Riverdog has a post up on Alcoholism and what he perceives as the shortcomings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
'Fraid I just can't leave that one alone. I've known, in my meanderings, both far too many drunks and addicts that are out there practicing their addiction and who were struggling for recovery - and friends in 12-step programs have carefully pointed out to me a couple of minor details that seem to be missed here...
First off, the various AA-based 12-step programs are pretty clear in their traditions (see #6 & #10) that neither AA (or other 12-step groups) nor their members in the name of their sundry groups should either own significant property (a 4'x8' table might be ok - a 40'x80' double-wide would not, from what I understand) or express any opinion on outside controversial issues-particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion.
AA/NA/etc ain't MADD, Schick-Schadel, or any of the commercial or tax-dollar supported critters out there - there may be various group meetings at such facilities, but the facility is not the group, the group is not the facility.
Second in line, according to most folks in the various programs I've talked to - there are hints and such that there may be a problem, but the only one who can say for sure is the drunk or addict who figures they've got a problem - not as if it'd do any good anyway for them to hear it from someone else, as I understand it.
Third, I've seen hints that addiction bursts forth from various sources - sometimes genetic, sometimes environment, and sometimes dumb luck; but where it comes from seems less important than the havoc it wreaks in the lives of the addict and of the lives of those around them.
By the time most, and thankfully not all, of the afflicted are in sufficient pain to do something about their problem - they've pretty well lost both the resources and the ability to regain them anytime soon to "pay for their own recovery and all the damage they've caused."
I'm kinda tired of watching folks I care about self-destruct; I may have my little issues with the frothing fanatics over at MADD (who I expect to hear advocating public hangings and defenestrations, any time now - Carrie Nation, party of one?) at about the same level I object to the bliss-ninnies over at the Violence Policy Center and their peculiar brand of madness - but, given their complete aversion to public policy and harassing the unwilling, the sundry 12-step groups strike me as a damned odd target of despite.