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Getting sober can be hard, but having the right people around you can make all the difference. Alcoholics Anonymous is the oldest and largest alcohol support group in existence. It has been helping alcoholics get (and stay) sober for nearly 100 years since its creation in 1935.

Studies have shown that group-based recovery can significantly increase the chances of achieving sobriety. For this reason, AA is often included in many alcohol addiction programs. Millions of recovering alcoholics have found long-lasting success through these meetings, which offer a kind of support that is difficult to find anywhere else.

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There are over 118,000 Alcoholics Anonymous groups around the world. To find a local AA meeting today you can search by city and day of the week. Can’t find one close enough? Consider online AA meetings which offer the same wonder community from the comfort of your own home.

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AA Meeting FAQs

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals developed to help its members “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.”

In Alcoholics Anonymous, members decide for themselves if they identify as an alcoholic. This label is not forced upon them. The only requirement to join AA is a desire to stop drinking.

AA does not have a formal definition of an alcoholic, but it is commonly described as a physical compulsion combined with a mental obsession with consuming alcohol.

At AA meetings, they say The Lord’s Prayer because the program was initially founded on Christian values.

As Alcoholics Anonymous was founded on Christian values and beliefs, some could argue that it is a religious fellowship. However, individuals of any race, religion, gender, and creed are welcome as AA members. There are some meetings that are tailored toward particular groups, such as AA Agnostics.

AA operates based on a 12-step program that helps guide individuals through a journey of self-awareness. It has influenced countless other substance abuse programs such as Narcotics Anonymous.

Participation in the 12 steps can be done as often as needed and works best when the steps are completed in order. Alcoholics Anonymous was initially founded as a Christian organization and the role of religion is evident in the 12 steps of AA. Despite this, AA of today is an organization with no specific religious affiliation and welcomes individuals of any and all faiths, or those who are entirely non-religious.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Anonymity is a core principle of Alcoholics Anonymous, with founding members going so far as to include it in the name of the fellowship. Anonymity serves 2 purposes:

  1. Provide personal protection to the identity of all members. It is each individual’s right to tell who they want about their addiction. This is often especially beneficial to newcomers who may be working on understanding their relationship with alcohol.
  2. Stresses equality of all members and keeps individuals from exploiting their affiliation through the media for personal gain.

No one treatment plan will work for every individual. However, countless individuals and families can attest to how Alcoholics Anonymous has helped them.

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