Saturday, January 4, 2014

NYT says: "Cold Turkey Isn’t the Only Route;" panic ensues

This week we're all talking about an article in the New York Times.

The actual article wasn't that interesting to me.  It's worth reading if you're unaware that anything other than AA exists, but that has never been me.

The article mentions the Sinclair Method along with other options other than immediate and permanent abstinence.  It's only a mention, which may lead to some of the confusion in the comments, but I suspect the confusion would be there regardless.

There are some who know whereof they speak.  I didn't see a single Sinclair Method failure in that huge comment thread; the only people who are familiar with it are affirming that it works.  Many commenters, though, are peddling the same old stuff.

"AA is most often recommended because it is the most successful approach, saving millions of lives."  No, that's just not so.  AA's success rate is absolutely dismal, proven so whenever it has been tested.  There are several reasons why AA remains predominant in the USA (it's different elsewhere), but great success is not one of them.  Research it for yourself.

"Now you're just dependent on a different drug."  There is no naltrexone dependence, because alcohol consumption is not required once the addiction has been broken.  If no naltrexone is available, the former drinker will simply abstain.  In fairness, the article didn't make it clear that the blocker wasn't a daily drug to be taken forever.  A clearer and more detailed treatment of the method might have helped some of these people understand.

"If your drinking is out of control, don't struggle for control.  Just quit."  Gee, really?  Something which is out of control can't be just quit, because quitting is a kind of control.

"Sounds like yet another way for Big Pharma to get rich off of other people's misery!"  It would be so, so easy to learn that naltrexone has been out of patent for ages and isn't a moneymaker for any drug company.  It's just a product, is priced accordingly, and is of no interest to Big Pharma.

And then there's that all-time favorite . . . .

"This article is dangerous because it may lure people away from AA, the One True Way and the only thing that really works."

Hmm.  Does the therapy involve powerful electric shocks?  Highly invasive inpatient surgery?  Gargling with gasoline?  Those things are dangerous.  A pill which has been around for fifty years with only rare and minimal side effects is not dangerous.  These people want us to believe that it's "dangerous" not in itself but because alcohol might leap out and kill us at any moment.  They use fear to keep newbies in thrall.

Anyone who "goes out" (leaves AA, temporarily or permanently) is only a hairsbreadth away from jails, institutions, or death.  Only "the rooms" (AA meetings) can keep anyone away from these terrors.  After they hear it enough times, they begin to believe it.  I can't count the number of times that I've heard an AA booster say:  "I knew that if I drank again I would die."

It's bunkum, of course.  In fact most of the people who leave AA do drink again, and do not die.  Everyone dies eventually, of course, but most people who leave AA don't die as soon as they drink again.

If you would like to try the Sinclair Method or any other method in this article, but are afraid that you might die, relax.  Nobody ever died from leaving a support group.  Some might decide to go back to the group someday, but nobody ever died from leaving.

1 comment:

  1. Those comments, even the NYT picks, were disgracefully uninformed. It's a pretty good article in and of itself.