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Author Topic: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid  (Read 12892 times)

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Offline Bucko

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2007, 03:27:49 PM »
I have personal experience with 12-step programs through my family, where both parents and my sister are alcoholics and drug addicts.

My dad admits that he has a problem. But after more than thirty-five years of trying, he has been unable to stop drinking for more than four to six months. He is an avid Christian, but not of the showy bible-thumping variety.

My mom is an agnostic, and has never possessed the presence of mind to recognize how her abuse of drugs and alcohol is a symptom of her diseased way of looking at her life and attending miseries. I can no longer communicate with her...it's simply too painful.

My sister spent almost twenty years in a cloud of booze and drugs. Her one attempt at detox transformed her life, and has remained substance-free since 1990. In the beginning she leaned heavily on AA, but has since moved on. She remains deeply spiritual but not affiliated with any organized religion. It is her belief in the "higher power" that has sustained her sobriety.

Brent
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Offline carousel

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2007, 03:34:31 PM »
I have a problem with the AA 12 Steps to heaven programme.  But there is no doubt that many have benefited from its services.

When organisations are financially hardpressed to offer widespread support, it's the only place for many that they can go to.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2007, 03:40:10 PM »
<< There are millions of people for whom this program has worked>>

I urge you to show me the science which is not anecdotal. Someting, anything first tiered and peer reviewed.

Like I have been careful to state, for those whom AA is a good fit, more power to you. More health, more happiness. More freedom. But all empirical evidence states that it has between a 90 to 95 percent recidivism rate. And that simply cannot be ignored.

As I posted earlier, there are a plethora of recovery programs which do not subscribe to the concept of powerlessness and spirituality.

<< One day of orientation at a University does not earn you the degree>>


I was in AA for ten years. That's hardly orientation. I went to thousands of meetings, at dozens of locations. Some gay, some not. In that time I was 13th stepped by people I trusted at my most vulnerable, there was an unwavering attempt to indoctrinate me into the program for the singular benefit of the program. And any time I found myself at odds with Bill W, I was told in no uncertain terms that it was my "sickness" talking.

I finally had an epiphany, and have not looked back since. That was twenty years ago. I have no regrets, except perhaps for the time wasted. I do not use my experiences in this discussion except as a personal illustration. Other than that, they are anecdotal and irrelevant.

Why must you insist that people refrain from disparaging your viewpoint when you feel comfortable disparaging others? That's not debate nor is it discussion. It is personal attack. It is defensive, and it responds to the hours of scientific research with a simple Eff You.

Makes me wonder why I made an effort to have a discussion, when it is obvious that zealots refuse to entertain one. All I know is the science, and it's simply not true that millions of people have recovered through AA.  It's actually impossible, if you consider AA's OWN claim to have a 35 percent success rate (which has never been substantiated nor replicated in any recovery research), add to that the fact that AA's research determined that five years' sobriety constituted a success, and divide that by the 80 or so years that AA has been in existence. The numbers simply do not crunch.

Disappointed,
Jonathan

PS: For those grappling with addiction, wishing to experience a recovery program with strong psychological and rational scientidic quantification, I highly recommend:


http://rational.org/

http://www.smartrecovery.org/

http://www.secularsobriety.org/

http://www.unhooked.com/index.htm

http://www.womenforsobriety.org/

http://www.moderation.org/

http://www.mywayout.org/


That, and/or individual CBT has been proven to work using quantified data.  Did anyone look at my source material? Or does the Big Book supercede all attempts to quantify it's efficacy?

Honestly, I find the 12 step model dangerous for gay and lesbian people especially. And to a slightly lessor degree, for women.  Powerlessness, or the impression thereof, is a leading cause of HIV infections. Promoting more of it is irresponsible and detrimental. But that is simply my opinion.

I notice no one cares much for the facts, and I find that really discouraging


"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

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Welcome Thread

Offline DanielMark

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2007, 03:43:57 PM »
Having had extensive personal involvement and helpful experiences with AA and a 28-day treatment program in the past, I can only say that all of it helped me in coming to grips with many parts of my life, especially the parts linked to my substance abuse.

Any sound 12-step group will not tell you up front that it may not be the way for YOU but that it has worked for countless millions.

Understanding the concepts of addiction takes person experience, as does understanding how any 12-step program is laid out to work.

If a person can’t handle the idea that their way of living isn’t benefiting their life, that another way might be better, then AA or any other 12-step group is obviously not for them.

Daniel

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates, Ancient Greek Philosopher
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Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2007, 03:47:28 PM »
<< There are millions of people for whom this program has worked>>

I urge you to show me the science which is not anecdotal. Someting, anything first tiered and peer reviewed.

Like I have been careful to state, for those whom AA is a good fit, more power to you. More health, more happiness. More freedom. But all empirical evidence states that it has between a 90 to 95 percent recidivism rate. And that simply cannot be ignored.


I adore your attempt at finding definite resolutely empirical conclusions in something that is anonymous.  It's cute.

edited to add:

Additionally, I invite you to show me where I've made a personal attack upon you -  It was never my intent.  Its sad that you perceive my beliefs to be so very threatening to your own.

-joseph
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 04:33:51 PM by Strayboy74 »

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2007, 03:57:07 PM »
Hmm, I don't know.   I was forced into an AA bit for a DUI.   Barely over the limit, pulled over for having illegally tinted windows ; )  Just my luck!   In CA, everyone is forced into this bit.   Don't ask!    All I can tell ya was that whole experience totally ruined all my prison fantasies!

Anyways, when I was there at a local AA meeting I thought I'd take advantage of it and share my experience with crystal meth and how I successfully managed to overcome my own addiction and didn't feel I had a drinking problem.   OMG, talk about a bunch of judgemental fucking assholes.  

Do you think they gave me a chip for that?   Nope, but I had to go through this mess for several meetings and went to different ones.   I learned a LOT.

