Dry Drunk

This term is one of my favorites. “Dry drunk” was originally used to describe the acute withdrawal symptoms some alcoholics acquire upon quitting the sauce. It was taken and bastardized by AA to pejoratively describe a person who may have quit drinking, but is not really in recovery because they are not using the steps, and is therefore not “really in recovery”.

Let’s go over a typical circle jerk that a newcomer to AA goes through, and how use of the term “dry drunk” is used to manipulate them:

Remember, the new recruit is “the most important person in the room”, and on day one they are showered with all kinds of attention. Also on day one, they are likely to question some of the crazy rituals and dogma that they hear, so the standard line to them is “take what you want, and leave the rest”. If they don’t like the idea of higher powers or moral inventories or any aspect of the steps, they are told that they don’t have to involve themselves. Ask any anyone currently brainwashed and still within the cult, and you will be told something to the effect that they “encourage the steps”, or “these are just suggestions”.

How do they suggest these things? Let’s take a look now. The following is from an actual, real life dialog in this AA online forum. A question is asked of the “expert moderator” – “What is a Dry Drunk?” Here is his response:

“I’d say dry drunks are alcoholics who — although they remain ‘dry’ (don’t drink) — are still prey to many or most (or all) of the reactions and behaviors they characterized their lives when they did drink: being fearful, suspicious, manipulative and/or dishonest toward themselves and others. They not only usually have a hard time staying “dry” but enjoying life.
Dry drunks begin to recover when they’re able to embrace the AA acronym H-O-W — honesty, openness, willingness. The Twelve Steps exist to help the alcoholic “recover” these capacities and attitudes — very much “one step at a time.” While stopping drinking is the necessary first step in recovery, it really only opens the door to the full experience of it.”

This is the old bait and switch. He tells the person who was almost certainly told “take what you want, and leave the rest” that if you simply quit drinking and go to meetings, you are not really in recovery. Although quitting drinking is a first step, it “really only opens the door” to the full experience of recovery. They must work the steps. This is actually fairly benign. Here is another response:

“A dry drunk is someone who puts the booze down, and doesn’t change the person on the inside, the person who drank.
Many people believe that AA is about “not drinking” and that is only the first step. The rest of the steps are about learning to live life on life’s terms and taking an honest look at the real problem….. me .

When I first came into AA, I believed that not drinking was enough. I was so happy to be able to not drink for the first time in years, that I was floating on a cloud for the first 3 months of sobriety. And then REALITY set in. See the person that I brought through those doors of AA was selfish, self-seeking, self-centered, full of self-pity, resentments and angry to the max. I blamed people, places and things for many many years for where I was at, and what I chose to do or not do….

I would simply ask you Karen…… what do you have to lose by taking the suggestions, getting a sponsor and beginning the 12 Steps? Its been my experience that being a dry drunk is progressive,…….. and thank God so is recovery.

AA is not about just not drinking, its about learning to live life, really live life one day at a time.”

This poor woman is the full deal, and sounds as though she came directly out of a cult training video – “the person that I brought through those doors of AA was selfish, self-seeking, self-centered, full of self-pity, resentments and angry to the max.” Now she is all better, thanks to AA. She doesn’t say “before AA I was addicted to alcohol, and now I’m not”. She says “before AA, I was a flawed person, and now I’m not”. Then she goes on to tighten the screws on the woman who asked this question – “what do you have to lose by taking the suggestions, getting a sponsor and beginning the 12 Steps? Its been my experience that being a dry drunk is progressive…and thank God so is recovery…AA is not about just not drinking, it s about learning to live life, really live life one day at a time.”

Here is another example from another actual AA forum. This person actually found a description of what a dry drunk actually is, and quoted a description for the other AA members to comment on, but they had never heard before what a dry drunk really is, and it gets totally lost on them. She quotes the real description here:

“A very serious Post Acute Withdrawal problem – though perhaps not as common as the others – is difficulty with physical coordination. Common symptoms are dizziness, trouble with balance, problems with coordination between hand and eye, and slow reflexes. These result in clumsiness and accident proneness. This is how the term “dry drunk” came into being. When alcoholics appeared drunk because of stumbling and clumsiness, but had not been drinking, they were said to be “dry drunk.” They had the appearance of being intoxicated without drinking.”

