This is AA General Service Conference approved literature

Because of the difficulties that many alcoholics have with drugs some members have taken the position that no one in AA should take any medication, while this position has undoubtedly prevented relapses for some, it has meant disaster for others.

A.A. members and many of their physicians have described situations in which depressed patients have been told by A.A.s to throw away the pills, only to have depression return with all its difficulties, sometimes resulting in suicide.


Some Alcoholics require medication

We have heard, too, from members with other conditions, including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, epilepsy and others requiring medication, that well-meaning A.A. friends discourage them from taking any prescribed medication. Unfortunately, by following a layperson’s advice, the sufferers find that their conditions can return with all their previous intensity. On top of that, they feel guilty because they are convinced that  A.A. is against pills.


No A.A. member should “play doctor”; all medical advice and treatment should come from a qualified physician.

Complete Medications and other Drugs pamphlet By AA General Services-

Prevent Suicide psa.jpg



  1. I have suffered from mild depression, ADHD and OCD all my life. I’ve been on and off medication long before and during my 22 years of sober. And yes I have thought of suicide hundreds of times. Gratefully I have never planned nor attempted it. AA does not tell members to NOT take medication. Just the opposite. However I have heard many member state they don’t take medication because of fear of going back out as well as influence others not to take meds. The impact on newcomers as well as some members with time in the room can be devastating. Its hog wash and snake oil. These positions are not the stance of AA.
    Secondly I want to add, I was broken when I came into AA. Today I am a healthy functioning human being. I am not broken inside. That period of my life is over. I go to AA to maintain that status and help other.

  2. AA and NA needs to stop telling people they are powerless and to stop taking their meds. So many people in AA and NA know many people who committed suicide.

    Stop the 12 step madness in 2017!

    • I have been in AA for several years and not once have I ever heard anyone suggest prescribed meds not be taken .. in fact the very oppositeu

      • Maybe at your meetings… but not at mine. Everyone was told they had ‘alcoholic symptoms’ and that anything else was just an excuse not to go to AA.

        Well… not true.

        Its time members understand that they have to have boundaries. AA has just come out with Safety Guidelines to help them to understand what they are.

        These guidelines are long overdue but have come about because of the hard work of many people who would not let the issue go.

        Now…. it is time to get them to be read/implemented at the group level.


  3. This is foolishness. How many sick doctora have caused suicides? Should I stop seeing doctors? How many people kill themselves when they get dumped? Should I not date? The truth is that some of the sickest people in the world come to AA for help, and the alcoholic /addict population is more likely to commit suicide than most other populations.

    • It is not foolishness, AA has admitted that AA members cause suicides. You are right about one thing, some of the sickest people in the world come to AA. Another reason for people to think twice about going to dangerous AA and NA meetings. I know Daytona AA and Daytona NA meetings can be very dangerous with members packing guns and doing drugs.

    • Listen AA is made up of a bunch of sick egotistical control freaks. I’ve had several sponsors and members tell me not to take medication prescribed by a doctor for depression and anxiety. I was told that I was not really sober and by one sponsor if I didn’t get off of them I would either have to change my sobriety date or get another sponsor who will consign my shit. Talk about sick!! I’ve dealt with so many sick assholes in AA that I’ve decided to leave this cult! I’m much better off without it!!

      • What an idiotic comment. A sponsor is there to help you work the steps. Not play doctor. If you’re too stupid to find another sponsor that know that, it’s you’re fault not AA’s. To label the entire organization a bunch of egotistical control freaks is a lame attempt to justify your own ugly anger. Jesus, what butt hurt.

        • But it is AA’s fault when a sponsor is acting on behalf of AA – which is what they do as a ‘member’.


        • What an idiotic response. This is how AA is set up. There are no qualifications to be a sponsor. Any dumbass can be a sponsor. AA sponsorship is like the Wild Wild West. A lot of vulnerable newcomers don’t know the difference between a good sponsor and a psycho. That’s how AA is set up. So YES it IS AA’s fault!!!

        • 8% success rate reported by people whom I’m sure have never lied about there indulgences… Often lead by people that have their G.E.D. and a history of self reported abuse problems. That comes out to “maybe” a ten percent chance of finding someone who is not full of delusional misguided desperation that are to be guides to salvation… of cigarettes coffee and sulk fest’s. If it works for you… good, and good luck. … That’s the another problem… so many “enlightened sober drunks” trying to play guru are fucking assholes like you are….. STUPID! Jesus! I hope you prayed to your higher power before your response or are you too butt hurt to consult IDIOT sober drunk guru master…. Your 5 sentences are excellent examples of the ignorance of this cult.

      • I used to go to a group where you were shunned if you had a slip or multiple slips. This is not in the spirit of AA and neither is your curse against my LORD and Savior. After i left i found out a dear woman died of a heart attack. I wonder if she had to put up with the same garbage i did. People ignoring you or shunning you if you had a slip, or were on meds. In Sweden they prescribe naltrexone for alcohol withdrawals and relapses with great success. Ignorance can be deadly. Some people are afraid to tell doctors they are alcoholics if they are on phsych meds because the doctor may cut them off. Some people also use alcohol because of the side effects of certain phsych meds because they remove any feeling of pleasure.

  4. AA members who are prescribed medications can take them as they wish. The big book talks about this, and a recent Grapevine article reinforces this concept. Powerless applies to ones alcholism-only. If you are getting drunk constantly maybe you have a problem, call it like it is. I am sober because of AA.

    • That’s very nice for you but I have known more people to commit suicide while in AA then those who went out and got drunk.

      One of the worse ones in our group was the schizophrenic who stopped taking her meds because she had been told ‘a drug is a drug’. She jumped off her apt balcony to her death while in a delusional state. How do I know this? She was talking with her sponsor at the time – and in mid sentence ran and jumped for no apparent reason. The sponsor never completely recovered from the trauma of that experience.


      • That is so tragic Librarian, It is well known that AA and NA discourage members from taking meds regardless what their literature states. It is just part of their culture and because of this culture of AA and NA it has resulted in many suicides that impact not only the person who took their lives, but their friends, family and even their peers in AA and NA.

        When will people stop acting like this is not a huge problem in the 12 step community? How many funerals do they need to go to?

        • More bogus bullshit. I have yet to meet one single member of AA or NA who has discouraged me in taking my meds. In fact, just the opposite has been the case. I don’t know where you people are going to meetings, but they’re obviously not the right ones. And spare me the BS about being told not to take meds in AA literature. The only thing even closely related is advice to use caution in certain classes of those that can induce alcoholic or drug cravings. There’s a difference between using caution and telling people not to.

          • Let me get this straight…..because you have NEVER met one single member who discouraged you from taking meds means it never happens??? Obviously, you are wrong and it DOES happen!!! Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Logic 101

          • That’s right – it doesn’t. BUT THE MEMBERS DO!!!! All the time and that is a fact. I had many speaker tapes where there speakers discouraged people from seeking proper medical help – so don’t even begin to deny it.

            Members teach each other through word of mouth that medication is not acceptable.


        • It was sad, in my AA group in the 90’s told a lady to get off her meds. I knew her before I met her in AA and she had two little children. She was smiling and happy with her kids. Someone maybe a sponsor said quit taking your meds so she did and she shot herself, leaving a husband and two little kids behind. This pamphlet should’ve come out along time ago.

          • @Amy: The pamphlet about AA and medications actually came out in 1984. I’m guessing not many people knew about it- and that’s how sponsors and others have gotten away with ‘playing doctor.’ I found NA has a similar brochure. While I don’t have much good to say about 12-step programs, AA & NA do not condone those behaviors, they say medical issues are between a person and their physician.

      • I think someone who wants to commit suicide could be anywhere. They went to AA and it didnt work fir them. Diesnt work for everybody. AA DOES NOT CAUSE suicide. Its a personal couce.

    • Peter, what about the FACT that their is a culture in AA and NA that tells members to NOT take meds and then resulting in tragedy?

      How many people do you know the took their lives that were in AA/NA?

      • Im not a sheeple dude – i have my own mind. If my doc prescribes me meds thats between him and me. I dont listen to anti med idiots.

        • Well Laura, many AA members do listen to their sick sponsors that tell them to go off their meds. That is just one reason AA and NA is not safe, but one thing is for sure is that AA members cause suicides.

