There has been some heated debate recently over the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous, particularly in reference to the anonymous part of it. While some people firmly believe that someone recovering from alcoholism or addiction should be able to maintain their privacy, others believe that a more open approach is healthier.
Alcoholics Anonymous and other addiction support groups have helped millions of people achieve sobriety over the years. As the name states, one of the founding principals of the group is that all members’ identities be kept private. Many individuals have taken comfort in the fact that anonymity will help protect their reputation while they get help for an addiction.
However, in today’s world, very little information is kept private, especially among celebrities, athletes, and others in the media. The growing trend of today is to get the details of recovery out into the open. Many well-known individuals have made their struggle with substance abuse public; some even sharing their journey in books, talk shows, or movies for the world to be enlightened. Today, it is so common to hear of a celebrity or athlete getting help for a drug or alcohol addiction that it really doesn’t even come as a surprise anymore.
Not Ashamed of Sobriety
The question remains as to what is the healthiest way to go about achieving sobriety. Should those in recovery put it all out for everyone to know, or is the old way of anonymity still the best? It really depends on the individual. On the one hand, many people are afraid that if news of their addiction is leaked, it could jeopardize their career or their relationships. On the other hand, many people feel that once they come clean with family, friends, and co-workers, the goal of sobriety is much more real, and this can serve as motivation to recover. Working toward sobriety is sometimes easier when loved ones are watching and hoping and praying it works.
Alcoholics Anonymous has played a huge role in the recovery of many individuals. Because there are still many people in recovery who have solid reasons for keeping their addiction private, it is important for all members of AA to continue to respect everyone’s privacy.
Those who think they will benefit from sharing their struggles with alcoholism or addiction should do so with the help of their addiction treatment professional.