The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

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The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:58

Exactly what I've always said: 12-step programs are cult-like quackery with no scientific basis, run by barely trained ex-addicts, and full of truisms that are actually blatant falsehoods.

It't a long read, but well worth it if you're interested in fresh ideas about drug and alcohol addiction recovery.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... urce=atlfb
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Big Vern » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:19

I know a guy who swears by it. He's a born again now so not much fun at parties, but his wife's a lot happier. Whatever works, I suppose.

Isn't it the case that all treatments are pretty ineffective when it comes to addiction? I believe CBT is generally considered to be the most effective, but addicts usually quit and stay sober after trying loads of different treatments. Often no one knows the reason, if there is any specific one whether internal or environmental. I'm no expert, though.
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:27

Big Vern wrote:Isn't it the case that all treatments are pretty ineffective when it comes to addiction? I believe CBT is generally considered to be the most effective, but addicts usually quit and stay sober after trying loads of different treatments. Often no one knows the reason, if there is any specific one whether internal or environmental.


Naltrexone, combined with professional therapy, has been proven to be 78% effective in treating chronic alcoholism. The 12-step program 6-8%. Draw your own conclusions. :smile:
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Big Vern » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:31

jimipresley wrote:
Big Vern wrote:Isn't it the case that all treatments are pretty ineffective when it comes to addiction? I believe CBT is generally considered to be the most effective, but addicts usually quit and stay sober after trying loads of different treatments. Often no one knows the reason, if there is any specific one whether internal or environmental.


Naltrexone, combined with professional therapy, has been proven to be 78% effective in treating chronic alcoholism. The 12-step program 6-8%. Draw your own conclusions. :smile:

I didn't know that. Just goes to show, always fact-check things you're told by a bloke in a pub.

EDIT: or on the internet. Were your figures taken from research funded by a pharmaceutical company?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naltrexone#Alcoholism

"Its overall benefit has been described as "modest"."
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:32

Big Vern wrote:I didn't know that. Just goes to show, always fact-check things you're told by a bloke in a pub.

Dude. Read the article I posted!
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Big Vern » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:34

jimipresley wrote:
Big Vern wrote:I didn't know that. Just goes to show, always fact-check things you're told by a bloke in a pub.

Dude. Read the article I posted!

Too long. I have to do end of semester marking. In fact, I really shouldn't be posting here.
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 15:10

Big Vern wrote: Were your figures taken from research funded by a pharmaceutical company?

That is a patently, absurdly disguised jibe that the "fake news" tribe are more akin to than you, a previously intelligent person. :smile:
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 16:09

Well, I seem to have generated a veritable hornets' nest of vitriol on Facebook with my opinions on quackery. And this time I wasn't even trolling. :smile:
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Big Vern » Sat Jan 13, 2018 16:24

jimipresley wrote:Well, I seem to have generated a veritable hornets' nest of vitriol on Facebook with my opinions on quackery. And this time I wasn't even trolling. :smile:

Any discussion involving believers and non-believers is going to result in that. It doesn't matter what the belief happens to be. One person of gender's quackery is another's life changer.

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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Big Vern » Sat Jan 13, 2018 17:30

jimipresley wrote:
Big Vern wrote: Were your figures taken from research funded by a pharmaceutical company?

That is a patently, absurdly disguised jibe that the "fake news" tribe are more akin to than you, a previously intelligent person. :smile:


Having avoided marking badly written essays I have found that there is more than enough research into the efficacy of Naltrexone and its derivatives to show that it's not some 78% panacea, even when combined with counselling and behavioural changes. It's way lower than that.

However, if it works for you then that's good.
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Tempo Gain » Sat Jan 13, 2018 22:22

Anything with the word "God" in it is pretty much locked in in the US.

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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sun Jan 14, 2018 06:38

Tempo Gain wrote:Anything with the word "God" in it is pretty much locked in in the US.

Well, therein lies the rub. Judges in the US routinely order drunk driving/domestic abuse perps into AA with absolutely no thought to alternative therapy, simply because it has A Whole Lotta God.
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Big Vern » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:13

The lawyer in that article is a bit dim. "Everyone I talked to said there was no other way." Does he not have internet access? I agree that if judges are sending people to AA then that's wrong, but if people are unaware that there are other options then I have little sympathy.

Everyone in that article believes AA was the only treatment. They've managed to find the thickest addicts in America.
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby Tempo Gain » Sun Jan 14, 2018 21:03

jimipresley wrote:Well, therein lies the rub. Judges in the US routinely order drunk driving/domestic abuse perps into AA with absolutely no thought to alternative therapy, simply because it has A Whole Lotta God.


Yeah an old classmate FB friend of mine is a fairly hardcore evangelist type. I don't think he seriously responded to any of my posts before, but this article got his hackles up. He called it clickbait lol.
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Re: The Pseudoscience of 12-Step Programs

Postby jimipresley » Sun Jan 14, 2018 21:35

Big Vern wrote:Everyone in that article believes AA was the only treatment. They've managed to find the thickest addicts in America.

I don't know about that. Apparently, getting a doctor to prescribe Naltrexone and Acamprosate in The Land Of The Free is tantamount to asking them for a bag full of morphine. They default to the 12-step program because, y'know, baby Jesus and stuff.
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