Especially creepy was one in particular I mistakenly went to for some kind of convicted pedophiles and sex offenders.   Don't ask me how I got into that, but I will tell you it was all I could do to listen to the two pedophiles blaming alcohol and drugs on what they did to children.    I found it was nothing more than a huge cop out.   Wow, let's not take any personal responsibility and blame it all on the booze.

I'm with J, for those struggling with addiction, who don't feel AA is for them look into the other programs.  Don't give up because of one or two or even 12 bad experiences.   And, if a dysfunctional setting suits you then you can try that too.   To each their own I say!

Wesley
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2007, 04:01:06 PM »
JK, the only zealots I see here are those who are opposed to faith based help groups. I have never been to an AA meeting but do know people who claim to have been helped by the process. I have no science to back my claims. Maybe they are lying to me, but i haven't seen these people drink in a long time. I did pray everyday in trying to quit and haven't had a drink in ten years.
Science? Is it even possible to scientifically prove someone is an addict? NO. or that alcoholism is a disease? NO.
Why? Because everyone is different. Some people,like myself, become addicted after one drink and yet other people are able to go through life having one or two drinks and are able to stop.
 Some people get lipodystrophy,some don't. Scientists were telling me it was the hiv in the mid 90s, but I knew that wasn't true. Should I have believed the Scientists?
Scientists told me that serostim was improving my body's ability to metabolize fat, which of course was total bullshit and the scientists were paying the Docs to use HIvers as guinea pigs. My point is Science it not the golden rule you claim,just as Religions isn't.

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2007, 04:12:12 PM »
Austin, I doubt you had a drinking problem and I too would hate being forced into an AA session. As I have stated I didn't have any desire to go that route,and am just saying that I do know people who claim they went to AA and were helped. I have no scientific statistics to base their claims on.
But booze can make you do things you wouldn't normally do. I know people who turn into complete morons when they drink and are the nicest people in the world when sober.
I had a friend tell me I tried to pick up his college age daughter in a grocery store. Now, I had been drinking, and I dont remember doing it and its something I dont usually do since I have been married but it scared me. She told him I said she had a great ass. I still dont think I did it but I dont know for sure.

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2007, 04:15:36 PM »
Ahem... to drift back to the topic

Yesterday I sent the following email to SA:

Quote
On Mon Feb 26 20:28 , 'R. Noremac' sent:

    Does your society include homosexuals?

    Thanks.

    Rod Noremac

This was the response:

Quote
Subject: Re: SA literature for gay/lesbian people?
From: SAICO
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 10:03:52 -0600
To: "R. Noremac"

Yes, all members of the human race welcome to come to meetings and see if the 12 Step program of recovery will be of personal benefit.

Where are you located?  Can we refer you to a local meeting?

SAICO

I'm not going to reply but it seems the program includes gays but maybe they're more heterosexually oriented or they place a value on monogamy that doesn't always fit a gay person's needs.

Boo

String up every aristocrat!
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2007, 04:22:57 PM »
I had a friend tell me I tried to pick up his college age daughter in a grocery store. Now, I had been drinking, and I dont remember doing it and its something I dont usually do since I have been married but it scared me. She told him I said she had a great ass. I still dont think I did it but I dont know for sure.

Why am I quoting this last line of Jakeys? Coz I think it's a hoot. I didn't know you had it in you Jakey, you randy old dog. ;D

JK has produced the evidence that condemns 12 step programmes for what they are. Abject failures. Not only that he's produced links to more sound and effective alternatives.

But I reiterate my previous point. If these sort of things lift your shirt you're welcome to them. I'm sure there's great comfort to be had in flocking together with other inebriates, shedding tears, slapping backs and calling for the help of a non-existent deity to keep you out of the cooking sherry.

Or the underpants of the 17 year old slut next door.

The problem arises when courts of law and other agents of the state require people to attend such programmes with no regard to the science. Or to the fact that there other more effective interventions available.

MtD

Offline Val

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2007, 04:29:05 PM »
Since religion appears to be a major issue throughout this topic, I decided to chime in for my 2 cents as well.  
""Why do some people "hate" religion?""   I sincerely don't know!  I, for one thing, don't --- I despise it! And I have no respect for any religion whatsoever.
Moreover, it is my opinion that people may hate religion..."because everyone has a god to kill for.  They just have different names!" M. Good.
And the killing and the  finger-pointing with the judging has been going on for thousands and thousands of years!

Take, for example, The Christians.  How many people are aware that in the beginning it was just a small sect?  Like any other sect of that time?  The Romans ruled what was considered  "the world" back then.  And their gods and godesses system was a  brilliant and fascinating structure  they imported from Greece!
Today, when we speak about sects in the Western world everyone runs for shelter, right? It was the same thing  back then.  The Roman Emperor Constantino was the one who changed everything favorably for the Christians back then...

So I will remain stolid about religion as a whole and will change my mind in this regard, perhaps,  only when Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslins and the others abandon their pernicious ways of thinking and dealing with others.

Val
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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2007, 04:41:09 PM »
I adore your attempt at finding definite resolutely empirical conclusions in something that is anonymous.  It's cute.

edited to add:

Additionally, I invite you to show me where I've made a personal attack upon you -  It was never my intent.  Its sad that you perceive my beliefs threatening to your own.

-joseph



A)Of course, one might ask the same about the claim that millions and millions have overcome addiction to alcohol based on AA - if it is, in fact truly anonymous. I think setting up a strawman argument that burns it's fabricator is also pretty cute.

 Did you check out my sources? The research done was done both through interviews with outpatient recovering alcoholics and those who go through court ordered (therefore heavily monitored) AA meetings. other studies involve rehabilitation services, both in and out-patient, as well as other sources which eshew strict anonymity in the interest of science. One caveat; I was wrong. The definition of a "cure" or a "Success" is two years' abstinance in most of these studies, not five.

