There is much debate about the validity of the 12 steps introduced by alcoholics anonymous and perhaps one of the best known methods of overcoming problems with alcohol.
Agent Orange believes the 12 steps don’t work and suggests that the success rate is 5% or less, you can read about it here;
My own personal view is that people should be free to make up their own minds about how they want to overcome their own specific issues with alcohol but there is definitely the possibility for controversy when people are sent to 12 step programmes by the law courts, as happens regularly in the United States.
In the UK the majority of the rehabilitation centres methods are based around versions of the 12 step programme, including a very high profile, exclusive group often frequented by ‘burnt out’ celebrities.
The 12 steps are largely unchanged since the thirties and invite the admission that some individuals are powerless over alcohol and that this can only be resolved by following a series of steps including making a decision to ‘turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him’
One of the potential problems with the steps is that they have not changed in line with medical and scientific advances, for example alcohol is still described as cunning, baffling and powerful within the context of the 12 steps.
I agree that it is powerful, in fact it is one of the most powerful psycho-active drugs available, and if invented today would probably be illegal. But alcohol is a lot less baffling than it was 70 years ago because we know so much more about what it does and how it interacts with the human body and mind.
It is difficult to see how it is cunning, as that would suggest that it is conscious, and to my knowledge it certainly is not, but it can certainly have a big influence on our own state of consciousness if we ingest it.
I would suggest that there are 3 steps to overcoming an addiction to alcohol and I will detail them in my next blog.
In the meantime and in the interests of a balanced debate this is what Agent Green has to say about it;
Colourful world we live in!