Bill Wilson and Bob Smith started Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. It is not widely known that Bill Wilson actively investigated the biochemical basis of alcoholism. Upon his death, his wife, Lois, wrote a letter about his hopes for continued research in this area.
Her letter was published in a pamphlet, The Vitamin B-3 Therapy: A 3rd Communication to AA’s Physicians. She wrote that her husband, Bill, had become convinced that there was a biochemical connection with alcoholism.
Aldous Huxley, a great admirer of A.A., introduced Bill to two psychiatrists who were researching the biochemistry of alcoholism. Bill was convinced of the truth of their findings and realized he could again help his beloved alcoholics by telling them about the biochemical component of alcoholism.
Bill Wilson’s last years were mainly devoted to the spread of this information among alcoholics and other ill persons. He knew that at the early stages of abstinence, many alcoholics simply aren’t capable of thinking clearly and are too damaged by alcohol to work the 12 Steps.*
As early as 1972, Father Martin, in a now famous Chalk Talk, repeatedly states, “Alcoholism is a physical disease and a biochemical imbalance of the brain.” Now, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) states that Neuroscience and 30 plus years of research have shown that:
THE MISSING LINK TO ALCOHOL RECOVERY IS BIOCHEMICAL RESTORATION.
If Bill Wilson had lived long enough to carry his message forward, biochemical restoration would now be an accepted and normal part of AA. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen.
* Bill Wilson, A Second Communication to AA Physicians, 1968. Reprinted by the Huxley Institute for Biosocial Research, 900 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL, 33432