow loners, they were overjoyed to share in the big celebration. In other workshops, there was a lively swapping of experience on how best to help the still—suffering alcoholics in hospitals and prisons—a work well under way in many parts of the U. Intergroup offices which were providing vital services in many cities, were represented by workers who gathered in St.

Louis to discuss their mutual problems. The Convention afforded an opportunity for membership at large to get to know their trustees, as well as "Headquarters" and A. Grapevine staff. Repeatedly in his talks over the three days, Bill acknowledged the enormous debt the struggling Fellowship owed to the non—alcoholic trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation.

Formed in , the Foundation had helped guide A. Among non—alcoholic trustees, who constituted a majority, those present in St. Louis included Leonard Harrison, "long-time Chairman of the Alcoholic Foundation during the uncertain period of our adolescence;" Archibald Roosevelt, that "exuberant and genial man," Treasurer of the Board; and as mentioned earlier, "Dr. Jack" Norris and Bernard Smith, Chairman.