I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Many Alternatives to Alcoholic Anonymous


As organized Christianity is seeing numbers fall, so is an organization steeped in Christianity, Alcohol Anonymous. There are now dozens of organizations people can seek out to decrease or stopĀ  drinking and other drug abuse.
There are several reasons AA is no longer the esteemed organization it once was. First of all, it is not researched based. There was never hard data showing those who attended AA meetings fared better than those who fought the battle in some other way.
Second, AA had a theory of alcohol that has not been carefully tested. The theory is the chemical, alcohol, turns on switch in the brain that results in an uncontrollable urge to drink more. There are people who take a drink and are unable to stop, but others stop easily. The cause of the former seems more complicated than the AA theory.
Third is the importance AA puts on the "higher power." AA literature states this "higher power" in not necessarily the Christian god but may be some other god or other mental invention. Thousands of meetings take place weekly and I've heard from attendees that when one Christian personality dominates the room the higher power is referred to openly as God.
But, this latter concept is disliked by those who believe and want to conquer the problem with their own resources. The AA theory tells them they are unable to do it without the higher power. Research has shown those who take it on by themselves do just as well or better.
The link below lists several alternatives to AA. I understand the fastest growing one is called Smart Recovery which has groups in many locations. Anyone interested can find its website.

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