Is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Techniques of Alcoholics Anonymous have been scientifically studied in research funded by the National Institutes Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. The techniques compare favorably with the cognitive behavioral therapies discussed above, particularly in individual treatment. Large comparison trials enrolling cocaine-dependent clients in therapies such as Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous have not been conducted.
Evidence suggests that the extent of involvement in AA, rather than the frequency of attendance, predicts how individuals fare in AA (e.g., Snow et al. 1994). However, there still is no consensus on how to assess involvement and even less consensus on the factors that influence whether, and how much, a person becomes involved. Health care professionals and researchers, because of their clinical experience and contact with AA members, could be valuable resources for developing reliable instruments to measure involvement.
What to expect at your first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting
Tonigan and colleagues (1994) found modest positive relationships between AA attendance and improvement of these measures. However, psychosocial improvement was not the same for all client populations. For example, among clients who received no professional treatment, men appeared to improve more than women.
Based on the concept that only an alcoholic can help another alcoholic, AA’s members go through the process of the 12 steps, not only to get well from alcoholism themselves but also to help other alcoholics to recover. While working together, an idea struck to create Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Immediately, both of them started to work with alcoholics at Akron’s City Hospital where a patient successfully achieved sobriety. The three men together decided to start AA although, the name came later. In 1939 the basic book, Alcoholics Anonymous was published by the Fellowship. This book was published as a resource for people in sobriety to go to for wisdom, ideas and support.
Search the AA Site
Call your local number for information on meetings in your area. The Central office, intergroup or answering service numbers throughout the world are available on the AA World Services website. A new study published in the Cochrane Library found that AA and 12-step groups can lead to higher rates of continuous abstinence over months and years, when compared to treatment approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy. Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have had a drinking problem.
AA is not run by a leadership team, but rather, by members who are former alcoholics with a desire to help others. This organizational structure has been tremendously successful for AA and its more than two million members. Annually, AA continues to increase its number of chapters around the world and currently has more than 100,000 groups.
Scientific Support and Success Rates
It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem. Tonigan and colleagues (1994) analyzed whether sample origin (i.e., sample recruitment from outpatient or inpatient settings) affected the correlation between consumption-related factors and AA affiliation. One explanation for this difference could be that, in general, there was much greater variation in these factors (e.g., alcohol consumption levels of the patients) among inpatient samples than among outpatient samples. Such variation could attenuate the relationship between consumption-related factors and AA affiliation.
- It’s also important to note that meeting effectiveness depends on finding a meeting that’s right for you.
- This helps AA members feel hopeful that they can make a change and that treatment is possible.
- Most of the studies that measured abstinence found AA was significantly better than other interventions or no intervention.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
In this circumstance, individuals may need to be vulnerable about how their addiction has impacted their loved ones. Attendees may share stories and include commentary surrounding their journey of sobriety. There may be others who interject and support or share their story, or provide advice for others’ knowledge. AA understands some people may not feel comfortable sharing intimate details during their first visit.
In A.A., men and women support each other to discover and admit that they cannot control their alcohol use. In A.A., through shared experiences and personal recovery journeys, group members understand that they must live without alcohol in order to avoid disaster for themselves and those close to them. Drug and alcohol clinics provide outpatient services to individuals dealing with drug and alcohol problems. An inpatient rehabilitation facility offers a battery of treatment services for addicted persons judged to require intensive treatment.
Special events or parties are scheduled to coincide with the individual’s anniversary of sobriety. The arrangement encourages members to meet goals of prolonged abstinence and provides another avenue of social support. The social nature of these events also allows members to have fun and to make strong connections with others in the group without consuming alcohol. Primary care physicians should be aware of the AA groups in their geographic area and also should know their patients’ sobriety anniversaries to be supportive and to acknowledge their accomplishments in the recovery process. Other studies1 analyzed the relationship between AA involvement and improved psychosocial functioning. These studies used measures such as marital satisfaction; employment status; or scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a questionnaire used to measure psychological functioning.
He described alcoholism as a disease and emphasized the mental health, emotions, and malady behind it. Founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (both recovering alcoholics) in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous began as a community-based fellowship to encourage sobriety for other recovering alcoholics. The pair developed https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/what-is-alcoholics-anonymous/ the 12 steps to govern AA meetings, and later introduced the 12 traditions to help further define the group’s purpose. In summary, the two major processes in all 12-step organizations that are purported to facilitate recovery are the 12-step program and the fellowship accessible through attendance at meetings.