From the July 1992 magazine.

A Disease of Denial

Last night I had a memorable experience that I don't want to forget. I went to a major prison with a group of AA members to carry the message of sobriety to those who were confined there.

Out of twelve inmates at the meeting, only two admitted that they were alcoholics. The other ten were in strong denial. One said he wasn't an alcoholic because he never got falling-down drunk. Another couldn't imagine turning down a drink if a buddy offered it to him and everyone else was drinking. One inmate said he went to AA meetings on the outside because that's where he met women. Still another said that whenever he drank he got loaded and wound up in jail, but he wasn't an alcoholic; he just liked to drink, like everyone else he knew. One said that he could get "pruno" in prison, but always said no, so he figured he wasn't an alcoholic--but said that by the time he got out he would have it controlled.

-- Hal R.

Millbrae, California

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