The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983, pages 283-286.
The same text was reprinted in Vaillant's later book, The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995, on pages 349-352.

example:

Professor George E. Vaillant of Harvard University is a Class A member of the Board of Trustees of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.. He is one of the leaders of A.A., and one of the biggest promoters of A.A..
Professor George E. Vaillant is not an "independent authority" at all.

While working at the Cambridge-Sommerville [Massachusetts] Program for Alcohol Rehabilitation (CASPAR) back in the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Vaillant conducted an 8-year-long clinical test of A.A. treatment of alcoholics, enthusiastically trying to prove that A.A. works and is a good, effective treatment for alcoholism.

Vaillant's A.A.-based treatment program had no better a success rate than several other treatment programs that he examined, or even a group of alcoholics who got no treatment at all.
As Vaillant plainly stated, his A.A.-based treatment program "failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism." ("Natural history of alcoholism" means what usually happens to untreated alcoholics.)
A.A. didn't work; it didn't save any alcoholics. A.A. was no better than no treatment at all.

And it was even worse than that, because, after 8 years of A.A. treatment, 29% of Vaillant's patients were dead. That is nearly one out of every three patients, dead.

Vaillant's A.A.-based treatment program had the highest death rate of any treatment program that he examined. Even Professor Vaillant called the A.A. death rate "appalling".

And Prof. Vaillant also wrote:

"AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the world over."

"...in the absence of proven scientific efficacy, critics are legitimate in suggesting that mandated AA attendance may be criticized as a failure of proper separation between church and state."
The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, page 266.


And please don't quote Project MATCH to me. That was science along the lines of Duesberg, lavishing over 27 million US dollars to study clients who received NOTHING like typical AA treatment. Also, they did not even have a control group, much less factor in spontaneous remission.

Thing is, I have posted more or less WAY too much quantification. If you want to disparage it, at least read it.

Insofar as personal attacks:

<<I find myself sadly disappointed by the ignorant, illinformed and braggartly polarized judgement I'm reading on this matter.>>

Sadly, I find only one side of this discussion to be ill-informed. That's been, to date, the side that provides no footnotes nor tangible quantification for their assertions that "millions" of people remain abstinent thanks to AA.

But while its been entertaining to research this stuff, I know for a fact that no minds are changed when something held so dearly as a religious-based addiction recovery program are concerned.

You can call me a lot of things. I daresay ignorant is not one of them. Braggardly polorized? That, sir, is Latin for "I got nothin."

Is it at ALL possible to divorce a person from the program and have this discussion logically and rationally? Dunno. I'd venture to say probably not.

My opinions are my own, and I have not been browbeaten into changing them based on anecdotes. My research, my facts if you will, stand or fall on their own merits. I much prefer the science to the rhetoric, in matters involving HIV and addiction and, well, anything in between. I'm funky like that.



"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline thunter34

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2007, 04:45:20 PM »
After reading all this, I think I need a drink.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Ann

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2007, 04:46:02 PM »
(ps. I did bring this up with Ann, but I got no response. As a result, I thought it germane to post.)


Andrew,

I missed your PM. I just had a look and sure enough, there it was. You sent it at 1:42am Saturday morning, my time. I don't think (but I'm not sure) I was even still here at my computer at that time. I often have quite a few PMs in my inbox every morning and it can be easy to miss some. I'm human guys, eh?

I've had a lot on my plate lately and I've probably missed more than one PM recently. The decent thing would have been to PM me again to ask if I got the first one. But, whatever. I'm practically homeless at the moment and I've been busy with all sorts of things - including all the other stuff that goes on around here aside from PMs.

I wasn't here at the computer when you started this thread. I left the B&B this morning at 6:15am to fly to Liverpool for my clinic appointment. I got back here to the flat at 8:45pm - to find this thread and people's speculation as to why I remained silent. I remained silent because I wasn't here and had no idea this thread was posted, much less the original PM. Contrary to popular belief, I DO have a life outside AIDSmeds.com and I think I'm entitled to one.

I removed the offending link. It would have been gone last Saturday if I'd seen the PM. Sorry. It was there with some of the people who post in the Am I Infected forum in mind - heterosexual men who compulsively go to sex workers, then beat themselves up over it and insist they MUST have hiv because, according to them, they deserve to be punished with it. Had I known it was offensive to some I never would have used it in the first place.

Ann
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 04:48:07 PM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline thunter34

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2007, 04:56:08 PM »
I've never really clicked on the link, but I think having a link like that was a good idea.  I would just suggest perhaps adjusting the link to offer several resources to accomodate various orientations and belief systems.  I'd hate to see the whole thing get tossed. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2007, 05:03:20 PM »
I'm funky like that.

A pity it is that you are of the perception that I care to change your belief.  In brutal honesty, I truly don't mind what you allow yourself to believe or not believe.  

I'm merely stating my sadness at the inability for others to allow peaceful existence to beliefs other than their own - Living in a black and white existence with an unyielding desire to make others believe theirs is the only way.  With little to no evidence.

In fact, regarding the matter, I hope (I'll not pray - so as not to cheapen the very goodness and sensitivity to your unbending consideration) that people continue to find their way through addiction, in whatever way their system of values and beliefs will allow.  I trust you can agree with me to hope for an end, even if you can't agree to the means.

And THAT is all I have left which is deserving of being said on the matter.

Resolutely,

-joseph

<end>

Offline Ann

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2007, 05:08:53 PM »
I've never really clicked on the link, but I think having a link like that was a good idea.  I would just suggest perhaps adjusting the link to offer several resources to accomodate various orientations and belief systems.  I'd hate to see the whole thing get tossed. 

Yeah, well, I've had a really long day and if you don't mind, I'm going to relax and watch "Shameless" before I go up to the B&B for bed. I'll look in to posting a different link tomorrow... or maybe the next day or the day after that or some time in the future. I've got to get my house packed because HOPEFULLY, I'll be out of the B&B sometime next week. So sorry, but my life just might have to take precedence over this place for a few days.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2007, 05:10:54 PM »
After reading all this, I think I need a drink.