And goes on to say….

“From what I’ve read on DS (I never heard the term dry drunk before) ‘dry drunk’ means more than this.

But aren’t we being too hard on those who achieve sobriety without changing ALL their thought processes/attitudes etc.?

And has there been any ‘control’ tests regarding the 12 steps? I mean if you just did the whole reparation element of it, would it work? Are we sure it is the whole package that works or just certain bits of it?”

She asks if it is the whole package that works or just “certain bits”, ie, “take what you want and leave the rest”. Here are the responses:

“a dry drunk for the purposes of AA is someone who is sober but is iritable restless and discontented. Sober but no steps no solution a miserable person who still plays god in all his or her affairs. I have no idea what you are refering too dotty.”

So, according this AAer, a person who does not work the steps has all of these horrible character flaws. To hell with the fact that they quit drinking. That is not the objective. The objective is to change the person to the beliefs of the group.

Here is the next response:

“I always thought that a dry drunk was some one that quit drinking but failed to address the spiritual aspect of acheiving sobriety. I know a few dry drunks….the drinking stopped but all the character and spiritual defects remained. AKA white knuckling it…They can run all the “contoll tests” they want. Until a person admits to themselves and another human being and finds a higher power of their understanding and to give their defects to Him….Its a huge load to carry. AA works for me. I sit in a room full of people that I probably wouldnt of partied with when I was “out there” and share things about myself that I wouldnt even tell my dog….and they do the same.. We have at least one thing in common…An honest desire to not drink. I dont know my purpose in life and I thank God for that because I would probably screw it up if I knew….People share in aa meetings and God talks thru them.”

This AAer has essentially the same description, and then adds “people share in AA meetings, and God talks through them”. This is common, and now you have a newbie who was at first told “take what you want and leave the rest” and “it’s spiritual, not religious”, replaced with “if you don’t work all the steps you are morally depraved” and “God talks to us”.

The next response is the same:

“dry drunk is a drunk who just doesn’t drink but possesses all the appalling characteristics of the drunk who DOES drink. what do you get when you sober up a horse thief? a sober horse thief. being sober and being in recovery are two completely different entities. in recovery, i no longer con, steal, lie, cheat, manipulate etc. i have truly become a contributing member of the world at large.”

Now the woman who posed the original question is saying that she is happy when she is sober. Simply quitting drinking makes her happy. Below she asks, “so what ‘appalling characteristics’ persist when the drunk is sober?” she asked. She is being manipulated by the group into believing that she is broken and needs to be fixed:

So what ‘appalling characteristics’ persist when the drunk is sober?

For me there is the pain of stuff that happened to me in childhood. The pain of how I have messed things up. The pain of selfishness inflicted on others. But most if not all of these problems seem to disappear when I am sober!

Is this ‘you are completely ****ed’ attitude necessary? I mean that as a genuine question not antagonistically.

Since going to AA it has stirred up so much negative emotions that although I have had the longest sober periods, my drinking has also become more secretive and I appear to be MORE ‘in denial’. I’m not blaming anyone else, and maybe this is the first hill to climb, but it makes you think … especially when I think of all the binge drinking that AA can, possibly, induce. IMHO.”

The next person tightened the screws just a little bit more:

“I was very ill after I stopped drinking as my attitude and outlook to life were all wrong – I was still selfish, self centered, fearful and resentful and unable to live happily or productively.

A couple of months after I stopped drinking, without working any recovery program, I was being admitted to a mental hospital. I hadnt had a drink but I was very unwell and unable to cope with life.

This only changed for me when I worked the 12 Step program.

Now this new recruit finally begins to buckle, and acquiesce to the cult tactics:

“Maybe I am just on that knife edge – I realize my problems and the main one is drink, but I using to ‘dull out’ other problems for so long I’m scared of dealing with those. Maybe.”

