The most recent report on US substance abuse indicates that some things haven’t changed dramatically.
Overall, substance abuse was 92% in those 12 and older. Among all substances, alcohol abuse has declined somewhat for those under 26 years old, but for those above 26 the numbers haven’t changed much in recent years.
What does this mean for 12-step recovery programs and those “in the rooms” of support groups? The need remains unchanging: we must continue to be available for all who abuse substances. There is a continuing stream of those needing support, both newcomers and many thousands already in recovery.
Recovery must be freely available without limits. The recent workshop “Widening the Gateway” in Olympia, WA showed there are those who still feel “less than” in our meetings. This is unacceptable for those of us who believe the responsibility statement in AA:
I am responsible. When anyone reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there.
And for that, I am responsible.