Statistics indicate that each year more than 600,000 Americans seek assistance with abandoning a dependence on alcoholic beverages. That fact makes it clear that many men and women are asking this question: What is the best type of alcohol abuse help. Since no one alcoholic is exactly like all the other alcoholics, it is impossible to claim that one treatment promises to be best for all who try it.
Still, it is impossible to ignore the string of successes achieved by the program called Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It is probably the most famous of the self-help programs that are available to the problem drinker. That program was first introduced more than 70 years ago, and since then it has become an international organization.
Its emphasis on confidentiality has been copied by any program that has sought to offer an alternative approach. It acknowledges the power of alcohol and seeks to compensate for that powerful influence by offering a suitable support system. In addition, it guarantees the availability of a counselor and guide, any time of the day or night.
It offers a 12 step program. The program places the greatest emphasis on honesty, sobriety and acknowledgement of a higher power. In other words, it is designed for those who are willing to accept the benefits attached to an emphasis on spirituality.
Over time, it has become apparent that not all men and women are willing to accept the spirituality of AA. That fact explains the appearance of an alternate group. It is called Secular Organizations for Sobriety.
Founded in 1980, it holds confidential meetings, much like those held for members of AA. Like AA, it holds annual celebrations, recognizing another year of sobriety for each of its members. Like AA, it sees the recovery process as being a sequence of events that take place one day at a time.
There has been almost a minimum of controversy linked to the introduction of a non-spiritual alternative to AA. That alternative made its appearance not too long after Time Magazine had published an issue with a cover that asked this question: Is God Dead? In the 1980’s there was not much public interest in spirituality.
Another alternative approach has given rise to a good deal of controversy. It is something called moderation training. It makes use of techniques that psychologists view as examples of a cognitive-behavioral methodology. One such technique involves the keeping of a diary.
The person who is writing in that diary is supposed to explain on its pages his or her drinking patterns and ways of learning. That is an effort to use a technique known as consumption management. It differs decidedly from the way that those who have completed an AA program deal with their efforts to remain sober.
AA and programs like it try to prevent a relapsing into dependence on alcohol by offering something along the lines of refusal training. In that case, a man or woman is trained to say no in various situations. In other words, that training does not tolerate any effort to drink occasionally, even at a moderate level.
Although consumption management is popular in countries outside of the United States, experts tend to doubt its efficacy. Adults who want to help other adults and older youth tend to support any effort that promotes AA, an organization that does seem to have one of the best alcohol abuse help programs.