The Dry Drunks of Alcoholics Anonymous!

The Dry Drunks of Alcoholics Anonymous

I always found the term “dry drunk” to be one of the most stupid and condescending terms used by AA members to belittle others. It is generally used as an insulting term for those that do not follow the AA spiritual path diligently, which for many in AA, really is the answer, to any problem.

It is obviously ridiculous to say that AA is the only way to recover ( I think it is ranked about 36 in effectiveness, in the “Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches”), but this won’t put off a member who treats AA as their religion, which many do.

drying drunk

The term is not used elsewhere, and when normal people hear about it, they often think it is completely stupid. I have seen it used a lot in a general recovery chatroom where a devout member of the 12 step faith, tries to introduce AA, to newly sober members, who unsurprisingly after seeing his logic, really don’t seem to want it. People generally need to change their ways in many areas if they wish to lead a fulfilling life, after putting down the bottle, but that does not mean they are a dry drunk suffering from the disease of alcoholism until they pray to the AA God. I think that the best way to beat addiction of any type is to give yourself, better, more meaningful alternatives in life. the addiction will lower in importance over time to the user and they can move on with a new focus in life. For me that did not include wasting hours sitting on a plastic chair listening to AA members talk about “higher powers” dry drunks, and the disease of Alcoholism in parrot like fashion, because they had not taken the time to research the reality of the learnt behaviour of addiction.

I sometimes feel that AA members feel threatened when people walk away from the rooms and do well, as they have no wish to question anything that is said by the AA faithful. They are generally, happily convinced that recovery is impossible without meetings as this is what they have been told over and over again, starting when they were in a vulnerable condition. A lot of what is said in AA is far from rational, but that does not bother those who stay. Many of these people are the type that like to be told what to do, or who like to tell others what to do. it is not an environment for free thinkers or intellectual discussion. It is faith healing solution based on religion, but most members will deny this, despite God being used countless times in all the out of date literature.

I am sure that many AA members are more interested in getting people to join “their club” rather than really help with a solution for alcoholism, so they find the term dry drunk to be a useful term, to use when somebody dares question the sacred program.

Another related term was when AA people started going on about the “isms’ of the disease as the reason somebody was a “Dry drunk”. When people started talking like this I just used to switch off. It is meaningless rubbish, that would be taken seriously by anyone outside the rooms of AA. They are convinced that a spiritual solution dreamt up by a man who was hallucinating when he saw God, after taking Belladonna in a treatment centre is the only answer for treatment for addiction.  It is these types of sweeping statements that AA members hold so dear, that have retarded progress in finding solutions that actually work for a variety of people, rather than those who are prepared to swallow the “Bill Wilson Kool aid” for life. This is generally what a religion does when it is confronted by progress –  it attacks others with meaningless phrases from an old book, and offers no rational alternative.

Here is a link to a discussion by AA members about the idea of the dry drunk. You can decide if the “dry drunks” are in the rooms or out. there was even a term I had not heard before  called a “psychological hangover “ which the poor 12 stepper was convinced was caused by walking into a bar to watch music. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.recovery.aa/azXp39Xr-uU

Here is a great argument from the stinkin think people which is rather more rational! http://donewithaa.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/dry-drunk/

You can decide who is saner!

 

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  1. AA never worked for me – I always seemed to leave a meeting feeling worse than I had when I walked in.

    • Towards the end of my time there it was defiantly having a very negative effect on me and I was not finding it a healthy place to spend time. At the start I was so confused that I just went along with it. When I look back now, I am glad that I have left. The best way to beat an addiction is to find something better to do and that was not AA in my case!

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