...besides the fact that many people in AA aren't really alcoholics.
First of all, our most common error as addicts and alcoholics is to focus on drugs and alcohol. That's not really our problem. It's not about drugs and alcohol. It's not about AA or the even Steps, though AA is nothing without the Steps. The Steps are simply a way to get to God. They are simply tools to be used, spiritual actions to be taken to establish a relationship with God and improve our conscious contact with Him. And if our problem is a spiritual one, then so must be our solution.
But back to the question - why do people in AA (meeting-makers) relapse so much? For one, meeting-makers only make meetings, and of course, meetings contain about .01% of the power needed to actually fix a broken, shattered, warped, lunatic alcoholic.
More to the point, meeting makers relapse because the alcoholic who is only sober on a physical basis is subject to suddenly and randomly experience the mental obsession, and once this occurs, nothing can stop him from drinking or using. He has no will. He has no power of choice. He will relapse at any point in time for no reason at all. He is insane. Meetings can't make an insane person sane. Only God can do that.
The so-called alcoholic who only goes to meetings and can stay sober is not an alcoholic - he has not lost the power of choice, he is not powerless. And finally, the so-called alcoholic who doesn't need to rely on the Power of God is either not a real alcoholic or perhaps he continues to suffer from anger and misery, as he is still operating on, or trying to navigate life based on self-will alone, and that is a lonely place to be.
Finally, people in AA, as well as every other conventional, secular treatment method relapse constantly because they're not repairing themselves morally and spiritually, so when they walk out of their meeting and someone cuts them off, they become unhinged and fly into an uncontrolled rage, are then left spiritually destitute, and as guilt and shame gnaw and eat away, a switch goes off and they relapse. If we wrong somebody and do not make it right, we will inevitably relapse at some point, probably soon after, if we are real alcoholics or addicts.
The hoards of meeting-making club members are giving AA a terrible reputation in terms of being able to secure long-term sobriety, not to mention sanity, freedom and peace of mind. If we went to AA to actually work on ourselves spiritually and take Steps instead of going for group therapy or because we are socially inept and have no friends, we'd all recover.
(Also see, Recovery Not A Function Of Time & AA Has Lost Its Way on how AA has become watered down etc.)
God, teach me to embrace and live by Your principles of faith, trust, humility, honesty, courage, strength, patience, tolerance, love, and personal responsibility...