Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings for Support and Recovery
People who desire support with overcoming alcohol addiction and maintaining sobriety have the option of attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. This support group can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment options, such as professional counseling. For more information on obtaining treatment and support for alcohol addiction, call (800) 660-0986.
About Alcoholics Anonymous
A.A. was founded by two people who were recovering from alcoholism. The small group soon gained more attention and participants, and it now has groups around the world with a total estimated membership of about 2,000,000 people. Although individual groups may occasionally network with other recovery organizations in a community, A.A. is not affiliated with any institutions, nor is it connected with any political or ideological parties. Each group elects members for positions, such as secretaries and chairpersons, for organization and order. These elected members are fellow alcoholics in recovery.
The 12-Step Model
Alcoholics Anonymous uses a 12-step program to assist people with recovery. This begins with admitting an alcohol problem and progresses to evaluating the self, mending relationships, praying or meditating for continued strength and support, and reaching out to others. Meetings are attended by people who are at various steps of the program. The motto for every member is “one day at a time.” A.A. encourages people to focus on the present and get through today without a drink, rather than worrying about the near or distant future.
Attending Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Membership does not require registration. People need only show up and take a seat to begin participation. However, newcomers should first attend an open meeting to join a local group. Open meetings can be attended by anyone in the community, including friends or relatives to people in recovery. In these meetings, people share their experiences with alcoholism as well as their experiences with A.A. Closed meetings are for group members only. In closed meetings, members discuss personal issues in depth and participate in group discussions on specific topics.
Outpatient Options for Addiction ServicesOutpatient options can be vital to a person’s ability to work with addiction services to become sober. Outpatient services allow patients to continue working, interacting, and living their lives while they receive treatment. Some forms of outpatient treatment include behavioral therapy and some forms of medically-monitored detoxification.
Anyone who wishes to quit drinking or stay sober can attend. Meetings are open to men and women of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds. There is no charge to attend, either. Donations are accepted at meetings to help pay for literature, coffee, and other group expenses, but there is no minimum. Members cannot donate more than $3,000 per year.
Group meetings are usually held once or twice weekly. In cities and heavily populated areas, there may be several groups operating in the same community. People can attend meetings every day with different groups in those areas, if desired. While members are encouraged by their sponsors to attend meetings regularly, attendance is not enforced. A.A. is voluntary. If you or someone you love could benefit from more structure or stricter requirements, consider using inpatient or outpatient services in addition to support groups. Calling (800) 660-0986 can help you determine which types of alcohol treatment may be the most suitable for your needs.
A.A. Support for Family and Friends
While family and friends can attend open meetings with people, they can also support each other in their own meetings through Al-Anon. Teenagers with alcoholic parents or relatives also have the option of attending Alateen meetings, which can help them cope with a loved one’s addiction.
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can be very helpful for recovery; however, people may benefit from combining A.A. with other treatment options. If you or a loved one are interested in recovery from alcohol addiction, call (800) 660-0986 at any time for confidential help from a national referral service.