A.A. and Surveys of Its Success Rates
By Dick B.
© 2010 Anonymous. All rights reserved
In order to get correct statistics on the success rates of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), a searcher needs first to decide on the period and the program for which information is sought. Thus, if we are talking about the original A.A. “Christian fellowship” program founded in Akron in 1935, there are many recorded statistics relating to the 75% success rate early A.A. claimed among “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable,” “last-gasp-case,” “real” alcoholics who thoroughly followed the original Akron Alcoholics Anonymous program, and the documented 93% success rate for early A.A. in Cleveland. [Please see Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed. (2010) for details: www.DickB.com.]
As to later years, the statistics available to date have been mostly speculative, but indicate a low success rate. Why do I say most modern surveys of A.A. success rates have been “speculative?” My reasons include: (1) that the surveys were not done on a sound statistical basis; (2) the Alcoholics Anonymous population is constantly changing; and (3) many modern surveys of A.A. rates are skewed by those who can’t or won’t define the differences between the original Akron A.A. program founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob beginning in the summer of 1935, the significantly-changed Alcoholics Anonymous program presented in the First Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (“the Big Book”) in April 1939, and the much-more-changed situation existing in A.A. at the time the Second Edition of the Big Book was published in 1955, several years after both Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Dr. Bob and his wife Anne had died.