• Debating the Usefulness of 12-Step Programs

    Last month, I was asked to argue for the affirmative in a debate titled “12 Step Programs are Obsolete” that was hosted by the Dionysium in Austin, Texas. Although some of you may already be familiar with the research showing why 12-step programs are not very effective, the type of “arguments” used to support the use of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous in this debate are very much the norm when debating true believers.

    Category: FeaturedHealthMental HealthPseudoscienceSecularism


    Article by: Caleb Lack

    Caleb Lack is the author of "Great Plains Skeptic" on SIN, as well as a clinical psychologist, professor, and researcher. His website contains many more exciting details, visit it at www.caleblack.com
    • An Ardent Skeptic

      You did an excellent job of debunking the claim of great efficacy of 12 step programs (based on “ancient knowledge”) made by your opponent. Great job, Caleb!!

    • ncovington89

      While we’re on the subject: someone I know has recently gotten out of rehab (he was mostly using marijuana and some cocaine). Are there any evidence based books / advice / research on staying clean that I could recommend to him?

      • Depending on where he lives, I’d recommend trying to find a SMART Recovery (https://www.smartrecovery.org) or SOS group (http://sossobriety.org). Both are great resources for helping with that kind of a transition. They typically work best when paired with seeing an individual, evidence-based therapist (I’d recommend someone who does cognitive-behavioral therapy or motivational interviewing – or both).

        • ncovington89