Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an organization that was created in the last century to help people who are faced with a drinking problem. People who cannot overcome substance abuse can contact AA in order to get help and support from other members of the organization. The recovery program is often based on the so-called Twelve Steps or Traditions.
Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is the most common type of help that a person can count on. By participating in the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, you can be sure that you are on the way to sobriety while being an anonymous participant, which allows you not to declare your difficulties publicly. By participating in the discussion, a person can share their traumatic experiences and hear the stories of other people. As practice shows, this approach is the most effective in the fight against addiction. AA meetings are held all over the country. Moreover, an online meeting has now become available so that you can become part of the group regardless of your location.
Participation in the AA meeting in the state can be the beginning of a recovery program, at the end of which you will begin your full-fledged sober life. Start your recovery right now and share your story as a speaker at the next AA meeting.
AA Meetings Types
The name of the Alcoholics Anonymous group came from a book called “The Big Book” and was published several times over a few time periods. Since the first edition, the number of people who were part of this group has increased significantly. According to statistics that were relevant at the beginning of this century, the discussion was attended by more than two million people. It is not surprising that now, the number of people who resist their addictions has only increased.
Previously, only male Protestants could take part in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but everything has changed. Anyone can attend AA meetings now, become a speaker, and listen to others during the discussion. Women have also been active participants in meetings for a long time.
If you want to join a local Alcoholics Anonymous group, you will need to familiarize yourself with several possible formats of these meetings and decide which one suits you.
AA meetings can be open to absolutely everyone. For example, your family members may attend a discussion to support you and listen to the stories of other people who are struggling with alcoholism. Thus, people who come to open discussions do not necessarily have an addiction and are not required to make a speech about themselves.
Closed AA meetings are intended only for those people who have the desire to stop drinking alcohol. Closed meetings can be the right choice for the person who does not want to open up in the presence of other people without addictions. A person who knows that there are only people in the group who are struggling with alcoholism themselves feels safe revealing their weaknesses.
The format of the discussion allows all men and women to speak out and freely discuss their path during the 12-step meeting. The moderator of the meeting may propose a specific topic for discussion in advance, or it may be a spontaneous conversation on the topic that worries the audience the most. Also, during the meeting, only one speaker who tells their story in detail might be invited.
Big Book Meeting
There are meetings that are held in order for people to get acquainted with “The Big Book.” During the meeting, all the participants read part of the book and then discussed it. Combining reading and discussion allows group members to delve into the recovery process and learn more about how to overcome their common problem.
In addition to in-person AA meetings, online meetings are now common. If you see the “location temporarily closed” caption or the nearest center does not have wheelchair access, then you can join the online discussion. An online meeting allows you to remain completely anonymous without even revealing your face.
It is crucial to note that AA meetings may have restrictions on gender, orientation, age, or other social indicators. Some people prefer to attend discussions in which only people belonging to a certain group participate. Look for such a meeting if it allows you to feel comfortable and have a good time during AA meetings.
Locations For AA Meetings
You have to decide whether you want the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that you are going to attend to take place in a church or community center. Depending on the location, the content of the AA meeting may be more or less religious. If you believe in God and want to find a way out of a difficult situation with the help of your faith, we will recommend you visit a Community church or Presbyterian church.
The creators of the 12-step program sought a way out through prayer and meditation. Many followers of this idea are still overcoming their alcohol addiction with the help of faith. Therefore, many meetings are held in churches such as Community Church, United Methodist Church, Christ Lutheran Church, or Presbyterian Church.
Community or treatment centers
If there is a special center created for Alcoholics Anonymous near you, then you will be able to attend discussions and meetings there. It is a safe place where everyone can feel accepted by others. Discussions can also be held in rehabilitation and treatment centers where people with addiction are helped.
Sometimes, a group can rent a separate room in an office center for a meeting. This is quite common, especially in those localities where there is no separate Alcoholics Anonymous center.
AA meetings Discussion Topics
If you have never attended an AA meeting before, you will probably be interested in what the members of this community usually talk about.
You are expected to speak up during your first meeting. Introduce yourself and tell people about your way of dealing with alcoholism. However, you have nothing to worry about; other participants in the discussion will not put pressure on you; you can be sincere and say what is bothering you right now.
A speaker who is planning a discussion program may suggest that all the participants focus on literature that helped many people complete a 12-step program and encouraged them to lead a happy life without alcohol. Sometimes, speakers and other participants expect you to talk about your daily reflections. Since most of these discussions are held every week, participants are used to sharing their news and progress in the fight against addiction.
If you attend a 12-step meeting, then you will definitely discuss one of the steps and practice a technique that helps to cope with addiction and a sense of isolation that can haunt people whose lives are affected by alcohol addiction.
AA Meetings Benefits
Many people believe that a 12-step program and AA meetings are extremely helpful for those who are addicted to alcohol. Here are numerous reasons why these discussions are effective:
- People who attend discussions receive support in the fight against alcohol addiction. As a result, the membership allows people to stop drinking faster because they do not feel alone in this struggle.
- Members of the recovery programs are in contact with other people who have faced the same problem. This allows them to socialize again after feeling isolated due to alcoholism and feel like a necessary member of society.
- Moreover, during the discussion, groups of people having the same problem and attending the same meeting connect with each other. It is beneficial for both addicted people and their families. Relatives of a person with an addiction often have a hard time, so meeting other people who are worried about their partner, child, or sibling can have a positive psychological impact on them.
- During the 12-step meeting, people who want to become sober learn the techniques that are necessary to defeat addiction. Familiarization with literature and meditation are easy for all people and are effective steps to achieve sobriety.
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
Are AA meetings free?
Yes, you do not have to pay to participate in an AA meeting. Moreover, most often, you do not have to agree on participation in advance. Visit the center at any time convenient for you. Recovery groups are open to new people in need of help.
How often should I turn up to AA meetings?
There is no fixed number of visits that is necessary to become sober forever. It depends on your wishes and capabilities. Some take part in discussions every day, while others go there only once a week.
How long does the 12-step program last?
The duration depends on your desire and well-being. You can join a group and turn up to discussions for 90 days, but you can also extend this period and visit AA meetings longer.