Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AA celebrates its 75th Anniversary

It was pretty big party down in San Antonio, Texas this past July. Over 50,000 people came from all over the world to celebrate, participate, and share their recovery. There were Key note speakers and lots of recovering alcoholics sharing their experience strength and hope. AA has a convention every 5 years.

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It is times like this we can reflect on how much this organization has contributed to our world and helped change so many lives. AA has helped many people stop their own personal suffering and helped them start to contribute back to society and lead productive and happy lives. It has helped many of their wives, and children get their loved ones back.

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AA has spawned many other 12 step programs including Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Al-anon, and others.

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AA was also instrumental in helping us understand this disease of addiction and instrumental in even accepting it as a disease. From the early days in 1935, AA taught that Alcoholism is a physical disease. I think that this helped the medical profession to accept this and then continue ongoing research into the disease. These days, of course we have much more understanding of how the brain works and it is easy to understand and accept alcoholism as a disease. But in the early days it took a few drunks to sober up and realize they weren’t crazy. Once they saw that they weren’t crazy and that pretty much anyone could get sober it became a lot more clear that this really is a disease. An early AA saying went like this - “We aren’t bad people trying to get good, we are sick people trying to get well”.

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After 75 years I am glad the medical profession has caught up.

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Dr Peter Coleman

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