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Alcoholics Anonymous

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Despite recent progress in the medical understanding of addictive disease, the amateur self-help group known as Alcoholics Anonymous, and its affiliate, Narcotics Anonymous, are still regarded by many experts as an essential mode of treatment for recovering addicts. One of the oldest approaches to alcoholism, the movement arose in 1935 when an Ohio alcoholic named Bill Wilson teamed up with a physician to form the amateur self-help program better known as A.A. The groups now accept anyone who is dependent on any addictive drug.

Bill W. created a twelve-step program of mental, physical, and spiritual recovery. A.A. is an association of peers seeking to combat what its founders referred to as “an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind.” However, coffee and cigarettes  have traditionally been tolerated at meetings. Twelve-Step blogs are numerous and easily found, including These Rooms and the Recovery Blog.

A.A. is not a medical treatment, and it is not a formal psychiatric program. It is based on the concept of “hitting bottom,” which may come in the form of a wrecked car, a wrecked marriage, a jail term, or simply the the burden of drug-seeking behavior and its consequences.

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