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"AA Success: What is their success rate? "
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books

Why mention Charlie Sheen------- when the topic of this discussion thread is "success rate in A.A.''?

Because his addiction----right out front------- is being talked about daily by most people------- and therefore people are examining what they believe is addiction//alcoholism//mental illness.

Good opportunity for people in recovery to educate others about how to deal with the alcoholism in their own families.

B.)) Unfortunately, tv watchers, even though understanding that Charlie Sheen is not "all there'' -------- still often believe what he is saying.

They think, "he's nuts; but he is telling the facts; his interpretation is just nuts''.

Well, one of the 'facts' that he is presenting is totally incorrect.

He says the success rate in A.A. is 5%.

The success rate in A.A. is actually 75%.

**** 50% of people who go to A.A., stay sober from day one. Of the other 50%---- if they keep going back to meetings despite their relapsing---- half of them, too (which is another 25%) eventually 'get it' and stay sober. Hence, the 75% recovery rate of people who go to A.A. and don't stop going to meetings.

Why does Sheen not tell the truth about this?

a. He likes to 'come off' as very smart---- so if he told the truth, one would assume he would then need to ask himself, ''why am I not going with the most successful program, when dealing with a life-threatening disease?"

If he told the truth, he would not seem very smart.

Instead, he prides himself on "doing it himself''.

It's the mating-call of the defiant, still-intending-to-drink-again alcoholic.

b. As opposed to being the Individually-thinking, 'out of the box' kind of guy he thinks he is--------- he sounds exactly like most alcoholics who are not ready to surrender and get help.

How many times does one hear from one's own alcoholic partner that "I can do it myself!" and/or "A.A. doesn't work! I've tried it! My best buddy went there and everyone still drinks after they leave a meeting!"

Total junk... total lies.

The alcoholism coming out of his mouth from a toxic brain.

Why does the alcoholism 'talk to him' like this? Why does his toxic brain tell him that he need not go to meetings? That he can 'do it himself' and at home instead of at a treatment center and then in A.A. meetings?

Because his alcoholism knows that only 2% of people stay sober without help.

c. The left-frontal lobe of the brain is euphemistically called "the executive decision maker''. Its function is to 'take in' all the data about the world as one sees it. To perceive it all, and then to make decisions about what to do -- how to behave, act on---- one's perceptions.

Problem is, that part of the brain of the alcoholic ---- for at least a full year of recovery without any relapses of alcohol or drugs--- is full of holes, full of deep craters-----and is incapable of perceiving the world as it is.

Perception is 'off'.--------- And the alcoholic/addict BELIEVES what he perceives.

So he is not really 'lying'. He is just the victim of his own toxic brain.

Our problem-------is when WE believe HIM.

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