A person is not responsible for acquiring the illness of alcoholism, but is responsible for recovery – once they have an appropriate understanding of their condition.
AA and BriefTSF have the same purpose to help the alcoholic accept responsibility for recovery, stop the progress of the malady by abstaining from alcohol and gain freedom from alcoholism.
In this model the individual embraces a self-help approach to recovery within a mutual-help paradigm that includes healthcare workers, a Peer Sponsor and AA as a whole.
Some strongly object to the A.A. position that alcoholism is an illness. This concept, they feel, removes moral responsibility from alcoholics. As any A.A. [member] knows, this is far from true. We do not use the concept of sickness to absolve our members from responsibility. On the contrary, we use the fact of fatal illness to clamp the heaviest kind of moral obligation onto the sufferer, the obligation to use A.A.s Twelve Steps to get well.
In the early days of his drinking, the alcoholic is often guilty of irresponsibility. But once the time of compulsive drinking has arrived, he can’t very well be held fully accountable for his conduct. He then has an obsession that condemns him to drink, and a bodily sensitivity to alcohol that guarantees his final madness and death.
But when he is made aware of this condition, he is under pressure to accept A.A.s program of moral regeneration. (As Bill Sees It, p. 32)
Fast Facts: Around 8 to 9% of the adult population in westernized countries are alcohol dependent
From the training manual of BriefTSF