The Growth and Philosophy of 12-Step Recovery

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Running Head: 12-STEP GROWTH & PHILOSOPHY The Growth and Philosophy of 12-Step Recovery Patricia Klobnock English Composition 111 James Wieber, Instructor December 7, 2005 Abstract There has been an massive uprising of 12-Step groups worldwide. This rise in numbers should be an indicator of their success. However many argue viewpoints that these groups have, for instance; classifying addiction as a disease, spiritual concepts, and life long dependencies on the groups themselves. By examining these arguments and the undeniable growth of these fellowships, this essay demonstrates that although the 12-Steps may not be the right choice for every addict they are a phenomenon that may deserve a closer look. Introduction In recent years, 12-step programs have flooded the world at an amazing rate. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), founded in 1935 pioneered this movement and currently has an estimated membership of 2,076,635, present in 180 countries (AA World Services [AAWS], 2005). Narcotics Anonymous (NA) membership has also grown rapidly from “200 registered groups in 1978 to 21,500 registered groups in 116 countries (NA World Services [NAWS], 2005). (NAWS, 2005) The above figures derive from group registration at world service offices. There is no way to calculate actual members, as these fellowships do not keep attendance (anonymous) records. Although some growth may be attributed to, increased population, availability of information, (such as the internet), and improved public transportation, it is reasonable to deduct that if this approach to recovery from addiction were not affective it would not prosper. While this data is convincing there is still a long running debate regarding the effectiveness of these programs for “every” addicted person. Three of the most prominent disagreements are; the concept

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