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Respond by Day 5 to two colleagues in the following way:

  • Explain whether you agree that these are important characteristics of the logic behind the program.
  • Explain what other considerations might be important.

Explain whether or not you think the Alcoholics Anonymous program is successful. Justify your response.

Alcoholics Anonymous program is unarguably one of the well-known treatments for recovering from alcohol abuse. In AA, members meet regularly to stay motivated and keep one another accountable for their alcohol use. These meetings are left free and open to anyone trying to recover from alcohol misuse. According to Kaskutas (2009), participants in AA are encouraged to abide and work every step that has been outlined by Wilson and Smith. Given the peculiarity and anonymity of the program, ascertaining its success rate has been difficult. Amidst the claims and abundant research that the success of AA can’t be explained, it is imperative to look beyond the research and understand AA as a scheme that offers support, solace, comfort, and direction to those that are striving to remain sober. This is where the success of AA can be measured and gauged.

There is no doubt that success is a vague term to describe or define in the prognosis of this program. This is because some people truly recover while others relapse and never recover again. A study by Lilienfeld & Arkowitz (2011) found that even within the first year, more than 40% percent of members drop out. However, we can truly measure the success of AA by comparing it with other available therapies. I believe that AA has been successful over the years on account of its ability to make people sober and rediscover themselves. A major reason for its success is that AA encourages members to look beyond their drinking problems by addressing those underlying and fundamental character defects. By adopting a new way of life, participants in the AA program embrace change and start living again (Kaskutas, 2009). In looking at the bigger picture, I think it is impressive how AA did not try to stop the proliferation of other steps-centered addiction groups from adopting the Anonymous name. By extension, AA is helping to fight other social problems. Finally, in justifying why the program is successful, it is imperative to mention that members find the group to be a compelling emotional experience where they can forge bonds with other people with similar pains.

Briefly describe what you think are the important characteristics of its underlying logic model. Explain your reasoning.

The logic model adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous is detailed in its 12-step recovery plan. The idea is that anyone seeking help will have to experience these 12 steps because recovery is a lifelong process. Participants do not necessarily have to follow each step from the beginning to the end, but they have to figure out what works best for them. Most participants will find their recovery by revisiting some steps while others may need to simultaneously address two or more steps. However, Wilson considered the first three steps of the program as fundamental and recommended for practice. Another characteristic underlying its logic model is a commitment to the program by surrendering to a higher power. According to Magura et al., (2013), AA participation facilitates the acceptance of alcoholism as a disease such that the participant surrenders to a higher power through the help of recovering alcoholics, while instilling hope for recovery through participation in the program. Lilienfeld & Arkowitz (2011) found that the 12 steps address major risk factors faced in each stage by participants and the action to be taken in the journey of recovery. Thus, sticking religiously to the 12 steps is an important component.

Another important characteristic of AA’s underlying logic model is its cardinal rule of anonymity. AA and its 12 steps have become ubiquitous and universally accepted even though no one can ascertain how well these steps work. The organization is difficult to study because of its insistence on anonymity, yet anyone who seeks help in curbing either an alcohol or drug problem will encounter Wilson’s model on their recovery. It appears that AA adopts the Master narrative engagement framework (Hammack & Toolis, 2015) which explores the way personal identity transitions are negotiated around potentially stigmatizing social categories to keep participant anonymous in the program. I think its anonymity is a major reason for its success as it has removed pressure from its participants allowing them to rediscover themselves. AA encourages members to look beyond their drinking problems and address underlying character defects (Blonigen et al., 2011). I think the core components of any logic model which are inputs, activities, and outcomes can be found in the AA program. Participants and mentors are the inputs in the program. The activities in the AA program is the rigorous and strict adherence to the 12 steps. The outcomes are enforcing changed behaviors. For example, members receive tokens to mark periods of sobriety, from 24 hours to one month to 55 years.

References

Blonigen, D. M., Timko, C., Finney, J. W., Moos, B. S., & Moos, R. H. (2011). Alcoholics

Anonymous attendance, decreases in impulsivity and drinking and psychosocial outcomes over 16 years: moderated-mediation from a developmental perspective. Addiction, 106(12), 2167-2177. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03522.x

Hammack, P. L. & Toolis, E. E. (2015). Putting the social into personal identity: The master

narrative as a root metaphor for psychological and developmental science. Human

Development, 58(6), 350-364. https://doi.org/10.1159/000446054

Kaskutas, L. A. (2009). Alcoholics anonymous effectiveness: Faith meets science. Journal of

Addictive Diseases, 28(2), 145-157.

Lilienfeld, S., & Arkowitz, H. (2011). Does alcoholics anonymous work? Scientific American,

22(1), 64-65. https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamericanmind0311…

Magura, S., Cleland, C. M., & Tonigan, J. S. (2013). Evaluating alcoholics anonymous’s effect

on drinking in project match using cross-lagged regression panel analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 74(3), 378-385. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2013.74.378

 

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