          • sponsers are not doctors nor nurses but very god oriensted ppl and god cant control brain chemistry,””that is there fear or resent “proper advice should speak with ur doctor healthcare provider of illness ‘medication effects and concerns and results””aa rn

    • I’ve seen and heard this happen in my old area of NA. Some members were schizophrenic, bipolar, suffering from severe depression and some were medical:heart problems, kidney issues, so on. Members would tell them you are not clean taking them and need to stop. One of my ex sponsees was a former nurse and said “as a former nurse I can say you cannot just stop taking them”. Oh the members said ” you can’t tell them that! You’re an addict, and what you are or was doesnt matter here. I said “oh, but your non degree tells you that you can tell people how or not how to Take your medication? ” of course I wasn’t popular anymore. Oh well.

  5. Really enjoyed reading this .Keep on with the good work anti Denial.
    In my mind-no question that AAincrease the SUICIDES of their memers with mental disorders.It was,for me, leave or kill some of them.I left.They did not want me to surrender to god as I KNOW GOD.NOPE YOU WILL OBRY OBEY AND surender to the AA group of diseased.devious drunkards,deviates and druggies goddddddddddddddddf.nope/The hatred for my teacher, Prem Rawat -that I follow him and not some two by twice gutter mouthed spawn-sore destroyed any possibility of brain-dead steper playing godddd in my life.
    Lighthouse in mtns of Chiangrai,thailand.
    My love from thailand.Lighthouse in mtns of Chiangrai,thailand

    • Hi Simon! Good to hear from you. Yes it is a terrible tragedy about how AA causes suicides and also that they do nothing to prevent them either. They just want people to do another 4th or 5th step that seems likely to send people over the edge.

      Informing the public of this is critical.

      • I’m a psychiatrist with a PhD in, of all thing, English & American Lit. I practically was shanghaied into an Ivy League ,d school by my Mom (an MD/PhD), our “Family Doctor” (certified in about six disparate specialties) and my own shrink, who said, “You have an IQ of 165. I asked you to participate in a norming project as a favor; that was the latest WAIS. We need more brilliant, compassionate shrinks than we do professors who can teach O’Neill, Williams and Osborne.” Dr. F and my Mom had the annoying habit of ALWAYS being right! Skip ahead to my earned by Ivy-League MD, passing my Licensing Boards and the Psychiatry Boards that enabled me to start training in subspecialties/. Remember, this was back in the day and we didn’t have many effective antidepressants. Dr. F. asked me to attend an AA/NA meeting with a patient because she claimed to have been excoriated from taking the anti anxiety and antidepressant meds he had prescribed. One of these idiots was a country doctor who knew a much about psych meds as I do about candling eggs! What we had expected occurred. I stood up, identified myself and said that I’m the only Board-certified shrink in this room and, even then, it violates state law to interfere with another doc’s case. (I got some crap about being their under false pretenses, but said I had “an Rx Drug Problem” back in college and, by their own definitions, that makes me an addict, even though my Mom said she’d rather have me EXORCISED than go to AA or NA.) I told that other doc that he CAN’T do what he’s doing and that I’d be reporting him to the State Board of Medical Licensure. My “companion,” man attorney with a great memory, said, “I know enough last names here for a good witness list and, in case you don’t know, you have NO legal privilege to stand behind.) Amid shouts of “This is an anonymous program,” I responded that I only see two licensed physicians here and one is flagrantly violating state medical regulations; I’m the other and I’ll only claim privilege regarding my conversations with my companion. I reminded them that Depressive Episodes (i’m using current terms; easier) can terminate in suicide — or was this a big surprise to them? And that I agreed with Dr F that simply being an alcoholic is no reason to sign a deal with the Devil by prescribing long-term antipsychotic medication. In fact, THAT’S malpractice. Result: Local country doc had his licensed lifted FOR LIFE and fined $10K. I told the group that if they wanted to practice psychiatry, “Bust your ass, get an MD and another five years of raining — oh, and pass all those Boards.’ My esteemed mentor, much honored and for good reason, put the icing on the cake. His reds along assured a positive outcome from the licensing boards and in Civil Court.

        • Hi Dr. Joey. Good for you for calling out that country doc telling the AA member to go off meds! How long ago was this?

        • right on!!!!!! dr”much respect with best intent and knowledge of alcoholism “more doctor research needed ,many need doc help, therapy of past tramua low self esteem and pressures of adulthood ‘be husband sex kid and job and debt “”many have imbalances in mind too””” thank you for humblin scared ppl”””” your mental mind is more there than our troubled minds”..rn

      • AA & NA was attempted by me twice. The real problem I had was admitting I was powerless and giving myself to a higher power. I am an atheist. Nobody has mentioned that the big book hasn’t been feline in any real way since it’s first publication. Yes, I did have many people people give me misguided advice that I shouldn’t take any medication because “a drug is a drug”. NA & AA (I was an opiate addict) remind me of a cult and they fit the definition. The 12 steps are outdated. Did you ever wonder why most treatment centers are in or near a church or why (this was my experience) most meetings are at a church? This is far above just trying to get new recruits. This is because if a church allows a group of people are allowed to use the facility, the church can claim a deduction on their IRS tax return! Yes, I have researched this. Most attendees I have seen have are addicted to the meetings! The people most sought after for sponsorship are pampas a**holes who also who have a serious superiority complex! The “Big Book” is a fraud written by a Nutt cake a very long time ago for a much different audience. The recovery statistics for a person in AA & NA and a person who goes it alone are EXACTLY the same. This is a fact! This makes AA & NA pointless propaganda brain washing at best. Anyone who applies logic can see this. BTW they do teach not to take your medication which is why AA & NA revised their policy, without a doubt they were getting sued. There are people at the AA & NA getting rich. Besides brainwashing, it is an long running scam. I stopped abusing drugs in 2011 by myself. Hearing a group of halfwhitts discuss there experiences in their addiction only made me use more. I was way better off than going to these meetings. I still practice Respiratory Therapy as BSRRT, in the Tampa Bay Area and am a RPSGT(I can do sleep studies, I am a RPFT(doctor usually contrast us to test your lung capacity) and hold an ACLS (I can legally run a code blue /code 19 in other words a cardiovascular pulmonary arrest with out a doctor present) as well as do this for a pediatrics (PALS) and on very small new burns (NLS) with a Masters Degree in Science (Biology) and a Bachelors in Psychology. I’m no idiot and you must be an idiot to be involved in the afore mentioned “Clubs”. I know that this will offend but somebody needs to point out. Sorry NA and AA junkies!

        • Yeah, so you know churches don’t pay taxes, right? So no tax deductions for letting groups meet there in the church. AA meets in churches because churches have rooms that can accommodate AA meetings. Groups pay a small amount to the church to meet there. Self supporting through our own contributions and all that. But not all groups meet in churches. Some meet in community centers, clubhouses, online.
          “Nobody has mentioned that the big book hasn’t been feline in any real way since it’s first publication.” — yeah, this is not a surprise, since books are not cats. Not sure what you were aiming for there. Auto correct really screwed you there.
          Where do you get your facts about AA people getting rich? How on earth would anyone get rich? Running off with the coffee money?
          In the end, I’m happy that you found a way to quit using. But your experience with AA or NA sounds pretty awful, and it’s a shame, because I know a lot of people who have found peace and sobriety and fellowship and who would be dead, or worse, if they hadn’t found their way to AA.

  6. I am scared. I am alcoholic. I dont know what to do. Someone i knew drank themselves to death and just found out someone else from AA committed suicide. People tell me AA is the way to go but I dont know. I dont want to end up dead. But I relate to both people who died. Its like whats the point i am so messed up I cant see the light at the end of the tunnel. Its like your dead if you do, dead if you dont…. I am angry that i have this problem and now even more confused now that i found this site…

    • HI Sarah, Sorry to hear that another AA member took their own life.
      Are you currently active in AA? Do you go to a non 12 step therapist? Have you tried free online help like SMART Recovery ? They have free meetings and free resources. Are you currently drinking? AA is not the only way, there are many other support groups and therapists to help people.

      This site also has a list of suicide hotlines to call if one is feeling suicidal. Here are a couple of numbers 1-800-SUICIDE

    • there are lots of other avenues. Try HAMS or SMART or Lifering or find a list of more….

      They may not have meetings in your town, but all have online communities, it is probably better that way anyhow. For your own safety.

      The problem with 12 step is they will only reinforce your fears. Alcohol is but a symptom, even AA agrees with this. A non 12 step therapist, and a Alternative of your choosing may serve you well.

