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AA to Z: An Addictionary of the 12-step Culture

by Christopher Cavanaugh

What does a codependent say to his mate when he wakes up? "Good morning, how am I?"--Overheard at a Codependents Anonymous meeting. Throughout the world today, more than two million alcoholics and hundreds of thousands of drug addicts, compulsive overeaters, sex addicts, compulsive gamblers, codependents, and other addicts abstain from their addiction, having found a new life by practicing the 12-step program of recovery developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Over the years, their practices have evolved into a way of life--the 12-Step Culture. "I don't remember my first meeting, but I've been told that I talked for a really long time."--Mary, a member of Narcotics Anonymous. AA to Z is the first book to document the richness and diversity of the lives of recovering people and to provide an encyclopedic look at this unique subculture. Less self-help than enlightenment and entertainment, AA to Z is comprised of real-life stories of recovering addicts as well as an "addictionary" of recovery terminology. Everything from the well-known slogan "One Day at a Time" to more esoteric terms like "pigeon" (a lovingly insulting term for a newcomer to the program) and "Wharf Rats" (sober Deadheads) is explained with clarity, insight, and humor. "How it works, you ask--slowly and well."--Cooper, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Conversational, witty, and engaging, AA to Z is a must-have for all 12-step participants and their loved ones, and it offers the uninitiated a fascinating firsthand look at one of the most influential yet least-documented cultural movements of our time.

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