Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a support group that aims to help individuals recovering from alcoholism. If you feel like drinking is becoming a problem not just for you, but also for your loved ones, it is probably time to consider controlling it. However, if you have been consuming alcohol for a long time, you will find it challenging to just quit, especially by going cold turkey. One way of helping you avoid a relapse as well as make the best of your recovery efforts is to join a group with persons who have similar objectives as you do. One such support group is alcoholics anonymous.
By attending AA groups, you must be determined to stop alcohol abuse as well as retain sobriety in the long-term. The meetings are designed to foster recovery and encourage determination through a 12-step program. Former alcoholics run AA. This way, the members feel like they are relating to others who understand their situation. It is not just about research and medical aid.
It is originally founded on the principles of a Christian self-help group. Its initial stages were not very successful, but the founders did not give up. They were able to alter the program and over the years, the program has helped millions of people fight alcoholism. It is currently in several countries, attracting millions of people with drinking problems.
The encouraging aspect of how alcoholics anonymous is run is that it does not have theoretical leaders on their team. As earlier indicated, people who were previously alcohol addicts run it. Other members act as one unit to bring out the best of each other. People treat one another equally and lend their ear to one another. With more than two million addicts, the program is proving to be useful for the members. These members are divided into about one hundred thousand small groups.
Each group is self-run and since it is not operating any businesses, they rely on donations to help cover their specific expenses. The groups also appoint the people they feel should lead their operations. In addition, they will also determine how long the leaders will retain their service positions. After their term, the members will vote once again. This ensures that the members remain active.
The 12 Steps of AA
The 12 steps of AA provide an insight on how people recover from alcoholism while at the same time prevent triggers. Under many circumstances, these steps are part of an in-patient program. They also come in handy in aftercare recovery programs. The 12 steps of AA include:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
AA 12 Traditions
The 12 traditions of AA are the foundation of the organization. While other things may change, they will always rotate around these guiding principles. The following are the 12 traditions of AA.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a support group that aims to help people with a drinking problem into recovery. With hundreds of thousands of groups across the globe, they act independently to ensure they stick to the traditions and guidelines of the group. Even after helping the addicts to recover from alcohol abuse, the support groups remain useful to help ensure sobriety in the long-term.