    • I can understand why you might be confused, having come across this site. Mind you, this site and others like it is full of rhetoric hyperbole and fear mongering all to discredit AA. So much is inflated, warped, exaggerated, unfairly characterized that it really is no fair or accurate basis of the truth. Sure, people may gather to vent, to discredit as they please. The truth cannot be found in a site dedicated to destroy any thing whatever it be. Such invites gross distortion to that end. AA is not evil, pernicious or unhelpful, it helps many a soul which cannot be denied.

  7. NY AA was attractive ten yrs ago. But I was harrassed by cocaine addicts who drove people out of AA meetings by ridicule weapons ,lies for landlords. They used Houston St, Second on Second which is now for “law enforcement” . They came into my apt and cut up clothing,some claim to have 2-5 yrs. It was worse than a cult. Any AA rm I went to was bought out by some creeps to harrass me , all over the world. Rms that were fairly safe overseas. Some of them were deported after a few yrs . I had to go to the US embassy and complain. Some claim to be former govt employees and assure the harrassment teams that they will never go to jail. Some did in some cities you dont want to ever see the prisons . I went to NC new people would show up and use the same signals and non stop deaf mute signs sitting near me, start rumours about some felonies I had. I have NONE. They stay for a few mos then go to Va, Florida and continue getting paid to harrass people out of 12 step meetings for divorces and vendettas or just target people until they die or commit suicide. Some were young pretty females who could get the older lonely guys to harrass me in cars, in the meeting . One guy would be in a closet the whole meeting Asheville NC using a taser some gun dealers know about. It works through cheap doors ,glass and will cause you to have a heart attack after some time. There were rapes in NY but this is a slow kill many people dont know about. See photobucket under gangstalking, group stalking. It is far worse than you think. Oh and free motorbikes after a few mos for some. Halfway houses are used to slow kill people for medical testing. I would not have believed this ten yrs ago. I know now.

      • Right, but that is a rather rude way to put it. I do not mean to be equally rude…..BTW

        If the above post is for real.

        This is called TI “Targeted Individual”. Read about it a bit, it is a really interesting, rather new form of mental illness. Those who suffer it lead a tortured existence, it may be the most horrid mental illness to have. For various reasons.

          • Yes, AA and NA sure can. I have just recently found out of an old friend of mine in Flagstaff Arizona AA that committed suicide. He went back in and out and in and out of the rooms and the last time he came back he made the mistake of asking at meeting why AA wasn’t working for him and found himself shunned. Not long after this he took his own life. I can think of several other suicides but this one really impacted me as we were once close friend and roomates. It’s a horrible place, AA is , that sucks your self esteem and your self confidence up and leaves you a hollow shell – this is my experience anyway. After leaving the cult I found myself completely and totally exhausted from trying to make the steps work in my life and they just did not work. I seriously could not work for around three months after leaving, I was that burnt out and tired from I think they call it cognitive dissonance? Simpler way to put it is what I was being told in the rooms would work I could not make in real life and it was driving me towards burnout/breakdown. I’m doing much better now and am a functioning adult in society – very much due to my leaving AA I believe.

            • I am so sorry to hear about your friend from AA committed suicide. That is so sad. A part from the suicides, AA does nothing in the form of any kind of grief counseling of other members, thus creating more problems for members dealing with the aftermath. Some just become numb to it after knowing many people committing suicide.

              Here you were roommates with your friend, this must be very hard on you:(.

    • i sat in aa or na with murderous bikers and guns “””why be scared “””shout up and listen but in that u find good ppl

  8. A.A is a joke.. The drunks are treated like celebrities and the family members are treated like crap. Spouses and children are beat on but told to “be sensitive towards the recovery and recovering drunk”.

    It’s some dangerous crap and avoid it at all costs.

  9. I was never aware of AA sponsors telling sponsees to stop taking psychiatric medication. I think it is the depressing philosophy of powerlessness that is killing these people. People come into the program for help with their problems. They need some empowering and positive help; instead they are given such negative pictures of themselves. A newcomer is taught to be even more dependent and helpless than when they came in, and that is deadly for many of us.

    • The program teaches powerlessness. That does not mean that we are helpless or hopeless. As a human being, the only power we have, is over our own actions and reactions. That is what the programs teach. Hope this helps in understanding a bit more. Much love to ya.

        • Correct. If that’s all you got out of my statement, that’s correct. I have no power over changing the way you look at things, do things, or say things. Just like you are powerless over the same things with me or anyone else. I can ask that you have an open mind, but I cannot force you to have one. Much love to u

        • This belief of powerlessness is a dangerous thing. This feature of AA makes it more likely that the predators lurking in the rooms can find new prey – at least new prey that buys into the concept of powerlessness and does not head for the door marked exit after the first, second, or third meeting or so. Many do and how I wish I had been wise enough to be one of them!

          • people just need to secretly audio and video tape what is really going on. We just need serious investigative jornalism in meetings. Tape every conversation with these guys.

            If it is illegal so be it. The time has come for some serious civil disobedience on this stuff. it needs to be exposed.

            I may join up again…..

            • I think there are legal ways to do it. Maybe it takes an investigative reporter, but it is certainly needed. People would be shocked!

              • In NYS, only ONE person needs to know — legally —that a conversation, telephone call or meeting is being recorded. That one person can be the guy or gal with the recording device.

                • That is good info to know. I wonder elsewhere if that even applies in an open 12 step meeting where the open public is allowed?

    • @individual: it’s not only psychiatric medication- I’ve known people who were forbidden by their sponsors to take medication for medical problems, too. In one extreme case, the medication was antibiotics. So when it comes down to it, some of them literally have the power of life and death over the people they influence.

    • That’s what cults are designed to do brainwash people making them feel totally helpless so they depend totally on the program and the people who are just as screwed up as them if not worse so they can be controlled.

    • AA is at best worthless and at worst dangerous. I have a long and complicated medical history (rare, deadly cancer/UC/30+ surgeries/organs removed). Misused alcohol & had meds prescribed for valid medical need. Had a mental/emotional breakdown from too many near death experiences. Went to psych hospital, received “dual diagnosis”, sent on to “rehab” after being pressured by staff & family (family pushed after scare tactics-they knew no better & trusted psych staff). Rehab was just bad on so many levels. I’ve been a speech & debate coach in urban schools. I mentor many “at risk” but brilliant young women. As a debate coach logic & research are my thing. It was 12 steps 24/7. How is that treatment? In the week or so I was there my “counselor” regularly cancelled one on ones, my “pastor” saw me once before leaving for a conference, people were pressured to attend local AA meetings in the evenings (no, you weren’t “required” to go but ithey took roll to see who had attended the night before). They didn’t provide transportation for these meetings but recruited patients with vehicles to drive. The living facilities were an old, decrepit motel, two to a room. All for the price of a high end, all inclusive resort. There was zero medical care provided. The worst thing was the number of teens (male and female) thrown in with convicted felons obviously there to escape or lessen prison sentences. And don’t forget, most sentences are “plea bargained” down so, many times, what these people are actually convicted of pales in comparison to what they actually did. I spent most of my time being “mama bear” and advocating LOUDLY for these young people. I questioned the wisdom of the “powerless” message in small groups considering the at risk youth, particularly the girls, that were there. I used cross examination techniques I teach in debate to question leaders & facilitators to find that their level of “knowledge” had zero basis in fact. It was nothing more than lock-step adherence and slogan spouting. When I brought fact and documentation I was admonished for my “unwillingness”. Yep, I was popular! When the staff was unsure of my insurance paying beyond a certain date I was brought into my “counselors” office and pressured to agree to private pay to “save my life”. They even had a financing plan all layed out! I’m sure I was a tantalizing target to them financially as we are lucky enough to be fairly middle class. I refused in no uncertain terms so they called my husband to scare him. Luckily he is a logical individual and also refused. Here’s the thing. AA is FREE. How are they charging such exorbitant fees when all of the materials they use are FREE? None of the counselors/facilitators have any sort of medical degrees so they cannot be paying them much. Most don’t even have an undergrad. I think we all know the answer! I could go on and on!
      Now, to address the prescribed meds. Here’s what happened to me. One of the issues I was dealing with was ANOTHER major surgery. I would have to be cut open from breast bone to public bone to attempt to rebuild my abdominal wall. There were people there, one was a counselor who regularly spoke in large group, who seriously suggested I recover from this surgery WITHOUT PAIN MEDS! That’s when I mentally and emotionally threw whatever these crackpots had to say out the window! Not only did they have no idea how to cope with a person in my physical situation they actually believe that being “sober” but in excruciating pain is exponentially better than having that pain moderated by medication. THAT is DANGEROUS! People can, and do, die of shock from intense pain! I left and was later diagnosed with PTSD caused by the repeated physical and emotional trauma of serious physical illness. I am not “powerless”! I could not have survived the last twenty years if I had been powerless! SMART recovery has helped me tremendously. It is logical, behaviorally based and easily accessible on line (important for people like me who aren’t always capable of leaving the house). I am not “forever alcoholic” and I refuse to carry that stigmatizing, damaging label for the rest of my life! No wonder AA pushes people with serious illness towards suicide!

