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December 1989

PO Box 1980

AA and Treatment

I've been around a few twenty-four hours. One of the things that annoys me is to sit in closed meetings and hear folks say: "Today I had a choice to drink or not to drink and I chose not to drink."

I believe that this sort of hogwash is, unfortunately, being promulgated by treatment centers. This sort of intellectualizing is certainly not contained anywhere in the Big Book. On the contrary, we are repeatedly told that we have but one choice if we are to become useful members of society again and that is, simply, to maintain complete, total abstinence.

The advent of treatment centers in this country has produced newcomers to the AA program who are often given incorrect ideas about how to stay sober. Too much emphasis is placed on intellectual freedom rather than instilling in the patient the firm idea that if he or she wishes to live, the only choice is not to drink.

The Big Book warns us that continuing to drink will inevitably cause us to wind up in either of two places--an institution or a morgue. It is my personal conviction that I have a lot I'd like to accomplish on this earth before it is my time to depart. I pray that I may do it sober. I pray that treatment centers will get the message and begin teaching patients in treatment that they have no choice whatsoever about consumption of alcohol in any form!

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