How to Quit Drinking Without AA
From the book
How to Quit Drinking Without AA
(for more about this book, click here)
How This Book Can Help
If you ask someone how to quit drinking, most often you’ll hear, “Go to AA” Yet among those who need the help, hardly anyone wants to go.
For more than 50 years, Alcoholics Anonymous has been the most recommended approach to quitting drinking. But only 5% of Americans with serious drinking problems belong to AA. Furthermore, among those who join, less than 12% remain in the program for more than three years. These numbers have been proven over and over by numerous studies, including AA’s own triennial surveys of its membership.
So let’s face it. AA misses the vast majority of alcoholics. It simply doesn’t work for about 95% of those who need the help.
You may be one of them. For your own reasons, you may have already decided AA is not for you. In that case, you will surely welcome a new approach to cure yourself of alcoholism.
Clearly an alternative is needed, now more than ever. In spite of AA, alcoholism has reached epidemic proportions. Recent statistics show that 19-20 million Americans have serious drinking problems, including 5 million teenagers. And the numbers continue to rise.
The Alcoholism Epidemic
In the U.S., there are about 100 million adult drinkers and 50 million non-drinkers. If you’re a drinking adult, chances are better than one in ten you’re an alcoholic drinker.
Among teenagers the odds are worse. About three in ten have serious problems with alcohol. Moreover, the average age for starting drinking keeps dropping. Kids aged 10-14 are now drinking, and many of them become addicted at this young age. Two decades ago, the average starting age was 14-18.
Trapped in addiction, life becomes a desperate but oddly thrilling struggle against death. To be sure, the death threat cannot be taken lightly. Considering direct and indirect deaths, alcoholism claims more lives every year than any other disease.
In recent years, about 100,000 Americans per year die from alcohol-related causes. Alcoholic drinking increases the risk of death from heart disease, cirrhosis, cancer, mental disorder, immune deficiency diseases (including AIDS), and scores of other physiological problems. In addition, alcohol is implicated in half of the driving fatalities, up to 70% of drowning deaths, and about 30% of all suicides. Also, studies among convicted criminals show that heavy drinking contributes to nearly a third of the nation’s burglaries, rapes, and assaults.
Presently, the average cost of alcoholism runs an estimated $117 billion annually. This includes medical bills, time lost from work, decreased job efficiency, support for families, and property damage.
But here’s the deepest tragedy: Alcoholism causes turmoil and disruption among family members and leaves emotional scars that can last a lifetime. Uncontrolled drinking accounts for about 40% of family court cases, 25%-50% of violence caused between spouses, and about 30% of child molestation cases. A 1987 poll showed that one in four families has a problem with alcohol in the home. Alarmingly, this rate has doubled since 1974.
One serious question arises: If alcohol compromises our emotional and physical health so drastically, why isn’t it easy to quit drinking? Obviously, knowing the dangers isn’t enough.
If you are a problem drinker who wants to quit, somewhere deep inside you have to make a decision. And that’s where the trouble starts. You know alcohol doesn’t just hurt you—it helps you too. You have too many good reasons not to quit.
Why Not Quit?
When addicted, you adjust your entire life to alcohol. Why not? It helps you—so you keep using it. In fact, it becomes the only way you know of coping with the stresses of life and, when you think about it, you don’t want to quit.
But after awhile, alcohol becomes more harmful than helpful. At this point, you realize you need to quit—and want to quit—but you feel stuck. Everyone tells you to go to AA, but maybe you don’t like AA. Maybe you tried AA already…to no avail. Maybe you could use some new approach that will work for you. Now you can find that approach.
An Alternative to AA
Quitting drinking can be difficult even under the best circumstances. Without the right approach, it can be nearly impossible. The right approach means “right for you.”
Each person needs to find their own way. That means, the best approach for you will be the one that feels the most comfortable and offers techniques suited to your individual needs. But it’s up to you to learn what works for you. You must decide.
Many alcoholic drinkers who plan to quit don’t want to join AA They don’t like AA’s approach for one reason or another. You may feel this way too. Here are the two main reasons people give for disliking AA:
- AA offers moral support based on a specific religious philosophy. If the philosophy doesn’t match your own, you’re more likely to fail, no matter how hard you try. Part of this approach requires a moralistic attitude that many people aren’t willing to adopt.
- AA offers group therapy with a social support network. This can be very successful for those who feel comfortable in groups. Unfortunately, many alcoholic drinkers feel terribly anxious in a group. These people can’t function in a group, unless they can drink.
There’s one other problem with AA. As a major organization it has been stubbornly resistant to change and has remained basically the same since its inception in 1935. Even when new discoveries show how recovering alcoholics can improve their health, AA has not incorporated these techniques into its program. In fact, AA neglects to offer any information on how to treat the physical damage caused by alcoholism.
But such treatment is an essential goal of overall recovery, especially when you consider that alcoholism is a serious metabolic disorder causing damage to every cell of the body. This cellular damage leads to numerous diseases with serious physical and mental side effects. When you quit drinking, you can help yourself immensely by using healing techniques to repair this damage.
The other important treatment goals include the fulfillment of your social, emotional, and spiritual needs. You must have a variety of options. That way, you can choose which options suit your nature and your emotional and moral inclinations. For you, the philosophical premise of AA may be too restrictive.
At present, there are many new alternative programs and most of these offer a complete approach to solving the problem of alcoholism. More importantly, these new programs show much greater success than the AA program. Three year cure-rates for the new alternatives vary from 50%-90%, as contrasted with the 12% cure-rate of AA.
Many of the new alternatives, including the self-help approach in this book, allow you to choose your own specific techniques. Within a given framework you find what works for you, then begin to use it. In this way, you plan an approach uniquely suited to your needs.
As people take more responsibility for their own personal cure, AA becomes a matter of choice—one option among many. A select few will continue to use it exclusively. Some will combine it with other techniques. And some will avoid AA in favor of an entirely new approach.
A New Self-Help Approach
The self-help approach in this book is based on one simple premise: You can take responsibility for your own health. By doing so, not only will you want to quit drinking, but you will learn how. Once you know the specific problems you need to overcome and the best methods to achieve this goal, you can do it with relative ease.
With this book you will:
- examine your individual need for alcohol.
- decide if you want to quit drinking.
- develop your own treatment plan.
- choose the techniques that will work best for you.
- create your own success.
It’s entirely up to you. This self-help approach offers you everything you need—the latest facts, the best new treatment methods, and an organized plan to guide you. Now, more than ever before, you can choose to help yourself.