      • Thank you for taking the tell to tell your story Mama Shark.
        I am so glad you have left the dangerous cult and have found so much help with Smart Recovery.

        NA Daytona and AA Daytona are filled with dangerous criminals mandated to attend by the courts. They are all pretty much inundated by court mandates. Best to use Smart Recovery if one is looking for a support group.

        • Yep, the staff there even wanted me to do a conference call with myself, my counselor and my surgeon to make sure I would not be given addictive pain meds after surgery. They were really pumped about the idea of telling my surgeon how to manage my care. To their chagrin I refused. One of the things that is so upsetting to me in retrospect is that my medical history was available to the staff at the psych hospital but as soon as alcohol was part of the equation everything else, all of the trauma, was dismissed. How many others dealing with serious trauma in their lives get slapped with the “substance abuse” label and are punted into “rehab” programs where zero actual treatment is offered. As soon as a savvy doctor read my history and talked to me it was obvious I had PTSD. After getting help with that the urge to blot out the flashbacks and fear with alcohol was significantly eased. How many others has this happened to? I can’t believe I’m the only one.

  10. I just tore up my slips I’m not gonna go anymore, I don’t share and I would never participate in group think.

    I feel liberated! Jail is a piece of cake been there once before 1 week, will serve my time and be let out.

    Afterwards I’ll just follow the law.

    • Sounds like a good plan Sal. Many people feel going to 12 step meetings and all the other hoops probation officers want you to go through is just not worth it. Many choose to just to do their time and be free, especially of AA and NA meetings.

      • At least no one in jail will ask you if you found a higher power yet. As a part of probation, no less, interrogate you on your “spirituality.” No US justice system should enforce the religious 12 Step movement nor give them people to funnel money into the meetings.

    • Jail does not sound pleasant but then again neither is the AA cult and you have experienced and seen enough it sounds like and have made a choice between the two evils – the lesser evil so I see it as when you get out you won’t have the system all over you and you can avoid AA and all the BS of the 12 steps. And if you are done with the criminal justice system when you are out – FREEDOM. Follow the law as you posted and hopefully you will not be in a similar situation again. I wish you the best going forward and I’m glad at least you are not letting AA mess with your head.

  11. I have been attending AA for 20 years unfortunately. I never felt I fit into their rigid and controlling philosophies. I had terrible sponsorship. They would try to control my life. Tell me how I needed to live my life. I only stayed out of fear because I was told AA was the only way and that I would surely die if I left.

    I have had no alcohol for 20 years but recently had a bout with pain killers. I was told my bodies level of tolerance increased, thus taking more and more pain killers. At some point I crossed the line. I also suffer from Bipolar 2 which causes severe depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.

    I put myself in detox and now am pain killer free. The problem I had with AA. Is they are very strict about keeping your clean date. I have learned if you have a slip you have to lose all your time and start all over again. This did not work for me. I had so many negative AA tapes in my head which brought me so much anguish all around changing my sobriety date.

    I went into a deep depression, loads of guilt/shame and suicidal ideation. I kept hearing the AA voices in my head. What they expect you to do is walk in the meetings with your head held down in shame and say I screwed up and have to start all over again.

    I told someone in AA that I thought I could confide in. She ended up telling my former “sick” sponsor of my situation. This “sick” sponsor ended up sharing it with one of my closest friends in AA and told her I needed to start my recovery date all over. So I was gossiped about.

    This former sponsor attends AA on a daily basis. She was a former prison guard at a mens facility. Why I chose her I don’t know. All she talks about is all the ridiculous rules of AA. Her whole life is AA.

    I went to the store yesterday and there is a gal I know in AA. She always smiles at me and gives me a big hug. This time she ignored me. I know she knows of my fall because the original person I thought I could trust is her sponsor.

    It’s like if you have relapsed your are now tainted. What a way to treat people.

    I have since decided with the help of Dr. Brena Brown on “shame and vulnerability” have chosen to look at my experience as a spiritual awakening. I chose not to disregard my 20 years without alcohol and know for me I cannot take pain killers.

    I have also gone to counseling trying to recover from people in recovery. AA ways have put me into further depression and self doubt about myself. They talk about smashing the ego. Well I don’t have a healthy one to begin with. How about building and working on getting a healthy ego.

    They say to take a moral inventory. Well I inventory the hell out of myself. How about building on positive aspects of ourselves.

    It’s taken along time for me to be brainwashed into this sick culture so I know it will take some time to get the negative damaging rule out of my head.

    As I type I am still so unsure of myself. I’m afraid of peole in AA and what they may say about me. I am now on a on-line support group called Woman for Sobreity and they have been very helpful and supportive of me.

    AA says you have a part, you always have a part. They made me accountable for everything that I did not need to be accountable for. I once had a refreshing response by an Alanon sponsor. She said maybe your part is you just didn’t know how to defend yourself from AA people. So true.

    I am now also reading about deprogramming my brain from damaging AA rhetoric.

    Thank goodness I could find a place to post my story.

    • Hi Lucymae and welcome! Thank you so much for your story. It will no doubt help others that are experiencing the same feelings you have.

      You mentioned your x sponsor gossipping about you. This is where I see a huge problem with 12 step programs. They demand you confess your failings to virtual strangers that have no training whatsoever and are technically under no legal obligation to keep your story private.

      It is a form of emotional abuse to make vulnerable people tell their deepest secrets just to use it against them and also to share it with others. As we all know stories can get twisted around, so what was already a story of failure turns into a more sordid tale. I firmly believe that this is the reason many end up staying in AA and NA. They LOVE the AA gossip mill. They love the control over others. It is a perfect haven for people with narcissistic personality disorder and a host of other personality disorders.

      No one like to talked about in a bad way. Many people in AA and online are bullied even to the point of suicide. I am sure being in AA tested you to the limit, and very thankful your suicidal ideation went no further than it did.

      It is a hard lesson to learn about being private. In general it is best to only confide in those you trust or a professional you can trust.

      I am really glad to hear you are participating in online meetings with Women for Sobriety. Even though I have been told they can come across a bit steppish themselves, so be careful.

      I have suggested SMART Recovery online meetings for years. I do not know if you have checked them out, but wanted to let you know they have them as well.

      Online meetings actual offer true anonymity. No one can recognize you like they do in a meeting. You are not told to give your number out to strangers. You can do it in the comfort and safety of your own home.

      I agree with you about the moral inventory. One it is none of their business. Plus the human mind can be very fragile, most people have a hard time accepting their shortcomings. Why strip people of their self respect and confidence? I think it is a brainwashing technique in an effort to control members.

      It sounds like you are doing better and made it through your pill addiction-Thank goodness for that! Congratulations!

      As far as your clean date, you should be proud of your 20 years. Even AA cannot take that away from you. It is absurd they tell people they need to start over.

      WHat are you reading to deprogram now?

    • Lucymae, know that you were abused by the AA system and these people. The shame is INTENSE. All there ever is is inventory taking, guilt, shame, fear….negative emotions. I understand where your mind is at, please know you are a stronger person than I was since I always imagined I would have to commit suicide if I ever “went back out” in order to escape the shame and self-hatred.

      I am glad you are seeking help in getting out of this thinking. You had a bad experience with pain-killer, so what? You and how many other people! You are working on helping yourself, good for you. A person shouldn’t be kicked down for finding out that a particular medication isn’t something they should take. You are a human being.

      Best luck to you.

