Seven Facts You Should Know about AA

Questions about Alcoholism

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well-known program for alcoholism, but it’s far from the best…..very far. Did you know these seven important facts about the organization?

1. AA has a very low success rate. It’s about 5% (one of every twenty people) at the end of one year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would never approve any pharmaceutical or therapy with such a low success (high failure) rate.

2. AA has proven to be less effective than not participating in any organized program or treatment therapy at all. For most people, attending AA is worse than not doing so. This strongly suggests that some or all of the program is counter-productive.

3. AA teaches the theory of “loss of control,” This is the belief that once alcoholics take a drink, they lose their ability to stop. Research has found that the more strongly people believe in this theory, the more likely they are to lose control and drink to excess if they do have a drink.

4. AA promotes helplessness, often resulting in low self-esteem, hopelessness, and depression.

5. AA teaches the demonstrably false belief that alcoholics will be alcoholic for life and can never learn to drink in moderation. Nation-wide research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has clearly disproven this belief.

6. AA is not based on any scientific evidence or theory. It implements a program
based on a small fundamentalist religious movement (the Oxford Group) out of which it

7. AA is a religious organization according to Federal Court rulings. Because of the United
States Constitution and the separation of church and state, it is illegal for a judge or
any other public official to require anyone to attend AA, just as they cannot require
anyone to attend a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.

The good news is that there are effective alternatives for you or your loved one.