Me too.

Perhaps booze would alleviate this situation...
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Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2007, 05:19:50 PM »
I had a friend tell me I tried to pick up his college age daughter in a grocery store. Now, I had been drinking, and I dont remember doing it and its something I dont usually do since I have been married but it scared me. She told him I said she had a great ass. I still dont think I did it but I dont know for sure.

Why am I quoting this last line of Jakeys? Coz I think it's a hoot. I didn't know you had it in you Jakey, you randy old dog. ;D

JK has produced the evidence that condemns 12 step programmes for what they are. Abject failures. Not only that he's produced links to more sound and effective alternatives.

But I reiterate my previous point. If these sort of things lift your shirt you're welcome to them. I'm sure there's great comfort to be had in flocking together with other inebriates, shedding tears, slapping backs and calling for the help of a non-existent deity to keep you out of the cooking sherry.

Or the underpants of the 17 year old slut next door.

The problem arises when courts of law and other agents of the state require people to attend such programmes with no regard to the science. Or to the fact that there other more effective interventions available.

MtD

I'd agree.  In my case I was forced into this mess via court order.   I didn't even have a parking ticket before this so yeah I was pissed I was forced into that whole additional nightmare with all the religious overtones, hand holding and everyone exchanging sob stories and failing to take personal responsibility for any of their actions.

I don't just feel AA is appropriate for those who don't buy all the religion and powerless garbage.   I felt it was one giant pity party where anything goes and little constructive was achieved.   That was my experience.

Fortunately, everyone here didn't have such a horrible experience and used their particular experiences and used AA and NA and it worked for them.   So, no it doesn't matter how you overcome addiction, but I still think some of the other programs are better.  

Speaking for myself if anyone in my family had ever proposed an "Intervention" with AA being involved with a bunch of religious rhetoric I would have run for the hills ; )   I wonder how many do.

But, I agree with Joseph that sometimes the ends justify the means for those blessed few!

« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 05:24:48 PM by AustinWesley »
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Date        CD4   %      VL
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Offline thunter34

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2007, 05:23:37 PM »
Yeah, well, I've had a really long day and if you don't mind, I'm going to relax and watch "Shameless" before I go up to the B&B for bed. I'll look in to posting a different link tomorrow... or maybe the next day or the day after that or some time in the future. I've got to get my house packed because HOPEFULLY, I'll be out of the B&B sometime next week. So sorry, but my life just might have to take precedence over this place for a few days.

Ann


Oh, yeah...by all means.  Just a thought for on down the line.  Hope you get all moved and stuff as smoothly as possible and soon!
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Offline NycJoe

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2007, 05:27:09 PM »
Quote
I'm merely stating my sadness at the inability for others to allow peaceful existence to beliefs other than their own - Living in a black and white existence with an unyielding desire to make others believe theirs is the only way.  With little to no evidence.

In fact, regarding the matter, I hope (I'll not pray - so as not to cheapen the very goodness and sensitivity to your unbending consideration) that people continue to find their way through addiction, in whatever way their system of values and beliefs will allow.  I trust you can agree with me to hope for an end, even if you can't agree to the means.
[
 

Could not agree more Joseph.  I say whatever helps.  For some it is faith for some it is something else.  Who is to say who is right or wrong.  I have no hostility or anything bad to say about someone who does not believe in AA or anything faith based.  The only thing I do not like is when it becomes intolerance or hatred of someone who happens to think that way.

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2007, 05:34:41 PM »
And Prof. Vaillant also wrote:

"AA certainly functions as a cult and systematically indoctrinates its members in ways common to cults the world over."

"...in the absence of proven scientific efficacy, critics are legitimate in suggesting that mandated AA attendance may be criticized as a failure of proper separation between church and state."
The Natural History Of Alcoholism Revisited, George E. Vaillant, page 266.

OK.  Jonathan brought up the concerns that I have about AA and NA and Fill-In-The-Blank A's.

One is that AA is a religious institution, yes?  I mean, an organization that tells you you're not going to get better without the help of a higher power is taking a religious stance, correct?

So doesn't it follow that the government ordering people to attend AA is akin to ordering them to attend church?

I'm afraid I haven't looked at any statistics regarding the efficacy of AA, but I do know about 20 people who have attended at one time or another... it worked for a couple of them, but the vast majority did fall off the wagon...

The cult aspect is something that I've often wondered about... I can't help but think that AA takes one addiction (to substances of various kinds) and literally replaces it with an addiction to group therapy.  People who have to attend AA for 20+ years to deal with their alcoholism are about as cured as someone who needs to attend a therapist for 20+ years to get over some issue.  Get a new therapist.

When my friends did join AA, I was often surprised at how quickly they became something like intellectual automata... they quoted from the Big Book like it was the Cultural Revolution or something.  Each creed and precept was treated as a tautology... and these were smart people... but they seemed to be sort of brainwashed.   
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Offline thunter34

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #72 on: February 27, 2007, 05:40:07 PM »
Well, from my understanding of it, their stance is that addiction is something from which one is never cured.  One attends meetings on an ongoing basis in an attempt to avoid being overtaken by the addiction...much like we pop meds on a schedule to avoid getting overtaken by HIV.  It's framed as a condition which is apt to resurface unless one remains vigilant.
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Offline Ann

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #73 on: February 27, 2007, 05:41:06 PM »
Just for the record, I removed the link NOT because some here deride the whole concept of twelve step programs, but because the particular program I linked to seems to be homophobic. I didn't realise - if I did, I never would have posted it in the first place.

As for twelve step programs in general, they aren't eveyone's cup of tea but if they work for you, then go for it. Whatever works!

