Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a program that was founded in 1935 but is still very popular today and is often thought of as the first steps for an alcoholic to take in recovery. AA has a very simple yet powerful purpose which is to “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety”. AA has been very successful for almost 80 years helping millions of people.
These are the core components that have made AA successful:
AA provides informal group sessions.
An AA meeting is a gathering where individuals talk about their struggles and challenges with alcohol. AA meetings are relaxed and informal in nature. There are generally two types of AA meetings: open meetings and closed meetings. At open meetings, members may bring relatives or friends. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only. These are group discussions and any member may speak up, ask questions or voice their thoughts.
AA offers individual help.
This individual help comes in the form of sponsors. A sponsor is another AA member who can provide consistent support as AA members learn to live a sober life. This plays a very important role as it is very common to face struggles in between AA meetings.
AA offers anonymity to members.
Anonymity is a very important part of AA. Without anonymity, many would never attend an AA meeting. It is completely up to each member if and when he or she decides to tell others about membership in AA.
AA follows specific guidelines.
AA follows the 12-Step program, which focuses on 12 specific steps an individual makes to take responsibility for his actions, heal from God or a higher power and forgive himself for mistakes made during the process of recovery.
AA celebrates sobriety.
As an individual stays sober, he earns different chips to celebrate the accomplishment. Some groups have a 30-day chip, 60-day chip, 180-day chip, 1-year chip etc. The time frame between chips may vary, but AA celebrates the time of sobriety.
AA is not a quick fix but rather intentional steps in the lifelong process of recovery. AA is a great fit for many individuals who are addicted to alcohol and also for the friends and family of alcoholics.
If you are unsure if Alcoholics Anonymous is right for you, please call our helpline and talk to one of our counselors so they can help you find a program that supports your recovery.