So, what do we learn? Well, you can take what you want and and leave the rest, but if you don’t do everything, you are morally bankrupt. They are suggestions, but if you don’t do them you are lower than whale shit, and you are not really sober.

This is online, but it is real, and it is typical. I’ve seen it done a thousand times, and much more effectively live and in person.

  • Jimbo

    Good reading, Thanks

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  • Jcal

    The best definition ive ever read on dry drunk was: Dry drunk- an imaginary condition. self inflicted by not working the 12 steps of AA

  • Ez

    I love how they manage to co-mingle the BS 'dry drunk' with true AA Sobriety. Without the magic of the completed steps you are not really sober, just a 'dry drunk'.

    For giggles get in a serious conversation with a true believer and explore this concept. Allow a light bulb going off expresion to erupt across your face and say, "ahhhhhhh, I think I understand now". Then ask if their personal "Date of Sobriety" is calculated from when they quit drinking or when they were magicly transformed after completing the steps.

    If they don't get it, suggest they change their DOS to better reflect their "true" date of sobriety.

  • Johnny Boy

    I went to AA to stop drinking. I didn't care if I was a "dry drunk". But that wasn't good enough. You're explanation is excellent.

  • Rein Krevald

    My primary objective is not to drink, period.  The AA nazis insist that 12 steps are the path by which all will become honest, spiritual, humble, altruistic…….blah, blah, blah.  Well, I've been involved with AA for quite some time and my observation is that it is collection of delusional, ego maniacal, con men!  They are the ones suffering from their self described dry drunk symptoms……….not the healthy individual who manages to deal with their addiction outside of the looney bin (AA that is).

  • Figaro the Barber

    So, in other words, the two-part question "Are you really working the Steps right? And are you on a dry drunk" is what, in philosophy and/or law classes, what would be referred to as a "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question.

    Prosecutor: "Have you stopped beating your wife? Answer yes or no."

    Defendant: "But I've NEVER beaten my wife, what the hell are you get-"

    Prosecutor: "ANSWER YES OR NO. The prosecution asks that the defendant's response be stricken from the record. Now, have you stopped beating your wife?"

    Defendant: "I can't stop doing something I never have done to begin with. And stop yelling at me, please."

    Prosecutor: "Let it be noted that the defendant claims he 'can't stop'. Mr. Smith, you wouldn't be sitting here if you weren't guilty. Get honest. You're a liar, a cheat and a thief, isn't that right?"

    Defendant: "Goddamit, you just met me ten minutes ago, you don't know me and I don't know you. Get your nose out of my butt!"

    Prosecutor: (turning to jury) "A dry drunk, ladies and gentlemen. Notice how he becomes angry, when I ask him if it isn't true that he's always been a liar, a cheat, and a thief. The very fact that he's speaking to me proves his guilt."

    (Now, Bill Wilson, HE was a liar, a cheat and a thief. Also a five-alarm narcissist. And like criminal scumbags the world over, Bill W. found it inconceivable that anyone could be motivated by anything other than the vain, foul, dishonest motives that filled the sails of his zombie pirate ship of doom. What an AAsshole!)

  • nomoresteps

    Classical, the one guy above claims that when he sobered up, all his problems went away! Yet he started out trying to defend the 12 steps. What AA needs is a lesson on logic.

    I have the AA's own triennial membership surveys, internal report ("Comments on A.A.'s Triennial Surveys") if anybody's interested. The results are from 68-89 and are statistically significant. AA refuses to release the RAW data because it shed's serious light on AA's real effectiveness.

  • "Its been my experience that being a dry drunk is progressive…and thank God so is recovery…"

    I remember being about 22-years-old. I was not sleeping, as I was about to finish college with zero plan. I do not have helpful/supportive parents. I lived with a man I met in AA who was treating mental illness (things like weird, decided paranoia, etc.). He was about 44. I am still whacked-out from this experience. I digress. ("Digression!" Remember–From Catcher in the Rye?) ANYWAY, I was not sleeping due to fear of becoming an adult, getting a real job, etc. I was fucking terrified. Also, I was abandoned as a kid. This abandonment caused PTSD–peeps with PTSD wake up in a freakfest quite often. I remember talking to a woman about sleeping meds. She of course was like, "NO! THAT IS USING." This was a PhD candidate, btw. I thought she must know–she was writing her dissertation on letter writing. I thought she must know things.

