Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, June 16

If 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs Aren’t as Good as Other Addiction Recovery Methods, Why Is ‘LDS [Mormon] Social Services’ Relying on It instead of Better Methods (Like Energy Work and More)?

If 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs Aren’t as Good as Other Addiction Recovery Methods, Why Is ‘LDS [Mormon] Social Services’ Relying on It instead of Better Methods (Like Energy Work and More)?

by grego
(c) 2009

In the June 2009 Ensign, there is an article called “Addiction Recovery: Healing One Step at a Time” (p. 61-65). Oh, LDS Social Services, what is going on?

I know that maybe a year ago or so, LDS Social Services was notified about new addiction recovery methods that had a much better recovery rate than 12-step programs, and also took a lot less time, stress, and money to use. It seems LDSSS weren’t interested, and preferred their 12-step program, and that was that.

Let me ask you, what do you think the main point of an addiction recovery program is? Do you think it is to recover from addiction? Is that what you would hope for?

I noticed, in the Ensign article, that there was no “recovery rate” or “success rate” given for the Church’s addiction recovery program. I would be very interested in knowing what it is; LDS Social Services, can you tell us the rate? Hopefully it is above the about seven percent (7%) recovery rate for other 12-step programs!

That’s right, about 93 out of 100 people will likely *fail* using this addiction recovery method. How much hope does that bring you?

Ok, perhaps those 93 people’s willpower wasn’t strong enough, perhaps they didn’t desire “the good” enough, perhaps they lacked faith… PERHAPS.

But if *your own spouse or child* were addicted, and there were much better ways to recover from addiction, would you settle for a 7% recovery chance? I sure as heck wouldn’t, and I hope you don’t, either.

(More about 12-step addiction recovery:
Here’s a list of some studies done on the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous:

Many 12-step programs treat addiction as a disease that people are powerless to overcome on their own. I understand the Atonement and all that, but I wonder how the disease and powerlessness model matches up with the gospel?

Many also identify as “an [addict]” (of whatever they are addicted to), which only reinforces their addiction (“I’m Joseph, I’m an alcoholic.”). Why don’t they identify as “I am a child of God who currently has a problem with [whatever addiction] control”? I hope the LDS Church support groups don’t ever use the typical identity statements.

Notwithstanding the muddiness of the conclusions of many of the studies, on the referenced page (above) it says: “In the sample of 100 severe alcoholics from his clinic, 48% of the 29 alcoholics who eventually achieved sobriety attended 300 or more AA meetings”. Whoa! Only 29% eventually (after how many years or decades would that be?) achieved sobriety, and of those, almost half attended 300 (that’s basically once a week for six years) or more (400, 600, 1000+—how many more??) meetings. So 12-step programs seem to be this never-ending cycle of meetings with sponsors and sponsees, which seems to show that in order to overcome an addiction, they must become addicted—to addiction recovery meetings!

Some studies show that no intervention actually had a better recovery rate. These meetings could re-enliven and reinforce the bad choices, the pain, the fear, the guilt, and the shame. I figured part of recovery (and the Atonement) was getting past all that…?

Ok, this isn’t a research paper on AA or 12-step addiction recovery, and this isn’t my specialty… I just wanted to point out a few things. On to the important and exciting part!)

Here are some other things that will be better than most 12-step addiction recovery programs:
1. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and other meridian energy therapies. I cannot stress enough, ***DO THIS FIRST!!!!!***
Using EFT, I have put multiple years-old phobias to rest in one session (less than two hours every time, no matter how complex they have been). EFT has cured addictions of alcohol, cigarette, coffee, cocaine, inhalants, caffeine, soft drinks, sugar, and even chocolate—often in one session. (Follow-up home “maintenance” was often recommended and done “just in case”, to ensure permanent success.) If you prefer a one-hour addiction recovery, at a cost of maybe $40-$120–instead of the I’ve-abstained-for-20-years-but-I’m-not-quite-really-fully-ever-recovered-from-my-disease-but-I-attend-12-step-meetings scenario, try EFT. Check it out at (Search “addiction” for a few case examples.) Find a practitioner, and do it. Period.

2. Contact John Wingert (now goes by the name of Twenty Twenty) about his addiction recovery program. When his son got addicted and he was supporting him, he saw problems with the 12-step program his son was in, and tried for something better. He has worked and works with addicts, and is not/ will not be offended by your spouse or child’s language, thoughts, etc. He can be found at,, and other websites.

3. Kinesiology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy are also useful tools for addiction recovery. Search for practitioners in these areas on the internet and ask them about treatment.

4. Certain addiction recovery programs and centers do much better than others, and many therapies do better than 12-step programs. Go for the successful ones. They might cost more, but it might be worth it, right? Search on the internet. Ask for detailed success rates and about how they are arrived at.

5. Special drugs—such as ibogaine, for example (see—or methods can be used; unfortunately, they might be illegal in the USA. You’ll have to search for the drugs and methods, and go out of country, but some people might prefer it to what’s happening.

The 12-step addiction recovery programs seem to not include other things about addiction must usually be understood and addressed for a fuller recovery, including:
*dopamine addiction (the true cause of most addictions);
*emotional, spiritual, mental, and social reasons for addiction;
*influence of other disorders/ syndromes/ etc. on addiction;
*stress control;
*replacing negative addictive behaviors with others;
*social reorientation;
*the role of the environment and about controlling it;
*filling the emptiness inside;
*life purpose;
*learning (and learning problems);
*dealing with problems and problem solving;

Though these things might be talked about at meetings, 12-step recovery programs don’t directly deal with these things. At least a few of these subjects will be helpful
and maybe even essential for every person recovering from addiction.

I hope LDS Social Services will reconsider their limited traditional programs and counseling and bring more true hope and recovery into people’s lives.


  1. Have you ever attended the ARP meetings? they are amazing! It helped me a lot with my addiction and I still love going although I am no longer addicted. Those meetings changed my life

    Comment by Anonymous — 2012, April 10 @ 12:43 am

  2. Anonymous,
    Glad you liked them, glad they helped.
    Doesn’t change my stance, though.

    Comment by grego — 2012, April 13 @ 12:09 am

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