Here is an example of AA in action and working brilliantly. Bill W would be proud!
I’ve lived in my area a long time. 30 years ago there was a group of people locally that abused drugs and alcohol. They hung out as a group, and used drugs and alcohol as a group.
In 2013 that same group hasn’t changed much. However, they’ve changed locations. Instead of the bar or people’s basements, they get together once a day to attend the NA meeting. It’s a massive meeting in a large meeting hall. The group has the same cohesiveness and petty bickering as they had 30 years ago. I know a few members of this NA cluster and they tell me what goes on.
First and foremost, several members of the group still drink and still do drugs. They like the social aspect of the group so they like to attend meetings to see their friends. The group is also used as a pick-up location. New members are always being sought for sexual relationships. Women reeling from addiction recovery and broken romantic relationship are actively recruited by seasoned members as easy targets for quick sexual flings.
Contractors looking for cheap labor also attend the meetings, looking for new members that might be homeless, recently released from prison so they can hire them at under-the-table sub-minimum wage rates.
Everybody in the group is well aware this is happening. Mind you, if AA and NA work for somebody I think that is great. I am sure that many NA and AA meetings are well-run and above board. But not all meetings are quality meetings. I have no idea whether anybody from AA audits what is happening. I certainly wouldn’t recommend any friend or acquaintance join up. I’ve seen and heard too much.