“Despite the general effectiveness of the AA program, we often need the help of friendly agencies outside of AA. Nowhere is this more strikingly true than in the field of hospitalization. Most of us feel that ready access to hospitals and other places of rest and recuperation borders on absolute necessity. While many an alcoholic has somehow gotten over his bender without medical aid, and while a few of us old the view that the hard “cold turkey “ method is the best, the vast majority of AAs believe the newcomer whose case is at all serious has a much better chance of making the grade if well hospitalized at the outset. Indeed, we see many cases where recoveries without medical help would seem virtually impossible, mentally so beclouded have they become, even when temporarily sober. The primary purpose of hospitalization is not to save our prospect the pain of getting sober; its real purpose is to place him in the state of greatest possible receptivity to our AA program. Medical treatment clears his brain, takes away his jitters, and if it is done at a hospital he is kept there under control so that everybody knows just where and when he can be visited. Moreover the atmosphere of most hospitals is extremely conducive to a good first presentation of AA.” –pg.51 from The Language of the Heart
Back when this was written in 1947 they didn’t really have 30 day rehab programs, sober livings, or drug addiction detoxes available like they do now. If you were in need of that kind of alcohol addiction help then you usually wound up in the hospital being detoxed. It was a time when bringing booze to a 12 step call was not unheard of, and the options were limited. Perhaps it was due to lack of information about this disease. Looking back through articles such as this one written in the language of the heart it is easy to see not only how much we have grown, how far we have come, or how much more information is available to us these days but mainly its clear as day that we are truly blessed and have so many more options available to us. Today we don’t have just AA, church, or hospitalization to choose from. There are many other programs out there and we all have a fighting chance to stay sober and live a happy and healthy life.