Ann
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Offline Bucko

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #74 on: February 27, 2007, 05:44:41 PM »


When my friends did join AA, I was often surprised at how quickly they became something like intellectual automata... they quoted from the Big Book like it was the Cultural Revolution or something.  Each creed and precept was treated as a tautology... and these were smart people... but they seemed to be sort of brainwashed.   

They weren't brainwashed, just desperate to find a solution.

Brent
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Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #75 on: February 27, 2007, 05:46:09 PM »
Well, from my understanding of it, their stance is that addiction is something from which one is never cured.  One attends meetings on an ongoing basis in an attempt to avoid being overtaken by the addiction...much like we pop meds on a schedule to avoid getting overtaken by HIV.  It's framed as a condition which is apt to resurface unless one remains vigilant.

So, it's merely a difference in philosophy of addiction.  I happen to disagree with it quite vehemently... but of course... what's better?  Drinking yourself to death or attending group therapy once a week?

That's a rhetorical question, by the by.

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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2007, 05:56:10 PM »
I always feel bad when someone mistakes my enthusiasm for scientific quantification for proseyletizing. I simply enjoy the scientific method, and try to make it clear where quantifiable facts end and my anecdotal experience and opinion begins.

Again, I am sorry if I made anyone feel bad.


*edited for a typo
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 05:58:11 PM by jkinatl2 »
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Offline dtwpuck

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #77 on: February 27, 2007, 06:31:18 PM »
No opinion on the efficacy of **Fill In The Blank** Anonymous programs.
I just think it's ironic that the biggest control freaks I know are twelve-steppers.
And... well... reading this thread I've come to find out that it's all about giving up control.
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Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #78 on: February 27, 2007, 06:52:10 PM »
Jonathan, I must respectfully disagree with some of what you have expressed. I say that even though I find some of the positions expressed by Bill W in the AA Big Book absolutely unacceptable.

But as with the work of Sigmund Freud to take another example, along with what is unacceptable and even infuriating at times in the Big Book, there is also a great deal overall in the program that has been useful to many people. You repeatedly say you want science and not anecdotal information.

In the early years of the HIV epidemic yours is the same position which was used by doctors and researchers, among others, to dismiss what those actually living and dying  with the HIV virus reported. It tooks years of activism before the establishment came to see that the anecdotal information was informative, sound and a very valuable resource in addressing major problems in the epidemic.

For me it was a perfect example of how important it is to respect both traditional science AND informed anecdotal material. My experience has been that it's all-too-easy for those who wrap themselves in the scientific cloak to ignore other important essentials.

Also, when you say something like "the concept of AA is simply that we are neither in control of nor responsible for our destinies, that we must surrender to a higher power," your misstating a basic principle of 12 Steps programs. In fact it's a paradox of the programs that speak of recognizing that the alcoholic or the addict or the debtor or those in other programs does have to accept not being in control.

But here's the important paradox. The programs absolutely emphasize that not being in control does not excuse anyone from not being responsible for their actions and their life. In fact what I have seen with many, many people in program is an immeasurably heightened sense of behaving responsibly in their lives. Doing that is an essential part of the programs, whatever the specific probelm being addressed.

Does it work for everyone? Of course not. But for many it has proven to be a life preserver which has made all the difference in overcoming behaviors and addictions which are often ultimately deadly unless gotten under control.

I want to emphasize that I am not proselytizing for these programs as an answer for everyone facing any of these problems. But I think it's rigid and shortsighted to simply dismiss AA and it's offshoot programs as religiously-based cults and their positive accomplishments as "unscientific."

These programs have evolved through the decades just as Freudian theories through the work of others. (Ironically Freud was actually much more flexible and open to change than many of his followers). Sure, there are always going to be some who will rigidly insist on following early AA positons as well as those who are inflexible Freudians.

I have no religious affiliation although I consider myself to be "spiritually inclined." I have witnessed many times what I can only call blessings in how someone has found help in a Steps program which helped to turn their life around. Even if that's not "scientifically quantifiable" I consider it to be something of great value and worthy of respect.

Sincerely,
Andy Velez

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #79 on: February 27, 2007, 07:13:01 PM »
just buy the book, Courage to Change by Dennis Wholey. It is the best.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 07:15:57 PM by jack »

Offline mjmel

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #80 on: February 27, 2007, 07:20:54 PM »
Well the opinions and some well constructed arguments are all over the board--so to speak.
Nothing like religion, polictics and money to raise arguements and tempers.
I am sorry to read that some have been offended when they have reached out for help because of religion or God-ness.
Not all of us Christians are so arrogant. Albeit, I know this isn't going to make a difference here.

(modified previous post. this one is more in line with thread.)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 06:18:19 AM by mjmel »

Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #81 on: February 27, 2007, 07:40:08 PM »
People who have to attend AA for 20+ years to deal with their alcoholism are about as cured as someone who needs to attend a therapist for 20+ years to get over some issue.  Get a new therapist.

OK -- First, I've been sober for 17+ yrs -- I do NOT consider myself cured.  If I have a drink, I will quickly be back where I was in 1989.  What I do is not drink each day -- it has certainly gotten easier over time, but I am under no illusion that I have been cured of alcoholism.
Second, I did not replace one addiction for another.  I attended meetings regularly for many years, but truth be told, I have been to maybe 5 meetings since I moved to Richmond in 2000.  I do continue to try and follow many of the principles of the program -- mainly, remembering that I am powerless over other people, places and things.  I am not powerless over me or my actions -- I can make changes, if I try.  However, back to the meeting thing -- clearly, if I had replaced one addiction for the other, I'd either be drinking or going to meetings regularly.  I do neither -- yet I've still managed to not drink.
Third -- are members "cultlike"?  I don't know -- I believe AA saved my life -- I would surely be dead today if I had not stopped drinking.  So, yes, I believe strongly in it -- but I know it's not perfect and it will not work for everyone.  The point of my posts here is to help counter the message that some are trying to convey that it is dangerous.  That is absurd.
Lastly -- AA is not religious, it may be based on spiritual principles, but it is decidedly not religious.  You do NO need to be of the Judeo-christian bent to attend or succeed.  Yes, I was raised Catholic, but have been away from that for most of my life.  JK -- you can insist that people need religion to belong, but you are wrong on this.  You are absolutely entitled to your opinion on 12-step programs, but you do NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to tell me that I can not be in AA or succeed in AA because I do not subscribe to a religion.  I have 17 years of proof in my own existence.  It may not have been your cup of tea -- and I agree that most fail, but it still works for some.  I don't know their success rate, but it is disingenuous to use statistics from Court Ordered AA attendance.  One of the cornerstones of AA is that you have to want to stop drinking -- being forced to attend a meeting is not the best formula for success (I will not disagree that the courts might rethink this, but that is not what is being discussed here).  