    • Lucymae you touched me with your story. I relapsed after 12 years and the shame of it kept me out for ten years,it took a DWI to get me back. The rooms are filled with predators and control freaks just like many other groups in this sick society. Inner strength is my only defense against illogical morons who stumble through life like guppies. I still go to meetings and voice my rage against the hypocrisy of its founder and moral maniacs trying to free themselves of instincts by pretending to be holier than thou born agains. They can kiss my ass as I protect the newcomer from the ignorant old-timer club. The preamble is all anyone needs to live by when it comes to what is expected from an AA member. Lets recover together in spirit although I don’t know you I know your pain.

    • Shame-based program of “recovery.” The fact that you have to call yourself an alcoholic, announce that you are an alcoholic before talking about cookies or literature, and then share all your shameful acts to another person in “recovery” without a full comprehension that the information shared will remain in the other person’s confidence is LUDICROUS. Since I left AA nearly 9 months ago, I have become more free than the ten years I was bogged down by my label–as an alcoholic. I am not an alcoholic. I have no problem with alcohol. In fact, I have become more “happy, joyous, and free” since leaving AA!

      Regarding the integrity of these people in “recovery,” AA is a gossip mill. It’s worse than high school. I actually heard a woman tell me, “I was tired of being the Queen of AA–you know, because I was married to ______________, the King of AA” when she talked about leaving her husband. Did those words actually leave her mouth? Did she seriously believe her own BS? Anonymity–forget it! More like “Everyone knows your business!” I LOVE NOT BEING IN AA!

    • Thanks for sharing llucymae
      I had a similar experience. I also relapsed and felt shined and judged by AA members they say they don’t judge that’s such a lie!! I think that when ppl are working what they consider a good program and relapse they hold them at a distance because we’re proff that AA doesn’t work and their program is based on lies. I was also shunned by most of my home group members because I didn’t agree with one of the members at our group conscious and this member has a lot of time so everybody goes along with him even if they don’t agree with what he wants to do. Like a bunch of mindless robots!!

  12. I find it dubious that AA claims to cooperate with professionals— such as medical professionals… even attorneys/ judges ( — would UPGRADE their Medication pamphlet but not create a SAFETY pamphlet against other dangers— Sexual predators/ molestors — It’s hard to even trust doctors & law enforcement out of fear they’re pro-AA or AA members themselves. I almost think members originally wanted to be Anonymous just to hide their crazy, batsh*t philosophies from the outside world… It’s done more harm than good to tell members ‘secrets keep you sick’ but, stay ‘anonymous’ and don’t reveal your membership… It is fundamentally IMPOSSIBLE to keep your membership in AA a secret, most people are not bothered by others who don’t drink alcohol, and AA made up an imaginary world where EVERYONE else is drinking without impunity— Original members were implanted weird twisted thoughts of jealousy of others who can drink, that continues to this day. Their solution is to act arrogant while they preach ‘humility’ and ‘ego deflation’ etc… AA is the most arrogant organization I’ve ever heard of.

    • Hi Juliet! Great to see you here. Isnt that ironic that an organization that preaches humility is so incredibly arrogant? What is up with that?

      As far as the police are concerned we ran into trouble in our area because they were 12 steppers that were police officers and they most often protected the Daytona AA and Daytona AA members. SO the steppers that they had us over a barrel. That there was nothing we could do. Little did they realize the power of the pen and how a picture can tell a thousand words.

      As far as safety issues in AA, I believe they think if they do not admit to any problems they will be less liable. It seems to have worked well for them until recently, when people are learning they are hoarding millions of dollars and none of it goes to help addicts. When people learn that non profits can be held liable.

      On top of the fact they still refuse to create any safety guidelines, they continue to go into our schools and colleges inviting these kids to the the same meetings!

      • You do what my sister did when she was Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau for the Office of the DA of New York County (the L&O DA isJack McCoy; she worked for the legendary Robert Morgenthau). She made her concerns know and the DA called in the Fibbies (FBI agents), who asserted jurisdiction with no objection from the New York County DA’s Office. It works! I was an expert witness (Forensic Psychiatry) is a couple of those trials and with co-juridiction, my sister and her assistants could help prosecute. We sent TEN cops to jail — hard time — for Felony Sexual Assault or Rape 1 and, later, my NY DA’s Office indicated FOUR cops for Criminal Perjury Under Oath and demanded the maximum sentence….which is what those judges handed down. No one is above the law if we’re creative enough to stop them.

  13. Pingback: Is Your New Year’s Resolution to Leave AA? | illbefreeordie

  14. From- The Fix

    Are People Who Take Anti-Depressants Really Sober?

    It’s time for abstinence extremists to stop spreading the dangerous propaganda that “clean and sober” means no medications for depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.

    Abstinence extremism can be dangerous to your health.

    By Kristen McGuiness 06/30/2011

    Does abstinence from booze, coke, heroin and other substances include medications for common mental health problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, even schizophrenia? Many people in recovery—particularly those in 12-step programs—seem to think so. And some, often out of an excess of conviction, attempt to persuade fellow members that “clean and sober” means no Prozac, no Effexor, no Klonopin, no Abilify.

    Yet why should these drugs for medical conditions that are no less biologically based, chronic and debilitating than diabetes or heart disease be banned? Given that many studies have shown that the incidence of mental health problems is vastly more common among addicts, denying them safe and effective treatment seems dangerous, to say the least. A medical doctor who denies treatment to a patient is generally viewed as unfit to practice. Is it time for all these evangelical abstinence adherents to stop playing doctor?

    These questions are increasingly being asked not only by addiction specialists but many people who swear by their 12-step programs.

    When Paul R. was nine years’ sober, he felt he was facing two choices: relapse or suicide. “In early sobriety, I was on [the antidepressant] Wellbutrin, but after a few years I decided I wanted to be entirely abstinent from everything,” the 39-year-old New Orleans medical-office assistant recalls. “But then the anxiety came back. After eight months it got to the point where I had trouble leaving my apartment—and if I was in a large social situation, like an AA meeting, I was just paralyzed.” Paul ended up in the hospital after fearing he might commit suicide. “I realized that it was a new surrender for me,” he says. “I was trying to control something I could not control: my own mind.”

    After being hospitalized, Paul got back on Wellbutrin. Two years later, he was married and, not long after that, became a father for the first time. “I had gotten really dogmatic in my program,” he says now. “No alcohol-based products, no anti-depressants. I thought that was how my sobriety should look. But it wasn’t realistic and it wasn’t healthy.”
    Unfortunately, there are some folks in the 12-step world who attach stigma to the use of SSRIs and other psych meds. That was LA executive assistant Mary T.’s biggest fear. With large blue eyes and a nervous air, she has suffered from lifelong depression and knew that getting sober didn’t equal getting sane. “It’s hard to hear people say you’re not sober if you’re on antidepressants,” she says. “I have been horribly depressed in sobriety, and without the medication I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed on a regular basis.” Mary attempted suicide at 15 and was hospitalized for six weeks for depression a year later. “I didn’t start drinking until 18 and I don’t think I was an alcoholic until I was 25, but I would have killed myself long before I got around to drinking without the antidepressants. They have kept me alive.”

    Michael has encountered similar anti-medication prosthelytizing. “In my home group recently, a speaker shared that he didn’t believe that addicts or alcoholics should use antidepressants as a way to treat their symptoms,” he says. “To me, that’s an outside issue, and to bring in your opinion like that from the podium is inappropriate and dogmatic. This isn’t Scientology or Christian Science. When these people look at someone who is on an antidepressant, do they see a ‘stoned’ person or someone who used to be depressed and is now hopeful?”

    Complete article-

    • I was raised in Christian Science. No medications since the time I was ten years old. How scary is it to wake up with the with a fever from the flu and wonder if you will ever wake up again? I am not a Christian Scientist now nor will I ever be.

    • This is NOT the opinion of AA or NA. These opinions are that of untrained and misinformed individuals. I hate when people try to play doctors in the rooms. While in the rooms, it doesn’t matter what your professional title is; doctor, lawyer, etc. We are all equals and are only there to help eachother stay clean or sober. This DOES NOT mean to go against your outside doctors advice. Unfortunately, there are always going to be these people that “think” they know everything. I do however want to point out something about the stories you shared, especially Paul R’s story. If you notice, THEY made the decision to stop THEIR medication. No one made them. I have heard countless times during a share “WE ARE NOT DOCTORS. DO NOT STOP ANY NECESSARY MEDICATION PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR.” I’m noticing a whole lot of comments on this page coming from non addicts or alcoholics, or people that have not attended meetings. Research of this magnitude on this site comes from years of hands on experience, not going to one or two meetings, and definitely not from people that don’t have the disease of addiction. I truly do wish that people would keep their personal opinions of how to take doctor prescribed medication, out of the rooms of AA and NA, however, it’s a wish that won’t come true. Only thing I can do is share what the programs opinion is, which is, listen to the professional doctors, not the addict or alcoholic.

