Myth: AA is the only way to get sober.
Reality: More than half the people Fletcher surveyed recovered without AA.
Myth: You can't get sober on your own.
Reality: Many people got sober by themselves.
Myth: One drink inevitably leads right back to the bottle.
Reality: A small number of people find they can have an occasional drink.
Myth: There's nothing you can do for someone with a drinking problem until he or she is ready.
Reality: Family and friends can make a big difference if they know how to help.
Weaving together the success stories of ordinary people and the latest scientific research on the subject, Fletcher uncovers a vital truth: no single path to sobriety is right for every individual. There are many ways to get sober - and stay sober. SOBER FOR GOOD is for anyone who has ever struggled not to drink, coped with someone who has a drinking problem, or secretly wondered, "Do I drink too much?"
As more recovering people got involved in relapse prevention support groups, I began to get calls and letters asking for advice on how to start and maintain a group. These calls disturbed me because I didn't know how to answer the questions that I was being asked. So I began to do some research. I went right to the experts, the pioneers who have already started relapse prevention support groups and are learning how to make them work. I have attempted to combine what I have learned from numerous conversations across the United States and Canada and condense that information into a simple question-and-answer format. I have included the most commonly asked questions about relapse prevention and relapse prevention support groups. It is my goal to give you enough information to start a group if you want to do so.
This information comes from recovering people who have started relapse prevention support groups. Because these groups are so new, there are no right answers. Nothing is etched in granite. Some of the groups I've heard about succeeded. Others failed. I want to share with you my impressions of what helped the successful groups succeed and what caused the unsuccessful groups to fail. You will be given guidelines not absolute recommendations. Each group is unique, and those that succeed build upon the special strengths and weaknesses of their members. Successful groups focus heavily upon the needs of their members, give special attention to new members, keep the focus on identifying and managing warning signs, and allow for a diversity of discussion and feedback among members.
In quest of a more historically accurate and complete account, Raphael separates fact from fiction in the standard biographies of Wilson and finds reason to doubt the literal truth of some foundational AA stories. He also provides a context for Wilson's (and thus AA's) key ideas in the work of William James, Carl Jung, and other modern thinkers. What emerges is an unvarnished portrait of a charismatic man and social visionary, whose true greatness is all the more apparent in view of his human imperfections.
Readers already familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous will find much to engage them. Others will discover AA and its cofounder from an insider's perspective.