A final thought -- if there is no "empirical data" that it works -- where is that "empirical data" that it doesn't work??  You see, I have a degree in Epidemiology and one thing that I do know -- you can almost always find numbers to back your position if you look hard enough and/or slice things small enough.

I have to say that I have never been this "hot" about a topic on these forums, but it scares me that there are people who would give the impression that 12-steps are useless and dangerous -- and then go on to discount others who dare to call them on it.  Before you say I'm doing the same thing -- reread all my posts in this thread.  I have repeatedly stated that this will not work for all, if not most.  I have repeatedly said that there are "bad apples" that will 13th step people (by the way I have a friend who was hit on by his therapist -- so I guess you should discount all therapy now too) and I have repeatedly said that I have never been required to believe in God or any religion, yet I've successfully stayed sober up to today.

Mike
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Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #82 on: February 27, 2007, 07:46:32 PM »
A question. 

Why is alcoholism not curable?

And for that matter... what is alcoholism?

And what is an alcoholic?

What set of criteria have to be fulfilled to make that diagnosis?

And what about those criteria make the condition chronic regardless of whether the alcoholic drinks or not?



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Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #83 on: February 27, 2007, 08:09:12 PM »
First, I grabbed this definition from JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), so that I wouldn't be explaining how unscientific my interp (that will follow) goes by others in the forum:

"To establish a more precise use of the term alcoholism, a 23-member multidisciplinary committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine conducted a 2-year study of the definition of alcoholism in the light of current concepts. The goals of the committee were to create by consensus a revised definition that is (1) scientifically valid, (2) clinically useful, and (3) understandable by the general public. Therefore, the committee agreed to define alcoholism as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic."

Now to get back to your other questions.

Alcoholism isn't "curable" because an alcoholic can't safely drink alcohol.  They may be able to "control" their drinking at times, but they will usually get out of control.  For me (this is anecdotal, but what the heck), it is epitomized by the fact when I hear someone say "Let's go for a drink."  I think, "What the hell do you want to have one drink for??"  I never had just one drink -- I drank until I got drunk.  I made many bad decisions while drunk -- including driving repeatedly, resulting in 2 DUI arrests.  I drank every day!  When I lived in Mass. and a snowstorm was predicted, while everyone else was buying milk and bread -- I was buying beer and cigarettes (another addiction I had).  Now, I consider myself a fairly intelligent guy -- but not when it concerns alcohol consumption -- and definitely not AFTER consuming alcohol.
So, when I don't drink -- you'd never know that I suffer from alcoholism, because there are no manifestations, but if I drink some -- they will likely come out again.

I hope that helps answer your questions.

Mike
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Offline aupointillimite

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #84 on: February 27, 2007, 08:12:33 PM »
It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic."

So, does someone who not drink for almost 20 years have "impaired control" over drinking?

I wouldn't think so at all.

In fact, I would think it would be quite the opposite.
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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #85 on: February 27, 2007, 08:33:53 PM »
<<
In the early years of the HIV epidemic yours is the same position which was used by doctors and researchers, among others, to dismiss what those actually living and dying  with the HIV virus reported. It tooks years of activism before the establishment came to see that the anecdotal information was informative, sound and a very valuable resource in addressing major problems in the epidemic. >>

I wholeheartedly agree. And if you recall, I was one of the first who stood up and discussed the long term psychological impact of Sustiva, when it happened to me. Mine was an anecdote, but it made its way (along with countless other anecdotes) into the literature. And is now a serious issue facing anyone with chemical depression who is considering Sustiva.

But Andy, we have had 70 years to analyze the AA paradigm. And other recovery programs have brought about a significantly more profound and effective method for battling alcoholism.

I daresay that my own prejudices prevent me from ever endorsing an unmoderated support group when such a group is invariably "run" by the most charismatic persons there - and considering the charisma inherent to most active addicts, this bodes poorly for any individuasl group effort.

I do not mean to discount anecdote.

But seventy years of study? Thats a lot. And with SO many alternatives to the 12 step paradigm, it would be remiss if this site did not offer at least a few alternatives.

And ergh, dont ge tme started on Freud. I prefer my cocaine addicts a little less, um, matriarchally obsessed. I'm all about the CBT and Adlarian approach, but Freud, for all his accomplishments, has NOT withstood the test of time insofar as psychoanalysis is concerned. Sometimes a penis is just a schnitzel.

But thank you for bringing the discussion into the realm of civility. That's all I want. Mostly, all I ever want unless I feel someone good and vulnerable is getting beat up.

PS: The sad thing about paradoxes, even important ones, is that they must be resolved if someone is to gain any true wisdom or workable insight from them. One simply cannot be without power and in complete control.

I have a working knowledge of the Big Book, and understand it's significance in the time it was written. I have also researched its authors, their histories, their research, and their rate of success. I find it very sad that the Big Book has, to the best of my understanding, done little to update itself to apply to atheists, agnostics, or those to whom their spirituality does not control their personal destiny. I hate the fact that the Big Book does little for gay and lesbian members, and only pays cursory attention to women.

