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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 160638 Find in a Library
Title: Treatment Centers Effectively Use Twelve-Step Programs To Help Alcoholics (From Alcoholism, P 61-68, 1994, Carol Wekesser, ed. -- See NCJ-160630)
Author(s): N S Miller; J C Mahler
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The 12-step program established by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been adopted by many treatment centers; these centers have found AA concepts and principles to be effective tools in combatting alcoholism.
Abstract: A basic tenet of treatment for alcoholism is that alcohol and drug addiction are physical, mental, and spiritual diseases. Treatment centers use physicians, psychologists, counselors, and social workers to treat the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction. This view of alcohol addiction is encompassed in the AA 12-step program. A substantial amount of the treatment process is based in AA's first step, which is to confront denial that alcohol abuse is causing serious problems in the abuser's life. The mental consequences of alcohol addiction are seen in the paradoxical characterizations of the alcoholic's psychological state. Behind a defiant, overconfident, exuberant, and independent exterior is a victim who feels inferior, depressed, dependent, hopeless, helpless, and worthless. The spiritual consequences include acting and thinking contrary to a core set of moral standards or values. Accompanying mental and spiritual deterioration is suicidal thought and sometimes actions. Step two in AA focuses on a power greater than the self to restore sanity. Step two is incorporated into a treatment regimen by introducing the concept of choice to the alcoholic. The alcoholic can learn to exercise a choice not to drink based on a recognition that to use alcohol creates a powerlessness. AA's step three relies on a spiritual dimension as it involves turning one's life over to a power greater than self; this involves giving up control to gain control. Other AA steps involve achieving full awareness of the nature and consequences of alcoholism and a rejection of drinking as the instrument of personal deterioration. This paper also discusses alcoholism as a family illness and the components of follow-up after discharge from an inpatient program.
Main Term(s): Drug treatment programs
Index Term(s): Alcoholics Anonymous (AA); Alcoholism; Alcoholism treatment programs; Self-help programs
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