We live in a place that takes its drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs seriously. Hazelden is world-renowned and there are dozens more clinics and programs to get sober in the state.
Many of them are based on the 12-step program that Alcoholics Anonymous created. Hazelden's own website says the 12 steps are an integral part of its treatment.
But Dr. Lance Dodes, author of "The Sober Truth," argues that 12-step programs don't work for most people and that the scientific evidence backs him up.
There is a large body of evidence now looking at AA success rate, and the success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent. Most people don't seem to know that because it's not widely publicized. ... There are some studies that have claimed to show scientifically that AA is useful. These studies are riddled with scientific errors and they say no more than what we knew to begin with, which is that AA has probably the worst success rate in all of medicine.
It's not only that AA has a 5 to 10 percent success rate; if it was successful and was neutral the rest of the time, we'd say OK. But it's harmful to the 90 percent who don't do well. And it's harmful for several important reasons. One of them is that everyone believes that AA is the right treatment. AA is never wrong, according to AA. If you fail in AA, it's you that's failed.
Dodes joins The Daily Circuit to discuss his latest book and what works best for those trying to get sober.
Excerpt: "The Sober Truth"
Have you been through a 12-step program for drug or alcohol abuse? Did it work for you? Leave a comment below.