Alcoholics Anonymous: What You Need To Know

6 Oct

Alcoholics Anonymous: What You Need To Know

 

Alcoholics Anonymous, also called AA, is an international program designed to support alcoholics by helping them recover and stay sober. AA is available in many countries around the world. It has successfully helped millions of its members improve their lives by giving up alcohol.

 

What to Expect from AA

Alcoholics Anonymous holds meetings during which alcoholics are invited to speak about their struggles. Some meetings feature only one speaker, and other meetings give each member the chance to address the group. No one is required to speak, and most meetings last about one hour. Other meetings are discussion-based and involve members studying some portion of the AA handbook, which is called the Big Book. Meetings are usually held in public places, such as churches, libraries or schools. There is no fee to join Alcoholics Anonymous, though most meetings include a segment during which they collect donations.

 

12-Step Program

Members of Alcoholics Anonymous follow the 12-Step Program, which was designed to help alcoholics recover. Firstly, the alcoholic must admit that he or she has a problem. Then, according to the 12 steps, the alcoholic must give his or her life over to God or a higher power as the alcoholic admits their wrongdoings and asks forgiveness of those hurt by these wrongdoings. Ultimately, the goal of completing the 12-steps is to have a spiritual awakening, during which the alcoholic is empowered enough to give up drinking.

 

Sponsors

Another feature of AA is that it encourages members to connect with sponsors. A newcomer chooses a sponsor who is familiar with the 12 Steps. This sponsor then acts as a mentor for the new person and guides the newcomer through the program. The sponsor also acts as a go-to person for the new member whenever he or she has questions or feels in danger of relapse.

 

Many people have successfully quit drinking by attending AA meetings, working closely with their sponsors and following the 12-step program. There is no cure for alcoholism, but people can recover through personal willpower and support from others. While there is always the possibility of relapse, most members of AA know they can turn to their AA family and sponsors for support.

11 May

4 Reasons to Try Alcoholics Anonymous

These days, there seems to be a lot of controversy about 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. People don’t think the program works, they feel like it is too religious, or they feel it’s outdated. But the truth is that Alcoholics Anonymous is the oldest recovery group in the country. It has been helping alcoholics for decades. So should you go to an AA meeting? Absolutely. Here are four reasons to give it a try.

1. AA has the biggest success rate. 

Of all of the recovery programs, AA has the best rate of people getting and staying sober. Go to any meeting, and you are guaranteed to meet men and women who have been sober for years, even decades. AA works if you put something into it. As they say, “it works if you work it.2.

2. The twelve steps are good guidelines for life.

Even if you’re not an alcoholic, the twelve steps are just good guidelines to live by. There are a ton of people who appreciate the twelve steps on their own merit. Not to mention how much more likely you are to achieve long-term sobriety if you work the steps with a sponsor.

3. AA meetings are a great place to meet like-minded folks. 

Everyone in an AA meeting understands you. They understand where you’ve been, they understand where you are, and they understand where you are trying to go. There can sometimes be no better place to make new sober friends than an AA meeting,

4. AA is the largest recovery program.

There are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings all over the world. There are usually an abundance of meetings to choose from. You can find meetings in the morning, at lunchtime, in the evening. You can even find candlelit meetings late at night. There are so many options for you to choose from when it comes to finding the right meetings for you.

AA is one of the most tested recovery programs. It has the best track record, and it works. There’s no reason not to try it. So the next time you are thinking about making a meeting, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to get there. You will not regret it.

27 Feb

8 Places to Meet People That Are Not Bars

When we first get sober, a lot of times, we wonder how we are actually going to meet people and make sober friends. When I first stopped drinking, I had to really reevaluate the people I was hanging around. Most of my friends were drinking buddies. I would go to bars with them or parties. I didn’t know how or where to be social without drinking. Over the course of my sobriety, though, I learned where to meet people in a non-drinking environment:

1. Book Groups

There are a ton of different book groups that you can find either online or in person. No matter what you like to read, you will easily be able to find a book group that applies. Discussing your favorite books with an interesting group of people is such a wonderful thing to do.

2. Churches/Spiritual Communities

Churches and spiritual communities are a great place to meet people in non-drinking environments. They are always having events, and it’s usually easy to meet people in these environments because they are so friendly and welcoming.

3. Support Groups/Meetings

Support groups and meetings are a great place to meet other people in recovery. I would say that be careful hanging around people at these meetings that are brand new in their recovery if you are also brand new in yours.

