Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

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How AA Works Happy Joyous Free

How Alcoholics Anonymous Works

Despite being around for over 80 years, there is still a certain aura of mystery surrounding Alcoholics Anonymous. Some people say it is a miracle program that saved their lives, while others call it a cult.

The truth is, it is neither. Alcoholics Anonymous is a structured program that aims to facilitate recovery by providing a solid structure for a fulfilling spiritual life, to help addicts overcome their alcoholism.

How does it work? Members regularly attend meetings and find a sponsor. The support of these individuals is crucial to a successful recovery. They then work the 12-steps outline in AA literature carefully and methodically. If members genuinely want to quit drinking and follow the steps, they usually able to stay dry and establish a more fulfilling life in the long run.

The AA Principles

The 12 Spiritual Principles (Virtues) of AA & What They Mean

The 12-steps are the cornerstone of a popular approach to treating addiction, first popularized decades ago by Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps and the 12-step process more generally have a spiritual component.

However, the spiritual components of each step are not always apparent. In addition, the wording behind the steps often stresses practical concerns over spiritual ones.

Bill W., one of the two founders of AA, stressed the spiritual side of the program and wished to make that element more explicit. The 12 step program ultimately aims to replace destructive tendencies and addiction with a healthier and more sustainable way of life. Therefore, he envisioned a spiritual program that would be incorporated into all facets of day-to-day life.

Alcohol Sadness

5 Ways Alcoholics Anonymous Helps

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship and organization that is known worldwide. It is available for men, women, and teenagers who struggle with alcoholism. Whether someone abuses alcohol or admits to having a problem with alcohol, Alcoholics Anonymous can help them. The meetings are not professional. They provide a supportive environment for anyone who needs help with overcoming their alcohol abuse or alcohol problem.

The Preamble

The AA Preamble – What it is, History & What it Means

For as long as Alcoholics Anonymous has been around, it can still be a new program for those seeking out sobriety. The fellowship began in the early 1930’s by Bill W. and Dr. Bob S., who were individuals meeting with each other to try and stay sober. During their meetings, they realized that talking about their alcoholism with one another was what helped them stay sober. After developing the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, they moved forward to try and help other alcoholics obtain and maintain sobriety by attending meetings and working the program offered in the fellowship of AA.

The AA Preamble:

AA or NA - Which One is Right for You

AA or NA: Which One is Right for You?

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are the two oldest and largest 12-step programs out there. Two alcoholics formed AA in 1935 in Akron, Ohio. The founders created it to help those who have developed an unhealthy dependence on alcohol. It remained the only 12-step program in existence until Narcotics Anonymous was founded in California 18 years later.

The two deal with a similar problem, namely the debilitating effect of substance addiction. However, the two organizations deal with distinct forms of dependence. AA focuses on alcohol, while NA is an organization dealing with controlled substances we commonly refer to as ‘drugs.’

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious

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.

12 and 12 Cover

What is the 12 & 12 (Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions)?

What is the 12 & 12 in AA?

The 12 & 12 (12 and 12) refers to combining two lists of 12 items that have shaped the approach, the steps, and the traditions. The 12-steps are a roadmap that facilitates a path to recovery from addiction. Meanwhile, the 12 traditions are the organizational principles by which 12-step groups maintain autonomy while working towards a common goal.

The founders of AA came up with the 12-steps very early on in its history. In 1950, they added the twelve traditions to solidify the organizational principles that allow groups to avoid distractions and help addicts recover.

In 1953 founder Bill W. published the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. It emphasizes the equal importance of both the steps and the traditions. Indeed, the two are inseparable. The steps illuminate the path an individual can take towards recovery. But the completion of that path without the group is impossible, and the group cannot provide that support without the traditions to guide it.

Hot to Find an AA Meeting

How to Find Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings Near You

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.

Alcoholics Anonymous Success Rate

What is the Alcoholics Anonymous Success Rate?

Many members of Alcoholics Anonymous swear that the program has saved their lives and changed them profoundly for the better. For some critics of the program, AA is essentially a cult, built on pseudoscience with no tangible benefits for members.

This has been a difficult argument to settle. Until the last 20 years or so, it was particularly difficult to get good figures on the success of Alcoholics Anonymous.

However, the high-quality research that has been done, shows that AA has an impressive success rate. In comparison to other forms of treatment, the 12-step program has fared either equally well or in most cases somewhat better.

According to one particularly good study, 67% of those who attend AA meetings regularly remain sober in the long-term. It is important to note that this is the success rate for those that stick with the program over the years and not the success rate for those who were members briefly.

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