From the July 1995 magazine.

A Long Way From Leavenworth

I attended my first AA meeting in Leavenworth Federal Prison during the summer of 1974. I wasn't serious about AA or sobriety and believed the other prisoners weren't either. Unfortunately, we didn't hear any outside AA speakers. I went to meetings because it meant time outside my cell. I planned on getting drunk as soon as I was released and I did just that. I got drunk on the plane going home.

Four more years of drinking ensued before I was ready to surrender. I knew if I kept drinking I was bound to wind up in prison again, but I was powerless to stop myself. I didn't understand the disease of alcoholism. The worse things got, the more I drank.

-- John P.

Manchester, New Hampshire

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