      • Well Nick the problem is that AA refuses to do anything when they know this is a huge problem in AA to the point that it has caused suicides. They let sponsors do and say anything to their sponcees. There is much evidence of this common practice. If AA actually feels what they officially say then they should back it up with some actions to protect people.

        • I don’t agree, nor disagree, however, as much of a tragedy as this incident was, and my heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of Karla and any other victim of the same type, the blame lays solely on the man sitting in prison. If someone commits the same act, and they are a member of a certain church, we do not blame the church, or the pastors that run it, we blame the individual themselves. The man responsible for this crime, is sitting behind bars for 26 to life. I know your going to come back with “well the courts don’t send criminals to church.” You’re right. So go after the courts. The only reason they send them to these programs, is because they have seen results from them, and realize that we don’t have the resources to place and keep every criminal in jail or prison. Just my personal opinion and experience. If she was a friend of yours,I truly am sorry for your loss. I too have gone through a few similar tragedies through my life. God bless

          • Nice apologia for the actions of AA members, but this means nothing to an experienced, trained psychiatrist.Theoretically, I shouldn’t prescribe more than — oh — 20mg of Ambient at bedtime. Many of my patients need 30f because it’s a weak drug. No one questioned my scripts. Are you THAT brainwashed that you believe the majority of AAs will adhere to the archaically written booklets that identify NO AUTHORS and NO SOURCES. Tell me exactly how to sue AA. My sister’s a veteran prosecutor and she hasn’t been able to find a way except by indicting individuals for “Reckless Endangerm,went” and even, a few times, “Practicing Medicine Without a License.” I am federally and state-certified Expert Witness in several psych specialties. Al I had to do was explain what a REAL, LICENSED MD would/could have done in the latter circumstance to get a conviction. My sister wanted prison time and so did I, along with the juries.

            • Uhhh, well AA is being sued right now. So there certainly are circumstances where AA can be sued just like any other corporation. I hope the plaintiff prevails!

              Justice for Karla!

    • In Australia, 31 years ago, AA members often were told “Pills are for dills.” Now, however, members are told that we are not to interfere in medical matters, and to leave medicine to doctors – or we could be sued. I have no argument with that.

  15. This came from Orange Papers

    Family Sues Alcoholics Anonymous Over Suicide Of AA Member

    I’m aware that AA was sued around 2007 by the family & survivor’s of a suicide victim. Said victim was schizophrenic & on medicine prescribed by a physician. If I recall correctly victim was a male, lonely, vulnerable & socially inept due to his mental illness. He began attending AA meetings in N.Y. city & finally belonged to something & had social interaction which his life lacked due to his mental illness. AA member’s were his only “friends” & social contacts. Said AA members coerced this vulnerable & ill man to stop taking his medicine & he complied with their non qualified medical advise, due to not taking the medicine, he killed himself. Through out his life he had self medicated with alcohol & street drugs, but that had stopped once he was treated by a qualified physician & on medicine. His survivors, were of course outraged @ what had occurred to him @ AA meetings, they sued, AA quietly & quickly settled for 2.7 million. I really regret I did not print the article pertaining to this lawsuit when it was available on the internet the winter of 2009/2010. It is no longer on the web, I would think due to the settlement, the agreement included a verbal & written gag on the incident. I do recall that @ first AA members in the group defended AA, however in a lawsuit, anything that gets thrown to the wall & sticks becomes part of the suit. Said AA member’s were included in the lawsuit & were going to be personally sued for their liability. Basically, if you have own or have any wealth you are fair game in a suit. Said AA member’s quickly changed their stories when they were being sued right along with AA & threw AA under the bus. I believe the recourse to take regarding the sexual abuse & exploitation that occurs in AA & that AA will not be accountable for or provide solutions or protection & is therefore grossly negligent is lawsuits. I can only surmise the first step is to find class action attorneys who want the cases, AA has deep pockets & are therefore worth class action attorneys time & attention. A class action attorney will know how to gather the victims, all said attorneys need is one victim to get the ball rolling. I am sure there are numerous & multiple AA members who have contacted the big dogs @ AA & asked for help regarding the sexual abuse & that AA pleaded not responsible. It would start with documentation of those complaints, which of course would be in writing & retained by the people who reached out to AA for help with the abuse & were ignored, the problem neglected. Once an organization is advised of misconduct, inappropriate, criminal, abusive, etc., etc., etc., behavior & actions within their organization & they do not take the appropriate measures to protect it’s members, they are liable. I do know AA tries to cover it’s ass, by writing that sexual abuse is not allowed, that member’s are not to tell other members to not take their medicine, but it’s not enough. Ultimately where AA is responsible is for participating in the court & parole & probation mandated & forced attendance of non voluntary members. AA should responsibly refuse that any member is convicted & forced to attend, however this has been AA’s bread & butter for years & without it by now the group would be as small as the prior Oxford Group is now. Will let you know any info pertaining to this.


    • i’m not an avid aa promoter – aa is based on attraction, not promotion, and i agree totally that aa is not very attractive, except to the courts, who can’t control the criminals they deal with. to alleviate this problem, they have criminalized alcohol abuse, and flooded aa with people who are not alcoholic, to give the impression that they are doing something. as you have rightly noted, aa is full of people with all kinds of problems, as is society as a whole. aa is no panacea for humanity’s ills, it is only a solution for the alcoholic of the type described, and the solution proscribed in the text is NOT to depend on other people for answers. since you have noted that “legal experts” have determined that aa is a religion, then why are the courts mandating attendence to a religion? you people can’t think straight, you better get to a meeting, where they will likely tell you to stop thinking, i’m sorry to say. most of this attitude about recovery began when UNTHINKING citizens looked the other way and allowed the courts to ignore the laws. the aa program is not a place (meetings), or a dogma (religion), it is a way of life that is described in a book. since the people you are talking about are not following those ideas, they are NOT “in the program”, they are simply going to rooms where people talk, just like churches and governments, which are equally ineffective and at fault, not just what you call “aa”.

      • Hey velvet, I disagree with your final points that the people we are talking about are not following the ideas of the big book are not in the program. Part of AA’s problem is the big book and the program ! The answer is not only to follow the big book and these problems will go away. I mean 13 stepping has been going on long before courts got involved and other sexual and financial predatory behavior.

        I certainly agree that AA is no panacea for humanity’s ill’s. In fact they do a good job of making them much worse. The courts are abusing power by mandating AA and NA when they know it is unconstitutional. Many people are scared to speak up and disagree with a judge that has so much power over their lives. But speak up they must to change this madness. Those that oversee the judges need to admonish them and stop their abuse of power.

        As far as churches and governments being equally ineffective and at fault is a bit of a stretch. It depends what services are being provided by either government or churches. Some are quite effective and less dangerous. The government that runs the Drug Courts and Department of corrections are failing miserably when they mandate people to 12 step programs.

    • I think you helped answer my question, posed above. Thanks. I will have that legal strategy checked out. My “baby sister” is now Managing Partner of a multinational law firm — and does a lot of “pro bono” work for Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Assault and 12-Step Cult Victims. The last Chief Federal District Court Judge I spoke with said that it clearly is unconstitutional for Courts to “sentence: offenders to AA/NA, etc. There is no accountability. Would you expect a pharmacist to fill my Rx for Perocet 10/325 #120 without my signing my LAST NAME on the script? (We’re assuming a HOSPITAL SCRIPT; my personal scripts have my full information, including my DEA #.) Never happen unless the pharmacist knew me, my patient and my handwriting — “not bloody likely”.

      • I’m guessing you got busted. There are other md’s who are like you. I suggest that you contact Monica Richardson. She might be able to put you in contact with other md’s who are in the same position.


  16. This is an interesting comment from LFOD on Orange Papers

    AA by its nature (a hokey religion) does indeed cause some “alcoholic” AA members to suicide.

    Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the “treatment programs” that it is has spawned (12 step programs) can be harmful to the individual alcohol abuser. The discussion following will discuss AA/12 step programs and the human condition.

