Alcohol is just another drug
"In keeping with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition, which states that
'The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking'
we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol."
A junkie is the same as an alcoholic
Addiction takes many forms, but the disease which underlies them is always the same. .
The disease of the hyper-religious deacon is no different than that of an opioid addicted nurse.
The illness of the actress caught shoplifting is the same as the wife of a President caught drinking Sterno.
My cousin who drank herself to death at the age of thirty-two has the same disease as the anesthesiologist dying of a fentanyl overdose in the ER.
For years, AA was the land of the drinker, and if you used any kind of drug, you mostly kept your mouth shut. But times change, and today it is the rare newcomer who has not used both drugs and alcohol.
It is the underlying illness of addiction which is important, not the form it takes.
The problem is addiction—the answer is recovery
from Matt's Rehab Group
“Welcome to drunk and junkie school,” said Matt, as I took my seat.
“You’ll find that all the seats in this room are the same, regardless of who you think you are,” said Matt.
"No matter what you used to believe, today you’ll learn that you share a single disease, that of addiction."
"In this room, a drunk is the same as a junkie and an alcoholic is the same as an addict."
"There’s no difference between a judge who tipples too much and is escorted home by a deputy sheriff and the junkie on the street who’s arrested by the same deputy.”
The Meaning of Singleness of Purpose
Bill W. was a member of the Oxford Group prior to forming AA with Dr. Bob. The Oxford Group was not concerned with alcoholism—they wanted to save the world.
Singleness of Purpose
Bill W. knew that while the principles of the Oxford Group (complete ego deflation, dependence and guidance from a Higher Power, moral inventory, confession, restitution, and continued work with other alcoholics) were a good basis for treating alcoholism, but that they would have to focus their efforts on alcohol if they were to be successful. AA is not concerned with world hunger, oppression of the masses, or reforming the American political system.
AA has never excluded addicts
Dr. Bob himself was addicted to pain pills, as was the physician who wrote the classic “Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict” that describes “…acceptance as the key to all my problems today.” But in those days, addiction to intravenous drugs was viewed differently. For one thing, most drug use was, and is, illegal and admission to drug use is tantamount to confession of a crime. Hence the formation of NA.
Today, we know that the disease is addiction to any substance or behavior that causes dependency. Regardless of the drug (or behavior) preferred by an individual addict, the treatment is the same.
In AA, we do not seek to treat gambling, sex and relationships, PTSD, workaholism, hyper-religiosity, or food disorders. They each have their own groups more appropriate to those conditions. But we also recognize that these forms of addiction are almost always associated with abuse of drugs and alcohol.