Alcoholics Anonymous, AA, is a group therapy program which has been a dominating force in the area of alcoholic recovery programs since 1935, with one point seven million members world wide. Their twelve-step program to achieve sobriety has given many people the support system they need to overcome their addiction through weekly meetings with other recovering alcoholics. This idea works with the social psychological principal of Group polarization helping people strengthen their resolve to become a sober member of society. With many people of a group talking towards the same goal there is a greater chance that each single group member will become more passionate about it as well.
Though AA is the largest organization world wide to treat alcoholism, no one therapy option is completely perfect. In fact sixty eight percent of people drop out of AA within the first three months. One of the more controversial pieces of the AA's program is the complete banning of alcohol from a person's life. A lesser known but equally effective treatment option is known as the Cognitive Behavioral Coping-Skills Therapy, CBST. This treatment does not ban alcohol from a person's life but changes their drinking behavior. Their core belief is that any type of psychopathology, like alcohol abuse, is a maladaptive learning process, a pattern of thinking that cause emotional problems, and designs techniques through which these behaviors can be unlearned. This therapy is flexible in the way that it is structured so that it focuses more on the individual's life, teaching them to cope with stress and tolerate negativity. Perhaps the more individualized format of the CBST program will help to reduce the percentage of people dropping out of out patient treatment and help them achieve their goal of sobriety.