The typical story of the AA dragnet

How a woman caught having wine with dinner is coerced to stop drinking, join AA, and turn her life over to the therapeutic state.

Dear Stanton:

Thank you for placing your studies etc. on the Internet. I have been looking for information relevant to how I feel about my life's issues. I have always asserted that my personal and social dysfunctions have influenced my use/abuse of alcohol, not the other way around. Tonight I breathe a sigh of relief, that I am not diseased, or "just in denial."

I have a question. It will take a little explanation.

I was convicted of a 1st offense DWI (I stopped to talk to an officer after drinking with dinner, I won't go into the details!). I admitted I was wrong to the state of New Jersey. I have paid my fines; I am almost done with my license suspension. I completed the 2 day required attendance at the Intoxicated Driver's Resource Center. I was reminded of the dangers I put myself and others in if I drink and drive, and that was worthwhile.

However, it is then (surprise #1) up to their discretion to assign further "treatment" based on a questionnaire we (the attendees) all had to fill out. I was assigned 16 weeks group therapy with a "treatment provider." I grumbled, but decided to bear down and live with it. It was not until my "intake" session with the therapist that he informed me — surprise #2- I was required to suspend all drinking of alcohol during the 16 week program, and - surprise #3- I was required to attend weekly AA meetings also during those 16 weeks.

I have vociferously opposed the AA requirement to both the treatment provider and the IDRC. I do not believe in powerlessness, giving my will over to God, etc. I feel this second stage of assigned "treatment" is punishment for my lifestyle or habits, as I have already completed what was originally required by the state.

I belong to no organized religion, and have not attended church services in 10 years. I stated to the IDRC that their methods had now turned from motivational, to antagonistic. I also made sure they understood I had never said I was giving up alcohol. Apparently, there are no alternatives to forced AA.

Is appealing to the ACLU a realistic recourse, as I cannot afford another lawyer? Do you have any suggestions? I begin this charade as of May 1, 1999. Thank you for listening.

(PS- I have been unable to see my regular therapist since my driving privileges were revoked 4 months ago, a treatment I initiated myself to help cope with my personal difficulties.)