The “Irrational” AA Article and It’s Blowback

Earlier this week, an article from The Atlantic titled “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” was widely read and discussed. It started a vigorous debate.

Two articles on the reaction:

The High Functioning Alcoholic from Psychology Today

Spirituality vs. Science from the Huffington Post

A blog reaction:

Trashing AA as Irrational

And a TV clip:

Does AA Really Work? from MSNBC. This clip had two women discuss it. I have to say, especially for TV (and cable tv, no less), that the discussion was equal and measured. No shouting or namecalling or casual dismissing.

A few thoughts of mine:

(1) Too many treatment programs rely too much on the 12-Step Model.

(2) Those that do rely on the 12-Step Model tend to discount medication and a number of behavioral therapies that have strong outcomes (and data to back it up).

(3) I have personally and professionally seen AA be wildly successful for thousands of individuals.

(4) I agree that AA’s strongest aspect is the power of the group. The creation of a social network and a collection of some inspirational role models.

(5) In summation, AA is a wonderful program that helps lots of people. Treatment programs need to offer more than just AA though.