Principles in Short
In the range of methods to cope with addiction problems "Alcoholics Anonymous" named here"Addiction Anonymous" have spiritual and operating principles, method's evolution and traditions that provided a frame largely used, in many countries. Evolution to take into of account lessons from experience and "scientific advancement" as well as expression of better suggestive truisms and tautologies supporting care and preserving essential value.
Principles in a given society are like social enunciates, integrating cultural dimensions of values that should seem to stay between types of social issues compatible with different scientific degrees of biology (and in the case of addictions' care: neurobiology, ecology of society and so on. Meanwhile requiring to stay within social frames and spiritual expressions (in the case of AA twelve steps and methods: metaphysical, suffering and consciousness all matters of life). In short AA twelve traditions required that:
- Common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on AA unity,
- To group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express itself in group's consciousness. Leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern,
- The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking (or consuming)
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole,
- Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the ones who still suffers,
- An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related for outside enterprise, lest problems facility of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose,
- Every AA group ought to be fully self supporting declining outside contributions,
- AAnonymous should remain forever non professional, but service centers may employ special workers,
- AA, as such, ought never be organized from outside, but may create service boards or comities directly responsible to those they serve,
- AA has no opinion on outside issues, hence, the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy,
- AA public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion, it needs always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and film,
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Intermediate Comments on 12Steps
It would take too much time and space to discuss, explain or coment each step and concept of the method. But a humanist philosophy of complexity caring pragmatic issues, we suggest one elusivelly and successively in correspondence with 12 previous points:
- If addiction turns the main engine of oneself suffering behavior and/or the consumption or affecting health and life, then some concepts of superior unity turns an essential mean for addicts' spiritual care,
- Human being spiritual (or teleological or metaphysically questioning), coherence of self unit is essential to recovery and dependence to any ground earth personality is what to avoid (as happening in sects toward some "guru"). The experience of cure is anyhow and first individual with some possible different cultural patterns. So this principle of unity could be labeled and helping,
- Desire to stop is a simple enunciate or evidence. Simplicity is necessary, somewhere in a program. This does not make it is easy to do. A smart simple word or label can cover plenty of complexity and difficulties,
- Autonomy is a fundamental but there are also plenty of different practical expressions considering knowledge, supports, social resources, self management of groups and so on. Here it has a relative sense of freedom, from addiction.
- In modern day terms; self-help, crossed help (also depending on cultural expressions of social pattern), empathy (to understand) and consistency (which can be delivered to other AA groups),
- Indeed at level of one group, well aware of, that the cultural social patterns, can have been part, in the making of addiction, which can also be seen as social diseases. So groups should have no distraction from other goal prior to AA group. In a broad social process there could be different adaptations that works too,
- As above, it is a sort of principle that should be compromised sincerely in a program (effectively revealed) pratically in your own group, as far as you can, not as the dogma say,
- Observing in societies where AA have emerged, the point is a relative truth. Good contradictory safety nets can exist in the same society under slightly different protocols, as well as a need for other approach to adapt. Care both: the experience of autonomous management and call professional services when required,
- To keep the level of such method at an appropriated human scale, the group is good. A principle to trust when thinking that human social complexity would make such sort of supra-organization improperly "distorting": principles, goals and purpose,
- This tenth tradition seems a complement to previous point: a warrant to stay within the mission. But society of information may suggest to change interpretations since it could support better than before cure processes. Controversy should not mean lack of debate or of evolution tending to over or under care,
- In our personal opinion global trend may make the border between attraction and promotion more fuzzy, meanwhile anonymity could mean practically many things or nothing,
- Anonymity being relative, it can be interpreted in different ways. Even if in our opinion current social trend of public advertising pretends to refer or relate everything to some on. Preserving anonymity is increasingly important as facilitating processes it is also more difficult and more complicated to make it understand by all "altruist providers".
The cultural patterns as applied in any psycho-social method, whomever the societies determine implicit forms of management, care, paradigms or social distortions. Configuring an environment to the problems as in the case of addictions, with a core of fundamentals in biology, neurobiology of psychotropic substances but actually also with a growing virtuality of societies' addictions with multiple consumption including without products, just behavioral.
In the transformations of modern societies AA groups and Minnesota 12 steps model of professional support are method having kept efficient standards of principles and ways to do and behave. Also where metaphysical complications as well as complex level of human mind management should not disqualify good empirical and well intentioned lessons when effective.