4. Doing Volunteer Work

Helping other people is a great thing to do. Not only will you be of service to those who need you, but it’s an excellent way to meet the people who also share your passion for helping others.

5. Fitness Classes

Going to a zumba class, a water aerobics class, a kickboxing class, or a hiking group is rewarding and fun. Not only will you meet other fun and active people, but you will get into really good shape.

6. Artistic Events and Classes

You could try a writing group, a painting class, or guitar lessons. You could join a group that goes to see plays or films. There are a million ways to experience, share, and create art with others.

7. Coffee Shops

Meeting people in coffee shops is kind of like meeting people in bars except you don’t have to drink. There’s still the element of talking to strangers and meeting all different sorts of people.

8. MeetUp.com

Meetup.com is a great website where there are tons of different groups who get together for all sorts of reasons. Take a look at your area and see what you can find.

24 Feb

4 Ways Finding a Spiritual or Religious Practice Can Help Your Recovery

A lot of people don’t know much about spirituality or religion. Some people can feel uncomfortable when they think of religion. It reminds them of being in church when they were children and didn’t really understand what God was. However, for those of us in recovery, we have to turn to our Higher Power to help us through our recovery. Finding a spiritual or religious practice can be really good for your sobriety. Here’s why:

1. Prayer and meditation build inner strength and peace.

Whether you are praying to God, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Ganesh, or any other deity, developing a practice of prayer and meditation is a great way to introduce more compassion, love, peace, and well-being into your life. When you pray and meditate, you will start to feel like you can be or accomplish anything. God gives you a strength you never knew you had when you truly allow yourself to lean on God as you understand Him.

2. Getting involved in spiritual and religious communities will help you make friends for the right reasons.

We’ve all made friends in the bar or friends who are always there when they want someone to party with. Never mind the fact that they are seldom there when you actually need them. A spiritual or religious community is a great place to make genuine friendships and develop sincere relationships with people who will be there for you no matter what.

3. Having a sense of faith will bring you a sense of peace.

There is something a lot more peaceful about believing that someone has your back, whether that someone is Jesus or simply the Universe or a representation of Love. It makes you feel like you are not so alone and isolated, which is one of the things that makes people want to drink in the first place.

4. Our Higher Power has the strength we need.

We cannot do this alone. We cannot get sober alone. We need God, we need a Higher Power. If you have ever tried to get sober on your own and failed, you know exactly what I mean. Lean on your Higher Power for the strength you need to stay sober. You will be amazed where His love will take you.

22 Feb

Alcohol Rehabilitation: What Can You Expect?

Millions of Americans suffer from alcoholism. Unfortunately, there is a stigma associated with alcoholism. However, we know that it is a disease that needs to be treated. One of the best ways to receive treatment for alcohol disorders is to attend a rehabilitation program.

When it comes to rehab facilities for alcoholism, it can seem overwhelming. If you are in the position where you need to get help for your alcoholism, it’s important that you don’t wait to get the help that you deserve. There are a lot of things to consider.

Type of Treatment

There are different types of treatment that are necessary for alcoholics. Some people need partial hospitalization programs or inpatient treatment where they are under medical supervision 24 hours a day. Some patients need to be rehabilitated for 30 days, 60 days, even 90 days. Some patients only need outpatient rehabilitation. Everyone has their own unique situation.

Group Therapy

In most rehabilitation facilities, 12-step group therapy will be required. These groups are often extremely productive and helpful for the suffering alcoholic. Patients are encouraged to continue treatment with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings after rehabilitation has been completed.

Dual Diagnosis

For patients who also suffer from mental illness, most rehabilitation facilities will offer treatment for co-occurring disorders. Studies show that 50 to 70% of patients in a rehabilitation program also suffer from a mental disorder and need to be treated for that as well. Treating a mental disorder and treating alcoholism go hand in hand; one cannot be treated without the other.

Aftercare

Most rehabilitation programs will offer aftercare or treatment for patients following completion of the program. Aftercare can include support groups, counseling, cognitive therapy, and relapse prevention. It is extremely important that a facility have a good aftercare program as this is what helps prevent relapses.

Going to a rehab facility for alcoholism can be a scary decision to make. It’s also the most important decision you will ever make. Getting the help you need is essential. All of your loved ones will be incredibly appreciative and supportive, and they will help you to make sure that you receive the help that you need.