In the following article by Paul Toth the disease theory and the AA recovery model is examined. He does a great job in evaluating the inconsistencies between the two.
Why would a disease which is of no fault of the infected be "treated" by acknowledging and discussing one's character defects?
Furthermore, Toth shows how step work and Alcoholics Anonymous further stigmatizes alcoholics by having them participate in the self analysis of one's wrong doings. When a member of the program is encouraged to "fake it" (recovery) and give all credit to AA (membership and God), they are actually claiming that step work has saved them from the disease. This therefore is an "admittance" that working on their character defects has relieved them of their symptoms, thus promoting the stigma of drinkers being "bad" and "irresponsible" drunks.
"While nearly every therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, and physician in the United States accepts the disease model of alcoholism and other addictions, they almost-uniformly refer every one of their patients to AA as the one and only road to recovery. Remember that these professionals have, as part of their acceptance of the disease model, obviously concluded that diseases are not caused by “character defects.”
But at the same time, in its primary document (the Twelve Steps), AA members “must” (of course they can ignore it, but no reason to attend AA exists in that case) accept the 6th Step, i.e, being “entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”
This raises two points, the first being the most important.
(1) Because almost all therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians accept the disease model of alcoholism, they also by default accept that a disease does not result from “character defects.” However, the only “treatment” they offer is referral to AA, which, while paying lip service to the disease model, clearly views alcoholism as the result of “character defects,” otherwise known as a “sinful nature.” Such “treatment” negates the very essence of the treatment community’s own diagnosis. That’s precisely parallel to a physician who knows the use of shark cartilage as a cancer treatment goes against everything he believes about the disease of cancer, but he still points every cancer patient to shark cartilage as the only treatment that “works.”
(2) Because AA accepts the disease theory of alcoholism, at least on the surface, its own 6th Step repudiates the definition of alcoholism as a disease and AA as a coherent “philosophy.” AA inculcates the idea of alcoholism as the result of “character defects,” the very idea Jellinek, the founder of the disease model, disputed. Thus, AA is entirely based upon a “sin and redemption” approach. While it may work for some, it is, without question, a faith-based organization, as both the Twelve Steps and the fact that, at least in my experience, every AA meeting ends with the specifically-Christian Lord’s Prayer and the Serenity Prayer (“God grant me the wisdom…”) attest.
In conclusion, given the treatment community’s ubiquitous acceptance of alcoholism as a disease and acceptance of AA as the sole recovery model for alcoholic patients despite AA’s insistence that alcohol is the result of “character defects,” the entire psychological, psychiatric and medical communities are not only complicit in the inevitable relapse of patients but engaging in nationwide malpractice."
Alcoholism, AA and the Medical Industry: Nationwide Malpractice
http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/pato ... lpractice/