Even if you have never struggled with the problem of alcohol addiction before, chances are you have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
AA has been around since the 1930s, and during the intervening decade the group and others like it has helped millions of alcoholics and problem drinkers recover from their issues and live a life of sobriety.
If you or someone you care about has been struggling with an addiction to alcohol or a problem with excessive drinking, it is important to understand the AA process and the factors that make it so effective. Even if you ultimately choose another approach to regaining sobriety, having an understanding of AA meetings and how they work can give you real insight into the problem of addiction and the best ways to overcome it.
The 12-Step Approach to Regaining Sobriety
At the heart of the Alcoholics Anonymous treatment model is the 12-step process, a process that has been adopted and used by a host of other organizations. Whether the 12-step approach is used to treat problem drinking, drug addiction or compulsive gambling, the concept is always the same. Understanding the 12-step program and how it works is key to getting the most from the AA meetings you or a loved one attend.
So just what are the 12 steps and how do alcoholics and problem drinkers progress through the process? Here is a brief rundown of the 12 steps that attendees at any Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting will quickly get to know.
- Admitting they are powerless over alcohol and that the drug has made their lives unmanageable.
- Believing that a higher power can restore them to sanity and sobriety.
- Decided to turn their will and their lives over to the care of God.
- Created a fearless moral inventory of themselves and their problems.
- Admitted the exact nature of their wrongs to God, themselves and another human being.
- Gotten ready to allow God to remove their character defects.
- Have asked humbly for God to remove their shortcomings.
- Have made a list of the individuals they have wronged and become willing to make amends.
- Made direct amends to those individuals whenever possible.
- Taken a personal inventory of where they went wrong and promptly admitted those shortcomings.
- Prayed and meditated in an attempt to improve their contact with God and prayed for the knowledge of His will.
- Experienced a spiritual awakening as the result of the 12 steps.
Every member of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), whether they are new to the program or have been a member for years, must start by going through these 12 steps. The 12-step process is key to the success of Alcoholics Anonymous, and over time this approach has proven quite effective.
Attending AA Meetings
Attending AA meetings is one of the most critical parts of the program, and AA meetings are held at regular times to allow as many people to attend as possible.
The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) organization works very hard to foster an open and welcoming environment, so newcomers do not have to worry about walking into a hostile space or experiencing undue judgment for their past actions. If you or someone in your life has been experiencing problems with their drinking, you should encourage them to seek out, and attend, an AA meeting at their earliest opportunity. Better yet, you can find the next meeting date and encourage them to go.
No matter where you live, chances are there is an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting near you. AA meetings are held in a variety of places, but most often they take place in public spaces like churches or schools. These central locations can make it easier for new people to attend and increase their comfort levels as they share their experience and seek help for their addictions.
Becoming a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and attending meetings is completely free. There are no charges, and the only requirement for attending the meetings is a desire to stop drinking and change your life. You must be an alcoholic to attend a formal AA meeting, but there are also open meetings that anyone can attend. In fact, friends and family members are encouraged to attend these open meetings as a way to gain insight into the problem drinking of their loved ones.
If you would like to learn more about the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) approach to stopping drinking, just call us at 800-807-0951. We can help you or your loved one get the help they need to stop drinking and live a life of sobriety and good health.