Alcoholics Anonymous AA History part 01

The March of Time Throughout all time, men have sought in drink release from tension, care, and from the pressure of reality. Over 50 million Americans drink more or less regularly with no visible bad effects. A few million react typically and recognizably to alcohol but still remains strictly occasional drinkers. Sometimes, victims of a glass too much. But, of grave concern to the United States is the growing number of those unlucky problem drinkers, the alcoholics whose addiction is uncontrolled, compulsive, and in the end, destructive. “Come on, Mac.”

“Huh?”

“Come on, time to go home.”
“Just one more drink.”

“No more drinks for you. Come on. On your way.”

“Leave me alone.” “Where do you live Mac?”

“Take your hands off me.” “Oh, you’re going to get tough, are you? You’d better come with me.”

“Listen, I can take care of myself.”

“Yeah? That’s what all you drunks say. Come on.” “Look, officer. I’ve got to get word to my wife. I’ve got to get out of here.” “Okay, okay. Just calm down.” “That’s right, Mrs. Lane. Walnut Street Station House. Ask for Sergeant Gary.” “Yes, I’ll be right down. Thank you for calling, Sargent. Bye.” “I told you this would happen. Grousing, irresponsible.”

“Oh Mother, stop it please. There’s not a better man on earth when he’s sober.”

“And, how often is that? He’s just a hopeless drunkard. “What am I going to do? What can any of us do? ” But alcoholics are not evil doers whose misdemeanors may be dealt with by punishment. But rather, people in the grip of a mysterious inner compulsion to drink. It’s a concept society has not fully grasped. Yet, the world has known for centuries the toll of health of families and of careers which drunkenness has taken. By precept example and exultation, generations of temperance crusaders have carried on their work. Notable among them was Father Matthew, an Irish priest who nearly a century ago converted 700,000 disciples in America alone. Later, came America’s bone-dry reformers luridly denouncing the curse of drink, whose efforts where to be founded in 1919 by the enactment of prohibition. “Neighbors, take a look at your bright-eyed children. Do you know what the liquor industry wants to do to them? ”

“They wanna feed them that old rough cut and make your fine, strong, healthy boys into shallow-faced drunkards ending up in the electric chair.”

“They want –They want your sweet, innocent girls to take the Bulls so they can be enticed into honky tonks by slick-haired vultures who prey on the fall of American womanhood. I say alcohol must go.” Despite National Prohibition’s failure, such organizations as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union have never stopped their efforts to outlaw liquor.

“And, I am happy to report that last year, 183 counties and 614 towns in this country voted themselves completely dry by outlawing all alcoholic liquor.” “And so all these, just like it used to be. Just like it used to be. Just like it used to be. Alcohol is just like it used to be, many long years ago. ”

Fearful that excessive drinking might lead to a return of prohibition, The US liquor interest have made a determined campaigns to promote moderation. By an appeal to tavern keepers, the allied liquor industries are urging a curb on drunkenness at a major source. “The first thing to remember in running a decent tavern is don’t sell liquor to minors or to drunks. Fellas known to be of us see to it that he can’t get a drink at your place. ”

“There’s a man standing up at the bar, you think maybe he’s having too much to drink, there’s just one rule to follow. When in doubt, don’t sell him anything. We believe in moderation so let’s put it into practice.” Meanwhile, in the academic world, many institutions are seeking a sound scientific approach to the problem of alcoholism. One of these is Yale University School of Alcohol Studies where Dr. Howard W. Haggard, nationally known physiologist has been working for years in collaboration with Dr. EM Jellinek, famed biometrician. Through exact research and analysis, through physiological experimentation, they and their staff have been trying to find out how alcoholics get that way and what can be done about it. In the school’s clinics, alcoholics referred by social agencies or applying on their on initiative may find help. The patient’s treatment is in four phases. A trained interviewer first finds out how sincerely he wants to be cured. Upon this, his chances largely depend. Then, the facts of his case are determined or the treatment varies with the patient’s history.

Next, a doctor checks to see whether he needs medical treatment. But, his physical condition may have less bearing on the problem than his state of mind and it is the job of the psychiatrist to guide him back to mental health. The fourth phase is an attempt to correct whatever conditions may be wrong at home through interviews with the patient’s family. Though its clinical work is necessarily limited, the school exerts a wide influence through regular publication of its findings and through its summer sessions where picked community leaders from all over the country come to learn, and go home to apply their knowledge. “In our town, the alcoholics aren’t as bad shape when they come out of jail as when they go in. Why is that?” “Well, that’s because detention is not treatment. Sending the alcoholic to jail is based on a scientifically obsolete idea of punishing him, not of curing him.

“If a mother drinks while nursing, will the baby develop a taste for alcohol?” “If the mother was quite drunk, but still able to nurse, her milk might contain as much as 2/10 of 1% of alcohol. That’s about as much alcohol as if you were to put 12 drops of vanilla extract in a glass of milk. The answer to the question is no.” “Temperance worker is correct in stressing that the use of alcohol leads to disease.” “Physical disease is the least important danger from the use of alcohol. The real danger is drunkenness.” But, from a New York headquarters, one of the most dramatic jobs in combating alcoholism is being done by the voluntary organization called Alcoholics Anonymous. AA offers help freely to any alcoholic anywhere who is willing to admit his own inability to help himself and though not a religious organization, it’s 12-step program calls for or believe in some power outside the individual. Direct contact with those or whom help is asked is made only by AA members who themselves have gone the long road from alcoholism to sobriety. That may be alright for some people, but not for me. All that pious stuff. I can’t go for it.”

“I couldn’t either at first. But, believe it or not, Fred, it works. I was in a lot worse shape than you are when Alcoholics Anonymous got hold of me.” “Anyway, I’m not that badly off. All I need is a little shot now and then. Stop anytime I really want to.” “You can? Then, why haven’t you stopped? Because you can’t and you know it. Fred, you’re ruining your whole life.”

“Alright, alright. Maybe, I have gotta have this stuff. Yes, I’ve got to. I can’t help it. So what?” “Okay. Once you admit that, then we can begin to help you, if you’ll let us. Do you want to get well?” “What would I have to do?” If a new member of AA is in bad enough shape, he begins his treatment in the hospital where he is built up by rest and vitamin therapy.

During this process, old AA members working in pairs with the more experienced guiding the less experienced, give him constant encouragement. All through his ordeal, the new member finds strong support in the company of the others. Here is a social group of which he can feel a part and whatever his problem, others show how they have conquered theirs. “Ten years ago, the doctors all gave me up. Said liquor was killing me. Said I didn’t have the courage to stop drinking. Well, I didn’t, until AA helped me get the courage. ”

“I’ve been dry for ten years now. Any of you can do as much if you want because you got 24,000 of us behind you.” “I began drinking after an illness. I lost my husband, my job, everything I had. Then, I heard about AA. Well, I haven’t had a drink since.” “Hope blossomed into faith and the combination of hope and faith led to that eventual miracle which AA provides: sobriety. I don’t know whether I’m happy because I don’t drink or I don’t drink because I happy. You figure it out.” “AA stands ready to help each and every one of you stop drinking. We get it. We’ll help you do it. We’ll close the meeting in the usual way.” “Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…”

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