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  • Writer's pictureDavid Sklar, PhD, ACSW


Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Treatment for alcoholism is based on the founding principles of Alcoholic Anonymous, as reflected in the twelve steps. The first addition was published, I believe, in 1939, The Big Book, or Blue Book, as it is commonly known, reflects the values, culture, and language of

pre-World War II America. It incorporates the medical model and particular language of what then was contemporary science.The Big Book posits a spiritual cure to what it calls a medical disease. Bill W. and Dr. Silkworth, authors of the Big Book see no other way to recover other then a "spiritual cure". Alcoholics Anonymous is a G-d oriented book. Faith in a Higher Power, along with the doing of good works are crucial aspects of staying sober.The Lord's Prayer is an important part of most AA meetings.

A strong Judeo-Christian ethic pervades the Big Book. We are brought to our knees through our drinking, and rise up by giving or Will over to G-d and our like minded fellowship. We are never cured of our illness. We perpetually live close to the edge. We avoid falling into the abyss by never leaving the circle. Our Will alone is not sufficient to recover. We trust in a higher power for guidance. We know left to our own devices we are bound to fail. We are confident (never cocky) as long as our faith is true and our fellowship strong. Never are we in remission. Sin (relapse) is waiting, crouching at the door.

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