AA Big Book Quotes on the Role of Health in Recovery

AABB pageQuote
2nd Edition
Neither does A.A. take any particular medical point of view, though we cooperate widely with (medical professionals) the men of medicine
that the body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind.

… we are sure that our bodies were sickened as well. In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which leaves out this physical factor is incomplete.
xv-xviwe favor hospitalization for the alcoholic who is very jittery or befogged. More often than not, it is imperative that a man’s brain be cleared before he is approached, as he has then a better chance of understanding and accepting what we have to offer.
xviiOf course an alcoholic ought to be freed from his physical craving for liquor, and this often requires a definite hospital procedure, before psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.
Bills Story
I was placed in a nationally-known hospital for the mental and physical rehabilitation of alcoholics. Under the so-called belladonna treatment my brain cleared.
Bills Story
Treatment seemed wise, for I showed signs of delirium tremens.
19Of necessity there will have to be discussion of matters medical, psychiatric, social, and religious. We are aware that these matters are, from their very nature, controversial. Nothing would please us so much as to write a book which would contain no basis for contention or argument. We shall do our utmost to achieve that ideal. Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people’s shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their opinions are attitudes which make us
64for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.
133But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons…
Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.
141Your understanding treatment of their cases will pay dividends. Perhaps you have such a man in mind. He wants to quit drinking and you want to help him, even if it be only a matter of good business. You now know more about alcoholism. You can see that he is mentally and physically sick.
142-3For most alcoholics who are drinking, or who are just getting over a spree, a certain amount of physical treatment is desirable, even imperative. The matter of physical treatment should, of course, be referred to your own doctor. Whatever the method, its object is to thoroughly clear mind and body of the effects of alcohol. In competent hands, this seldom takes long nor is it very expensive. Your man will fare better if placed in such physical condition that he can think straight and no longer craves liquor. If you propose such a procedure to him, it may be necessary to advance the cost of treatment, but we believe it should be made plain that any expense will later be deducted from his pay. It is better for him to feel fully responsible.

If your man accepts your offer, it should be pointed out that physical treatment is but a small part of the picture. Though you are providing him with the best possible medical attention, he should understand that he must undergo a change of heart.
144We suggest you draw the book (AABB) to the attention of the doctor who is to attend your patient during treatment.
161the same thing (approaching alcoholics in treatment for alcoholism) is taking place in many eastern cities. In one of these there is a well-known hospital for the treatment of alcoholic and drug addiction.