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AA and NA Work! So Why Re-Invent the Wheel?

Hi. I would like to comment about some of the previous questions posed and those people asking for alternatives to traditional recovery programs like AA and NA. My question is - Why?

AA and NA work. The 12 steps which form the foundation of these programs changes lives. If you work the steps your life will change. The desire to drink or use drugs will leave you and you will with time become unrecognizable from the person you were. So why re-invent the wheel?

Those that complain about AA and NA, or those that say they don’t work, are usually the ones that have made no real effort to work the steps, and so complain about programs that have helped millions of people all over the world recover from their addictions for more than 70 years.

What you get out is related to what you put in. Funny, that’s true for life in general. So it frustrates me to read about people who knock the likes of NA and AA, yet haven’t even begun to grasp what these programs are really all about.

I think it is also your duty as part of this website to promote the benefits of AA and AA for those people recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction – because there is nothing else out there that even comes close to matching their success.


Thanks for your comment. And believe me we do promote 12 step programs and believe AA and NA play a huge role in overcoming an addiction to alcohol or drugs. It is, and will remain, our first recommendation.

However we do recognize that there is no one size fits all approach, and that there are also many people who find freedom from addiction pursuing alternative options to 12 step programs. So we can’t ignore that. Each person is different – and what works for some, doesn’t necessarily work for others.

Many people also begin by using the 12 steps, and find with time it has provided them with a sufficient foundation in their recovery to leave the ‘safety’ of the 12 steps, and go on to work their own program using what works for them from the 12 steps, together with parts of their own they have added. Like CP, the owner of this website has done.

I agree totally with what you say – whatever path you choose, your success is directly proportional to the effort you put in. I think everyone should at least attempt working the 12 steps, with an open mind and without judgment, before deciding whether or not it’s for them.

But ultimately we believe that if people realize alcoholism or drug addiction is primarily a spiritual disease or problem - and adopt a holistic approach in combating it, they can be successful in their recovery with the necessary effort and commitment.

Comments for AA and NA Work! So Why Re-Invent the Wheel?

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AA and NA aren't for everyone
by: Marcelle

I have AA a genuine go for a couple of years, but eventually the whole thing just started to irritate me. Part of it was having to deal with all the different personalities, especially long-timers, who I found often had a very blinkered approach. And with groups like that, there is always going to be a certain level of politics at play, which I just didn't have time for. I'm not saying it doesn't work, and I think the structure is helpful for many, but for someone like me, I prefer to travel my own path.

Totally Agree
by: Steve

Those that don't give AA or NA are fair go are the ones that tend to relapse and then complain it doesn't work. The steps provide a powerful and transformative program that will help anyone achieve sobriety who chooses to work them. The sad part is, not everyone does, and that's the primary reason they go back to a life of addiction.

by: Anonymous

I've been an AA member for 12 years. It's the biggest reason today that I'm still sober. AA has saved my life. It's a program without parallel and I will always be grateful for being exposed to it.

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