Alcoholics Anonymous has become a widely accepted and media approved treatment for problem drinkers. Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged its efficacy rate, estimated to be as little as 5%, appears comparable to that of spontaneous remission.
Can a non-existent “Higher Power” really offer meaningful solutions to the debilitating and frequently fatal condition of alcoholism?
If so, what happens to all those alcoholic atheists and skeptics?
How did AA become the go-to treatment modality for one of the great social health scourges of our age?
It’s the twenty first century, is this really the best we can do?
Jon Stewart was co-founder, guitarist and co-songwriter for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper. He currently lectures in cultural history at BIMM Institute, Brighton, on programmes validated and awarded by University of Sussex. He is also a PhD researcher at University of Southampton and author of a long-running column in Guitarist magazine. An active and sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 14 years, Jon quit the fellowship in early 2014.