I have been a sober member of AA for 13 years and I am a Christian. God has removed the desire to drink from me. That miracle is the strongest evidence in my life of a loving God. I am one of millions of exceptions to your statement that "the desire never leaves." If someone had told me that early on, it would have made my recovery much harder if not impossible. I suggest you get the facts from knowledgeable sources and stop spreading this disheartening, discouraging misinformation. Tell the truth, that AA works. That I woke up one Monday morning after participating in AA for 7 months and realized I no longer wanted a drink. I am free. Thank God and Alcoholics Anonymous.
You are referring to the answer to the question: How do you deal with an addict? In context, the actual statement was taking about drug addictions in general. The full quote is: "Those who found excuses for their behavior always go back because the desire never leaves. I think that is probably the hardest thing to face. Many are ready to quit drugs, but they want the desire to go away. It won't. They will have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Over time they will realize that what they desire isn't all that great anyway. There will be times that they will forget about them for the moment. But, it will always be lurking in the background, ready to come to the front when life gets tough."
Alcoholics Anonymous teaches that with support of others the desire for alcoholic beverages decreases. "Alcoholics Anonymous had it's beginnings in 1935 when a business man from New York was in Ohio. He began to seek out other alcoholics. He did so because he found his desire for alcohol decreased when he reached out to others in the same boat as him." They do not teach that alcoholism is completely conquerable, instead they teach that it can be managed. "Just as there are no cures for other diseases, the disease itself can be controlled. A person who has diabetes can control it by taking insulin. Alcoholism can be controlled too, but the afflicted person has a long hard battle ahead of him. There are no magical pills or shots to be taken, only courage, determination, self love and support of others can hopefully control this disease."
I'm glad you have reached the point that a desire for alcohol no longer dominants your life. But it doesn't mean that it is gone or that it can't suddenly blossom at some later point in your life. That is why Alcoholics Anonymous teaches that you can't socially use alcohol. Your brain has been altered such that using it in even a seemingly mild way will bring the whole thing crashing back down on you. "Therefore, total abstinence from alcohol is advocated by the organization."
What I pointed out is that a drug user or an alcoholic, can never view themselves as cured. They are hooked on the drug or alcohol for the rest of their lives. In Alcoholics' Anonymous you are taught to say "I am an alcoholic," never "I was an alcoholic." Ceasing to use the drug or alcohol allows a person to manage the craving for the drug or alcohol. Depending on what was used with greater or lesser success. But reuse is an ever present danger. There is no such thing as using it "just one more time."
Like any other sin, managing sin requires constant vigilance. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).
Early Alcoholics' Anonymous groups reported high success rates, but those rates are rapidly dropping. The early groups put a heavy emphasis is turning your life over to God, but current literature only speaks of a higher power in broad generalities. Currently, every study I can find that I might trust puts the recidivism rate at over 90%; that is less than 10% of Alcoholics' Anonymous participants manage to stay off of the drug or alcohol. I believe this is because a reliance on God is being minimized. Alcoholics' Anonymous is a man-made organization that got its success from God's teachings. But it is straying from those origins.
The truth is that God's teachings work.