How to Find Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings Near You

Hot to Find an AA Meeting

There are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings all around the world. Just about every country has chapters, and most big cities have multiple meetings every day. Meetings types vary. Some are open to the public, while others are closed and designed to protect anonymity. There are meetings designed exclusively for men or women and co-ed meetings as well. Therefore, every member of the fellowship should be able to find the right arrangement for them.

Regional Service Centers

Many cities and counties have service centers dedicated to local AA chapters. Many of them operate hotlines, sometimes 24-hour ones, which you can contact to find a meeting nearby.

Volunteer members of the fellowship answer the hotlines and are eager to help newcomers. They will tell you which meetings are currently available and open. They can also help newcomers find an individual to meet with them and prepare them for the first meeting.

Local AA directories list all of the meetings in their areas. However, the guides are often closed to non-members.

Tips on How to be Successful in 12-Step Programs

Tips on How to be Successful in 12-Step Programs

Recovery is hard. There are many pitfalls and days when we feel weak and unable to handle it all. The good news is you are not on your own.

If you are part of a 12-step program, you have a support network to catch you when you fall. One of the great things about a 12-step program is that by helping others, you also make the most of it for yourself.

Here are some tips for making the most of your recovery in a 12-step program, and enjoying yourself in the process!

Get a Home Group

12-step programs are based on a belief in the power of being part of something bigger than us. Humans are social animals and we do not fare well alone. Our recovery and our lives in general, are greatly served by being part of a group that offers mutual support.

In order to succeed in a 12-step programs it is important to regularly attend meetings. But it is best to mostly attend the same group and build bonds with the other members.

Therefore, it is best to find a group that meets two criteria: they are located conveniently to help you attend meetings regularly. Just as importantly, you should feel comfortable with the people in that group. Once you have found that place where you belong, cherish it and hold on to it.

Different Types of AA Meetings – Meeting Types Explained

12 step AA meeting concept

When you imagine going to AA meetings, you may think of a fairly simple set up. People introducing themselves as alcoholics and telling their stories. Indeed, the official purpose of AA meetings is for members to “share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.” Almost all meetings have certain characteristics in common. The serenity prayer starts the proceedings. Some AA material is read and people share. Finally, there is almost always coffee involved!

However, aside from these common characteristics, meetings can differ greatly. Indeed, as the fellowship has grown and evolved, different types of meetings have been pioneered to suit its growing needs. Here are the main types of meetings currently open to attendance.

Where to Find Online (Virtual) 12 Step Meetings for Each 12 Step Program

Online 12 step meetings

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many addicts are struggling to find the help they get from meetings while under these special circumstances. Even without the requirements of staying home or having to quarantine, going out and being around groups of people may not be the best idea for individuals who are susceptible to getting sick. Regardless of the reason, it is important for members of 12-step fellowships to continue attending meetings as regularly and often as possible.

Thankfully, there are solutions to these problems. The virtual meetings that are taking place online or on the phone allow 12-step program members to still share their experiences, strengths and hopes and continue to recover in the comfort of their own home. Similar to in-person meetings, anonymity remains and these virtual meetings are set in place to allow a safe meeting ground for addicts in recovery. Some of these meetings can occur on the telephone, Zoom, social media and more. Whatever is the most comfortable way for members to reach out to one another, finding these meeting grounds is crucial to recovery.

What Are 12 Step Meeting Like? See What A Beginner Can Expect

What Are 12 Step Meeting Like

Attending your first meeting can be an unnerving experience for anyone. Very often you will be facing a personal crisis that led you to seek help. You may be wondering: how did I get here? Where did my life wrong? You may be concerned that the people around you are losers or that you may be joining some kind of cult.

On a more pragmatic level, you may be concerned that you will have to talk. In your imagination you probably see yourself forced to share harrowing details of your addiction and hitting rock bottom with a group of strangers. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect.

You may be concerned that you will run into the people you meet. At this early stage, revealing your addiction to people you know seems like a bit much! Worry not. In the first place, it is statistically unlikely that this will occur, especially if you live in a big city. More importantly, other members are there for the same reason as you. The Anonymous element of the 12-step fellowships is taken very seriously. People in the group, whether you know them or now, will not disclose your identity to outsiders.

The truth is, attending your first meeting will be less stressful than you think. Most members of your recovery group are interested in making you feel comfortable enough to return. They remember the anxieties associated with their first meeting and know that giving you some space to find yourself within the program is essential to your comfort.