'Controlled Drinking' Flies in Face of AA

Strict abstinence not necessary for recovery, doc writes in new book
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 9:45 PM CST
Dr. Michael Levy says AA is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Alcoholics Anonymous has a great track record, but one doctor writes that AA's strategy isn't the only game in town when treating alcoholism. In "Take Control of Your Drinking … And You May Not Need to Quit," Michael Levy argues that a controlled level of drinking can be effective, in contrast to AA's emphasis on strict abstinence, LiveScience reports.

Levy writes that AA can be very helpful, but also points out that some treatment-seekers have trouble with the spiritual aspect of the program. The second of the 12 steps involves accepting the existence of a higher Power, and six of the steps mention God, LiveScience reports. Levy says this might discourage some alcoholics from looking for help.