Atwater responds that it takes more than going through the motions to achieve sobriety. "The truth is that some people do come to counseling and 'fool' the counselor and people do go to AA meetings and continue to drink or become sneaky about their drinking. I have been told that only about one in ten people who come to AA stay in the program for more than a year."
Readers' comments are divided between one poster who credits AA attendance with giving him a new life thanks to his "friendship with God," and another who says:
Sending someone to AA to get sober is a complete waste of time and of AA. The first suggestion made in its basic text is that if you feel you can control your drinking - try it again, try it repeatedly. About 1 in 20 who come to AA get and stay sober - the same percentage of remission as existed before AA was founded. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation and disinformation floating about.... but the idea of sending someone to AA to sober them up is dangerous. Convicted Drunk drivers use AA as a basis to be permitted to drive again."Read the whole Atwater column and comments here.