    The truth is that she was a cult member, thus, she knew NOTHING. She told me that the med.s were a form of using and that my disease was progressing, even though my recovery was progressing, too. The fact that my recovery was progressing did not even seem to be a good thing. IT did not really stop my disease from progressing. It seemed to keep the disease–who was out doing push ups in the parking lot–in the parking lot. Though, I always felt like once we left the meeting, well, we would have to WALK BY the aerobic disease, right?

    She told me that if I were to take a drink (um, or a sleeping pill) that this would be like if I had been drinking the whole time. She, like our example from above, had seen this, "in her experience." And she mentioned, this idea is alluded to in the BB. WHERE? And yes, I see a sentence that may have to do with this idea, but what FACT in SCIENCE backs it up? The progression idea is a myth. My disease is not "out there" conspiring against me. I think a drinking problem can progress if you're drinking wildly and on a consistent basis. Then, and only then.

    Fucking fuck, to think I believed this shit, my disease keeps progressing, though I am not drinking. But we all did, for the most part. Otherwise we would not be visiting Stinkin Thinkin. I told an ex AA friend who is also an ex AA that I was going to this site a lot. She wondered what my anger at AA was getting me and mentioned tat she would be suspicious of anybody/thing that spent a lot of time taking apart a philosophy. But that is the thing, AA is not a philosophy. On paper, maybe. But in truth, I am convinced that it is a cult, or, at least it is cult like. And the anger, though it is no longer wild, keeps my from going back to AA.

    Only Digress,


  • tintop

    Well, some people are angry with AA and some people are not. There is no 'wonder" about it. Anger is not "wrong". It is a fact of life. What matters is what is done with it.

  • Right now, I am using it to avoid writing boring lesson plans about a topic I am not too excited about.. This aside, there was a post awhile back that discussed "getting organized." I even typed up a flyer that I wanted to tack to a meeting's door. And I thought maybe I would "secretly" post them in various places when I went grocery shopping, into the city (Boston) and the like. But then I decided this was sorta impulsive. I mean, I am a single mom trying to get into teaching. Duh. But really, I am refining my views/thoughts/feeling by coming onto this blog… and I am sort of "processing" too. But how is this helping me or anyone else. Maybe it could help the person who lands on this site. I just wish there were a way to be more outspoken without looking nutty or without compromising myself in anyway. I am not going to fix AA. And I am not going to make rehabs and courts realize how toxic AA is. But I do feel like there is the new chick who walks in. I will not be there. In a way, me not being there prolly says something. I know the lack of smart, accomplished women in the rooms definitely said something to me. SOmetimes, I feel like I should go so the new woman can hear why I am not there. When you're fucked up and vulnerable, it is a teensy bit hard to infer…

  • “it” means “my anger..” just to clarify. 🙂

  • Mike

    @Dan: "Actually AA does work; the thought of drinking again and having to go back to AA, scares the hell out of me."

    Hear-hear. I love the part about nobody giving you credit for all the great things you did over the past years, the drink notwithstanding. I have never, and I mean, never seen anyone get credit for anything else in their life unless they cling to the abstinence credo. it's so damn pathetic.

  • howlermonkey

    When I was inside, I used to ask people about the sobriety chips: I thought, sure, when you start earning them they're great. Carry 'em around. Rub 'em when you want a drink. Magic in yer pocket. But what about when/if I slip and have to start over? Are those same chips going to turn into lead weights dragging me down into depression, a sense of failure and worthlessness?

    The answer is, of course "Yes" but nobody told me that at the time. Nobody ever answers questions like that. But I'm certain that part of their purpose is to attach your sense of self-worth to the meeting and program. So that when you slip you've "lost" your soul-money and have to earn it back all over again.

