I have to respectfully disagree that "12 Step programs are the most successful treatment program in the world bar none."

There is nothing in the research to suggest this. Harvard medical school estimates the natural remission rate for alcohol dependence to be 5%. For AA, I've heard numbers as high as 18% and as low as 3% thrown around. Because it's an anonymous peer support group -- and *not* an evidence-based treatment modality -- it is next to impossible to predict what the rate of long term remission is for people who present with alcohol dependence and use only 12-Step.

My personal belief is that when you factor in how AVE, the Abstinence Violation Effect, is treated in AA (with shunning and shaming), and the number of sponsors who bully their charges into going off their meds and quitting therapy, the actual recovery rate for DSM 303.90 might even worse than never having attended 12-Step in the first place.

Eric Harlacher, CADCA

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