HNN Readers React
June 30, 2010
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Another Secular Alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous: Alcoholics Anonymous
(Re: The American Humanist Association Holds its 69th Annual Conference in San Jose, Humanist Network News, June 16, 2010.)
There is another secular alternative in addition to SMART Recovery, the addictions recovery program cited in the June 16 issue of HNN. It's the old Alcoholics Anonymous program. It works just fine with a secular twist. Simply redefine the AA term "higher power" from a humanist viewpoint.
One secular AA group, "Atheists, Agnostics and All Others," is thriving in a hotbed of strong Idaho religious fundamentalism. I believe it is because the AA program has a sound basis for many desiring recovery. Recovery support stems not from a deity, but from the 75-year-old program renovated to fit the modern non-believer.
The nature of addictions hobbles most recovery programs with poor long term effectiveness. Perhaps numerous approaches to recovery are necessary to meet the wide variety of human beings seeking support. Lumping all of AA into the camp of religious recovery deprives the non-believer addict/alcoholic of a proven recovery option. There are many secular AA meetings–find them at http://www.agnosticaanyc.org/worldwide.html#Idaho
–Wally in Idaho