News is coming in daily about the problems with Alcoholics Anonymous that we all know exist that AA members keep trying to cover up. Please read this article and notice the apologetic Alcoholic Anonymous members in denial posting comments that are giving a self-fulfilling prophecy with their loophole tactics of "it doesn't happen in my group", "I have never seen that before", "you were just at the wrong meeting, try another one", "your not an alcoholic, you're and addict",etc..... We are not alone and the world is starting to pull back the curtains on the cult known as Alcoholics Anonymous....
How AA fails to support young addicts
By Chelsea Carmona
I was 20 when I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
“Hi, I’m Chelsea, and I’m an addict,” I said, introducing myself to a group of mostly middle-aged men and women.
The room fell silent.
“No!” a discouraging voice bellowed from the back of the room. “This is a meeting for alcoholics!”
I didn’t understand. The staff at my inpatient treatment program had told me that newcomers were always welcome in AA. In fact, they said that if I wanted to get well, AA was the best place to go. I wouldn’t find the kind of sobriety in Narcotics Anonymous, the 12-step program for drug addicts, that I would in AA.
“I’m so sorry,” I mumbled to the group. “I didn’t mean to offend anyone.”
I started again: “I’m Chelsea, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, but perpetually admitting you have a problem that you don’t actually have can make recovery difficult. Accordingly to AA’s literature, approximately 10 percent of members are under age 30. Many of these younger folks are only beginning to struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol. The recovery community requires them to fully take on the addict and alcoholic identity as a part of the acceptance process. But, from what I’ve seen, by defining these members as addicts or alcoholics, 12-step programs can unintentionally encourage their members to develop self-fulfilling prophecies.
Adolescents and young adults are deeply affected by the labels thrust upon them. Once labeled “troublemakers” or “difficult” by parents or teachers, they find it hard to overcome such a persona. In my experience, many of those who acquired the addict/alcoholic designation, even if they didn’t deserve it at first, began to behave accordingly.
When I labeled myself an alcoholic that day, I hadn’t picked up a drink in almost three years, and I’d never been a heavy drinker. My troubles began when I was introduced to Adderall during finals week my first year in college. As a high-achiever who was struggling with the freshman 15, stimulants seemed like the solution to my problems. I could sit in class all day, study all night and skip meals without the slightest hint of exhaustion. Most important, I could compete with the other students who were also abusing such drugs.
After a few months, I was starting to fall asleep in class but couldn’t seem to sleep at night. So I started taking opiate painkillers to help come down from the Adderall. It wasn’t long before I was waking up with opiate withdrawal symptoms — cold sweats, seizure-like shakes and awful mood swings. I realized I needed help, so I approached my mom and checked into a rehab facility.
A few days into my treatment, as I embraced my new identity as an alcoholic, my mom was in a meeting for addicts’ loved ones. She refused to introduce herself as the mother of an alcoholic, instead saying she was the mother of a “young woman struggling with an addiction.” She received more than a few eye rolls. Mom preferred to concentrate on my identity as an honors student and a student council representative.
Introducing oneself as an alcoholic is much less difficult for those who have a history of alcohol and drug abuse. As Penny Lee, an addiction counselor at Recovery Solutions in Santa Ana, Calif., explains: “It helps the newcomer to be able to admit defeat. It was difficult for me, but once I did it, I knew I was in the right place: with other alcoholics.”
In my case, labeling myself an alcoholic paved the way for me to take on the “addict” persona, and I got much worse before I got better. After treatment, I traded in my college friends for the criminal ones I met in recovery, and in turn, I gained access to a variety of hard drugs......
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