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Alcoholics Anonymous 

Alcoholics Anonymous, often shortened as AA, is a non-professional support group designed to help its members achieve lifelong sobriety. 

Although thousands of AA groups are sprinkled across the globe, they all observe the same set of principles and are open to anyone willing to overcome their drinking problems.  

If you want to know more about AA and its relevance to a patient in recovery, then you couldn’t be in a better place. 

Read on as we take a closer look at some of the main features, pros, and cons of AA. 

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What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international organization that seeks to help former alcoholics maintain sobriety through active peer support. 

Since launching back in 1935, AA has helped millions of people struggling with alcohol overcome the addiction and reclaim their lives. 

AA has also inspired the formation of several other substance-related support groups, courtesy of its universal principles centered around acceptance and spirituality

There is no laundry list of items required to join the group as it opens its doors to people of all genders, races, ages, and sexual orientations. All that is asked of members is to respect the group and its core principles. 

You must also have the genuine desire to overcome addiction to maintain your status as an AA member. 

How AA Works

AA is run by members, usually former alcoholics, who look to help others struggling with either mild or chronic alcohol use disorders. 

The international fellowship has over 100,000 groups spread out across the globe. 

Each group is self-reliant and runs on the 12 step principles and 12 traditions of AA. This ensures that all members benefit from the support group’s core values despite being in different geographical locations.  

AA meetings are usually open or closed.

While anyone (including friends and family members) can attend open meetings, closed sessions are usually reserved for members only. 

A typical AA meeting will revolve around a common topic. Members get to share their personal experiences on the topic of the day. This allows everyone to open up in a non-judgmental setup and receive the much-needed support from peers who have experienced similar situations. 

Although AA groups vary in structure and operation, they are all guided by the same principles and remain open to receiving new members. 

As a result, you’ll find that all AA groups, regardless of location or size, remain committed to admitting new members as long as they have a genuine desire to quit alcohol.  

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous 

1. Honesty: The first step of AA is admitting you are powerless over alcohol and that you had/have a problem with the drug. Admittance is the first step towards recovery as it means you’ll actively seek assistance to overcome the condition. 

2. Faith: AA is based on the principle that a higher power can help overcome addiction. It is through the higher power that true freedom from alcohol addiction can be attained. 

3. Surrender: AA members must surrender to the higher power. By surrendering to a higher power, you can overcome your addiction and recover from your past mistakes. 

4. Soul searching: Members must conduct a moral inventory to determine the negative effects of their behavior when addicted to the drug.  

5. Integrity: In this step, you will admit to yourself, to the higher power, and to a fellow member (or friend) your wrongs to kick start the internal (and external) healing process. 

6. Acceptance: Members must accept that they’re flawed but can improve and turn new pages by choosing a different path. 

7. Humility: In this step, you’ll humble yourself before the higher power and ask for assistance. You will be asking for supernatural assistance to overcome issues that you cannot deal with on your own. 

8. Willingness: The step involves listing down all the people you harmed or negatively impacted when addicted to alcohol. 

9. Forgiveness: The 9th step is centered around actively seeking forgiveness from people you wronged in the past, provided doing so does not harm them in any way. Making amends is a great way to find inner peace as you look to turn your life around completely. 

10. Maintenance: Members are required to continuously take personal inventory and apologize whenever they have wronged others. 

11. Making Contact: Members are required to seek a personal relationship with the higher being and ask for assistance through prayer and consistent meditation. 

12. Service: The same way you have been supported in your pursuit of addiction recovery, so too should you support others that need your assistance. 

Advantages of Attending Alcoholics Anonymous 

Structured Environment

AA meetings are consistent and highly structured. All members need to observe a set timetable, which helps keep you busy and grounded as you’ll always have several meetings to attend in a week. 

Non-judgmental Support

AA members listen to each other’s testimonies and support one another without any form of judgment. The support you receive from other members will motivate you to open up further and share your deepest issues, which promotes internal healing and long-term sobriety. 


AA is a free support group that operates on a universal set of rules. Joining the group won’t cost you a dime as the only requirement is the commitment to maintain sobriety. 

Peer Interaction

AA allows you to interact with people who’ve also struggled with alcohol abuse. This creates a welcoming environment that promotes internal healing and external growth. You also get to make new friends with similar values and goals. 

Is It Necessary To Attend Alcoholics Anonymous?

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

Although not everyone attends AA, doing so can significantly increase your chances of maintaining lifelong sobriety. 

AA sessions help keep you grounded and, even more importantly, allow you to learn from peers who’ve experienced similar challenges. 

Your peers will hold you accountable and push you towards achieving personal and group goals, which is vital if you want to eliminate the chances of relapse. 

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