Another important point about 12 Step programs is their cost and accessibility. What other chronic lifelong disease has an equally accessible and cost effective (free) intervention? Like any disease, part of our job as physicians is to recommend effective treatment which our patients can both access and afford. I'd like for my patients to be able to access and afford all useful modalities of addiction treatment, but here at least is one they can all use.
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AA says it is "not organized in the formal or political sense", and Bill Wilson called it a "benign anarchy". In Ireland, Shane Butler said that AA “looks like it couldn’t survive as there’s no leadership or top-level telling local cumanns what to do, but it has worked and proved itself extremely robust.” Butler explained that "AA’s 'inverted pyramid' style of governance has helped it to avoid many of the pitfalls that political and religious institutions have encountered since it was established here in 1946."
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Parents may also inadvertently contribute to children’s alcohol problems, especially if they model bad drinking behaviors. Kids who grow up in homes with a great deal of drinking may come to see the behavior as normal. If their parents drink as a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety, kids may come to do the same. In this case, the genes aren’t at the root of the problem; it’s the behaviors parents model that causes concern.
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