Support groups are essential in helping you maintain your hard-earned sobriety. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is seen as the “gold standard” of all sober support groups. For over eight decades, AA has helped countless numbers of alcoholics worldwide achieve and maintain sobriety. Even though Alcoholics Anonymous is well-known and respected in the recovery community, what does AA mean in alcohol recovery? What is it about Alcoholics Anonymous that empowers and motivates people to get sober?
This article will examine AA and how AA meetings help people find strength in numbers to get clean and sober for a lifetime. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction and need help, call Christian Christians Drug Rehab toll-free right now. We are a top-tier faith-based rehab in Southern California that can help you get a firm footing on the road to recovery.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, by Bill Wilson. An investment banker on Wall Street, Wilson lost his career and marriage to alcoholism and ended up in the hospital several times due to his alcoholism. While on business in Akron, Wilson felt the urge to drink and sought out another alcoholic to help resist the urges. He met a local doctor named Bob Smith (known in AA as “Dr. Bob”), who was also an alcoholic. Impressed with Dr. Bob’s knowledge of alcoholism, Wilson moved in with him and his wife and began to create a plan to spread the message that recovery from alcoholism was possible.
The foundation of AA can be traced back to a non-denominational Christian group called the Oxford Group. Formed in 1919, the Oxford Group believed that spiritual growth and change were vital in changing one’s life. Numerous concepts found within the 12 Steps of AA (i.e., making amends, taking inventory) are borrowed from the Oxford Group. To become a member of AA, one needs to simply show up to a meeting. In the next section, we will further discuss how AA meetings work and how do AA meetings help alcoholics find recovery.
How Do AA Meetings Work?
If you are considering joining AA, you may ask how do AA meetings help? To answer that question, you need to know how meetings work. When you attend a meeting, those who are new are encouraged to share their stories and get advice from those who have been members for a considerable time. While participation is encouraged, it is not a requirement. If you aren’t comfortable sharing within a group, you can sit towards the back of the meeting hall or say something such as “I am just here to listen today” when it comes to your turn to share.
New members are encouraged to attend 90 meetings in 90 days in order to help them through the early stages of recovery. Beyond 90 days, members are encouraged to come to meetings on a regular basis. If you need extra support, you can work one-on-one with a sponsor who is a more senior member of AA and has considerable sobriety. AA meetings help those struggling with alcoholism through the power of group support.
Is AA Effective?
The million-dollar question you may have is if AA is truly effective in helping you find recovery. There have been some studies that suggest that AA is indeed effective in helping people find sobriety. One study conducted by the Stanford School of Medicine showed that AA was just as effective as psychotherapy in assisting people to overcome alcoholism.
Another study by the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Recovery Research Institute found that AA and similar 12-step programs increased abstinence rates and reduced healthcare costs.
While the findings of these studies are encouraging, having success in AA does hinge on two significant factors. First, the tools and support found in an evidence-based drug treatment program gives addicts the best chance at recovery. In that program, AA and similar 12-step groups are definitely an important component in the recovery process. Second, for you to get the most out of AA, you must put in the effort to go to meetings, work with the sponsor, and do what is necessary for the context of the group. As the old adage says, “you get out what you put in.”
How to Find AA Meetings in Southern California
Fortunately, it is very easy to find AA meetings in Southern California. Alcoholics Anonymous has a website you can visit to find meetings in your area. In many of the larger cities and towns, multiple sites offer AA meetings at various times of the day that fit your schedule. If you are interested in joining AA, simply go to a meeting. If that particular meeting doesn’t suit you, find another one in your area.
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