    Oddly, one of the first anti-AA decisions I made, the decision not to ask for or accept any more sobriety chips after 6 months (I confess, I really like the blue color of that one), turned out be to be a decisive moment for me. Within two weeks I was out completely.

    • mrcanada976

      This was something that smacked me in the face like a frying pan weilded by an angry wife when i saw that AAs statistics showed a negative success rate.

      I thought, god yes. It felt nice to get that chip but fk, what if i was at day 364, slippped, and went back to 24 hours. I doubt anyone would want a second 24 hour chip to go with their 3, 6, 9, month chips which were now worthless

      No wonder the hospitalization upon relapse rate is so much higher for AA vs non AA. It would feel horrific to have all your sobriety “wasted” by a single drink. May as well go on a bender to end all benders.

  • FriendOfDaishonin

    My personal favorite is when an "old timer" demands that a person(such as myself) not quit smoking within the first year of sobriety(and the funny thing about it is they have been sober for maybe 5 years and they are still smoking) telling me that because I don't want to go to the smoking meeting I just want to get drunk(did I just say anything about wanting to go get some Vodka, no I said I don't want a headache from the cigarette smoke. What a dumbass). I have about a year three months and 2 weeks sober and about a year and three months nicotine free(totally quit smoking at 2 weeks sober no nicotine replacement) and have been AA free for about a week now. When I was going and I mentioned how long I had been smoke free this seemed to piss one of the smokers off because he would say things like "some of us would like to quit smoking" and that person had been sober for about seven years. The only conclusion I could come to was that they discourage newcomers from quitting smoking early on because if a person at 2 weeks sober manages to quit smoking how would that make all of them look who have any amount of time over a year? It would make them look bad. Selfless people my ass…they are true fair weather friends who don't actually understand the meaning of selflessness. I am only beginning to understand but at least I don't have to deal with there bullshit anymore.

    • MA

      If you want get some interesting responses, ask them why their higher power helps them quit drinking, but for the smoking thing, they are on their own. For some reason, God has a fixation with alcoholism, but could give a shit about smoking.

  • humanspirit


    Like MA, I've always found it very suspicious that 12-steppers, who define practically everything as evidence of the 'disease of addiction' , including normal human feelings, do not include nicotine addiction in their very long list. I mean, this is the mother of all addictions, a huge great fuck-off addiction that an awful lot of people spend a great deal of time (and money) trying to tackle. Surely if the AA god can help people get over their addiction to shopping, or sex, or eating too much, s/he might give just a little help to those trying to quit smoking . . . ? Like if people said they were powerless over cigarettes or something . . . ? Wouldn't that work . . . ?

  • Thanks for the SR link!

    (I predict 15 seconds before it's deleted… Shall we start a pool?)

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  • Andrew Miller

    What a fucking cult. I went to rehab and that was good. I have stopped drinking and am now enjoying life and back studying and have a family. Went to AA a fair few times but it just reeked of a cult. Replacing one addiction for another. One guy I talked to there was saying that his brother got married last week locally and I asked him how it all went. He replied that he went to am AA meeting instead because his sobriety is more important. I asked him if his brother beat the shit out of him because you deserve it. I got told to not come back. Is that the attitude they are on about that I must rid myself of? If thats the case, I should have gone to AA before I started drinking when I was 12 yo cause I had that attitude back then. So therefore I was a dry drunk before I started drinking.

  • limestoneblocks

    I’m bipolar so either I’m up or down. I was down last night and of course.. the AAers were attributing that to me not believing in higher power or the steps. They were saying “well of course your miserable, you are fighting AA”. How about… I’m miserable because I have a chemical inbalance… or just maybe I’m miserable because the only help I can get for free is a religious cult.

  • hulahoop

    Andrew Miller says, “One guy I talked to there was saying that his brother got married last week locally and I asked him how it all went. He replied that he went to am AA meeting instead because his sobriety is more important.

