Effectiveness Of 12 Step Group Essay

Length: 9 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Sports - Drugs Type: Essay Paper: #12395137 Related Topics: Twelve Angry Men, Group Therapy, Alcoholism, Interest Groups
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … 12 Step groups

step programs are famous for their role in the breaking of addictions. The programs cover such areas of addiction such as gambling, drug, and alcohol. Below is an evaluation of the effectiveness of the 12 step program in breaking addiction to alcohol.

Background of Alcoholism

Facts concerning the abuse of alcohol are often overlooked as it is a frequently used drug that can be obtained from the nearest store or ordered from a menu in a restaurant. Alcohol abuse statistics raise several alarms but focusing the attention of the public to the alcohol effects can help raise awareness and help in the fighting of alcoholism (Get The Facts).

Just a few drinkers of alcohol stop consumption with the first bottle. Also, an evening of heavy consumption is not always done alone (Get The Facts). Chronically consuming alcohol leads to a host of effects. When done over a prolonged period of time, it can cause inflammation of the liver (alcohol induced hepatitis) which can develop further to cirrhosis. An increased blood pressure as well the rate at which the heart beats that is due to drinking of alcohol moderately over a long period of time can cause enlargement and underperformance of the heart (alcohol cardiomyopathy).

Another effect of consumption of alcohol that is not as popular is a higher occurrence of various cancers (Get The Facts). Besides the impacts on the health of the individual, the association of alcohol with accidents and crime also need to be factored in (Get The Facts).

When all is said and done, the cost of abusing alcohol when given a dollar figure is hundreds of billions. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that close to 90, 000 individuals pass away every year due to causes linked to alcohol. This places alcohol as the third highest preventable killer in the United States (Get The Facts).

Abuse of alcohol can be defined as someone having unhealthy or maladaptive drinking behavior. This could encompass excessive drinking at one time, or drinking daily (Get The Facts). Abusers of alcohol are aware of the detrimental effects of alcohol but find it hard to stop the harmful habit. On continued abuse, a stage of alcohol dependence is reached. To be considered alcohol dependent, one must meet three or more of the conditions below (Get The Facts):

Tolerance to alcohol, or needing more alcohol to attain the same wanted effect

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms on abstaining

Using alcohol in lengths or quantities bigger than was intended

A constant desire to reduce consumption of alcohol

Dedicating more time and energy to getting alcohol

Lowered interest in recreational or social activities because of alcohol

Continued alcoholism despite the appreciation of the problems the habit is causing

Alcoholics Anonymous

A.A. Started at Akron in Ohio in 1935 following the meeting between Dr. Bob S., who was a surgeon in Akron and Bill W., who was a stockbroker in New York. The two had been suffering from alcoholism. Before the meeting, the two had contacted Oxford Group which was a nonalcoholic fellowship emphasizing universal values in day-to-day life (The Birth of A.A and Its Growth). During that time, the American Oxford Groups were lead by Dr. Samuel Shoemaker who was a notable Episcopal clergyman. Under the influence of the clergyman and with the assistance of Ebby T., a friend, Bill got sober and ensured the maintenance of his recovery through working with others who had the same problem. Meanwhile, the membership group run by Bob had failed to assist him achieve complete sobriety. When Bill and Dr. Bob finally met, there was an immediate effect on the good doctor (The Birth of A.A and Its Growth). This moment, he had met a former alcoholic who had overcome the problem. Bill made the emphasis that alcoholism was indeed a disease of the body, mind and emotions. He had learned this from Dr. William D. Silkworth who practiced in New York at Towns Hospital where Bill had always been treated (The Birth of A.A. And Its Growth). Even though he was a physician, Dr. Bob had never recognized alcoholism as a disease. In response to the convincing ideas of Bill, he attained sobriety and never drunk again. The park for the founding of A.A. Had just been struck.

From then onwards, A.A. Grew to be global, revealing that the values of A.A transcend barriers of language, creed and race. A World Service Meeting was began in 1969 and has taken

...

