Both Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and mainstream recovery claim that alcoholism is a disease – one that can only be managed and never cured. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is no sound science or empirical data which supports the disease theory. Additionally, AA claims that you are powerless over your alcohol addiction. And, to overcome it, you must turn your life over to the higher power. Gee, that’s odd; you weren’t powerless to start drinking. Bottom line, you are not powerless to stop drinking, and you don’t need 12 steps. You only need 5 steps to give up alcohol without AA. Obviously, it is more difficult to stop than start, but you aren’t powerless, nonetheless. While AA only has a success rate of roughly 5-10 percent, there is something to be learned from successful members who achieve sobriety. After ten years of research, I have concluded that successful AA members achieve sobriety through a behavioral transference. In other words, they trade one addiction for another. In this case, the swap is alcohol for AA meetings and ideology. The addiction still remains, just not to alcohol. That is why members relapse when they discontinue meetings. Since 95 percent of all treatment centers in the U.S. employ the Twelve-Step Program as a primary modality, we are essentially talking about the same approach. Over the past decade, medication assisted treatment has emerged onto the seen. With this method, medication which theoretically blocks the effects of alcohol or drugs is prescribed and combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These drugs are psychoactive compounds, so they do create mind-altering effects, irrespective of whether they block the effects of alcohol or not. This, in my opinion, is tantamount to trading one drug for another.
The Real Causes of Alcoholism
Contrary to AA and mainstream recovery claims, alcoholism is not a disease. I believe alcoholism is a form of emotional escape. It is driven by anxiety, emotional distress and depression. When these emotional states reach tipping points, and become unmanageable, alcohol is used to self-medicate. There are three preceding levels which underpins and feeds the Drivers. They must be addressed as well if you want to learn how to give up alcohol without AA. However, the end goal is to dismantle the Drivers.
Steps to Give up Alcohol without AA
In my opinion, 12 steps are not required to give up alcohol. You only need 5 steps. I have proven this not just in theory but also in practice. For now, I want to talk about dismantling anxiety and depression. At the end of the post, I’ll provide more information about how you can download my free, 5-step e-guide.
Mainstream has professed, for years, that anxiety is induced by alcoholism. I believe they’ve had it backwards. Anxiety is a driver of alcohol addiction. Anxiety is defined as excessive worry, concern or dread. I would also describe it as future-based, speculative thinking. From my research and experience, I have concluded that anxiety is either self-endorsed or self-induced. Basically, you are creating it. Therefore, you are capable of dismantling it. That isn’t easy, but you can eliminate it, nevertheless. If you are self-endorsing anxiety, then you are likely condoning dysfunctional behavior. If you are self-inducing anxiety, you are probably repeating behavior that you learned in childhood. In either case, you can significantly reduce and even eliminate your anxiety.
Mainstream recovery makes the following two claims:
Depression is caused by alcoholism
Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance
Once again, there isn’t a single shred of empirical evidence or sound science to support those claims. Truthfully speaking, depression is not caused by alcoholism. It is a driver of alcohol abuse. In addition, I believe that depression is caused by the absence of self-love and meaning/purpose in one’s life. If you feel sad or hopeless, then you probably haven’t embraced the concept of self-love and you don’t have a great deal of meaning and purpose in your life. That can be changed. Alcohol is a depressant. Strangely enough, people use alcohol to alleviate depression. However, when the effects wear off, your depression will return, and most likely will worsen. Don’t attempt to anesthetize your depression. Instead, marginalize it with a boost of self-esteem and a clear path and purpose.
For the complete, 5-step plan, download my free e-guide “Stop Drinking Secrets, Revealed,” on the home page. Click on home under quick links at the bottom of this page.
For additional reading, check out my posts below:
How to stop drinking on your own