    For ease of discussion any use of AA will be meant to incorporate AA and the numerous 12 step “programs” of alcohol abuse.

    Upon its founding (1935) and continuing to today AA claims its program is one of spirituality and not religious. AA and its fellowship continues this claim despite the fact that AA has been examined by numerous state and federal courts and these various courts have ruled that AA is a religion. AA is, without a doubt, a religion.

    This AA religion teaches that any individual that embraces the program of AA is powerless over alcohol; their life is unmanageable as a result of alcohol. AA the religion insists that the alcohol abuser is full of character defects. AA the religion insists these numerous character defects must be admitted to, examined and removed in order to survive to live another day.

    AA the religion insists that one must turn their life over to god in order to live another day; to not do so will result in the individual finding their self in jail, prison, institutionalized or, ultimately, dead. Powerful stuff no?

    AA the religion, by it true nature, can cause fear, anxiety, restlessness, despair, hopelessness, depression, anger and numerous other human emotions that are detrimental to the human condition. AA the religion throws into this mix all the numerous character defects and then tells the AA newcomer that only god can help (by miracles) with their dire situation. Miracles Performed Here.

    When god does not perform the miracle for the newcomer some will become even more depressed, angry, hopeless, etc.


    Letters #1 & 2 received by Orange from readers of the Orange Papers.


    I forgot one thing. The suicide rate in AA of people sober longer than 15 years. Unfortunately a study has not been done, but the first eight years I was in AA, I knew (not just of, but knew) 17 people with over 15 years of sobriety, who committed suicide. Most of them were not “dry drunks”. Also, I was present at a meeting where the husband of one member came in and shot his wife and then himself. I remember hearing for the next week how freaked people were that their “safe place” had been denigrated. I remember saying to people that they were nuts if this was their safe place as there were rapists, pedophiles, murderers, and other criminals sitting next to them at almost every meeting. If only I had understood the depth of that statement.


    Date: Sun, December XX, XXXX 1:45 pm
    From: Anonymous
    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I have enjoyed reading your material on the net concerning the AA cult. I spent 8 years of my life in this evil organisation. In that time I have seen many young men commit suicide, a direct result I believe of the program. I brought this subject up at meetings but of course they tried to put me down.
    When I shared about being beaten by my parents as a child I was told to make amends to them! I just laughed loudly.

    I have also seen sponsors, who think they’re great spiritual masters, exploit women for sex. This is very common.

    It is a difficult problem, as members believe deep down that they are right, that AA is perfect. Most disturbing of all is that they believe they will die if they leave AA, hence the appalling suicide rate. I live in XXXX, Ireland, but I believe AA is the same everywhere. Keep up the good work in exposing this evil cult.


    The above are unsolicited letters from readers of the Orange Papers that chose to write to Orange in emails and discuss their own experiences and thoughts on AA.

    Orange responded to each one. I thank you Orange and salute you for your efforts.

    I personally have no doubt in my mind that AA causes some AA members to suicide and that AA is, as a result of the AA religion, responsible for the suicides of some AA members. Not all, but some, and that is irresponsible and evil. This is my belief and it is real.


    Below are letters 3 & 4 written to Orange on the subject of AA & suicides.

    I again point out to the reader that these letters are all unsolicited letters sent to Orange as a result of Orange’s massive undertaking of writing the Orange Papers. These letters are not written by Orange Papers Forum members.


    Letter # 3

    Date: Sat, December XX, XXXX 9:57
    From: “Anonymous

    Hi Orange,

    Hope you don’t mind me writing to you so often. Please don’t worry at all about writing back. I know you get many, many letters. I am in the early stages of recovery from the AA cult and I find it very helpful to write to you. As I read more of your articles I am reminded of the shear stupidity of AA and the mind boggling arrogance of sponsors.

    I only had one sponsor in the 8 years of my AA experience. He lasted the first two years. And he dumped me! Why? Well I can only guess. I discovered that he had DOZENS of sponsees! All of which gave him money and gifts, except me (I think my guess as to why he dumped me is a pretty good one). He was also screwing every female he could get his hands on. It was awful to see young women coming in, lonely, tired, seeking love and warmth and support, used and abused to gratify this excuse for a man; then discarded and dumped, only to go back out drinking, disillusioned.

    And what cuts me up inside and makes cry even right now, is that many years ago one of his sponsees told me that there was something wrong with this bastard and AA. That young man, along with at least two others he sponsored committed suicide.

    I just dismissed him. If I could say something to him now I’d say, ‘I’m sorry. I am so sorry for not believing you.’ At his funeral we, AA crackpots, stood around his grave and said the serenity prayer. The only sane person in that circle was in a grave. How lonely must have been his last days. Knowing the truth of AA, a truth he could not deny. He had no friends, only AA ‘friends’ and therefore his truth was denied by everyone in his world. How lonely must that be?

    I only just escaped with my life. I tried to hang myself. Luckily I have good upper body strength and pulled myself back up in the attic, to safety. I also took an overdose and awoke in a hospital pissed off that I was still alive.

    I was so close to death and continued to listen to the backward ‘logic’ of my so-called sponsor. Oh Orange it is good to be free. In the Big Book it talks of everyone being in a disaster and coming together in AA to freedom and safety. Well I was in a disaster. And it was AA. I just feel baffled sometimes. How could I have been taken in for so long! Why did I keep suppressing the alarm bells in my head!

    But I am not so hard on myself. I was desperate for love and warmth. I grew up with little or no love, and thought AA could give me the affection I craved.

    Also while in AA I covered my body with tattoos. I was denying my pain and numb. I see now that it manifested itself in tattoos, skulls, death, knives. My body is destroyed, but that’s OK. My mind isn’t. I still meet AA members. (I’m only out of AA four months, but the brainwashed crap in my head has been slowly broken down over the last two years.) I will chat with those on the outskirts. I try not to be too anti-AA to them. I don’t wish to hurt them. But I will be honest. As for those members in the inner circle… these I detest. When they say hello I make it a must that I look into their eyes and grin at them: ‘Hard look pal, ye nearly had me, not quite. Hey guess what I am still sober. Fuck you!’

    Thanks Orange for letting me get this off my chest. You are a good man.

    I believe history will say that Agent Orange was the beginning of the end for Steppism.

    I will be writing to locally elected councellers (politicians) on many of the matters you have discussed. I’m going to play my part.

    Kindest Regards,

    Letter #4

    Date: Fri, March 17, 2006 12:22
    From: “anonymous.”
    Subject: Curious

    The death toll while I was in AA for six years, in Reno, Nevada:

    • Total of five unintentional overdoses, that I knew about. Two were heroin, the others were sleeping pills, pain pills, or vallium.

    • Total of seven overt suicides of people that attended meetings, my first two years of sobriety. The first four, they intentionally took drugs and alcohol for the purpose of ending their life. One shot himself in the head, the other hung himself, because they continued to get in debt, after sobriety, because of their gambling. The last (I have forgotten his name) put the hose in the exhaust and put it into the back window of his truck. Had no drugs or alcohol from the time he started going to meetings, went to meetings on a regular basis. Unfortunately, he got lonely and depressed. None of the women in AA or NA would have any thing to do with him. These women prefered the hip slick and cool pontificator that was not really sober, but fit in with their image of the ideal man.

    • The above does not even count the deaths that we never heard about.


    These blogs on AA & suicide are meant to show a link between the AA cult and some of the suicides of AA members. The intent is not to suggest that AANY, the AA Fellowship or any single AA group or member is legally reponsible for an individual’s suicide. Often times suicide is a decision made individually.

    One purpose of these continuing blogs is to educate readers of the negative aspects of the teachings of the dangerous cult known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Research indicates that depression is the #1 cause of suicide. Other research shows most alcohol abusers are depressed people. Membership in AA can increase a person’s depression. I leave it to the reader to reach their own conclusion.

    These two letters, #’s 3 & 4, discuss some disturbing aspects of AA, other than suicide. In fact, one item discussed is the fact that AA members have on occasion “crashed” funerals to practice their cult chantings and religion. This topic was discussed in two separate blogs yesterday. Of course it’s (AA) a cult!

    Another aspect in the above letters is that of 13 stepping. This is a practice in AA where an existing AA member will make sexual advances to the newcomer to AA. This newcomer often times is completely unaware of the cult tactics of AA.

