For those who have never been to Alcoholics Anonymous before what is it?

AA_LogoYou can think of Alcoholics Anonymous as a group of people who have a problem with alcohol, an admitted problem. Coming to AA is the first step on them getting over their addiction.

The purpose of AA is to not only help alcoholics to stop drinking, but to get a level of emotional and group support they might not get anywhere else.

What can a recovering alcoholic expect when they first go to Alcoholics Anonymous?

In most cases, not all, you can expect an AA meeting to be operated by the members of the group themselves. There isn’t really any hierarchy or central figure you’ll be answering to. And the nature of the meetings can change from meet to meet, meaning that the group can decide how they want to run it or what to focus on.

Are these types of meetings open or are they closed affairs?

AA can be either open or closed. In the case that they are open this would mean anyone can go, which would include people who don’t have an alcohol problem, friends, counselors, family members or even students/educators. If the meetings are closed then this would mean only those who are alcoholics can attend or someone who wants to know if they truly have a drinking problem.

What is the main format used for AA meetings?

You’ll find that AA meetings can have various sorts of formats, but in the majority of instances you’ll come across two primary ones. The first is going to be speaker meetings and the second one will be discussion based meetings. You can find a meeting here: aa find a meeting uk.

What’s the primary reason why someone should go to AA versus trying to get over their problem themselves?

Trying to tackle the problem of alcoholism by yourself is going to be tough and usually most people’s problem will isolate them from everyone else. Going to AA is the best way to connect with people who have the exact same problem as you do and get support. Sometimes just talking about the problem to others who are willing to listen is a good way to start on the road to recovery.

AA does not aim to become psychotherapy or to help you individually understand the underlying causes of your addiction: please see this post from Abbeycare clinics for that. AA is more about mutual aid.

What are some of the main advantages and disadvantages to using AA to overcome addiction?

• You’ll be getting help in an environment that’s very well structured and this is what a lot of people with drinking problems lack in their everyday environments.
• You get to develop valuable insight and strength from listening to other peoples experiences with alcohol addiction. This will be a chance to drop your guard and open up like you might not be able to do elsewhere.
• Having access to what can become a powerful network of support from other recovering alcoholics can help to stop relapsing. This is important because most people trying to get over alcohol addiction don’t have family or friends to call on for such support.
• Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t cost anything. This makes it easy to access and won’t require much from you other than to be committed to being consistent with attending meetings.

• In some cases alcoholics might not have a choice but to attend AA if it’s ordered by a court as a condition to avoid jail time.
• Sometimes the mixing of different age groups can be problematic for those who are especially vulnerable. Younger people for instance might be around older people who have other addiction and in some cases they can have a bad influence.
• AA meetings usually take place in a person’s community, which means that despite treatment they are still going to be around the same influences each day.
• AA isn’t the same as getting treatment in a rehabilitation clinic, meaning a place where there’s going to be medical professionals on site to offer assistance for recovering alcoholics.
• AA can be somewhat time consuming and on top of this the program does tend to have religious vibes at times.

How do the 12 steps of AA help recovering alcoholics?

First let’s briefly go over the 12 step program:

• Admitting that alcohol has a hold over you and that it has taken over your life
• Trust that with faith and strong belief you can restore your life back to a state of balance
• Make a decision to turn over your life to the will of a higher power, whatever higher power you believe in.
• Take an honest look at yourself in the mirror in terms of who and what you have become from a moral standpoint.
• Admit to others the nature of your problems; make yourself vulnerable by connecting with others.
• Be willing to take measures to remove shortcomings from your life
• Be willing to ask for help from those who have the power to help you remove shortcoming or overcome them.
• Write out the names of everyone you have wrong and what measures you can take to make things right with them.
• Be serious about doings things to make up for the wrongs you have caused others due to your addiction whenever you get the chance.
• Consistently reevaluate yourself in order to ensure you stay on the right course in your recovery
• Engage in meditative practices in order to help you gain more internal strength so you can be better at fighting off the temptation to give in to alcohol consumption.
• Speak to other recovering alcoholics about what you learned through AA as a means to lend them greater support and serve as an example for them.

These 12 steps are effective in helping recovering alcoholics because they provide three main things, guidance, order and direction. All three of things are things that are lacking in most of the lives of people who abuse alcohol.

These steps aren’t something to be used once and then discarded.

They are meant to be referenced to at any time a recovering alcoholic feels they need something to draw strength from in order to stay in control of their alcohol abuse problems.