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Below are some of the common misconceptions about Alcoholics Anonymous (and related programs) and the correction of these myths.
1. Alcoholics Anonymous is a religious cult
While there is a spiritual component to AA (not a religious one), there is no requirement for membership in the fellowship other than a desire to stop drinking. There is no requirement that one believe in anything other than his/her desire to seek help.
2. If I join AA I will never have a life again
AA is a program designed to offer a better way of living to those people who have tried their own designs for getting sober and have repeatedly failed at doing so. It is a place where one can meet people with similar experiences, feel understood, and improve his/her quality of life. The purpose is to enhance one's overall life experience-which includes life outside of AA.
3. AA is anti-medication for members with mental illness
The World Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous (which is the governing body of rules and regulations for the program) does not indicate anywhere that there is any policy against taking psychotropic medications for mental illness. While there are some members of AA who adhere to this practice, they are not appropriately practicing the tenets of the program outlined by the WSO. AA does not claim to be a group of medical professionals and wholly supports members seeking outside treatment in order to meet their individual needs. If you have any other questions or concerns about AA and potential aspects that you may feel conflicted about, it is recommended that you directly contact the World Service Office and seek further information.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|