    Wow Andrew! Yet one more story I’ve heard repeated in the roomz ™. I’ve heard different versions of it…but they all turn out pretty much the same. They either went to a meeting just before the wedding because they are powerless over alcohol and there was going to alcohol at the reception…they took a total stranger (who they met at a meeting when they got to town and knew nothing about) with them to the reception to baby sit them because there was going to be alcohol at there and they are powerless over it because we all know how cunning, baffling, powerful, and whatever else it is…they boycotted the wedding and reception of loved one because of the alcohol, and went to a meeting instead. Their sobriety is much more important than a loved one or close relative who it meant a lot to for them to be there…they skipped the reception and went to a meeting instead. The common thread is they went to meeting or had AA member supervision.

    Yeah, heard the story before with all of the twists included. I call bullshit on the story. Not on your response or the fact you were asked “Not to come back.” I totally believe you. But on the stepper’s story. I always believed those stories the first couple of times I heard them. Coincidence is a strange thing though. So are drunkalogues. People hear things, see the admiration the person who is telling the tale gets, and adapt in to their own drunkalogue to receive the same admiration and adulation. Acceptance is a peculiar thing too. Never believe anything you hear in the roomz ™. It’s all been said and done before. I’ve heard imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I believe it after attending AA.

    Just so you know, I boycotted my sister’s wedding because the guy she married is an asshole. He is also a former AA member but that had nothing to do with my decison. I could have changed my story…but that is the plain and simple truth. No point in putting a spin on it. My sister still loves me and respects the decision I made. That is really all that matters.

  • oiyoi

    It’s the exact same attitude in Adult Children of Alcoholics and Alanon. I always felt like such a failure because I could not “work the steps.” The really programs helped initially but I hit a wall after a couple of years. I thought my problems hinged on my inability to work the program and I was tormented by this feeling of failing.

  • oiyoi, There are a few good posts about al-anon here: http://stinkin-thinkin.com/category/al-anon/

    “humanspirit talks about al-anon” and “Z’s story” might resonate with you.

  • Jonny Quest

    I thought we were going for a “Spiritual Awakening” in AA and a “Spiritual Awakening” was a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism.(that’s in the book)
    Assuming you plug the jug and never drink again good for you. If that was the gist of AA then AA would be a “One Step Program”. It’s not. It’s 12 steps towards a personal relationship with God. Sobriety is a simple by product.
    If you simply plugged the jug yet continue to walk around with character defects and the spiritual malady then a dry drunk you are. I personally have no bones about taking someones inventory. This is a valuable tool when working with a newcomer. If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it then you are ready to take certain steps. Or!! Do you want what that dry drunk has?

    The book calls it out right here starting on Pg151


    Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time.” As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally.(remark) We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.

    In the book the word “Will” is most always followed by a promise. This quote differentiated between Sober and dry. The word “Dry” is used for one that hasn’t had a “Spiritual Awakening” yet.

    – Posted by “Pinkcuda” on Sober Recovery, June 11, 2011

    Dry Drunk – Your Take On The Term

    • Edward R Morrow


  • Jonny Quest

    Note that above was not posted in the 12-Step forum. The invasion continues…

    Boy, I really messed up those HTML bold/italic tags. 🙂

  • Wanting Accountablity

    I bet some here who are still fairly new out of AA still believe this. Or believe that until you are “sober” for over a year you aren’t capable of feeling. All complete bs. Sorry to tell you.

  • PersephoneInExile

    WOW. I see this is not a new post, but my realization re: bully tactics used against me by some of the indoctrinated using this terminology and how truly horrid that is, well that is relatively new. I am SO glad I discovered this site, the title of which is a term I also felt like just punching a woman in a rehab for using on me (OK, I never feel like punching ANYONE, but somehow being told I’m some defective , lying and somehow still “doing” pills I’ve not been given by doctors for ages while using terms such as “dry drunk”, “stinkin’ thinkin'” and “terminal uniqueness” brings this out in me, apparently!).

