Context of the question: I am a nursing student that was given a case study of alcoholism. The subject of the study claims to be atheist.
Question: What are some therapeutic options for alcoholism (including physical dependance) that would be acceptable to an atheist? (Side question, should atheist be capitalized like Deaf person is?)
I can defend my reasoning why the client should not be required to attend AA. I need other treatment options that would be acceptable that do not include the 12 steps.
they're secular and they say that their ideas about how treatment should progress are dependent on scientific evidence. to the extent that that's true, their ideas about treatment evolve along lines indicated to be the best on the evidence rather than remaining stagnant (and in some cases opposed to the evidence).
i have no personal experience with them, and nor do i know of anyone who has.
i don't endorse them, merely point to them as a possible option.
hope that helps you!
I have heard that AA is no more effective and less effective than the "no treatment" option. DO you know of any studies that specifically make this claim?
just searching Google Scholar quickly netted this. the abstract says that the study's authors followed patients receiving inpatient treatment for alcohol dependence for 31 weeks after discharge. whether or not patients participated in AA wasn't predictive of drinking outcomes but the degree to which they became involved was. meaning, it seems, it's the extent to which you become involved in a group, providing a person with a social network, and not the simple fact of attending meetings that's therapeutic.
hope that helps you
you may have already found this to be the case but, i would say, you're going to run up against a problem when it comes to AA's effectiveness-- they don't have anything to say about the effectiveness of the program themselves. sure, they'll say it's effective. but to my knowledge they've never released actual figures. the other problem is that, because it's all anonymous, and because people often go to a couple of meetings and then decide it's not for them, how do you judge effectiveness in the first place? does a person that goes to a couple of meetings and decides it's not for them count against the effectiveness of the program? and does it count in favor of the effectiveness of the program if a person stops drinking, only to start again 6 weeks later?
AA says that their program is 100% effective. It's the no true scottsman fallacy ...
If you drift away from AA , then you didn't actually take the program seriously. If you attend all the meetings for 30 years and relapse, it's because you didn't properly follow through with one of the 12 steps, yada yada yada.
The 12 steps is a load of BS. I beat my addiction after having over a dozen people harrassing me in an in facility treatment center. I told them all that I was an Atheist and they kept saying ' Choose a higher power ... ! '
I refused to do this. They told me I would never get better if I didn't admit helplessness. I am perfectly fine now, never went to meetings outside of my therapy and never completed most of the 12 steps. The entire program is hogwash.
hello Angie, Please excuse my total ignorance but I had to look up what "Al-Anon" was being a non drinker from a non drinking family. You said "ex Al-Anon cult member" is it a cult and if so how so ?
Al-Anon I believe just means Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 step program. That should be enough for google.
No. It's a support group for friends and family of alcholics.
Yes, Rosemary is correct. They have the same thing for other addiction programs. Sometimes, the family members can be hurt more than the one who was addicted. They need treatment too.
Let me first state that I am extremely appreciative of this discussion.
The 12 steps have long been an issue for me, as I see little distinction between shirking responsibility as a result of intoxication, or as a result of religious worship. Inaction stemming from belief in a higher power, has the same negative impacts as inaction from a drunken stupor. In both cases an individual stops taking responsibility for their own actions.
Now in response to your question, there needs to be a motivation outside just getting sober. A reason being sober is a better option.
Like any recovering addict, having a project or anything they can focus energy on, a positive distraction is likely to have major impacts. This provides an alternative to obsessing about the feeling of emptiness that may remain once alcohol stops hiding the underlying issues that have resulted in the dependency. Additionally, the addict's sobriety is reinforced by the recognition they could not accomplish their given project were they still intoxicated.
An atheist recognizes that any step forward will have to be on their own terms. An atheist does not have the option to put their problems on God; they are forced to take responsibility themselves. While I would imagine this road is much more challenging, in the end, they have succeeded on their own, without putting hope or faith in their success in the hands of another.
atheist is not a proper noun or a religion, so no, it should not be capitalized.