The meetings are held alternately between Overseas and New York. It has been held in London, Helsinki, San Juan del Rio, Guetemala, Munich, Cartagena, Auckland and Oviedo. A.A is global fellowship of women and men that have drinking problems (What is A.A?) It is multiracial, self supporting, apolitical, nonprofessional and can be found almost every place. It has no education or age requirements. Anyone that wants to cure their alcoholism is free to join. Since the publishing of the Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, the work has been of great assistance to many people in recovering from abuse of alcohol (What is A.A. ). The Big Book can now be found in the General Service Conference-approved Fourth Edition and has the co-founders' stories and stories of the many members who are drawn from diverse backgrounds who have recovered in A.A.'s worldwide fellowship.

A.A and Twelve Steps

The success of the A.A program relative to other programs is that a former alcoholic is more capable of helping a drinker. In other words, the program operation is in a former alcoholic sharing his experiences as a former alcoholic and his sobriety in the A.A. program then invites the new one to join the A.A. Fellowship (AA Favt File Introduction).

The core of the personal recovery program can be found in the 12 steps describing the experiences of the initial AA members (AA Fact File Introduction):

They made the admission that they had no power over alcohol -- that they couldn't manage their lives any longer.

They had the belief that a power other than themselves can restore their sanity.

They decided to turn their will and lives to God's care as they comprehended Him

Made a fearless inventory of their morals.

Made an admission to God, to themselves and to other humans the particular nature of the wrongs they had committed.

They were accepting of God removing all these character defects.

They humbly asked God to do away with their shortcomings.

They listed all the people to whom they had caused harm, and were willing to amend the wrongs they had done.

They made amends directly to such individuals where it was possible to do so without causing harm to anyone.

They continued to pay attention to the moments they were on the wrong and immediately admitted to their wrongs.

They sought to improve their conscious contact with God as they understood God to be through meditation and prayer.

With the awakening they had had with following the steps above, they carried the message to other alcoholics and practiced the principles daily in their affairs.

New members are not requested to follow all the 12 steps if they feel that they are not able to. They are asked to be open minded and to be in attendance in meetings that former alcoholics detail the experiences they had as they became sober and also to study the AA program literature (AA Fact File Introduction). AA members often emphasize to the new members that only the drinkers themselves can make an accurate determination if they are indeed alcoholics. Also, it is clarified that all evidence points to the fact that alcoholism is in fact a progressive disease, which its curing cannot be done ordinarily, but can be arrested by abstaining completely from all forms of alcohol (AA Fact File Introduction).

In its first decade, the AA fellowship got massive experience that indicated that some attitudes of the group were instrumental in the survival of the fellowship's structure (AA Fact File Introduction). In the year 1946, in the journal of the fellowship, the AA Grapevine, the principles were written down by the founding members as well as the early participants and called the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The principles gained acceptance and the endorsement of the whole membership at AA's International Convention that took place in 1950 at Cleveland, Ohio. The traditions include:

1.

That the common welfare of the fellowship comes first and that personal recovery is dependent upon the unity of AA.

2.

For the purpose of the group there will be only one ultimate authority -- a God who is loving as God may express himself in the conscience of the group. The leaders at AA are just trusted servants -- they are not to govern.

3.

That the AA membership has only one requirement- one's desire to quit drinking

4.

The groups will be independent of each other…

Sources Used in Documents:

References"

1)

Get the Facts on Alcohol Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://drugabuse.com/library/get-the-facts-on-alcohol-abuse/

2)

The Birth of A.A. And Its Growth in the U.S./Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/historical-data-the-birth-of-aa-and-its-growth-in-the-uscanada
What Is A.A. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2015 from http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/what-is-aa
AA Fact File Introduction. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2015 from http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/About-AA
Cooper, K. (n.d.). Natural Ways to Cure Alcohol Addiction. Retrieved January 23, 2015, from http://www.ehow.com/way_5285555_natural-ways-cure-alcohol-addiction.html


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