I found this article interesting. I am hesitant to compare addiction to a concentration camp or to the financial crisis, but there are some parallels with regard to loss of control. The article helps explain the often elusive and difficult task of accepting the loss of control of AOD use and the powerlessness identified in the 12 steps. It reaffirms the need for client involvement in the treatment process and touches on the illusion of control that many of us struggle with. It also prompted me to think about the control issues that clients deal with in residential treatment. The author notes that “a false sense of control can be beneficial.” I would also add that it can kill you.

2 thoughts on “Control

  1. AA's insistence on powerlessness and reliance on a nonexistent "higher power" may be why it is so ineffective at getting more than a handful of people to stay sober for long. Programs such as Women For Sobriety or Rational Recovery are more effective because they EMPOWER people to make change. How depressing to think you're powerless over your own behaviors.


  2. I have no quarrel with WFS, SOS, Life Ring, etc. (RR is overtly hostile to AA and I find its devolution strange. But, if it works for someone, more power to them.) and I respect the differences between groups and the recovery of anyone in one of these groups. However, the whole concept of powerlessness within AA gets distorted. It's not disempowering. (For most people anyway.) Its essense is that I can't drink successfully and that I can't not drink without help. Stephanie Covington has done a good job responding to these concerns within the context of feminism.


Comments are closed.