If you or someone you care about has an alcohol use disorder, you’ve probably thought about getting help in the form of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. However, you’ve likely also wondered: How does Alcoholic Anonymous help people with an addiction problem? How does Alcoholics Anonymous work–and is following the AA program better than seeking professional help?
That Alcoholics Anonymous has been around for more than 80 years should tell you something about the effectiveness of their program. AA began in 1935 in Akron, Ohio–founded on the fact that sobriety seemed to be easier to maintain while giving other alcoholics help and encouragement to do the same thing. Looking for an introduction to AA or professional help in dealing with alcohol addiction in California? Contact Avedis Recovery by calling 833.514.0579 or reaching out to our team online.
What Is the Alcoholics Anonymous Program?
Before getting into how Alcoholics Anonymous works, it’s essential to define the program. AA is a fellowship of people who meet and come together to solve a common problem: alcohol addiction.
Unlike professional addiction treatment programs, it doesn’t cost anything to attend AA meetings and be part of the AA program–AA is self-supported through contributions. There are no educational, social, or age requirements to participate. AA meetings are open to anyone who wants to deal with their drinking problem. The AA program’s primary purpose is to help members achieve and maintain sobriety. AA isn’t allied with any denomination, organization, political party, or sect.
While there’s no requirement to participate, there is one requirement for continued membership: that you have the desire to stop drinking. People in the AA program have recognized that they can’t handle alcohol in any form, so they stay away from it completely. These people don’t deal with the struggles of sobriety by themselves. Instead, they support each other by sharing their experiences, strength, and hope. This act of sharing makes it possible for many to live without alcohol.
From its humble beginnings in 1935, AA has grown to about 2 million people following its program in nearly 180 countries. These people meet regularly in local groups, ranging from a handful of ex-drinkers to hundreds.
How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?
Ask any person that’s been helped by AA how it works, and they will likely point you to the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. AA members use the 12 Steps to maintain their sobriety. Local AA groups use the 12 Traditions to stay unified.
In fact, AA is the origin of the 12-Step therapy programs that are typically part of addiction treatment programs. The original 12 Steps of AA are a set of spiritual principles–although it’s important to remember that AA isn’t affiliated with any denomination or religion. When these 12 Steps are practiced as a way of life, they can curb and even expel the obsession to drink. They help people recover from addiction and maintain their sobriety.
Here is a short version of AA’s 12 Steps:
- Admitting powerlessness over alcohol and the unmanageability of your life
- Coming to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore your sanity
- Deciding to turn your will and life over to the care of God
- Doing a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself
- Admitting to God, yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your wrongs
- Being ready to have God remove all these defects of your character
- Humbly asking Him to remove your shortcomings
- Making a list of all persons we had harmed and being willing to make amends
- Making direct amends to such people wherever possible
- Continuing to take personal inventory–and when you’re wrong, promptly admitting it
- Seeking through prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with God
- After having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, trying to carry this message to others
How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Help Clients Dealing With Alcohol Addiction?
How does AA help clients dealing with addiction? By teaching them the 12 Steps, of course. After all, it’s the basis of how AA works. That’s it — nothing more, nothing less.
It’s generally believed that AA works for almost anyone who has a desire to stop drinking, no matter what their economic or social background may be. Currently, AA includes many who have been disadvantaged their whole lives or have been in gangs or jails. People like this are at no disadvantage when attending AA meetings. Their main problem–the thing that’s made their lives unmanageable–is the same as anyone attending AA meetings. The only thing that matters is that similarity.
If there’s a desire to stop drinking, any person will be welcomed. This type of community and support will likely help anyone that’s decided to start on their path to addiction recovery.
Ready To Learn More About Avedis Recovery’s Alcohol Addiction-Related Options?
Wondering how AA can help? Maybe you’re also looking for professional help in recovering from alcohol addiction in California. Contact Avedis Recovery by calling 833.514.0579 or reaching out to our team online.