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Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious?

While Alcoholics Anonymous does have some aspects that are based on religion, Alcoholics Anonymous as a group is not religious. Many alcoholics believe it is and that is one reason many decide not to go to A.A. meetings. However, Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t require anyone to believe in a certain religion or in certain religious beliefs. While Alcoholics Anonymous is endorsed by and approved by various religious leaders, the program in itself is not religious. People of all religions and people who aren’t religious at all can be a part of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Alcoholics Anonymous program is based upon accepting specific spiritually-based values. You are free to take these values and interpret them in any way that you would like. If you don’t agree with some of the values, you don’t have to follow them. It isn’t a specific program that you must follow in a set way.

Talking About God

You might believe that Alcoholics Anonymous is religious because they talk about God quite a bit. It is true that many A.A. members do believe that they didn’t find the willpower to quit drinking on their own. They believe in a greater power that helped them. Some people do call this greater power God. Others believe the greater power is the Alcoholics Anonymous groups, family members, the universe, or something else entirely.

Spiritual, but Not Religious

Some people are confused about Alcoholics Anonymous because they confuse religion and spirituality. These are two separate things. The emphasis in Alcoholics Anonymous is on being spiritual. This does not mean that you have to be religious to attend meetings or be a part of these programs.

If you would like to focus on your religion to help you overcome your addiction that is great. However, it is not required. You can also just believe in a greater power that helped or is helping you to get and stay sober. This could be your family, the universe, the sky, or anything you believe it is.

Spiritual Awakening

You may have heard of some recovering alcoholics talking about having a spiritual awakening. This might seem a bit frightening. However, it is nothing to shy away from. When you read the 12th step, you will read the term “spiritual awakening”. Some people see this and avoid going to A.A. However, it doesn’t have to be this huge, dramatic event. Basically, when you work the steps of the A.A. program, you are working on your sobriety and recovery. You are changing the way you think about things and the way that you live. This is, indeed, a spiritual awakening of some sort.


Is Alcoholics Anonymous religious? Some people are religious and they attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or programs. However, you do not have to be religious or believe in any religion to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or programs. You don’t have to be religious to work the 12 steps. The program is spiritually-based, but this does not mean it is religious. This basically means there is a higher power, whatever that means to you, that helps you to get and stay sober.

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