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March 1994

They'll Ruin AA

Tradition Three

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the "pure alcoholic" is a thing of the past. The 1977 AA survey showed decisively that newcomers to AA more and more are approaching this program with the problem of alcohol--and something else. This situation is not a novel one. Years ago, when ex-convicts began coming to AA, the cry was "Oh, we can't handle their problems. AA is only for alcoholics." Very effective AA hospital and institutions committees resulted from these newcomers. Later, when newcomers who still had jobs came to the program, the cry was "But they're not real alcoholics." The upshot of these persons' impact on AA was to raise the alcoholic's "bottom" so that future newcomers could identify earlier in the progression of the illness.

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