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Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): How It Works

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Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international group of men and women with a drinking problem. It is a multiracial, non-professional, self-supporting apolitical, and worldwide program. There is no age limitation or education requirement to get into Alcoholics Anonymous. The only requirement for AA membership is the desire to quit alcohol addiction.

Overview of Alcoholics Anonymous

In the Alcoholics Anonymous program, people share their knowledge about a common problem, experiences, personal adventures, and courage. They hope to address their shared issue and aid in the recovery of others from alcoholism.

The primary purpose of joining the AA regular meetings is to give up drinking and maintain long-term recovery. Membership in AA is free. AA has no affiliations with any sect, denomination, political party, ethnic group, or establishment; it has no interest in getting involved in controversies and neither supports nor opposes any causes.

The main goal of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is to sustain sobriety and assist other alcoholics in becoming sober.

Alcoholics Anonymous has existed since it was established in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, by Bill W. and Dr. Bob. The release of Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as The Big Book, and a 1941 story on the organization in the Saturday Evening Post gave the program grew from a meeting between two alcoholics on June 10, 1935, into a complete addiction program.

Archivist Mitchell K. has written a series of essays that can be found online that detail the rich history of the initial years of the founding of the AA movement.

The 12-step Program

Alcoholics anonymous follows the classic 12-step model and is considered the first to use the 12-step model to address addiction. However, many individual AA groups use altered versions of the original steps.

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 24.5 percent of adults twelve and older were labeled binge drinkers. At the same time, 51.7 percent reported drinking in a month. Additionally, 6.1 percent reported abusing alcohol heavily during a single month (binge drinking on five or more days during a thirty-day period).

According to an AA poll from 2017, 32 percent of new members were introduced by an existing member. Moreover, 32 percent more people were exposed to AA through a treatment center. Before beginning the program, 59 percent of AA members attended therapy or counseling.

Only 4.4 percent of alcoholics aged 12 and older received treatment in 2015. The overall existence of AA is not surprising, given the prevalence of alcohol abuse and addiction in the United States and worldwide. Worldwide, there are more than 115,000 groups of Alcoholics Anonymous.

What are the 12 Steps of AA?

To be a member of the AA program, all that is required is a person experiencing alcoholism and mental disorders. AA members go through the 12 steps, which are used to recover from the chronic disease. The 12 steps include:

  • We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • We believed that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • We decided to turn our will and lives over to God’s care as we understood Him.
  • Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • We admitted to God, ourselves, and other human beings the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • We were entirely ready to have God remove all these character defects.
  • Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • We made a list of all persons we harmed and became willing to make amendments to them.
  • Making direct amends to such people wherever possible, exceeding the limitations in doing so, would injure others.
  • We continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  • We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Having had a spiritual awakening from these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Who Can Attend the AA Program?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a 12-step guide for achieving sobriety, happiness, recovery, and a  satisfying life. Studies have shown the 12 steps have been adopted by dozens of other similar groups, including:

  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Heroin Anonymous (HA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
  • Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)

According to Harvard Medical School, alcohol use disorder and alcohol dependence are the tags regularly used to describe alcoholism and drug addiction. The twelve steps are occasionally introduced and encouraged to host meetings for alcoholics and non-alcoholics as well.

However, AA is exclusively for those with a drinking issue. They are the ones who can attend closed meetings or join AA. Those who also struggle with drinking are eligible for membership in AA, regardless of their other problems. According to tradition, the only need for AA is a desire to stop drinking.

How Does AA Work?

Many ask whether Alcoholics Anonymous works. The study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also revealed that men and women benefited from meetings with Alcoholics Anonymous in various ways.  

According to the study, men discover that Alcoholics Anonymous aids them in creating a network of friends who are socially supportive and kind and help them in their manner of living and maintaining their sobriety in high-risk situations.

On the other hand, women find it helpful to cope with unfavorable feelings and circumstances that could lead to relapse. AA members offer person-to-person services or protection to the alcoholics coming to AA from any source. They share their experience with anyone looking for help with a drinking problem.  

The 12 steps of the AA program offer the alcoholic a path to create a fulfilling life without alcohol. AA group meetings include discussions of this program.

In AA meetings, people learn advanced techniques to help them feasibly overcome undesirable situations. The leader and other members of the Alcoholics Anonymous group share their experiences of life and drinking problems and motivate others to say no to alcohol. 

Furthermore, all adverse consequences are detailed to all members how alcohol and drinking problems can result in physical and mental health issues.

If AA doesn’t work for you, you may need medical help. The Haven Detox-New England is one of the best medically equipped drug rehab centers in the United States of America.  