    OK, long story short, I’d not have even returned to thoughts of “recovery culture”, a bizarre subculture I thankfully escaped, had it not been for harassing cyberstalkers–mainly people I’ve known IRL who live in different parts of the country now and have no other outlet for their rage. I truly don’t even believe it is personal, most of my current attackers are old college friends who are now partially al-anon-ed and still raging against ex-spouses who drank and/or drugged to excess killing their marriages. I’m merely a stand-in, someone who was given WAY to many opiate painkillers for a sever injury right after a personally devastating family death (and no, this doesn’t excuse me personally, but dammit, it also doesn’t mean I should be labeled an “addict” for the rest of my life–especially not by releases I do NOT sign to and from my insurance co. & rehab driving me out of getting medical care that I can more than pay for/have coverage of).

    OK, so I am now a stand-in for people still angry at their exes, as well as the object of ridicule and derision for current steppers who find it baffling that I no longer struggle as they do nor spend my time thinking about either using or not using, and certainly not (as one commenter said above) some “disease doing push-ups in the parking lot”. I AM recovered, I call what I went through “phase addiction” (as I scarcely realized anyone else out here even was discussing “just getting over it” and the relation of that notion to 12 step experiences, mea culpa).

    Thank you again, and one last observation for now: has anyone else ever been told in recovery circles about being a “dry drunk” or the dreaded “terminal uniqueness syndrome” and then been told to “look up those terms” (which you do on your smart phone because internet access is blocked in your facility) only to find they are known ONLY in 12 step circles? Somewhat rhetorical question, but I just HAD to write that bit! Thanks!

  • Francis Cuny

    Interestingly enough in the late sixteenth centry, English smokers, to the dismay of non-partakers, tended to smoke themselves into a stupefaction resemebling drukeness; thus the practice of smoking tobacco was refered to as “Dry Drunk” and “Dry Drinking.”
    Considering that both Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob both died of Tobacco related diseases and so many others in recovery die at alarming rates from tobacco use, and a means to continue in active addiction in recovery perhaps the term “Dry Drunk” should again be used for the Tabocco User in recovery. Because they they still cling to thier addiction, and truely havent found freedom from addiction….

  • gaytheist

    Wow, I just had a meeting my therapist of about 8 years and was describing a recent visit with my sister and he said she had a “dry drunk” personality. I don’t know if she’s ever even been drunk, and she has barely ever drank at all (like 10 beers or equivalent in a year would be a record). For 47 years. This terminology makes absolutely no sense to me. Is she also a heroin/cigarette/speed addict in recovery? (She’s never done any of those at all).

  • patrickk

    Wow …as helps so many people who have never found anything else to work. u had20 years of not drinking only to have mmy life fall apart b/c of stinkin thinkin. I went back with no coercion and with an open mind. as gave me the tools to turn my life completely around. any open minded person should consider it as a potential resource. it’s the farthest thong from a cult I can imagine. clearly not everyone will benefit from it….but it has saved more lives than it may have harmed (if any)…it’s just a model

    • patrickk

      Sorry …sent from a cell phone….as should be aa

    • Edward R Morrow

      The stats may not support that contention.

  • KL

    This is awesome! I left the AA “program” over seven months ago, and I have never been happier. After I left, I experienced a lot of criticism from my old AA friends, some of who said I would be in the bar in a couple if weeks. Even worse, my so called friends asked me, how miserable I was? Thankfully, self-determination and self-empowerment have allowed me to live a life I can be proud of, where I am the one in control.
    I want to pose a question, how is AA considered a treatment if it is not based in science?

  • Edward R Morrow

    Interesting. My experience of maybe six AA meetings was that you had to be about 12 years old to fit in and also to be a GOD sized narcissist to work “The Program”. The entertainment value of the pricelessly dramatic and heartfelt confessions was nearly worth the bizarre exposure.

    That was 45 years ago and I have not been back since and have never had another drink. AA may have helped some and those people should continue with what works.

    My friend once said that “If he ever had to go to another AA meeting, it would drive him to drink.” And of course the old adage still holds: “I used to be addicted to alcohol, but now I am addicted to AA.”

    As one sage mentioned here: “AA may work to stop drinking by instilling the fear that if one were to start drinking again, one would be forced to return to AA.”