AA in our culture

I want to revert back to our conversation on freedom and the role that AA has: is AA a form of freedom from the addiction or simply another form of addiction? And even more so, when did AA and other support groups become a solution? These support groups are supposed to be a haven for those with addiction, a way to break away from the constant abuse of something that makes one ill. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, or whatever it may be, support groups, like AA, are portrayed in a way that makes them seem as the ultimate hope of curing these addictions.

But I feel like culturally, support systems such as AA have been stylized and propagated as more than they are meant to be. If it is stripped down, it is basically a group of people talking about their addictions and trying to overcome them by giving each other support, so how has AA become THE SOLUTION to the addiction?  We see rehabs all over the media now. Like it has been mentioned in class Fight Club deals with support groups and how they can actually be abused. So if something that is supposed to be the cure to the abuse is abused, then maybe there is no cure for abuse. Other books like A Million Little Pieces also talk about rehab, this memoir was even endorsed by Oprah [and later found out it was a lie of a book]. Support groups have become such a popular icon in our culture that we not only like to read about them, we like to watch them work.

What’s more entertaining to watch then broken down celebrities try to combat their addictions? A popular television show, Celebrity Rehab, details celebrities trying to combat their addictions and detailing their journeys. I myself just finished watching an interview with the host of this show who talks about the premise of the show and how it was meant as a way to inform the general public on rehabs. And his optimism makes the rehab sound like the best place to be, with so many stories of success who wouldn’t want to get rid of their addiction through a support group?

I find that being able to watch a show like this shows how accepting we have become of support groups and accept that they work and are worth to even watch on television. Does anybody else see anything wrong with this? Have we become so numb to the fact that these are supposed to be group of support and not entertainment for the people. Because we can read so many books and watch so many television shows on or about AA but do we actually care to see the after effects of AA? We hardly see what happens to the individual after he/she quits AA, and if they don’t stop going then have they beat their addiction? Or simply replaced it with something new?

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