Dating within alcoholics anonymous

AA only works if you're prepared to take it on as a religion.

I should know, I was brought up a Jehovah's Witness until I was 18 and the similarities are astounding." Indeed some of the AA steps make no bones about this.

People use addiction as a substitute for intimate relations and AA cleverly provides an intimate relationship." Caroline (not her real name), 39, took four years to break away from AA and looks back with loathing at what she now sees as its self-serving and coercive methods.

"I had doubts from the start but I carried on because, at the time, I had very low self-esteem and no confidence.

The ever-expanding world of 12 Step Recovery is hugely successful for a lot of people - according to research by Dr Bryan Hore at the University Hospital of South Manchester, 12 Step has a success rate of as high as 70 per cent.

But, given its omnipotence, it's worth knowing when and why it's not.

Addiction Counselling World magazine also lists 23 UK 12 Step fellowship groups in its current issue (including Survivors of Incest Anonymous, Workaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous).Once you are an alcoholic you are always an alcoholic. "After a year with AA, you're like a Moonie and you're probably in a relationship with another AA member," says James."By the end of your second year, you are definitely cured of your physical addiction, but not the underlying causes - and AA does nothing about this. The AA approach is authoritarian and fascistic, which is very effective when it's getting you to stop taking your drug of choice.With any addiction, that is the most urgent need initially; you have to stop killing yourself. Once you've been clean for, say, two years, you should move on to therapy.You have to get away from the AA paternal structure that may have been missing in your childhood.

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