AA was a good first step in the realm of addiction treatment. But like ECT, I believe that it's time has simply passed for the most part, and for the same reasons. I applaud anyone who manages to turn his or her life around using AA. I simply believe, based on the science (seventy years) that those who do that are either already indoctrinated in monotheism, or would have come to the same conclusions at any rate.

INsofar as the poster that sugggested most gay men are candidates for SLAA, I must respectfully disagree. Sexually compulsive behavior is a symptom of a larger issue, usually revolving around self respect. Eliminating the sexual component does little good if the real issues are not addressed. One simply cannot equate a psychological phenomenon to a quantified chemical dependency.

That having been said, I do think that the tenet of honesty and contrition for harm done is a valuable part of the AA program, and the ability to live a live of personal honor is an important step towards rebuilding a shattered self esteem.
Whatever works. Just realize that other things also work, and for some... perhaps many gay and lesbian people (and women of any orientation) other alternatives might indeed be a better fit.

I have alluded to this discussion in the past, but did not want to ruffle feathers with the full on thing. When I read Andrew's post, I thought two things. One, I should have made out with him more at the museum. And Two, though I applaud Ann and her attempts to help out the BWW, I fond this a perfect opening for a rational discussion - even debate - on the efficacy of the 12 step program insofar as alcohol, sex, drugs, and gay and lesbians are concerned.

Again, it was not my intention to dissilusion or dissuade anyone. I'm certainly not here to mess with anyone's sobriety. This is just a subject rather near and dear to my heart. Andy, as someone who has been a counselor, you know that the addiction treatment/recovery field is still very new - and new alternatives are emerging all the time. I only suggest that enough time has elapsed for a real and frank evaluation of the 12 step paradigm.



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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #86 on: February 27, 2007, 08:44:00 PM »
<<JK -- you can insist that people need religion to belong, but you are wrong on this.  You are absolutely entitled to your opinion on 12-step programs, but you do NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to tell me that I can not be in AA or succeed in AA because I do not subscribe to a religion.>>

I have not said that. I merely quoted the Big Book, which states that. Please don't shoot the messenger here.

<<it scares me that there are people who would give the impression that 12-steps are useless and dangerous -- >>

Even though I have repeatedly provided almost a dozen alternatives to AA which have been proven to work? It's not AA or NOTHING. It's AA *OR* something else. For those who feel they need it, alternatives ARE available. What I find dangerous is the discounting of the other methods of combating alcohol addiction.

<< It may not have been your cup of tea -- and I agree that most fail, but it still works for some.>>

Do you not see the arrogance in that statement? It did not work for me, so I failed? Eep.

I do not require your approval of my life in order to feel I made many good choices (and some awful ones). You should not need the approval of others to justify a choice that worked out for you.

The message I HOPE gets out from this debate is that there ARE alternatives to AA, and many of them are based on sound, current scientific principles.

I do not judge you or anyone else for your choice to embrace AA. It was right for you, obviously. You got what you wanted out of the program and continue to do so.

 
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Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #87 on: February 27, 2007, 09:41:58 PM »
So, does someone who not drink for almost 20 years have "impaired control" over drinking?

I wouldn't think so at all.

In fact, I would think it would be quite the opposite.

Hi Benj,

I still have "impaired control" over drinking -- if I were to drink.  I am not drinking, so I may have "control" over not starting, but the problem would arise if I did.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
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Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #88 on: February 27, 2007, 09:51:17 PM »
Hey Mike,

Clearly after all these years without a drink I have to give you personal credit for what you've achieved.   

While I may not agree with some of the things surrounding various "support groups" I do believe you and it seems clear you've made the right decision for you.

I think you should give yourself a LOT of credit for having the fortitude to accomplish your own personal goals. 

However, I can see how many people would not even attempt tackling an addiction due to some of the obvious turn offs and hypocrisy.

You know who you are and that's all that matters!   


Peace!

Wesley

Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #89 on: February 27, 2007, 09:52:22 PM »
<<it scares me that there are people who would give the impression that 12-steps are useless and dangerous -- >>

Even though I have repeatedly provided almost a dozen alternatives to AA which have been proven to work? It's not AA or NOTHING. It's AA *OR* something else. For those who feel they need it, alternatives ARE available. What I find dangerous is the discounting of the other methods of combating alcohol addiction.

I have never said it is all or nothing.  Many others have basically said AA is "dangerous" and other misleading statements.  I AGREE that we need alternatives.

<< It may not have been your cup of tea -- and I agree that most fail, but it still works for some.>>

Do you not see the arrogance in that statement? It did not work for me, so I failed? Eep.

A badly worded sentence on my part.  My apologies.  I have no knowledge of your success with combating any addictions and did not mean to insinuate you failed.  Those should have been separate thoughts.  Sorry.

I do not require your approval of my life in order to feel I made many good choices (and some awful ones). You should not need the approval of others to justify a choice that worked out for you.

The message I HOPE gets out from this debate is that there ARE alternatives to AA, and many of them are based on sound, current scientific principles.

I do not judge you or anyone else for your choice to embrace AA. It was right for you, obviously. You got what you wanted out of the program and continue to do so.

I agree with not needing approvals -- for either of us.  Thank you for this clarification -- your earlier posts were sounding (to me, at least) as if you were saying "anything but AA".

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #90 on: February 27, 2007, 09:59:34 PM »
Many others have basically said AA is "dangerous" and other misleading statements.  I AGREE that we need alternatives.

That's not true Mike and rather slippery of you. ;)

What's dangerous is the unchallenged view that 12 step programmes are the only answer. Yes, yes I know you say you agree about the need for alternatives but your implication is that programmes like AA or NA are equivalent to the alternatives that JK has listed.

It's my profound contention that they are not. To my mind AA type approaches are about as equal to scientifically sound programmes as intelligent design is to the proven theory of evolution.

MtD

Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #91 on: February 27, 2007, 10:36:51 PM »
Many others have basically said AA is "dangerous" and other misleading statements.  I AGREE that we need alternatives.

