From the June 1960 magazine.

Youth in A.A.

The average age of today's new AA member is dropping as more and more young people seek help--before they hit bottom

I CAME to Alcoholics Anonymous in my early thirties. My age didn't matter much at the time--I felt old, and you're as old as you feel. I had drinking periodically, and too much, for fifteen years. I drank through Army training and combat; I drank through college and a year abroad. I escaped to a monastery and somehow found alcohol even there. During the last year of my drinking the binges began, all over America, and the blackouts, and the morning drink. More important, I began to panic inwardly. I felt old, and beat, and I knew I needed help.

But I didn't like the idea of admitting I was an alcoholic. For one thing, an alcoholic was a bum, and I was not a bum. An alcoholic drank cheap vino and slept in the gutter, and I did not. Furthermore, an alcoholic had been drinking for at least thirty years, and I had not. In short, I felt old, but too young to be an alcoholic.

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