The Craving and 

The Allergy

The Craving >>

quotes from the

Big Book

"These men were not drinking to escape; they were drinking to overcome a craving beyond their mental control."

"With every part of my being craving a drink, I could hardly sit still..."

"We believe…that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker.


These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.  


Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices.  


The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight.


In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to recreate their lives."

One drink is too many

and a thousand is never enough.

The phenomenon of craving >>

Once we have crossed over the line into addiction, the phenomenon of “craving” begins.  Without any warning, our minds become obsessed with the idea of using.  We don’t need an excuse, the thought just comes, usually at the worst possible moment.  No matter how crazy the idea of using is, it sounds perfectly normal at the time.

Addiction is not a lack of will power or moral values >>

It is part of the insanity of our disease, which tells us that this time, we will be able to drink or drug normally and get away with it.  The thought of the possible consequences is driven from our mind.


The craving is overwhelming

This is far more than just Jones-ing.  The craving becomes an unstoppable force that no Earth Person can understand.  The craving is beyond any mental control and it can only be satisfied when our drug of choice finally enters our body.


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This is the allergy of addiction >>

With the ingestion of the drink or drug, our body’s biochemistry kicks in.  We have lost the ability to quit.  One drink follows another in rapid succession.  We stop only when we pass out or run out of dope. 


Earth people >> have no such response to the first drink.  They can have two martinis and go home.  But for us, the only way to avoid this chain of events is not to take the first one.


This is what they mean when they say, “One drink is too many and a thousand is never enough.”

From the Big Book of AA--The alcoholic insanity >>


”Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk, it couldn’t hurt me on a full stomach. I ordered a whiskey and poured it into the milk."


"I vaguely sensed I was not being any too smart, but felt reassured, as I was taking the whiskey on a full stomach. The experiment went so well that I ordered another whiskey and poured it into more milk. That didn’t seem to bother me so I tried another.”


Thus started one more journey to the asylum for Jim.  Here was the threat of commitment, the loss of family and position, to say nothing of that intense mental and physical suffering which drinking always caused him.  


He had much knowledge about himself as an alcoholic.  Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea be could take whiskey if only he mixed it with milk!


Big Book of AA,  p47