That's not true Mike and rather slippery of you. ;)

What's dangerous is the unchallenged view that 12 step programmes are the only answer. Yes, yes I know you say you agree about the need for alternatives but your implication is that programmes like AA or NA are equivalent to the alternatives that JK has listed.

It's my profound contention that they are not. To my mind AA type approaches are about as equal to scientifically sound programmes as intelligent design is to the proven theory of evolution.

MtD

Matty,

That is the wonderful things about opinions -- you are entitled to yours and I am entitled to mine.   :P  ;)

I don't know how scientifically sound AA is, but I personally know scores of folks who were saved from the ravages of alcoholism by it.

But please help me understand the "slippery" part of my posts -- for it is YOUu implying that some are "better" than others -- NOT I.

Hugs,
Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #92 on: February 27, 2007, 10:43:49 PM »
Irony.......???!!!

I'm having one of my Sustiva "drunk" nights tonight.  On the rare occasion that I indulge in Krispy Kreme donuts in the evening, my Sustiva gives me an incredible buzz.   ;D   I'm going to stagger to bed now.   ;)

Hugs to all,
Mike
(Who is happy that the heat in this discussion went down.......)
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
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Offline Longislander

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #93 on: February 27, 2007, 11:10:32 PM »
wow, I just spent unbelievable hour or more reading this damned thread.

Andy, well said, Mike, you too.

Somethings I thought about were brought up later in the thread, such as court ordered attendance. Of course, as shown by Wesleys post, MOST DON"T WANT TO BE THERE!! They go to as many as ordered and stop. Or drop out sooner, and find something else. Personal therapy sessions are great, if the person has insurance. I'm sure many of the alcoholics who find themselves in front of a judge don't have insurance, and are thereby directed to AA ( or other program as long as they get the help).

I'm now completely tired of this subject, but will add my own story.

I am not an alcoholic, I'm only addicted to cigarettes. My stepfather is an alcoholic. He would not only drive while drunk, he would drink the gin str8 from the bottle while driving. He would drink Nyquil from the supermarket if the liquor stores were closed. He hit rock bottom, and was told he could only stay if he stopped drinking. He chose to keep drinking. Til he found himself sleeping in an all night laundromat in Vegas. ( he likes to gamble too). My mom, said, ok, only if you stop drinking. He went to AA, almost daily. He is far from a bible thumper, does not attend church and has not had a drink since 1/21/90. Why is this date so important? It's the day we got a great family member back. My sister loathed this man when we had to live at home with him, and even after she left the house. Today, he's the proud grandfather of her two children, and she's quite happy about it.

This may be anecdotal, but it is FACT.

I'd hate to think an alcoholic GUEST of AIDSMEDS was perusing this site, and couldn't get halfway through this thread before realizing that AA is a sham, and won't help them, and they should just give up~ ( or join an ONLINE recovery program?).
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #94 on: February 27, 2007, 11:11:47 PM »
That is the wonderful things about opinions -- you are entitled to yours and I am entitled to mine.

I prefer Clint Eastwoods assesment of opinions being like arseholes. You know, everyone's got one. You might be entitled to an opinion my heart, but that doesn't make it valid.

I don't know how scientifically sound AA is, but I personally know scores of folks who were saved from the ravages of alcoholism by it.

Oy the tyranny of anecdotal evidence! JK adroitly dismissed anecdotal evidence earlier.

But please help me understand the "slippery" part of my posts -- for it is YOUu implying that some are "better" than others -- NOT I.

The slippery part of your post was the comment about the anti-AA/SA/NA view being "misleading." It is not. And I'm not implying anything. I'm saying it outright.

Fondly,

MtD :-*
(Who thinks that Longislander needs to read this thread again)

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #95 on: February 27, 2007, 11:49:12 PM »
<<I'd hate to think an alcoholic GUEST of AIDSMEDS was perusing this site, and couldn't get halfway through this thread before realizing that AA is a sham, and won't help them, and they should just give up~ ( or join an ONLINE recovery program?).>>


So my multiple postings of AA alternatives are useless? Good to know.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #96 on: February 27, 2007, 11:50:47 PM »
Ya know? I give up. Thanks for playing.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #97 on: February 27, 2007, 11:59:36 PM »
So my multiple postings of AA alternatives are useless? Good to know.

Ya know? I give up. Thanks for playing.


Not at all JK. There will have been a multitude of members and lurkers who have read your sage commentary and clicked your links without commenting.

Your work is, as always, more than well worth it. :-*

MtD
(Who knows these things)

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #98 on: February 28, 2007, 12:17:46 AM »
Ya know? I give up. Thanks for playing.


I look, jonathan, at your postings, and what I see is a very personal attachment to a resolute outcome which you will drive yourself crazy trying to achieve.  I ask myself, mostly in consideration of your most recent postings, what your motive really is.

What I have gathered in my best understanding of your emotionally charged and condemning monologues is that you are trying to present options other than faith based programs.  That is respectable.  However, what I find that is not respectable, is that in your attempts to promote YOUR beliefs, you have also haphazardly tried to minimize, degrade, and disprove with shoddy statistics a program which has proven itself to work for many people.

Perhaps you could open your heart, and the narrowness of your condemning opinions to the idea of attraction rather than promotion.  People need to find their own way, and NOT be oppressed further with dictative monologue.

Please, unattach yourself from the outcome.  Contrary to your incinuation of 'playing', THIS IS NOT A GAME.

-joseph
« Last Edit: February 28, 2007, 12:19:28 AM by Strayboy74 »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #99 on: February 28, 2007, 12:23:20 AM »
you have also haphazardly tried to minimize, degrade, and disprove with shoddy statistics a program which has proven itself to work for many people.


Naturally Joseph you can demonstrate how the statistics and other proofs that JK has provided are shoddy, can't you?

MtD

 


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