    In fact, 13 stepping in AA seems to be condoned by the male members of AA. Bragging rights among the male members, a “notch” to put on their sacred Big Book so to speak. One only needs to look to the original 13 stepper, Bill W. And in Bill W’s footsteps there are the likes of Clany I (the Pacific Group) and Mike Q (the Midtown Group).

    How many women in AA have been the victim of this condoned behavior in AA? Tens? Hundreds? Thousands?

    Does membership in the cult known as Alcoholics Anonymous increase the suicide rate among alcohol abusers?


    AA is killing people (by suicide) with its “treatment” program of “spirituality”. AA is simply a hokey religion folks.


    AA is not a treatment program. AA offers no mental therapy. AA offers no psychiatric therapy. AA offers no emotional therapy.

    What does AA offer? ———supposed miracles performed by god.

    Example #1

    This unfortunate suicide is an indication of several of the many problems that AA has. This example highlights three problem areas within AA. 1) AA is ineffective as a substance abuse “treatment” program. 2) AA members (Sponsors) should not be giving advice in the areas of medical/psychiatric arenas and 3) the public’s misperception that AA somehow works in treatment of substance abuse.

    This victim of AA had been in and out of the hokey religious “treatment” program for decades. Why? Because AA is ineffective in treating substance abusers.

    This victim of AA had a sponsor. This sponsor was simply another AA member. This sponsor had no training in medicine or psychiatry. In spite of no training in substance abuse treatment, in spite of medical education, in spite of no psychiatric training, this AA sponsor felt he had “valuable” advice to give, and gave it. The victim had a long history of mental disorder, What the fuck was this AA sponsor thinking?

    This victim’s sister relied on the “suggestion” from the AA sponsor. Why? Because through AA’s marketing of their “treatment” program the unsuspecting public has been duped into believing the AA dogma that their way works.

    “In a deposition, Deming said the sponsor assured her that Achen would be safe where he was, that he would detox and that she wouldn’t have to worry about him.”

    Letter #5

    Date Fri, October 1, 2004 7:00 am
    I have included a letter below that needs your permission to send, as I not only mention you, but actually have the balls to suggest that 48 Hours CONTACT you. I need your permission, obviously, before I do this. Please reply with your thoughts/criticisms/applause/permission at the earliest convenience.
    I want to write to CBS’s 48 Hours and request that they do a show exposing AA for what it really is.
    After drafting the letter, I realized that I would be giving CBS links to not only our group here at XXXXX, but to many others as well. I decided I should ask permission of the group members (and I will cc to other groups and site owners mentioned for permission) and wait for feedback before proceeding. Please be free with your thoughts: applause and criticism equally welcomed.
    Following is the entire body of the email minus my personal contact information, which I would include on sending.
    Subject: 48 HOURS Investigate AA and 12 Step — Harm is increasing

    Dear CBS, 48 HOURS team:

    “DALLAS — Authorities on Saturday were trying to figure out why a man shot and killed two people at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting before staging a four-hour standoff with police.” source:

    A.A., N.A. and many other 12 step groups are much worse than just “ineffective”, (though a story on that could easily be done) they are downright damaging. There are 3 United States District Courts who have ruled that A.A. is RELIGIOUS and coerced attendance is unconstitutional. Yet thousands of courts across the country continue with the practice of court-ordered A.A. attendance. This is due to lack of information. The courts, the people of the United States, have been duped into perhaps one of the biggest ruses of our time: that Alcoholics Anonymous is a “helpful” and “non-religious” support group for alcoholics. This is a bald faced lie. The truth is, A.A. is a damaging religious cult, who’s effectiveness rate on alcoholism is no greater than no program or support at all, and furthermore has a growing mass of people fleeing it. Why?

    I am the “owner” of only one of many online groups for people who are leaving 12 step groups, especially AA, and seeking help in dealing with the damage that they suffered at the hands of such groups. I am an “escapee” myself, after 17 years in the “rewms” of AA. It has taken a year, to reclaim my own thinking and feeling processes and I’m not fully out of the woods yet. I still struggle, more frequently than I would like, with catching the AA brainwashing and have to consciously stop the chant in my head just to focus on rational thinking. I am not as damaged as others I have talked to. One gal in my group had a complete breakdown, delusions and all, with no chemicals of any kind in her body, after 3 or more days of being forced to stay up with no sleep by 12 steppers. I myself, have heard more than a handful of stories of people I KNEW in AA over the last 17 years, who, on the advice of their sponsor, stopped taking medication and as a result committed suicide because their depression was untreated.’s hardly blink at this: they claim the person simply was not working the steps right. This smacks of the horror stories we sometimes hear of parents belonging to a religious sect that doesn’t believe in medication refusing medical treatment for their dying child. However, most of those belong to an identifiable religion. A.A. claims it is not religious and the majority of Americans, A.A. attendees and non- attendees believe it. The reason for this is simply that the facts about A.A. have not been disseminated by the press. I believe no other news show could do as excellent a job of informing America about this danger than 48 HOURS. Simply put, 48 HOURS was created to cover such things.

    There are many groups for people fleeing AA and it’s sister groups, and many stories like the above.

    81% are gone (19% remain) after 1 month;
    90% are gone (10% remain) after 3 months,
    93% are gone (7% remain) after 6 months,
    and 95% are gone (5% remain) at the end of one year.

    End of letter


    So not only might the unsuspecting newcomer to AA end up sitting next to a violent criminal or sexual predator, the newcomer most likely will not receive any type of support in the nature of emotional support, medical support or mental support because AA is not a treatment program for substance abusers.

    AA is simply a hokey religious cult that offers supposed miracles performed by god to end substance abuse.

    Run newcomer, run as fast a you can, from the culty, hokey religion of AA!


    Who is in AA with you?..and..Carefully pick your sponsor.

    Another convicted rapist sentenced to AA

    Man sentenced for rape committed in 1984

    Women who pleaded insanity set free

    Girl kept detailed diary of rapes by mother’s boyfriend

    Hershey man chooses probation…

    An ex-con enrolled in the state’s intensive supervision program (ISP) who was arrested March 7 on drug and weapons charges

    Police: Man pulled gun at church AA meeting, charged with assault

    Lewiston man set to plead guilty to manslaughter in clock death

    Red flags missed

    2-year probation sentence for Mark Dickenson in menacing case

    Wilker sentenced to 8 years

    Woodbury Man Given 20 Days In Jail For Threatening to Kill Local Restaurant Manager

    Man indicted for stealing from senior he met at support group

    ‘Risky’ child rapist released from jail

    Two dramatic U-turns for John Kalisz, accused in deadly Hernando County shooting rampage

    Woman Shot in the Head After Fight Spills Out of AA Meeting

    ‘Thelma & Louise’ suspect was poster child to Alcoholics Anonymous group

    Rapist Sentenced to 65-Year Term for Assaults on 17 Victims

    Man sentenced to life for ’07 rape, murder


    For a list of the letters Orange has received on suicide, see >>

    Alcoholics Anonymous: MyNotGodHasItCovered®

    NOT AA:
    Rational Recovery, SOS, HAMS, SMART,

  17. AA World Services has been aware of this suicide problem all along. Yet even though they admit the result has been in many AA members committing suicide after being told to not take their meds, they continue to allow Sponsors, AA members and Group leaders to continue this deadly practice. AA World Services has no mechanism in place to handle this problem, other than to admit there is a problem.

    For those that stop their meds yet thankfully do not take their lives, still have had to endure depression, suicidal ideation, manic episodes, addiction and getting in trouble with the law. AA needs to be held responsible and be forced to put in place guidlelines to prohibit this from continuing.

      • AA NA is not telling the truth about the program and medication, I know of one man that killed hisself because of the attitudes and the cult like system that AA had.

      • I heard over the years by a few men say about new comers “Get them on there backs before they get on there feet” This is there thinking and motto.

    • Society is in denial when it believes that the drug/alcohol problem is cured by AA. We have on our hands a much uglier, more problematic religion than all those that have gone before it. AA was created by a man who wanted to use others to feel ok about himself. It is time that we in these United States break free of his bullshit.

      • What I cannot believe is how taboo it is to speak in negative terms about AA. Doctors save lives, policeman save lives but people are certainly critical of different doctors, police departments. Nobody is really above reproach.

        It looks like the people are starting to finally be heard that want to express their disdain for AA, but not without taking allot of backlash for it. Steppers go crazy when you tell the truth about their cult.

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