Alcoholics Anonymous is a non-profit organization comprised of men and women from all over the world who have battled alcoholism. It is anarchic, self-contained, racially diverse, and pervasive. There are no minimum age or educational requirements. Anyone interested in overcoming alcoholism is welcome to attend.
Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA as it is more commonly known, has been around since 1935, when it was founded in Akron, Ohio by Bill W. and Dr. Bob. The program’s growth from a June 10, 1935, meeting of two alcoholics was aided by the publication of Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly referred to as The Big Book, and a 1941 Saturday Evening Post article about the group.
Mitchell K. has chronicled the early years of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement in a series of online articles.
To attend an AA meeting, all that is required is a desire to abstain from alcohol and a willingness to attend. No intake interview, assessment, or paperwork is required, and attendance at a meeting does not obligate you to join. Individuals may attend as many or as few meetings as they wish.
Due to each group’s independence, it may be beneficial to attend several meetings in order to get a sense of them and determine which one appears to be the best fit. Individuals may have a preference for one type of group over another, such as all-male or all-female. Additionally, AA offers support groups for spouses, children, family members, and others affected by alcoholism or addiction. With the variety of available groups and meetings, there is almost always one in your neighborhood that can assist you or a loved one in achieving and maintaining sobriety.
Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. AA meetings are intended to assist you in navigating the stages of sobriety. If you’re looking for a meeting that focuses exclusively on the first three steps, beginner meetings are for you. Attending a meditation session can assist you in reconnecting with your spiritual self. If you’re interested in hearing about other people’s sobriety journeys, you should attend a speaker meeting. Attending a traditions meeting can be beneficial if you’ve completed your steps and are ready to work on the AA traditions. If you’re interested in joining an all-female group, you can attend a men’s or women’s meeting. The simple truth is that everyone has a meeting scheduled. Experiment with different meeting formats until you find one that feels the most natural.
The apparent success of the AA program is due to the extraordinary capacity of a recovering alcoholic for “reaching” and assisting an uncontrollable drinker.
When a recovering alcoholic shares his or her personal story of problem drinking, describes the sobriety found in AA, and invites the newcomer to join the informal Fellowship, the AA program is in its simplest form.
The 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which detail the founders’ experience, form the basis for the suggested personal recovery program: