Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry.
Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry. Dr. Lance Dodes
This book has just come out today and I downloaded it from kindle. I have read the first chapter and think it would appeal to many that come to this blog.
Here is a link to a review of the book which already has about 550 comments from those who support AA or those who find it unhelpful or worse. http://www.npr.org/2014/03/23/291405829/with-sobering-science-doctor-debunks-12-step-recovery
Many of the comments are from AA members who have not read the book and probably won’t! They feel that AA is the answer to all their problems, and that there is no need to investigate other methods of recovery. This attitude in AA, has meant many in AA feel that the program will work for anybody even though the statistics would tend to show otherwise. Chapter 5 from the AA Big Book claims this and anyone who fails in AA is said to have not followed the program. There is never any discussion in AA, that a more suitable program for that individual may help. If you criticise AA, many AA members get very upset as it has become a religion for many of them, who have remained members for years.
I hope that Lance Dodes new book “The Sober Truth” will help change attitudes to the outdated 12 step method of recovery.
The book explores the religious background of AA and how the steps are based on morality and can actually hinder the progress of an individual who is already aware of many of their failings.
I will write more about this book when I have finished reading it in about a week, but so far, it really seems to make sense and I would recommend it already.
If you wish to hear the author he is on Blog Talk radio later with massive from the Leaving AA site http://leavingaa.com/lance-dodes-m-d-author-of-the-sober-truth-on-blog-talk-radio-safe-recovery-wednesday-march-26-noon-pst-3pm-est/ these shows are really good and are always available for you to download afterwards as podcasts etc.
Here is a section from the interview on npr
On Alcoholics Anonymous’ success rate
There is a large body of evidence now looking at AA success rate, and the success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent. Most people don’t seem to know that because it’s not widely publicized. … There are some studies that have claimed to show scientifically that AA is useful. These studies are riddled with scientific errors and they say no more than what we knew to begin with, which is that AA has probably the worst success rate in all of medicine.
It’s not only that AA has a 5 to 10 percent success rate; if it was successful and was neutral the rest of the time, we’d say OK. But it’s harmful to the 90 percent who don’t do well. And it’s harmful for several important reasons. One of them is that everyone believes that AA is the right treatment. AA is never wrong, according to AA. If you fail in AA, it’s you that’s failed.
On why 12-step programs can work
The reason that the 5 to 10 percent do well in AA actually doesn’t have to do with the 12 steps themselves; it has to do with the camaraderie. It’s a supportive organization with people who are on the whole kind to you, and it gives you a structure. Some people can make a lot of use of that. And to its credit, AA describes itself as a brotherhood rather than a treatment.
So as you can imagine, a few people given that kind of setting are able to change their behavior at least temporarily, maybe permanently. But most people can’t deal with their addiction, which is deeply driven, by just being in a brotherhood.
On a psychological approach to addiction
When people are confronted with a feeling of being trapped, of being overwhelmingly helpless, they have to do something. It isn’t necessarily the “something” that actually deals with the problem. … Why addiction, though — why drink? Well, that’s the “something” that they do. In psychology we call it a displacement; you could call it a substitute …
When people can understand their addiction and what drives it, not only are they able to manage it but they can predict the next time the addictive urge will come up, because they know the kind of things that will make them feel overwhelmingly helpless. Given that forewarning, they can manage it much better.
But unlike AA, I would never claim that what I’ve suggested is right for everybody. But … let’s say I had nothing better to offer: It wouldn’t matter — we still need to change the system as it is because we are harming 90 percent of the people.Google+