How God 'Cures' Alcoholics

Jon Stewart

Thursday, January 8 2015 at 7:45PM

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18-20 Florence Rd

Jon Stewart

What's the talk about?

Alcoholics Anonymous has become a widely accepted and media approved treatment for problem drinkers. Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged its efficacy rate, estimated to be around 5%, appears comparable to that of natural spontaneous remission. Can a non-existent "higher power" really offer meaningful solutions to the debilitating and frequently fatal condition of alcoholism?  If so, then what happens to all the alcoholic atheists and skeptics?  How did AA’s famous 12 steps become the go-to treatment modality for one of the great social health scourges of our age?  It’s the twenty first century, is this really the best we can do?

Jon Stewart was co-founder, guitarist and co-songwriter for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper, with whom he enjoyed three UK Top 10 albums and eight UK Top 40 singles from 1993-1998. Jon currently lectures in popular culture and popular music at BIMM Institute, and is a PhD researcher at University of Southampton.  Author of a long-running column in Guitarist magazine, he has also published a wide range of research in peer reviewed journals and edited collections of academic essays.
Jon was an active and enthusiastic member of Alcoholics Anonymous for fourteen years, but now campaigns for more up-to-date evidence-based secular treatment options.