According to a 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 52 percent of Americans ages 12 and older drank alcohol within the past month, but only about 5 percent of people with an alcohol addiction received treatment.
People who have gone through treatment for an alcohol use disorder often look for support groups to help them with the lifelong process of recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most popular and helpful groups that a person in recovery can join. The 12 steps of AA are often used as guidelines for members of AA to help them manage their symptoms and remain in recovery.
What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?
After completing alcohol addiction treatment, a person’s medical provider may suggest that they attend an AA meeting to stay strong in recovery and embrace sober living. Some people may have never heard of the organization and wonder, “What is AA?”
The organization of AA was founded in 1935. The goal of the group is to provide support and encouragement for people who want to heal from alcohol abuse. The organization recognizes that alcoholism is an illness that can’t be cured or controlled, but can be managed.
Like some other support groups, AA is based on principles of spirituality and attests that a higher power or force can help someone recover from alcohol abuse.
The Twelve Steps
To help people overcome alcohol abuse issues, AA uses a 12-step approach. Members of AA complete each step throughout the program and may revisit a step at any time. Members often have sponsors who help them move from step to step and encourage them if they experience a setback.
Summarized, the 12 steps of AA include:
- Admitting powerlessness over alcohol use
- Believing in a higher power that could help restore sanity
- Deciding to turn one’s life over to a higher power
- Making a moral inventory for oneself
- Admitting faults to oneself, other people and a higher power
- Readiness to have a higher power remove character defects
- Asking a higher power to remove one’s shortcomings
- Making a list of people who were harmed as a result of one’s alcohol problems
- Making amends with everyone who one’s alcohol problems harmed
- Continuing to take personal inventories regularly
- Actively attempting to improve conscious contact with a higher power
- Regularly practicing AA principles and attempting to carry the AA message to other alcoholics
Find Treatment for Alcoholism
For people with alcohol use disorders who have already received addiction treatment, AA can be an effective support network. It’s important to remember that while AA can be a helpful support organization, it is not a substitute for professional alcoholism treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, help is available. At The Recovery Village Ridgefield, a team of medical professionals can design an individualized treatment plan that addressed substance use and co-occurring disorders. Call to talk with a representative to learn more about which treatment program could work for you.