We are famous for establishing a record of providing effective treatment services and meeting success rates efficiently. Our psychologists from some of the world’s best institutions are qualified to provide the treatment you need.

AA vs. Inpatient Treatment Programs

Programs for rigorous residential drug rehabilitation that offer 24-hour medical and psychological care are known as inpatient drug rehab. During this time, people learn how to recognize and control triggers, acquire healthy coping mechanisms, and establish a support system.  

Individual counseling, group therapy, medication management, lifestyle education exercises like yoga or fitness courses, and family therapy sessions are frequently included in inpatient drug recovery programs.

A 90-day addiction treatment program is a type of intense therapy that aids people battling substance abuse and addiction in becoming and remaining sober.  

A 90-day program’s objectives include assisting participants in identifying and addressing their drug use triggers, learning new coping mechanisms, developing a strong social support system of friends and family, and creating a successful aftercare strategy.

Our residential program provides 24/7 medical assistance, a comfortable environment, luxury bedrooms, and private spaces to make patients feel light and cheerful. Furthermore, we understand financial concerns and charge for health care costs and reliable treatment services. We make sure prices are affordable for your pockets to afford.

Suppose you and your loved one suffer from alcohol addiction and mental health disorders. The Haven Detox- New England does their best to spread happiness and health in their community and beyond through superior treatment and care.

Benefits of The AA Program

An informal society called AA comprises more than two million recovering alcoholics. The likelihood of maintaining long-term abstinence from alcohol and drugs increases by up to 66 percent when a residential treatment program is combined with AA membership. 

According to a 10-year study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, individuals with alcoholism who participated in inpatient treatment and an AA group had a higher likelihood of remaining alcohol-free for the first three years of the study after eight years.  

Those who received both had a much higher abstinence rate by the end of the eight years. Some more advantages of Alcoholics Anonymous are that you can attend any open meeting in any location as frequently as you would like for free, and there is no other requirement to join.

Another great thing is that it is available to everyone regardless of race, caste, creed, or political views; there are no bothersome dues or questions: you may maintain your anonymity, and it helps you build a strong support system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is AA, and how does it work?

To solve the shared problem and aid others in beating their alcoholism, the members of the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship share their personal experiences and hope with one another. AA membership is open to anyone who wants to give up drinking.  We are self-supporting via our contributions; there are no dues or fees to join AA. We do not support or oppose any particular causes and are not affiliated with any sect, denomination, political party, group, or institution. It also has no interest in getting involved in any debates. Our main goals are to maintain our sobriety and support the sobriety of other alcoholics.
Some people consider addiction a disease that is not curable. AA explains that, unlike other attitudes, there is hope, and their addiction is treatable and curable.

What is the true success rate of AA?

Joining the alcoholic anonymous group is quite helpful in eliminating a drinking problem. The research has discovered that AA claims that up to 75 percent of its members stay abstinent.Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book touts about a 50 percent success rate, noting that another 25 percent remain sober after some relapses.

What are the rules of AA?

There are no rigid rules in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). There is not just one method to approach sobriety, according to AA. The 12 Steps, the 12 Prayers, the 12 Traditions, and more than a hundred AA slogans are used by AA members to help them overcome their alcoholism and enter a state of recovery.That does not mean there is not any structure, though. Participants are strongly advised to complete the 12 Steps in order, even if they feel stuck. There is a ton of advice on how a tremendous approach to alcoholism and recovery can go forward in The Big Book and other AA material.

Why does AA work for some individuals and not for others?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been the only option for getting help to quit alcohol addiction for a long time. Individuals who have found the support they require in AA become strong supporters of it to aid others.Alcoholics Anonymous does not work for everyone because everyone has different beliefs and needs. Some people adore AA’s camaraderie and think their lifelong recovery depends on attending AA meetings. Others dislike AA meetings’ “dreary” nature, finding that following them continuously is uncomfortable.

Get Help from The Haven Detox-New England

Alcohol addiction can result in adverse consequences if left untreated. Are you struggling to motivate yourself and start fighting against substance abuse disorder?  If yes, let The Haven Detox- New England help you in your cause.

The Haven Detox- New England has been categorized as one of the top addiction rehab centers in the United States. We offer services from substance abuse treatment to mental health disorders. We offer a wide range of treatment programs, including addiction treatment programs, residential treatment, medical detox treatment, and dual diagnosis treatment programs. Do not hesitate to contact us. We promise to help you in the best possible way.

Further, our mental health experts are highly qualified from recognized universities. They show a keen interest in your concerns and situation, supporting you by providing effective treatment and motivation to quit drug addiction and get your life back on track.

Call us at (844) 933-4145 to learn more about our treatment programs and service charges.