Professor (and Doctor) George E. Vaillant of Harvard University is an enthusiastic advocate of Twelve-Step treatment, and was a Non-alcoholic — Class A — member of the Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (AAWS) Board of Trustees for many years, until he rotated off. In 1983, he published his book The Natural History of Alcoholism: Causes, Patterns, and Paths to Recovery, where he described the natural healing process associated with individuals addicted to alcohol — “spontaneous remission” — where some of the people who are addicted to alcohol will simply quit, and choose to stay abstinent of their own volition, without any Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, or any therapy program, or any other outside intervention at all.

Dr. Vaillant’s question was: does the A.A. program improve on the percentage of alcoholics who undergo spontaneous remission?

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